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, April 27, 2017

Why Scientists Marched

Click here to access article by Jill Richardson from Other Words

Because capitalism serves only a tiny class of people, this organization of the economy is increasingly at odds with the vast majority of people. Among the many other problems it is causing for the latter, it is currently threatening to destabilize the climate to the point where conditions on our Earth no longer will sustain human life. Trump has played the capitalist game and is one of this tiny class that owns most everything of value and together with his fellow capitalists essentially "owns" the government. 

Because they depend upon the vast majority to keep capitalism afloat, his actions (like theirs) very often are in conflict with his words. The management of thought is now the highest priority among this ruling class to keep their system functioning. However because of his personal history exclusively as a real estate tycoon, he is not sophisticated in the arts of lying and deception like Obama and former presidents were. Along with Trump's mental health, this is something that is a major worry for his fellow capitalists. And, scientists especially are concerned because they know that Trump, while maximizing profits for his class, is also destroying the future for humans. As Richardson explains:
He put Myron Ebell — described by Business Insider as “a man who denies basic science” — in charge of his Environmental Protection Agency transition team. Ebell’s qualifications? He worked at an ideological libertarian think tank. He has no science background.
This administration also rejected the recommendations of government scientists and chose to allow farmers to continue using a toxic pesticide known to harm children.

Meanwhile Trump is trying to cut scores of science programs, many of them related to Earth science and climate science.

These cuts won’t just harm conservation, regulation, and other goals Trump doesn’t like but are necessary if we want to continue living on a hospitable planet.

Tribunal finds Monsanto an abuser of human rights and environment

Click here to access article by Pete Dolack from his blog Systemic Disorder.

Although there have been many discussions and proposals about an international court since WWI, it was only after WWII and the International Military Tribunal that tried Nazi war criminals that there was a strong push to set up similar international courts. Due to the Cold War and the lack of support by major countries, only tribunals have succeeded in being established. The only two I am familiar with are the International Court of Justice (ICJ) established in 1946 and a branch of the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) that was established by the Treaty of Rome in 1998 by many nations and became active in 2002. Both are located in The Hague, a city on the south coast of Holland. 

(Incidentally, Nicaragua in 1986 brought a case against USA in the ICJ for various war crimes, and the court essentially found the US guilty: "The very long judgment first listed 291 points, among them that the United States had been involved in the 'unlawful use of force'.") 

On April 18th the ICC found Monsanto guilty of violating internationally recognized human rights.
The tribunal, consisting of five international judges, has found Monsanto guilty. The tribunal is not a court of law and it has no power to enforce any judgment. The decision is a moral one, albeit grounded, the tribunal says, in international human rights and humanitarian law.
Dolack concludes correctly that capitalism is in contradiction to human rights because its priority is maximization of profit, and in order to survive corporations must continue to grow.
That concept of human rights, however, is in conflict with the mandates of capitalism — including the relentless competitive pressures that make “grow or die” an imperative. The domination of markets by a small number of behemoths is the inevitable product of that ceaseless competition, behemoths that by virtue of their immense size and command of capital can and do exert dominance over government and civil society.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Not-So-Grand Strategy Behind America’s Warring Around

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

Engdahl offers his framework about the long-range project of Anglo-American capitalists into which he sees the zigs and zags of recent foreign policy tactics of the Trump administration continuing. Like other informed commentators, he sees a very dangerous world ahead.
It’s getting pretty crazy, the warring around of Washington since the Trump Project took office January 20. The question is whether there is a true strategy behind the dramatic escalation of Trump Administration military aggression around the world. There definitely is in my view, and it’s not good for world peace, not good for the United States and the rest of the world.

America’s Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Replaced by Robots

Click here to access article by Vincent Del Giudice and Wei Lu from Bloomberg News.

The technology that was created by workers has led to replacing other workers with robots. This is another illustration of how under the rules and logical dynamics of capitalism are leading to the concentration of wealth and power for a tiny ruling class who rule the US-led Empire and is hell-bent on ruling the world. 

Instead of liberating humans from repetitive drudgery and working long hours, technological advancements could be used to free them to pursue education and preparing them to govern societies for their benefit. However under capitalist governance it's clear that the technological creations of workers are being used to put them in ever deeper poverty, ignorance, and hopelessness.

‘Mad Dog’ Mattis Going Rabid

Click here to access article by Eric Zuesse from Strategic Culture Foundation.
Trump is taking over where Obama left off.

Russian Television reported (and U.S. ‘news’ media refused to report) U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, on April 6th, two days after the alleged sarin attack, as essentially demanding Putin’s capitulation, regarding the Syrian war:
"'It is very important that the Russian government consider carefully their support for Bashar al-Assad.’ Tillerson added. Asked if the US will lead a regime change effort in Syria, Tillerson said that 'those steps are underway.'"

Russians got the message, even if Americans did not. In other words, they know that the Trump Administration is continuing what had originally been the Obama Administration’s objective, prior to Russia’s entry into the war on Assad’s side on 30 September 2015: regime-change in Syria. The Trump Administration is apparently willing to go to war against Russia in order to remove Assad and replace him with a leader who is supported by the U.S., Sauds, and America’s other allies in the war to replace Syria’s existing government.
It’s not only Mattis who is «rabid». So is his President, Trump; and, if the even more rabid H.R. McMaster gets his way, so too will be the entire world.

Pleasing America’s «military-industrial complex» is hard to do, but Trump’s Administration is trying hard to out-do its predecessors, at that task.
It appears that Trump, in order to stay in power, has succumbed to the pressure of the neoconservative war hawks. If he succeeds in pleasing them, I see two consequences: 1) Trump will start receiving favorable treatment in corporate media, and 2) we can kiss our asses goodbye.

Climate Evangelists Are Taking Over Your Local Weather Forecast: Sunny with a scientific certainty of climate change

Click here to access article by Eric Roston from Bloomberg News

Although the editors of Bloomberg News while identifying corporate news meteorologists as "climate evangelists" managed to suggest in a deprecating way to not take them seriously, the content of Roston's article shows that they are serving as an effective subversive influence in corporate media to act against Trump's denial of global warming and the findings of climate scientists. However, the ruling class's concern is not the deleterious effects that this will have on humans, rather their concern is informed by a worry about continuing economic growth which is required for a capitalist economy as is illustrated in the following 2:38m video:

Brave new world of America today

by cartoonist Brian McFadden

You have to be brave to live in it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

America is trying to block the path of the “Shiite crescent” from Syria and is preparing the ground for a “new Middle East”.

Click here to access article by Elijah J. Magnier from his website.

If my memory serves me correctly, Magnier is a Kuwaiti analyst of Middle East military and political events. He has also earned the respect of one of America's foremost independent political bloggers at Moon of Alabama (Bernhard) who wrote on one of his posts referring to Magnier: "As he is one of the most knowledgeable experts on the war in Syria and Iraq his thoughts deserve a wider discussion."


The main point that I am trying to convince my readers is that this post of Magnier's and a prior post of mine entitled "Three Green Berets killed by ISIS infiltrator after CIA ignored warnings" (sourced from a website operated by veterans of Special Operations) offers more evidence that the US is training, funding, organizing, and weaponizing terrorist armies in Syria. (That is, if you had any doubts!)

