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, March 12, 2016

The Sea Island Conspiracy

Click here to access article by Pat Buchanan from Town Hall

Buchanan is a traditional American conservative (Wikipedia labels them as a "paleoconservatives") who basically believes in a nationally oriented agenda of capitalism without much emphasis on imperialism. With the election of Ronald Reagan to the presidency in 1980 a new version took over which consciously enlarged the scope of capitalist thinking into thinking on a global scale: neoliberalism, an advanced form of imperialism. The formal expression of this global political and economic vision was labeled by H. W. Bush as a "New World Order". 

The seeds of this thinking were present from the end of WWII with the rise of secret agencies within the US government such as the CIA, NSA, etc. After the power of this hidden "deep state" was demonstrated with the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers, Martin Luther King, and other less notable political figures and after years of consolidation of their power, this new global and more secretive form of conservatives took over the formal reigns of government beginning in 1980. They became known as neoconservatives. A strong component of this new group are Zionists who are inclined to support the interests of Israel. (Many of the Zionists have, and have had, duel citizenship.)

Traditional conservatives like Buchanan, Craig Paul Roberts, and Ron Paul have resented this takeover and are very critical of these upstarts. In this piece Buchanan reveals how the neoconservatives are very much threatened by the strong following that the maverick Donald Trump is attracting in the Republican primary elections, and are covertly organizing to stop him. 

Traditional conservatives know a lot about real power, because they once had it and are still well-connected with powerful people. Buchanan demonstrates that knowledge by exposing how the New World Order/neoconservative operatives are using one of their favorite strategies to attack opponents: the use of non-profit agencies. The neoconservative administrations (Obama's included) have used them with much success in foreign countries to destabilize unfriendly governments (think Ukraine and all the color revolutions), and are now using them covertly within the US to stop Trump's nomination. (Note the term "NGO" or "non-governmental organization" is used to label such non-profit organizations in foreign countries.) What Buchanan omits in his exposé is that neoconservatives use these tax exempt organizations to spread their propaganda on an ongoing basis in support of the neoconservatives' neoliberal policies both domestically and in foreign affairs.

The dance of the capitalist class on the middle class

by cartoonist Ben Garrison from his website.

To paraphrase a famous quote by Pastor Martin Niemöller, first they came for the working class, now they are going after the middle class (professionals, smaller business proprietors, managers, scientists, teachers, and highly skilled technicians).

Friday, March 11, 2016

Bernie Sanders and the End of the Democratic Party

Click here to access article by Margaret Kimberley from Black Agenda Report
It is time to stop the quixotic search for better Democrats. It is time for a wholesale rejection of the reliance on electoral politics. A rotten system can’t accomplish anything that leftists want to see realized.
But later she writes:
Most Bernie Sanders supporters will not fall in line if the disliked Hillary Clinton is the Democratic presidential nominee. They probably won’t vote for the eventual Republican choice either but they won’t turn obediently to Clinton. They should choose to start over with a new party.
Oh my god!! This Pete Seeger refrain comes into my mind: "When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn."

I remember just before the presidential election in 2008, the Black Agenda Report endorsed Obama for president. Well, I guess Kimberley's view here shows some progress, but it is woefully short of what is needed. She totally ignores the fact that the capitalist ruling class controls all institutions which includes the elections. The only real alternative is for ordinary people to begin to organize a revolutionary movement to rid ourselves of the capitalist boot that is pressing down and slowly killing all of us.

Three conclusions and a surmise: Pravda, Iran and the US Judiciary

Click here to access article by Vaska from OffGuardian

This Canadian professor has done some sleuthing and found that a Pravada report was completely accurate about an astonishing US district court judgement that has been unreported in most of US mainstream media. There seems to be no end to the lies that even judges support. You have to read this to believe it.
...a New York district court judge has ruled that Iran is to pay $10.5 billion in damages and compensation for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Pentagon: $7.5 billion to the estates and families of the victims, plus $3 billion to insurance companies including Chubb Ltd. for the property damage, business interruption and other claims they’ve paid out.