The numerous terrorist armies have been assigned various names--probably to add more confusion to foreigners trying to figure out what is happening in Syria (also their attempt to separate terrorist armies from rebel armies)--have been recruited among Sunnis that had supported President Sadam Hussein and experienced torture at Abu Ghraib operated by the US military in Iraq, from the jails of Saudi Arabia, and dissidents from a variety of other Muslim countries in the Middle East. They have been trained and issued weapons by Saudi Arabia (and other affiliated Gulf feudal kingdoms, the US, and Turkey; and launched from Turkey, western Iraq, and Jordan to destabilize Syria. They have also been supported militarily and medically by Israel. Each of these players continue to have their own reasons for regime change in Syria.

Notice on this map that Sweida is, as Magnier wrote, near the Jordanian border, and Abu Kamal is in eastern Syria which lends support to his argument:
The United States has provided the necessary weapons for these rebel forces – the intensity of the usage of the anti-tank and anti-personnel TOWs laser guided missile is the best indicator. If these forces reach alBu [sic] Kamal (about 700 km from Suwayda), they would stop any possible intervention of Iraqi forces in Syria, under the pretext of hunting down ISIS to prevent their return to Iraq. In fact, this plan is not innocently aiming to disrupt the ISIS connection between Syria and Iraq, but to put an end to the “Shiite crescent”.

This “Shiite crescent” that the Sunni Gulf countries fear – not feared by the United States because it doesn’t represent any threat to the US security – is connecting Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut.

How Come Central Asian States have Become a Breading [sic] Ground for Terrorism

Click here to access article by Jean Perier from New Eastern Outlook. (All I was able to find about the author was this note from The News Doctor's website: "Jean Périer is an independent researcher and analyst and a renowned expert on the Near and Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”. He is likely French and his use of English is rather awkward if not in error in some places. Also "CIS" means Commonwealth of Independent States.)

The author provides a very good understanding of why so many people from mostly Muslim countries are so easily recruited into terrorist armies.
Large criminal groups or other marginal social groups that are turning individuals into would-be-terrorists if they are to be approached by radical recruiters. However, at the heart of any criminal activities lies the economic situation that a state has found itself into. Countries with weak economies and high unemployment rates are virtually pushing the lowest strata of the population into getting engaged in offensive activities. That is where extremist recruiters come in, offering both significant financial benefits to those willing to take the risk of becoming a terrorist and the long-time occupation to all sorts of marginals. If there’s no financing, there’s no terrorism. [my emphasis]
The low cultural level of the marginals that are usually getting recruited by terrorist groups usually can be easily transformed into the fanatical devotions to the ideas of radicalism, that exists with the sole purpose of reducing the costs of needed to stage a terrorist act.

Top 4 Worst pieces of Climate News from WMO in Age of Trump

Click here to access article by Juan Cole from his blog Informed Comment
The World Meteorological Organization of the United Nations issued its annual report on the climate on Tuesday, making a full and final assessment of 2016.

It was not good news.

It was big news, but it wasn’t good news. Also, surprise, it wasn’t reported on most television “news,” otherwise known as babysitting for adults.
 

Too rich (and powerful) to care

by political cartoonist Dwayne Booth (AKA "Mr. Fish").

Monday, April 24, 2017

Donald Trump Has Been Played Like a Violin

Click here to access article by David William Pear from OpEdNews
Trumps critics are so numerous, unrelenting and persistent that like a cornered rat, Trump lost any sanity that he may have possessed and instead of lashing out at his tormentors, he lashed out at Syria's president Bashar al-Assad. Just like a drunk that comes home and beats his wife, terrorize his children, busts up the furniture and kicks the dog it accomplished nothing but chaos, but it feels so good to blow off some steam, even if it is at the wrong target.

Now Trump has a lot of damage to repair and it will take more than a night in the drunk tank to patch up the mess he has made. It is probably beyond redemption. Worse is that like an alcoholic there is no cure for someone drunk with power. Predictably Trump will continue with his unpredictable binges on which he prides himself. The world will now be walking on eggshells waiting for Trumps next irrational outburst.

Trump is not the only insane actor.
Judging by Trump's actions after only three months in office, I think that Pear has Trump figured out. If we ordinary Americans, and many others around world, survive the next four years reasonably intact, it will be a miracle. The latest evidence to support this view of Trump's administration is this 17:03m YouTube video essay (starting at 1:20m after a promotional message) entitled "McMaster of War" constructed by Kurt Nimmo and posted on Newsbud. Rabid neoconservatives are now in control of the US and its Empire. 

As long as they can control Trump, their latest useful idiot, this remains true; but even if they get rid of Trump, they will place another useful idiot in charge. Rabid capitalist hawks in the directorate of the US Empire are the puppeteers who now conduct this show of horrors.

Google now threatening Alt-News web-sites

Click here to access article by Eric Zuesse from OffGuardian
I used to be published at places such as Huffington Post, Salon, and Common Dreams, but the number of sites that are willing to publish me has gradually reduced as more and more of my articles came to expose the operations that control the U.S. federal government. None of those publishers explained to me why they were dropping me. But now I understand. And Google isn’t alone in this; they’re part of the same operation that has taken over the U.S. and many foreign ‘news’ operations and thus now controls what the publics believe, in many countries.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

'The Kurds': Internationalists or Narrow Nationalists?

Click here to access article by Marcel Cartier (see also this and this) from TeleSur.

This article is an excellent followup of another article (by the same author) which I posted on the 14th of April with my commentary (please read my commentary if you are not familiar with it). In that article I discussed my confusion about the goals of the Syrian Kurds (based in Rojava, Syria and referred to by various names (Kurdish Freedom Movement or KCK,  Democratic Union Party or PYD, the Kurdish People's Protection Units or YPG). They are oriented around the ideas promoted by Abdullah Ocalan who, in turn, has been strongly influenced by the libertarian socialist ideology of American Murray Bookchin.

In this current article Cartier does not deal with the confusion that I mentioned in my commentary to my earlier post regarding US military installations on territory under the control of Syrian Kurds, however he declares from a visit to the region and interviews with many Syrian Kurds that their orientation differs radically from Iraqi Kurds led by Masoud Barzani who has managed with the help of the US to carve out a mostly independent region in northern Iraq. Cartier declares that the Syrian Kurds have no intention of playing along with the plans by the Empire and associates to dismember Syria.

From viewing the second video (produced by "Films for Action") of the three included in the article, you will learn that Turkey's policies under Erdogan are actively supporting ISIS to carry out his obsessive concern to suppress any kind of Kurdish independence. This corroborates the many articles I posted several years ago that documented Turkey's support for the ISIS terrorists and their collaboration with NATO, Saudi Arabia (and their feudal Arab allies), and Israel to dismember Syria. As you can see, there is an complex stew of motives of the various actors participating in the project to dismember Syria arrayed against the forces of the Syrian government, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Earth Day then vs. now: Capitalism is still killing us

Click here to access article by the staff at Liberation
As our banner says “Climate change is the symptom, capitalism is the disease and socialism is the cure.” The inherent need for capitalism to constantly seek new markets and expand production and profits is at its core in complete contradiction to a sustainable world. Corporations’ primary concern is to increase their quarterly returns and please shareholders. Any move toward greening their business is often solely for PR purposes and if the “greening” costs more than it gains, it won’t last.

From Earth Day to the Monsanto Tribunal, Capitalism on Trial

Click here to access article by Colin Todhunter from East by Northwest

This British independent blogger has lived in India for a significant number of years, and saw first hand the destructive influence of large corporations on Indian farmers, farming, and Indian food. In this article commemorating Earth Day, he sums up what he has learned from this experience.
Monsanto and other powerful corporations can only operate as they do because of a framework designed to allow them to capture governments and regulatory bodies, to use the WTO and bilateral trade deals to lever global influence, to profit on the back of US militarism (Iraq) and destabilisations (Ukraine), to exert undue influence over science and politics and to rake in enormous profits.

The World Bank’s ‘Enabling the Business of Agriculture’ and its ongoing commitment to a wholly corrupt and rigged model of globalisation is a further recipe for plunder, corruption and the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of the few.

Donald Trump: Ruling Class President

Click here to access article by Paul Street from CounterPunch.

Street writes about the fake democracy after an election which saw probably the worst choices ever offered to Americans for president of the USA. Both pretended to be for ordinary Americans, but one promised peace and prosperity at home while the other promoted wars abroad to the "evil-doers" du jour (Russia, Putin, Assad, Iran, & North Korean leaders). 

Elections are always touted to be the hallmark of democracy by our ruling class pundits--unless, of course, the outcomes, most especially in other countries, do not suit their interests of profit and power. Then they are deemed corrupt. Street shines his light through this dense fog of indoctrination to see the obscene nakedness of our capitalist fake version of democracy. He offers many pearls of wisdom to illustrate the different aspect of this fakery. We people under the control of the transnational capitalist class that governs the US-led Empire are not only subject to fake facts, fake news, and fake history, but also fake democracy.

RASHIDEEN MASSACRE: Children Lured to their Slaughter by NATO State Terrorists

Click here to access article by Vanessa Beeley from 21st Century Wire
On April 15th 2017, the people of Kafarya and Foua were attacked, their children mown down deliberately, by a suicide bomb or expolosive detonation, that targeted these innocent children who had been lured to their deaths by NATO and Gulf state terrorists, including Ahrar al Sham and Nusra Front (Al Qaeda). [my link]
This British woman who describes herself as an independent researcher, writer and photographer reports on the details of the horrific massacre of 200 civilians, including 116 children. The terrorist armies, two of which committed this crime, are sponsored, organized, supported, and trained by the US-led Empire, Turkey, Israel, and their associated medieval kingdoms of Saudi Arabia, etc, all of which have their own reasons for bringing down the Syrian government.

As far as I know the first terrorist army, the "Contras", was organized in Honduras by government agents of the US to terrorize the people of nearby Nicaragua because they had the temerity of electing a government which pursued independent policies which tried to serve the needs of their people and not corporations. In 1982 on a visit I saw first hand the destruction they wrecked on schools, clinics, and cooperatives organized by the Nicaraguan Sandinista government. After years of terrorist attacks by the Contras, the Nicaraguan people capitulated in the 1990 election which saw the election of people more acceptable to the US's ruling class. From Wikipedia:
After the U.S. Congress prohibited federal funding of the contras in 1983, the Reagan administration nonetheless illegally continued to back them by covertly selling arms to Iran and channeling the proceeds to the contras (the Iran–Contra affair), for which several members of the Reagan administration were convicted of felonies. The International Court of Justice, in regard to the case of Nicaragua v. United States in 1984, found, "the United States of America was under an obligation to make reparation to the Republic of Nicaragua for all injury caused to Nicaragua by certain breaches of obligations under customary international law and treaty-law committed by the United States of America". During the war between the contras and the Sandinistas, 30,000 people were killed.
In the Nicaraguan general election, 1990, a coalition of anti-Sandinista parties (from the left and right of the political spectrum) led by Violeta Chamorro, the widow of Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal, defeated the Sandinistas. The defeat shocked the Sandinistas, who had expected to win. Commentators such as Noam Chomsky and Brian Willson attributed the outcome to the U.S.-contra threats to continue the war if the Sandinistas retained power, the general war-weariness of the Nicaraguan population, and the abysmal Nicaraguan economic situation.
Ruling class agents of the US learned the usefulness of such terrorist armies from this experience and together with their allies in the Mid-East are using various terrorist armies to bring down the Syrian government because they too do not serve the needs of the Empire and their collaborators in crime. Similar terrorist armies have been used by Empire agents in Afghanistan, Libya, and elsewhere to a lessor extent to overturn intimidate governments and breakup nations. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

A three-track strategy for climate mitigation

Click here to access article by Graeme Taylor from Climate Code Red (Australia). (This a shortened version of a scholarly, full-referenced article. Dr. Taylor is an adjunct professor associated with Griffith University, Nathan, Australia.)

This is posted on a leading worldwide environmental website that is based in Australia. The post illustrates how some environmentalists, preoccupied by climate destabilization as a threat to humans, recognize that capitalism is driving us to extinction, but refuse to name the system.

Thus the author recognizes the scale of the concern with passages like this;
There is an enormous (and currently unbridgeable) lag between the pace of political, economic and technological change and the rapid (non-negotiable) rate of climate change.

To ensure safe outcomes the global economy will have to be rapidly restructured. This will require a massive response similar in scale and urgency to the Allied effort in World War II. However, at this time strong international action is a distant dream.

Most experts assume that even under the most optimistic scenarios aggregate emissions will increase until mid-century, pushing global temperatures far past international goals. The hope is that this overshoot will be corrected over time with as yet undeveloped technologies for carbon capture and storage.
I think they do this out of fear for their careers especially private industry and government, with this caution maybe less so compelling in academia. Although you will find numerous circumlocutions like consumerism and "political and economic frameworks", you will not find a single reference to capitalism. This in itself is a manifestation of the power of capitalists to control discourse on a subject which casts even doubts about the system, much less that it must be removed and replaced with a sustainable system to prevent cataclysmic climate destabilization.

The Communist Village in Spain

Produced by TeleSur from their website.

A small village in Spain recognized that change was needed in order for them to survive, and they did something about it. But they also recognized the necessity for the creation of a wider system change. (Note: 1200 hectares equals nearly 3000 acres.) So, are you going to take part in the creation of a new system, or remain passive; and by doing so, actually support the existing system of capitalism?


Neofascism in the White House

Click here to access article by John Bellamy Foster from Monthly Review

Foster starts out this lengthy read published in the hard copy of Monthly Review by assessing the citizens that voted for Trump and his continuing base of support (which according to polls is declining). I skipped this section and focused on the seventh paragraph down to the subheading "The Trumpist Gleichschaltung". In this section of his paper Foster concentrates on the close relationship between capitalism and fascism that is missing from most of the current articles regarding the re-appearance of fascism in the current period. 
Here it is vital to understand that fascism is not in any sense a mere political aberration or anomaly, but has historically been one of two major modes of political management adopted by ruling classes in the advanced capitalist states.17 Since the late nineteenth century, capitalist states, particularly those of the major imperial powers, have generally taken the form of liberal democracy—representing a kind of equilibrium between competing social sectors and tendencies, in which the capitalist class, by virtue of its control of the economy, and despite the relative autonomy accorded to the state, is able to assert its hegemony. Far from being democratic in any egalitarian sense, liberal democracy has allowed considerable room for the rise of plutocracy, i.e., the rule of the rich; but it has at the same time been limited by democratic forms and rights that represent concessions to the larger population.18 Indeed, while remaining within the boundaries of liberal democracy, the neoliberal era since the 1980s has been associated with the steepest increases in inequality in recorded history.