A Warning From the B.I.S.: the Calm Before the Storm?

Click here to access article by Mike Whitney from CounterPunch.
When the profitability of the world’s biggest corporations are at stake, the central banks will move heaven and earth to lend a hand. This was the basic subtext of the discussions at the recent G-20 summit in Shanghai, China. The finance ministers and central bankers wracked their brains for two days to see if they could settle on new strategies for boosting earnings. In fact, the austerity-minded IMF even called on the G-20 to support a coordinated plan for fiscal stimulus to  boost activity and decrease the risks to the equities markets. Unfortunately, finance ministers balked because fiscal stimulus puts upward pressure on wages and shifts more wealth to working stiffs. That’s why the idea was shelved, because the oligarchs can’t stand the idea that workers are getting a leg-up. What they want is a workforce that scrapes by on minimum wage and lives in constant fear of losing their job.  The class war continues to be a top priority among the nations voracious CEOs and corporate bigwigs.

Beware the "fat tail": Climate risk and scientific reticence

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

Because of my knowledge of ruling capitalist class control over every sector of societies, I am acutely aware of the pressures put on scientists, scientific institutions, and science media to downplay the effects of climate destabilization. Spratt addresses this awareness in the article. 

This phenomenon is a direct result of the awareness of capitalist ruling classes, especially those associated with the US Empire, that capitalism and a sustainable climate are in contradiction to each other. Only an addiction to wealth and power can explain why this ruling class persists in this endeavor which will result not only in the capitalist's own destruction but that of the human species as well. Only the 99% can save humans from the destructive habits of these sick people.

As an illustration of the fear that intimidates scientists, I will reproduce a comment to my posting of "Capitalism and the destruction of life on Earth: Six theses on saving the humans" on July 3, 2013: 
Anonymous Jul 13, 2013, 6:21:00 PM
I have been teaching environmental biology for decades, and entirely concur with the points made by the author. Most of my colleagues are simply afraid to speak up, and for very good reasons. The perpetrators of this tragedy control the world, and they do have a license to defame, harass--and even kill. If you take this threat along with so many others, you must conclude that--short of a revolution and a SYSTEMIC change--it's game over for humanity. I'd give us 200 years, at the most.

The Constitution doesn't exist in the workplace...and many other places

by Mike Konopacki from his website

Thursday, March 10, 2016

45 Years After COINTELPRO, FBI Still Thinks 'Dissent is the Enemy'

Click here to access article by Lauren McCauley from Common Dreams. 

The article concludes with this statement:
"That the FBI cannot discern between activism and terrorism shows us that they think dissent is still the enemy," said Chip Gibbons, legal fellow with Bill of Rights Defense Committee and Defending Dissent Foundation, which organized the letter. "There have been multiple attempts at reform but after each and every one we see the same thing happening again. The FBI claims to no longer investigate groups for their political beliefs, but look at who the FBI investigates under its counterterrorism authority—peace groups, racial justice groups, economic justice groups—the very same types of organizations that were targeted during the heyday of J. Edgar Hoover."
Because there has been no ongoing organization that keeps records of the actual history of ordinary people, every generation has to re-learn the same lessons. In this piece McCauley has done some research which--surprise! surprise!--reveals that dissent is still the enemy of the ruling capitalist class. 

Until ordinary people organize and establish institutions that keep records of our history, we will see essays like this every generation. In recent years History Commons has been doing just that, but like all other alternative organizations they are begging for financial support because most ordinary people are so caught up in the election circus and all the other distractions supplied by our masters to keep us ignorant. 

Until substantial numbers of ordinary people support alternative organizations, the many problems we see today will only get worse under the system of capitalism. We have no alternative but to organize ourselves to defeat capitalist rule. Nowadays we have the literal equivalent of Patrick Henry's theme expressed as "Give me liberty or give me death" because it is our very survival as humans that is at stake.