Liberal democracy is not, however, the only viable form of rule in advanced capitalist states. In periods of systemic crisis in which property relations are threatened—such as the Great Depression of the 1930s, or the stagnation and financialization of recent decades—conditions may favor the rise of fascism. Moreover, then as now, fascism is invariably a product of the larger context of monopoly capital and imperialism, related to struggles for hegemony within the capitalist world economy. Such a crisis of world hegemony, real or perceived, fosters ultra-nationalism, racism, xenophobia, extreme protectionism, and hyper-militarism, generating repression at home and geopolitical struggle abroad. Liberal democracy, the rule of law, and the very existence of a viable political opposition may be endangered.
The "liberal" in the phrase "liberal democracy" (or the capitalist form of democracy) is the classical meaning of liberal, and must be distinguished from the current popular meaning that is defined by the concept of "social liberalism" which (like social democracy) presumes the existence of capitalism. 

Fosters continues on in the article to distinguish between the classical form of fascism that existed in the 1930s with the neofascism of today, and more specifically the fascist features of the Trump administration. 

Sanders begins nationwide tour to promote Democratic Party

Click here to access article by Genevieve Leigh from World Socialist Web Site.

Bernie Sanders is continuing his role as sheepherder to guide discontented American sheeple away from any ideas that threaten the capitalist Empire and the transnational ruling class that supports it. 
The divisions that exist within the Democratic Party between the “Obama-Clinton wing” and the “Sanders-Warren wing” are over tactics, not principle. They all serve to uphold the political domination of the capitalist two-party system.

This has been proven in the trajectory of Sanders’ political career over the last two years. The senator from Vermont, by calling himself a socialist, demanding a “political revolution” and attacking the billionaire class, tapped into the enormous amount of discontent in the working class and was able to win 13 million votes in the primary. In this he was aided by a wide array of upper-middle-class organizations that orbit around the Democratic Party.

What happened to Sanders’ “political revolution”?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Global Capitalist Crisis and Trump’s War Drive [a must-read]

Click here to access article by William I. Robinson from TeleSur

This is the most accurate general appraisal of the transnational capitalist class (TCC) that is the driving force behind so many wars and economic attacks on workers throughout the world that I've seen in some time. This professor of sociology backs up his observations with links to solid sources. I only differ with his conclusion.
... behind the Trump regime and the Pentagon, the TCC seeks to sustain global accumulation through expanding militarization, conflict, and repression. This gives a built-in war drive to the current course of capitalist globalization. Only a worldwide push back from below, and ultimately a program to redistribute wealth and power downward, can counter the upward spiral of international conflagration.
This very mild conclusion is not supported by the excellent content he provides. I suspect that he is compromising himself here because he must not antagonize the agents of the ruling class in California if he wants to continue his career as sociology professor at UC-Santa Barbara. I don't fault him for this because we all must make compromises to powerful figures in the ruling class to survive, and in his case, to thrive by exposing the oppressive capitalist regime that affects us all.

There will be no redistribution of "wealth and power downward" like we (or our parents and grandparents) saw to a very limited extent in the Great Depression of the 1930s. And then restoration of the economy was not due to FDR's policies, but to WWII. (Even my very uneducated mother knew and told me this in 1946 when I was 10 years old.) And we are likely headed for another conflagration which promises to be far worse, if not terminal for humans.

No, only a revolutionary movement capable of ridding ourselves of these capitalist monsters, their upper-middle class collaborators, and their hideous self-serving system of capitalism can save us.

CBS This Morning: the daily brainwash

Click here to access article from The Greanville Post.

I watched with disgust this report in last night's evening news. The author is absolutely correct when he/she stated "There are no real journalist[s] on the corporate media any more ....". They may have degrees in journalism, but they serve as well-paid agents for the ruling class's propaganda apparatus. Fake news reports are now becoming a daily staple of media corporations.
Here’s CBS again doing its usual job of disinforming and under-reporting by using severely compromised, scandalously biased or ignorant sources, while never offering their huge megaphone to anyone with a scintilla of “dissident truth” or actual knowledge about the topics they supposedly cover.  So the nation and the world are inching toward a possible deadly confrontation for countless people, who do you call as an expert witness, a guy who has been the Democrats/CIA point man stoking the fires of Russiagate, none other than California Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat who also happens to boast impeccable Neocon/Zionist credentials.

Jimmy Dore: “…They’re not outraged at the terrorist butcher who lured children with food, then blew them up?” #West’s ‘rebels’ slaughter #Foua #Kafraya children

Click here to access article and Jimmy Dore video posted by Eva Bartlett from In Gaza

After this independent Canadian journalist clarifies all the groups which are included in the terrorist armies funded, organized, and trained by the US, Saudi Arabia and their Persian Gulf allies like Qatar, and Israel, she praises and introduces an excellent 19:11m video of a commentary by Jimmy Dore on his show that castigates media corporations for their reports on the latest terrorist incident in Syra, and in general about events in the region. Jimmy Dore provides a prime example of how media corporations issue fake news about real terrorist events in order to hide America's complicity in these crimes.

The Power Behind the Pipelines: Northern Access Pipeline

Click here to access article by Robert Galbraith from the Public Accountability Initiative (PLA).

The folks who work with PLA are currently running a series of reports that expose the interests behind various pipeline constructions that are presently occurring, or have occurred in the recent past, in order to provide the details of the capitalist interests behind these projects.

I've only perused this report, but it is obvious to me that there is considerable collaboration among banking, construction corporations, and their hired lobby organizations in Washington DC to accomplish these projects regardless of the opposition of residents in the affected areas. This report, in particular, illustrates how capitalist institutions and their agents cooperate, collude, and conspire to rake in huge profits in spite of the concerns of the people regarding the pipelines' deleterious impacts on the local environments and the broader destabilization of our climate. This destruction of habitat is caused by a system designed for the sole benefit of a tiny class of people who over the centuries of capitalism's existence have become so addicted to the "highs" of profit and power that they no longer concern themselves with the disastrous consequences of their drug habits.  

To me this report illustrates another feature of a capitalist society which I've noticed for many years. Although capitalists often do compete with each other over profitable economic opportunities, they much more often cooperate with one another to exploit opportunities to make money irregardless of the consequences on the rest of society and/or the environment. This phenomenon is in sharp contrast to workers and sub-groups within society who are encouraged to compete or fight each other over the "trickle" that is left over after the capitalist class reap their rewards.

The new Secretary of Education will help you with your education

by editorial cartoonist Patrick Bagley.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wallerstein on the End of Capitalism

Click here to access a 55 minute interview with Immanuel Wallerstein from the studios of KPFA in Berkeley, California.
Our capitalist world seems mired in crisis, beset by low growth and instability.  Immanuel Wallerstein, the father of world-systems theory, argues that the current malaise goes beyond the periodic fluctuations of the business cycle.  According to him, capitalism’s days are numbered: in 20 to 40 years it will be gone.  What replaces it may be something better or something worse.  Wallerstein discusses the end of capitalism, as well as resistance to Donald Trump and the recent attack on Syria.
Wallerstein's initial remarks, which I managed to listen to (I'm short of time this morning), were rather abstract, but I think he becomes clearer later on. I do not like to post articles or interviews without having read or listened to them entirely, but I think this has merit. 

I listened to enough to realize that he sees a future human existence in some form or other, but I think as I've argued before that this is not a valid assumption. In fact, I think that it is likely that humans will become extinct either through nuclear wars or climate destabilization to a point that the biosphere will no longer support human life.

Scientists: Get Used to Wildfires in a Warming World

Click here to access article by Bobby Magill from Climate Central.
Communities across the Western U.S. and Canada may have to adapt to living with the ever-increasing threat of catastrophic wildfires as global warming heats up and dries out forests across the West, according to a University of Colorado study published Monday.

Residents living in neighborhoods adjacent to forests — known as “wildland-urban interface” zones — will have to accept that many wildfires may have to be allowed to burn and that building new homes in fire-prone forests should be discouraged, the study says.

Firefighters and policymakers will also have to adapt in new ways as catastrophic wildfires burn more land and destroy more homes than ever before.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

This Is What’s Really Behind North Korea’s Nuclear Provocations

Click here to access article by Bruce Cumings from The Nation.

Cumings is America's foremost historian on Korea in the modern era. (read the above Wikipedia link) As such he knows of what he writes about North Korea in this article which provides details about their weapons program in recent decades in relation to US concerns.
North Korea is the only country in the world to have been systematically blackmailed by US nuclear weapons going back to the 1950s, when hundreds of nukes were installed in South Korea. I have written much about this in these pages and in the "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists". Why on earth would Pyongyang not seek a nuclear deterrent? But this crucial background doesn’t enter mainstream American discourse. History doesn’t matter, until it does—when it rears up and smacks you in the face.
For a much needed (for Americans) full history of US-Korean history of relations, I highly recommend that you read at least volume 1 of Cumings' 2 volume book entitled The Origins of the Korean War.   

Russian Defence Minsitry: No one has asked for antidotes or medicines around location of alleged Idlib chemical attack

Click here to access article by Adam Garrie from Duran
A puzzling new development has emerged in the aftermath of the alleged chemical weapons incident in Syria’s Idlib Governorate from the 4th of April.

Since the incident, apparently no one in the Khan Shaykhun area in question has asked for any antidotes for exposure to toxic sarin gas, the chemical allegedly deployed on the 4th of April.
This is likely because ISIS is using chlorine gas as weapons just like they did in Iraq in an incident recently reported by Newsweek. I've read several reports in which eye-witnesses claimed the Syrian Air Force bombed the Khan Shaykhun ISIS facility which apparently was being used to manufacture these weapons. Thus, ISIS leaders and their CIA collaborators likely saw that this incident could be exploited as a false flag attack to cast blame on the Syrian government for using chemical weapons. (Note that the Newsweek report did not connect the two incidents.)

Corporate Executives Swamp the White House

Click here to access article from CitizenVox, a blog sponsored by Public Citizen, a watchdog non-profit organization.

"The more things change, the more they remain the same." No one occupies the While House without being under the influence of the major power center (the ruling capitalist class) of the US. 
Public Citizen’s analysis of news reports and White House press releases reveals the astonishing degree to which outside corporate executives have swamped President Donald Trump’s White House.

According to news reports and White House press releases, since his inauguration, President Trump has met with at least 190 corporate executives – averaging more than two a day. Counting repeat attendees, he has had at least 222 corporate executive meetings.

One Hundred Years Ago: ‘The Revolution is not over; it is just Beginning!’

Click here to access article by Michael Jabara Carley from Strategic Culture Foundation

This professor of history at the University of Montreal provides a very accurate review of the initial stage of the Russian Revolution of 1917, the most pivotal event of the 20th century, which occurred precisely 100 years ago. The event spread panic among the ruling capitalist classes across continental Europe, the US, and the entire British Empire. You can't have a reasonably accurate understanding of major subsequent events if you don't have an understanding of this revolution. Carley provides that in his description of the first stage of the revolution in this scholarly, but concise article. 

(The scholarly features include showing dates from both our calendar and the Julian calendar, and using several foreign or more obscure words/expressions to which I've offered translations: "koshmar", "flagging", and "calendes grecques" became a colloquial expression for postponing something forever.)
This was the beginning of the period of so-called "dual power". The Petrograd Soviet would not take power directly, but in effect would govern indirectly, acting as a sentinel of the revolutionary masses and "usurping" government authority, as western diplomats saw it. Dual power was a formula for chaos especially since the Provisional Government represented  traditional tsarist elites, and the Soviets, the revolutionary masses. In fact, the Provisional Government had no popular base at all. Not even the Imperial Duma could buttress it, Ambassador Paléologue reported, for the Duma "had disappeared". The Petrograd Soviet is now "the parliament of all Russia". Hence, if there was "dual power" in Russia, it tilted heavily to the side of the new Soviets.

The two big issues in the spring of 1917 were peace and land redistribution.

Monday, April 17, 2017

America Aggression: A Threat To The World

Click here to access article by Christopher Black from New Eastern Outlook.

This renowned Canadian international criminal lawyer concludes this essay with an insightful comment and final question regarding US aggression:
...the real tragedy of the American action is that it once again proves that the modern era is a wild and apparently aimless struggle between all that is noblest and all that is basest in our common humanity. International law is trampled under American army boots. The United Nations is reduced to a circus in which the Americans and British play destructive clowns. The governments of the NATO war alliance, by their support of the American actions, lies, threats and bullying, are members of a criminal conspiracy to rule the world through brute force. The western news media are reduced to propaganda units of the NATO military forces and the people in general have, through a constant barrage of false information, manipulation, fear, bigotry, and a general ignorance of history and other peoples, become willing dupes of this machine.

Here in Canada the government and press proclaim their slavering support for the American war crimes, and are glorifying the useless slaughter of the First World War as the nation’s “defining moment.” Not the linking of the nation from Atlantic to Pacific by a great railway built at great human cost, nor the defeat of the American invasion in 1812, nor the defeat of the fascists in 1945; no, for they have become the fascists and relish the symbols of death, of slaughter, and all but worship war as our destiny and the death of others as a beautiful thing.

Frankly, I am tired of the debate whether Trump, the new Duce, has “sold out” or been compromised by the war faction in the United States. I think it was clear from the beginning that he would be as destructive as the rest of their leaders. Does it really matter any longer what leader is in charge of the United States?

12 Talkin’ World War One Blues…

Click here to access article by Mark Crispin Miller from his blog News from Underground.

Could it be that the professor is engaging in sarcasm as he begins and concludes his essay with these remarks?
  • What a difference a century makes, eh?
  • So that’s what happened back in 1917, when Americans were so much easier to jerk around than we are.

US Major Funder of Saudi War on Yemen: American Activist

Click here to access article from Tasmin News Agency (Iran).
A prominent anti-war activist based in California highlighted the US support for the war crimes committed by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and said Washington is “the major funder” of Riyadh’s bombardment of civilians in the Arabian Peninsula country.

“The United States is playing a very important role in supporting Saudi Arabia in these war crimes,” Cindy Lee Miller Sheehan said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency.

“Saudi Arabia plays a pivotal role in the region in making sure the oil keeps flowing to the United States, so in response, the US is allowing the Saudi murderous regime to perpetrate these crimes against the Yemeni people,” she added.
The fact that most Americans have taken to the streets over feminist issues and anti-Trump demonstrations shows the power of the ruling class directorate to guide Americans away from concerns over the wars that Americans are supporting in so many parts of the world and onto social identity issues. Simultaneously it illustrates how another prominent anti-war leader's influence can be so effectively neutralized by the directorate's opinion-shapers in media corporations. This situation also illustrates that most Americans listen to and believe the talking heads on TV and are convinced by corporate provided information that reverberates throughout social media. (Manufacturing Consent by Herman and Chomsky remains a classic study of this phenomenon.)

US Attack on Syria Result of Domestic Pressure on Trump: American Pundit

Click here to access article from Tasmin News Agency (Iran).
"I think his (Trump’s) action was less determined to send a message to (Vladimir) Putin and Xi (Jinping) than to relieve domestic political pressure," Washington-based political analyst James Jatras said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency.

"He (Trump) knew that if he even questioned supposed intelligence that concluded, without any investigation, with ‘a high level of confidence’ it was Assad, he would bring down on his head another avalanche of criticism," he noted.