3 BIG reasons why street activism doesn’t work (and usually makes things worse)

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

There is much to be learned in this piece from an author who has been a long time activist in New York City. After many years he now realizes that protesting this or that government policy or action is not the solution. Unfortunately he does not propose what politics could be effective. I think that his level of understanding of the problem might be the problem. That limited understanding, I think, is the result of many years of indoctrination about all the freedoms we supposedly enjoy in America: free elections, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, etc. ("It's them damn terrorists who resent our freedoms!") But, of course, these civic lessons taught by employees of our masters are only another illustration of the many false notions about political reality that our indoctrination instills in us.

The political reality is that we live in a class dominated society and we, the overwhelming majority, are forced to serve a tiny minority of capitalists who fill our minds with all sorts of foolishness so that they can keep us bound in service to them. In order to free ourselves of their oppression, we must first understand this reality, then organize in some form, formulate plans to rid ourselves of this class rule (street demonstrations might be a part of these plans), review our experience and formulate new plans, etc, until we overthrow our oppressors. This is becoming no longer an option for us, because if we keep putting this off, we as humans will disappear from the Earth.

I am a veteran of the anti-Vietnam War movement that existed in the 1960s and early '70s. To my chagrin, as soon as the war was over, everyone went back to their private "business as usual". Most activists failed to understand that this war was just another venture of the US ruling capitalist class to subject all of the world to their rule. There would many other such wars and many other forms of oppression and suffering as we have subsequently witnessed.

How the reserve army works

Click here to access article by David Ruccio from Real-World Economics Review Blog.

This politically aware economist explains how surplus workers in America provide larger profits for employers. So if you are a member of the capitalist class, what's not to like about recessions, depressions, and unemployment? Workers a hundred years ago knew this, but today's workers are kept by our masters in a state of ignorance with all kinds of meaningless distractions--like the current election circus which they manage--and provided an education that teaches them only skills that their employers can use. Rather than teaching a true history, our masters give us indoctrination in capitalist views and values. The average political IQ of ordinary Americans is in the idiot range.

Good cop, bad cop?

by Stephanie McMillan from her blog.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Update from Aleppo:”Superman is Coming to Rescue the Syrians?”

Click here to access "A report from inside Aleppo.  (Note: Source’s identity is withheld for their own protection"--posted on The Wall Will Fall.)

Telling the truth in the face of lies spread by powerful capitalist agents is very risky business. This person was forced to hide their identity because he/she reports so many truths which conflict with capitalist media. In this piece the author does that as a reaction to an opinion piece in one capitalist publication which appears to imply (I haven't read it, but it sounds typical of such pieces) that "superman" America must clean up the mess in Syria--as if they didn't have a hand in creating the mess in the first place! Turning reality on its head is a favorite strategy of Empire propagandists to keep people ignorant and supportive of Empire policies and actions.
Everything so far they blamed the Syrian government of doing it in the last 5 years, they did it themselves.

They [US NATO GCC Israeli coalition proxy terrorists] used chemical weapons against civilians. They besieged villages and towns and cut all food and water supply of reaching them, the hunger strategy in wars. They forced people to leave their homes and to become refugees. They forced people to vote for them and didn’t give them their freedom. They kidnapped cities and tortured masses of people because they don’t share the same religion, sect, or political opinion. They brought multinational fighters (from 80+ different nationalities) to fight with them, years before Syria asks the help of Hezbollah, Iran, Russia (3 nationalities).

The forgotten workers’ control movement of Prague Spring

Click here to access an excerpt from a 1978 book posted by Pete Dolack from Systemic Disorder
This is an excerpt from It’s Not Over: Learning From the Socialist Experiment, officially published February 26 by Zero Books. Citations omitted. The omitted sources cited in this excerpt are: Robert Vitak, “Workers Control: The Czechoslovak Experience,” Socialist Register, 1971; Oldřich Kyn, “The Rise and Fall of the Economic Reform in Czechoslovakia,” American Economic Review, May 1970; and several articles anthologized in Vladimir Fišera, Workers’ Councils in Czechoslovakia: Documents and Essays 1968-69 [St. Martin’s Press, 1978]
In the past I have alluded to the fact that ordinary people have little knowledge of their history. Instead we are fed a history that capitalist ideologues have contrived to celebrate their leaders, their perspectives, and their interests. This always instills in students a sense that ordinary people must look to capitalist authorities for wisdom and guidance because ordinary people are incapable of organizing their own economy or governance. Capitalist class history keeps us docile and ignorant of our own power. Dolack with this post does his part in keeping us informed of one important incident in our history.

The rape of East Timor: “Sounds like fun”

Click here to access article and 51:05m video by John Pilger from OffGuardian. (Note: I didn't have time to view the video for this commentary.)

Here is a summary of the history of the Empire's early and worst crimes against humanity. Only war criminals resort to such crimes as this. At the time when these crimes were happening, I was only able to receive brief reports. This is an illustration of a censorship problem over news that the Empire doesn't want people to know. It is only many years later that we learn about the details, and then nobody seems to care enough. 

This is happening today with human rights criminals that are in control of the Empire, and we will have to wait many years to find out the whole story. Thanks to the web, we can learn about these events much earlier, but such reports will always be relegated to obscure websites that few people will access. It is our duty as activists to learn about these websites and the independent journalists and observers who often risk their lives and welfare to bring us reports. One such very credible journalist is Australian John Pilger who with the aid of more leaked documents brings us up-to-date with this summary history about this monstrous crime perpetrated many years ago by our capitalist masters.
Secret documents found in the Australian National Archives provide a glimpse of how one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century was executed and covered up. They also help us understand how and for whom the world is run.

The documents refer to East Timor, now known as Timor-Leste, and were written by diplomats in the Australian embassy in Jakarta. The date was November 1976....

Profits and Pie-in-the-sky Universal Medicare

by Mike Konopacki from his website

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

U.S. Regime, in Violation of International Law, Sets Up Air Base in North Hasakah, Splitting the Political and Territorial Integrity of Syria

Click here to access article from the real SyrianFreePress Network.

I imagine some readers will object to this article because its source is obviously biased in favor of Syria. My response is that Syria is a legitimate government that is another target of regime change by the Empire and its close collaborators in the Mid-East. I have posted a number of articles that support this position, and I think that the following 12:11m video offers an excellent summary of facts regarding the conflict in Syria. 

This article relates to, and is corroborated by, a number of other articles which have reported on the Empire's "Plan B" for Syria (see this, this, and this). 
The truth about creating this pirate base on Syrian territory is that the US is in practice already splitting the political and territorial integrity of Syria, making a completely illegal action, outside of any international mandate, within a project we can define a prerequisite for the Saudi-Qatari pipelines to Turkey and Europe.

Violence On The Factory Farm: How Not To Feed The World

Click here to access article by Colin Todhunter from his blog East by Northwest (Britain).

Todhunter introduces us to a rather painful film which reveals the hidden truth behind our consumption of meat that is overwhelmingly produced by factory farms. He then goes on to examine the many ramifications of these factory farms, the corporate imperatives of profit behind industrial agriculture, and the threat they pose to human survivability.
...we should not lose sight of two points that are key to this discussion.

First, neoliberal capitalism is sowing the seeds of humanity’s destruction. It is stripping the environment bare through unsustainable levels of consumption and institutionalised economic plunder, the latter of which involves the programmed eradication of indigenous, productive agriculture. In doing so, the world’s ability to feed itself is being destroyed.