Matrix world in 2017?

by editorial cartoonist Patrick Bagley

It seems that the makers of the science fiction film "The Matrix" were prophetic. Much of life in the USA today resembles what was portrayed in the film. We only need Soylent Green for food, and likely Monsanto and Cargill Inc. will soon provide that.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Rise of History's Biggest Empire

The 25:17m video produced by Empire Files and posted in TeleSur is narrated by Abby Martin.

Martin explains the history of the rise capitalist empires in the modern era leading up to the US-led Empire that rules much of the world today.

WikiLeaks: ISIS Tunnels Blown Up By MOAB Were Built By CIA

Click here to access article by Chris Menahan from InformationLiberation

Wikileaks in a tweet pointed to the latest major piece of fake news issued by the Empire's central government.
The tunnels used in Afghanistan by the Islamic State group that were blown up on Thursday by the world's most powerful non-nuclear bomb were built by the CIA, according to whistleblowing organization WikiLeaks. 

MIT Professor Debunks Media & White House & On S-Y-R-I-A G-A-S Attack

Danny Dore of the Danny Dore Show goes off on the latest fake report issued by the government which is sponsored by major banking institutions, "defense" contractors, government secret services all of which are controlled by the capitalist deep state. I like the way he speaks in the vernacular of ordinary people, a no-bullshit and entertaining style, to take down these fake reports.

The U.S. is counting on a long-term abundance of oil & natural gas: But what if the boom is just a bubble?

Click here to access article from Shale Bubble.
Despite recent declines in oil and natural gas production, Americans continue to be told that the United States is destined to have growing supplies of both, thanks to the widespread use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). This “shale revolution,” we’re told, will fundamentally change the U.S. energy picture for decades to come....

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Why North Korea Needs Nukes - And How To End That

Click here to access article by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama.

I am posting this article for three reasons: 1) as a prime example of vital information which media agents of our capitalist masters refuse to disclose; 2) it illustrates what could be reported much more widely if we had a people's media organization that served the needs of ordinary people for accurate information; and 3) it is an example of information that would undermine the ruling capitalist class's vital control of information that sustains this class in power, is terrorizing much of the world causing mayhem and considerable suffering, and is threatening a nuclear holocaust and environmental degradation both of which threaten the continuance of the human species. 

Another such example of reporting from an independent source that would never be published by a media corporation in the US Empire is a piece posted by the GEOPOLMonitor entitled "ISIS launches chemical attacks in Mosul, say Iraqi military". It would serve to undermine the Empire's fictional justification for their recent attack on a Syrian airbase.

The control of information is an indispensable weapon to sustain the rule of this tiny, self-serving class that has managed to own (and ownership's correlate, control) everything of importance to the functioning of our nation and most of the world. Quoting and referring to an 1989 article in the Marine Corps Gazette, Douglas Valentine writes in his recent book, The CIA as Organized Crime (p. 354), the following insightful commentary:
The new type of warfare will be widely dispersed and largely undefined. The distinction between war and peace will be blurred to the vanishing point. There will be no definable battlefields or fronts. The distinction between civilian and military will disappear. ...." [from the 1989 Marine Gazette]
The kicker in the article was when they said that, "This new type of warfare will depend on psychological operations manifested in the form of media information intervention."
All of this became standard operating procedure, at home and abroad, in terms of the military and CIA intervening in media information.
The article said, "One must be adept at manipulating the media to alter domestic and world opinion. On this new psychological battlefield, television news may become a more powerful operational weapon [than] armored divisions."
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that media corporations today are performing this role.
 
I am arguing the creation of an internationally based, people's media organization not as something that would be nice to have, but something that is vital to the survival of humans. And it must incorporate in its organizational structure the seeds of a new method of control of the organization from the grassroots up. Therefore the typical organization chart would be turned upside-down to indicate grassroots control of the organization. The development of such an organization could serve three functions: 1) as a source of much more accurate information; 2) as a catalyst for a revolutionary movement to topple the control of humanity by, and for the benefit of, capitalists; and as a model for a people-controlled organization of societies worldwide to prevent any other ruling class from being established. 

Neocons Point Housebroken Trump at Iran

Click here to access article by Jonathan Marshall from ConsortiumNews

The editor aptly introduces this piece with the following statement:
Now that the neocons have housebroken President Trump, they are ready for a resumption of their “regime change” agenda, with Iran next in their crosshairs, reports Jonathan Marshall.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Hasty Trump Syria Attack Game – It Doesn’t Add Up

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

The headline for this article is a bit misleading because most of the article is devoted not to analyzing Trump's decision, but to expose almost the entire operation and media coverage with considerable evidence (backed up by solid linked-to sources) that this is overwhelmingly another "fake news" story from beginning to end.
Was this latest chemical weapons incident another ‘false flag’ as intelligence jargon describes it, done by US-Saudi backed ISIS or Al Nusra, in order to give the Trump Administration war hawks the excuse for major military action in Syria for the first time in six years of US-backed war? All evidence says yes.
So far we can only speculate about Trump's reasons for this attack and the current deployment of naval forces approaching North Korea. Is he trying to ward off the ongoing criticism as "Putin's man" from a powerful war-mongering faction in the ruling class? Or has he completely succumbed to that pressure? If the answer to the latter question is affirmative, he will likely pursue an even more aggressive foreign policy than the ruling class's approved candidate Hillary Clinton. 

Regarding Syria and the Empire's strategy , Cartalucci presents a well-reasoned essay (see the last section) that the US, aided by Turkey and Israel, will try to carry out long held plans to carve up Syria leaving what's left as another failed state like Libya and Iraq. If Trump has surrendered to this war-mongering faction, this strategy is likely to be followed. 

The American public could aid in a more peaceful strategy throughout the world if they engaged in as massive anti-war protests in the streets. Unfortunately, the dominate war-mongering faction of the ruling class directorate and their media corporations have them completely befuddled about foreign affairs. The American public are much more interested in domestic social identity issues (gay rights, women's issues, and racial discrimination). This is probably due to the role media corporations play in encouraging such interest.

As to the confusion about Trump's foreign policy as provoked by his recent aggressive moves, I recommend you read Alistair Crooke's piece entitled "Trump Lurches into Chaos and Conflict". 

The Epic Resistance of Kobane

Click here to access article by Marcel Cartier from TeleSur.

I especially loved this article for primarily two reasons. One, I have been wondering if I have been a dupe of Western propaganda furnished mostly by the former owners of Reflections on a Revolution (ROAR) who ran a series of articles (to find them, enter "Rojava" into any of my search boxes) several years ago extolling the revolutionary character of the Syrian Kurds that inhabited northern Syria. Since then I've seen the US military collaborating with these Syrian Kurds and even establishing military bases or installations on their territory which I saw as part of an implementation of a plan to carve up Syria into "safe zones". During this latter period I've seen nothing about this more recent development in leftist websites.

Second, this article written by a Western leftist has a pure ring of authenticity about it. Read it to see for yourself. What I found most satisfying is that it deals a bit with the issue of the collaboration with US forces--although not enough in my opinion. 

I remember reading somewhere that the Syrian Kurds were surrounded by the Empire's terrorist army known mostly as ISIS, and US forces came to their rescue. This fact suggests that these Kurds out of sheer desperation were forced to collaborate with US forces. I also remember reading somewhere that the Syrian Kurds were discriminating against non-Kurdish residents in the same area which is flatly denied in this article. 