And the destruction of rural livelihoods and communities is for what? Agriculture and food poisoned with chemicals and the mass incarceration of animals whose suffering is hidden from public view; an urban-centric model of ‘development’ defined by greed and narcissism on the one hand and austerity and poverty on the other; all to be played out in polluted, congested mega-cities shaped by powerful private corporations which seek to colonise and mould the very essence of existence, from cradle to grave, from field to plate.

Second, there are deep-seated questions to be asked about how we as individuals personally regard our mass slaughter and wholesale exploitation of animals on factory farms. Should we be treating animals more humanely in agriculture, or should we even be producing animal products for eating at all? Even if our consciences can continue to live with this, in the long run it will be not only impractical to expand factory farming and increase meat consumption but, based on the evidence presented here, catastrophic to do so.

Climate Disruption's New Record: Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach Highest Point in 15 Million Years

Click here to access article by Dahr Jamail from TruthOut

Under the criminal rule of sociopathic capitalists, humans are being led down the path to their destruction. Jamail nowadays specializes in providing data that show how we, under their rule, are rapidly altering the climate and making it unsuitable for human habitation. But then, we really don't want to know this, right? We much prefer watching on boob tubes the latest entertainment and infotainment provided to us by our corporate masters. (I'm in a cynical mood this morning.)
One of the most alarming indicators of ever-accelerating anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) this writer has witnessed since beginning these dispatches is the fact that atmospheric carbon dioxide, in early February, reached a level not seen on the planet in the last 15 million years.

Thanks to humans, the earth was (since the 1990s) already experiencing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels in a realm not experienced on the planet since the Pliocene epoch, which was the period 2.6 to 5.3 million years ago that saw atmospheric carbon dioxide levels between 350 and 405 parts per million and average global temperatures that ranged between 2 and 3 degrees Celsius warmer than the climate of the 1880s.

Now we must brace ourselves for a new world, as carbon dioxide levels exceed even that epoch - a time when global sea levels were 80 feet higher than they are today.

Report on Israel’s aid subversion makes shocking reading

Click here to access article by Jonathan Cook from The National (United Arab Republic).

This Nazareth-based journalist reports on how Israel benefits from foreign aid that is designed to aid Palestinians.
While Europe may think of itself as part of an enlightened West, using aid to defend Palestinians’ rights, the reality is less reassuring. The aid may actually be making things worse.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Nonconsensual “Democracy” and the Degradation of the American Electorate

Click here to access article by M. G. Piety from CounterPunch.

I think Piety's essay is great as far as it goes. She starts of with a simple declaration that we don't have democracy in the US, and how one simple-minded retort to this is often used ("we don't have democracy, we have a republic"). She reveals the roots of democracy in the Enlightenment era, how propaganda tends to force people into voting for a "lessor evil", how ignorance and fear is used to control how people vote. But she leaves out the 800 pound gorilla in the room which is a ruling class that manages the elections (like everything else)! This ruling capitalist class will never allow people to vote for anyone whose views might interfere with their preoccupation with, or addiction to, profits and power. And, if somehow such people get into important offices, our masters have no compunctions about assassinating them.

This beast of capitalist class rule cannot be reformed. The only solution is revolution whether we like it or not. Most people refuse to face that enormous task and insist on remaining willfully ignorant out of fear that it is impossible and will only bring harm to them and their loved ones. Yes, a revolutionary path can and will likely be very dangerous, but it must be undertaken. The alternative is more poverty, more environmental degradation, more wars, more refugees, and more ignorance. Worst of all, their rule is a threat to the survival of humans!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Poisoned, Marginalised, Bankrupt And Dead: The Role Of Agroecology In Resisting The Corporate Stranglehold On Food And Agriculture

Click here to access article by Colin Todhunter from East by Northwest (Britain).

Todhunter is one of my heroes in an age in which our ruling capitalist masters are promoting their own versions of "heroes". In the latter version people who are designated as good guys use violence to subdue evil-doers who wish to harm us. One of the many problems with this formulation is that these fairy tales are used to extol the use of violence to ward off those who theoretically wish to harm us; but they also hide the reality that we ordinary people must rely on a few "heroes" to save us, and those heroes are carefully selected by our masters to serve their interests of profit and power. And worse, our masters want our consent for them to use violence against their enemies. The main problem with this comic-book formulation is that their enemies are nearly always ordinary good guys like most of us, and not our enemies.

The engines that our masters use to obtain profit and power are corporations, and Todhunter exposes the role of agricultural corporations to poison and de-nourish our food and destroy farmers who practice sustainable agriculture, a practice that he identifies as agroecology.
The current global system of chemical-industrial agriculture, World Trade Organisation rules and bilateral trade agreements that agritech companies helped draw up for their benefit are a major cause of structural hunger, poverty, illness and environmental destruction. By its very design, the system is parasitical.

Across the world, we are seeing farmers and communities continuing to resist the corporate takeover of seeds, soils, water and food. And we are also witnessing inspiring stories about the successes of agroecology: a model of agriculture based on traditional knowledge and modern agricultural research utilising elements of contemporary ecology, soil biology and the biological control of pests.
He concludes this essay with a warning: our masters are pursuing a strategy to isolate and contain the practices of agroecology so that it doesn't interfere too much with the operation of their corporate engines.
While many argue in favour of agroecology and regard it as a strategy for radical social change, some are happier for it to bring certain benefits to farmers and local communities and see nothing wrong with it being integrated within a globalised system of capitalism that continues to centralise power and generally serve the interests of the global seed, food processing and retail players. And that is the danger: a model of agriculture with so much potential being incorporated into a corrupt system designed to suit the needs of these corporate interests.

But there is only so much that can be achieved at grass-root level by ordinary people, often facilitated by non-governmental agencies. As long as politicians at national and regional levels are co-opted by the US and its corporations, seeds will continue to be appropriated, lands taken, water diverted, legislation enacted, research institutes funded and policy devised to benefit global agribusiness.

And that's something that only a broad-based, global movement of peoples, spanning continents and nations, countryside and cities, farmers and consumers, can take on with assurance of ultimate victory.
My hero, Todhunter, has identified one major area of our lives that is being threatened by the system of capitalism. There are many others. But we as individuals can only do a little to fight for our survival, and Todhunter is doing so much. Todhunter, like many other ordinary heroes, barely survives economically. This is a major problem for all those who defy our masters and their interests. The only way the Todhunters of the world can do their work--which is for our benefit--is by each us doing what little we can to promote our real interests. (And think how we outnumber our real oppressors by the billions.) Todhunter provides a vital role in identify the real threats to our survival and what we need to do to survive. One thing we can do is send what little we can afford to help him survive so that he can help all of us to live in a sustainable, peaceful world.

‘Plan B’ – Not an Enigma: Why the West is Keen on Dividing the Arabs

Click here to access article by Ramzy Baroud from Uncommon Thought Journal.  

In the past I haven't at all been impressed by the writings of Baroud who I considered an intellectual who was far to close to conventional thinking in the Empire (West). I still see evidence of the latter in this article, but as a whole I think it not only represents a remarkable advance in his geopolitical understanding of the world but, more importantly, clarifies Empire policies. 

The evidence of his conventional thinking that I see is in his opening paragraphs in which he regards the Arab Spring has some sort of spontaneous event that was not influenced by Empire agents. Accordingly he sees that the latter simply took advantage of it. In the past I've posted many articles from solid sources which strongly suggest that Western agents were very much involved (I simply don't have the time to look them up). My position is not that Western agents concocted the whole thing. In all of the Empire's "color revolutions" they always use domestic dissidents to fuel their operation. But beyond the initial misleading paragraphs, I think that he offers a very clear explanation of the favorite divide and conquer strategy that the Empire uses to control nations in their interests.

The New Normal

Click here to access article by Jen Sorensen from her website.

She offers an excellent satire of the election circus in the US.