This confusion about reality in this area of Syria is, I suspect, caused by leftists wanting to only write positive things about people they regard as serving a progressive revolutionary agenda. The same thing happened in Venezuela after the Chavez government took power. Revolutions are messy and many unusual, and sometimes disturbing, issues present themselves along their path. However too many writers on the left seem resistant to presenting any information about such messy issues. This, I believe, is a serious mistake. Such issues that confront revolutionary movements must be dealt with frankly and fully in leftist media so that the thinking of all revolutionary forces throughout the world can be advanced.  

There are no "good guys" and "bad guys" that capitalist media likes to suggest to their many readers/viewers. There are just human beings, most of whom just want peace and to achieve a reasonably good standard of living. (Their "good guys" are those who support the needs of Empire capitalists--the others are "bad guys".) Sometimes people in a revolutionary movement must make compromises with powerful capitalist adversaries (or some other ruling class like the feudal regimes in the Persian Gulf) in order to survive to fight another day. Then on the opposite end of the psychological spectrum from principled revolutionaries are sociopathic people who are easily compromised by rewards that powerful capitalists (or their agents) can offer in exchange for their services. Unfortunately capitalist ruled societies cultivate and promote the rise of too many sociopathic personalities.

Those of us who are consciously aware and simply living in advanced capitalist societies know that we must make daily compromises to power in order to survive in reasonably good conditions. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Geopolitics of World War III

This 22 minute video was produced by Storm Clouds Gathering website and shared with you via YouTube. (Because of my hearing limitations, I found the audio transmission rather uneven and a bit challenging.)

In this video Aaron Hawkins of Storm Clouds Gathering brings together many important facts to support, and important factors to inform, his geopolitical view of the current worrisome state of international affairs. Although his production of the video leaves something to be desired, I think his compilation of facts and factors ares very good.


Austerity never ends: Economists say wages are too high

Click here to access article by Pete Dolack from his blog Systemic Disorder.

I think that Dolack spends far too much time on the effects of wage labor on living living standards of workers instead of what it means to a worker and to be treated merely as a commodity. This is so typical of writers who have been thoroughly indoctrinated by capitalist propaganda that they miss, or don't clearly see, the background experience of being a commodity. Thus they tend to concentrate on low wages and benefits.

To owners of economic enterprises, being a worker in a capitalist economy means being essentially a rented wage slave . As such, you are transformed into a mere commodity in a labor market in which capitalists engage to secure the labor as a means to obtain profit, and profit for "owners" is by far the highest value in a capitalist society. At various times profitable economic activities do not attract capitalists to rent a sufficient number of workers for a variety of reasons: the boom and bust cycles inherent in a capitalist economy due to excessive run-up of debts and speculation in the mad pursuit of wealth, low wages by workers so that they cannot buy what capitalists offer for sale, owners cannot obtain loans at a satisfactory rate to invest in activities in order to produce profit, and the material needs of a society are already being met.  

Thus under capitalism, advertising plays such a critical role in creating additional needs beyond housing, clothing, health, education, and other personal needs. Another way to stimulate consumption when wages are inadequate is the provision of debt. And the latest figures show that consumer debt as measured by credit card debt is reaching record levels. Student debt likewise. And bankruptcies and rates of default on debts are also reaching record levels.

Being a worker in a capitalist society means being a wage-slave commodity, and this creates all kinds of negative effects on workers. They tend to have no psychological investment in the work they do simply because they have no significant influence over the conditions of their work; whenever they create more efficient methods of doing work, such methods become legally the property of the  "owner" if it happens at the owner's workplace; workers can be treated disrespectfully and even abusively within wide limits; and workers often experience job anxiety by working "at the pleasure" of the owners.

Thus a capitalist society is designed to serve the material benefits of capitalists, and the material benefits in terms of accumulated wealth give them additional power to shape how and what important decisions are made in any given society. The logical dynamic of capitalism is the ever increasing concentration of wealth in fewer hands with the result that the rest of society, which is the vast majority, merely exist to serve the needs of capitalists for ever more profit and power.

On the other hand, a socialist society theoretically exists to serve all of the people. That is why capitalist nations never spare any means to crush nations that want to experiment with measures to serve the vast majority of people whenever such measures might limit the rights and opportunities of capitalists. Because of this, no socialist nation has succeeded to survive the onslaught of nations governed by capitalists. The causalities include Spain whose socialist tendencies were crushed by Germany and Italy while the rest of the capitalist nations stood by in "neutrality"; the Soviet Union which deteriorated into a bureaucratic form after many decades of hostile actions by capitalist nations; Chile which elected a socialist candidate to head the government, Nicaragua after the Sandinistas took power, and other nations such as Venezuela that moved in that direction.

We are all viewed as commodities under capitalism

by political cartoonist Dan Wasserman.



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

To Russia with More Russia-Bashing

Click here to access article by Nat Parry from ConsortiumNews. (Although I haven't found absolute confirmation, I have found some evidence that Nat Parry is the son of Robert Parry who is editor of this website.)
In today’s America, what is normal, according to the bipartisan consensus, are unilateral strikes against countries without evidence and in violation of international law. It is also apparently normal for televisions to spy on law-abiding citizens, and with drone strikes shooting up 432 percent under the Trump presidency so far, it is apparently quite normal to use flying robots to bomb suspected terrorists (and their eight-year old daughters) half-way around the world. Indefinite detention at the legal black hole of Guantanamo is also rather normal.

After all, these are all policies that have been in place for a decade and a half under both Democratic and Republican administrations, and hope seems to be dwindling for returning to a period of actual normalcy.
It appears that our masters in the capitalist ruling class have taken upon themselves to be the arbiters of fake news and theories of conspiracies. They in their profound wisdom know things that we must simply accept. It seems that our masters have taken much umbrage over the fact that people in independent media have raised questions about their latest conspiracy theory related to the US attack of a Syrian airbase. It seems we must behave as children or their soldiers who should simply follow the guidance of parents/leaders; and through their ownership of the nation's newspapers of record, they just report the facts and create "reality" for us. It brings to mind a paraphrase of a famous poem by Tennyson, "ours is not to reason why, but to do or die".

US to balkanize Syria under Kurdish pretext

Click here to access article by Marwa Osman from RT.

The old formula used by many imperialists, especially the British Empire, is to carve up states that pursue independent policies with the hope of replacing the weakened governments of these new states with lackeys who will better serve the imperialists. This has been a plan for Iraq (which was partially implemented with a semi-independent Kurdish province) and now Syria for quite some time.

Osman writes:
The US’s vision of the future Syrian map was detailed by Kissinger during a presentation at the Ford School Syria with pretty much a distorted history lesson. He stated that Syria was not a historic state “It was created in its present shape in 1920, and it was given that shape to facilitate the control of the country by France, which happened to be after a UN mandate,” he said.

Kissinger then claimed that the current Syria was conceived as a more or less artificial national unity consisting of different tribes and ethnic groups.

This same theory was also presented by the Israeli Oded Yinon plan which is an article published in February 1982 in the Hebrew journal Kivunim ("Directions") entitled A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s. This plan is an early example of characterizing political projects in the Middle East in terms of a logic of sectarian divisions and the dissolution of all the existing Arab states.

Hence, supporting the partitioning of Syria began with the US and Israel’s full support of the so- called “Rojava Project”.
As many geopolitical observers like Pepe Escobar have pointed out, another major reason to divide up Syria was their government's refusal to go along with the Qatar's proposed pipeline that would transport gas from their fields to Europe. Escobar wrote in 2015 referring to the war in Syria:
It all started in 2009, when Qatar proposed to Damascus the construction of a pipeline from its own North Field – contiguous with the South Pars field, which belongs to Iran – traversing Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria all the way to Turkey, to supply the EU.

Damascus, instead, chose in 2010 to privilege a competing project, the $10 billion Iran-Iraq-Syria, also know as «Islamic pipeline». The deal was formally announced in July 2011, when the Syrian tragedy was already in motion. In 2012, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with Iran.
Well the Empire builders would not permit this to happen because the Syrian government's plan would benefit their arch-enemy Iran. Then China's government came up with other plans. As an article sourced from Washington's Blog explained explained about the competing interests: 
Indeed, the “Great Game” being played right now by the world powers largely boils down to the United States and Russia fighting for control over Eurasian oil and gas resources:
 Russia and the USA have been in a state of competition in this region, ever since the former Soviet Union split up, and Russia is adamant on keeping the Americans out of its Central Asian backyard. Russia aims to increase European gas dominance on its resources whereas the US wants the European Union (EU) to diversify its energy supply, primarily away from Russian dominance. There are already around three major Russian pipelines that are supplying energy to Europe and Russia has planned two new pipelines.
The rising power China is also getting into this Great Game:
The third “big player” in this New Great Game is China, soon to be the world’s biggest energy consumer, which is already importing gas from Turkmenistan via Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to its Xinjiang province — known as the Central Asia-China Pipeline — which may tilt the balance towards Asia. Pepe Escobar calls it the opening of the 21st century Silk Road in 2009 when this pipeline became operational.  China’s need for energy is projected to increase by 150 per cent which explains why it has signed probably the largest number of deals not just with the Central Asian republics but also with the heavily sanctioned Iran and even Afghanistan. China has planned around five west-east gas pipelines, within China, of which one is operational (domestically from Xinjiang to Shanghai) and others are under construction and will be connected to Central Asian gas reserves.

Who Will Bring Them To Justice For Crimes Against Humanity?

by Stephen J. Gray from his website. (I don't subscribe to many of his other views.)                                 
Who will bring them to justice for crimes against humanity?
The people who were, and are, the planners of this warring insanity
The Iraq war was a hellish lie about weapons of mass destruction
The invasion of that country was a planned diabolical production

A civil war now rages in that destroyed and unfortunate country
Hundreds of thousands are dead or maimed, and that puts it, bluntly
Many others are refugees from this created hell on earth
And depleted uranium contaminates innocent children at birth

Libya is another war crime dubbed “responsibility to protect”
Bombed and blitzed by NATO “allies” with great “successful” effect
That country is now in ruins, and terrorists are in control
The “victory” of “honourable” plotters, and men without a soul

Then the war criminals targeted Syria and started a civil war
They finance and arm the terrorists amongst the blood and gore
Then they blame its sovereign government for defending its own land
These hypocrites from hell: all these atrocities they planned

Yemen is another country where civilians are being slaughtered
Saudi Arabia and its coalition allies are the hellish plotters
Arms, planes, tanks and bombs supplied by America, U.K. and others
And the population cries out over the deaths of their mothers and daughters

Afghanistan is another country that never invaded us
It too is now a hell on earth with corpses in the dust
Soldiers are dead or dying that were sent to this awful war
And those who sent them cry out for more and more and more

War is a business for barbarians in expensive business suits
Corporate cannibals feed off death and destruction, are they callous brutes?
Political “warriors” voted for these wars that brought death and destruction
But, they don’t fight on the front lines, and they are missing in the action

It is no excuse for the perpetrators to say: “we were just following orders”
That excuse was thrown out at the “Nuremberg Trials,” and is a known disorder
Present day trials are needed, for those that planned these obscenities
But, who will bring them to justice for crimes against humanity?
My answer is: "if not us, who?".

Life [in Amerika] During (Endless) Wartime

by Tom Tomorrow.



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Elite Consensus on Syria

Click here to access article by Branko Marcetic from Jacobin.

I am really concerned this morning about avoiding another nuclear holocaust from my reading of various articles--and not only this one (see this, this, this, and this among several others).

The last time I was this concerned was in October of 1962. That time we had a sensible president as commander-in-chief. John Kennedy paid with his life for his opposition to war, but this time we have a power-hungry maverick in charge and egged on by a combination of ziocons (aka neocons) and so-called "liberals" in Congress who are lusting for war. Meanwhile ordinary people, who should be out in the streets vigorously protesting, seem be resorting to their lack of attention to foreign affairs by saying that "it's all so complicated".
... unlike the Trump administration’s half-baked attempt to yank health insurance from millions of people, its utter failures in instituting a racist immigration program, or its ongoing efforts to round up and break apart millions of families, Trump’s bombing of Syria likely won’t be met with a wall of “resistance,” certainly not within the halls of power. That’s because for nearly all liberal and conservative pundits and politicians, foreign wars — particularly those launched in the name of “humanitarianism” — are an issue where no leader, even one as disliked as Trump, can ever go wrong.

Professor Stephen Cohen – the last voice of reason in a world gone mad?

Click here to access article posted by "The Saker", a Russian expat living in Florida.

The article features an 8:11m CNN interview with American Stephan Cohen, a long-time expert on Russia. What I noticed is that Cohen is surrounded by CNN staff and a retired Col. Cedric Leighton who try to contain Cohen's remarks to what is acceptable ruling class propaganda. Cohen manages to avoid debate about actual historical facts and instead doggedly continues on to make some very disturbing remarks about peaceful relations between the US and Russia.

Golan Heights, Israel, Oil and Trump

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

During my recent downtime due to internet problems, it looks like I missed a very important article by Engdahl. He sees escalating events related to the Trump administration's increasingly friendly contacts with Netanyahu and oil in the Golan Heights. Of course, he wrote this before the US attack on the Syrian air-force base, but it may fit into the overall pattern. Referring to Netanyahu's visit immediately after his February visit to the White House, Engdahl writes:
Some days after Netanyahu left Washington, in an OpEd in the Rupert Murdoch Wall Street Journal, Mark Dubowitz, Executive Director of the Washington pro-Israel think-tank, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, argued that American recognition of Israel’s control of the Golan “would provide the Israeli government with a diplomatic win while helping the Trump administration signal to Russia and Iran that the US is charting a new course in Syria.” Dubowitz is an adviser to the Trump Administration on Iran and the Middle East. Other neo-conservative editorials echoed the theme. There is big change brewing in Washington and it looks ugly in terms of a possible US-backed war with Israel against Russia ally, Syria, over the Golan Heights. That immediately poses the question what Russia would do if it materializes.

Against the backdrop of the Netanyahu talks on US recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, the ensuing events begin to make strategic sense, mad though they may be.

Google Putting CNN, Washington Post, NYT in Charge of Fact-Checking News

Click here to access article from AntiMedia.
Google announced Friday that it’s adding a special feature to its news service — Fact Check. Searchers will now know who checked the validity of a news story and the conclusion they arrived at.
But fact checking Google's list of fact-checkers which are ruling class media corporations, the writers at AntiMedia reach this very accurate conclusion:
...there’s already a mechanism in place for calling out bullshit. It’s called the independent media.

A factual update on global warming

Click here to access article by economist Merijn Knibbe from Real-World Economics Review Blog.

Knibbe suggests that the climate destabilization skeptics have engaged in "cherry picking" to serve their capitalist masters who are addicted to profits and power. However he argues that even their cherry picking of data confirms what the vast majority (95%) of independent scientists find when looking at more valid long term data.