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 LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Pentagon Says It's Staying In Syria, Even Though ISIS Appears Defeated

Click here to access article by Mark Katkov from NPR (National Propaganda Radio). 

Read how the "good guys", the USA, are helping Syrians and want to restore "democracy" in Syria. Then following this, read remarks from Pentagon officials and their explanation (lies) as to why they want their military to remain there.

Now read the report from RT which our government has forced a media company to register as a "foreign agent" in a post entitled "Syria, Russia & Iran shift to diplomacy, while US and allies push for war". Which of the two reports do you think is the most accurate? Perhaps our government should register as a "foreign agent".

RT America a foreign agent, tax dollars fund sexual abuse & more

Click here if you wish to access this post directly from RT that features Lee Camp doing satire . 
The Department of Justice ordered RT to register as a foreign agent, yet refuses to cite what laws were broken. Furthermore, the government has done nothing to demonstrate how RT journalists are taking orders from the Kremlin or that RT employees have lobbied Congress on behalf of the Russian government, which is required by law. This move is clearly political since ACTUAL foreign lobbyists like the Podesta Group and AIPAC were not threatened with arrests and a test case for a wider campaign of media suppression. The fact is the political establishment is scared to death that more and more of us are abandoning its corporate media, and doesn't want us hearing outside perspectives.

Syria - This U.S. Occupation - Or "Presence" - Is Unsustainable

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

This is a rather long article with many links to document his arguments. Nevertheless, if you can spare the time, it will offer you important information, and one that I will supplement by another Kuwaiti independent journalist, that contributes to a comprehensive picture of the terribly complicated, game-changing and potentially explosive nature of the present situation in this area.

Because I don't like to be dependent on one source of information, I am supplying you with another article by Elijah J. Magnier, an independent Kuwaiti journalist, entitled "A US buffer zone in north-eastern Syria and a land-Bridge from Tehran to Beirut" which corroborates much of Bernhard's post and offers more information on this volatile area. I have provided the following maps: one furnished by Magnier that I've enlarged, and have provided another so that you can clearly see what both posts refer to.

































































I am providing you with one more link which will confirm Bernhard's claim that the US military advised the Syrian Kurds to add "democratic" to their name. See this general's remarks at 25:10m into his talk at the Aspen Institute in July of this year.  This is an illustration of how attuned US leaders are to framing issues to hide their illegal and criminal activities behind nice sounding words.
To disguise its cooperation with the Kurdish terrorists, the U.S. renamed the group into the "Syrian Democratic Forces" (SDF). Some Arab fighters from east Syrian tribes were added to it. These are mostly former foot-soldiers of ISIS who changed sides when the U.S. offered better pay. Other fighters were pressed into service. The people of the Syrian-Arab city Manbij, which is occupied by the YPG and U.S. forces, protested when the YPG started to violently conscript its youth. 
However, I think the Syrian Kurds are more complicated than he describes them here. They do have some factions among them that have appealed to US leftists. I think that they were fighting for survival from ISIS forces (the US played both sides in relation to this terrorist army) when they teamed up with the US military and allowed the latter to construct bases on territory which they controlled in northeast Syria. But I think that now their continuing collaboration with US forces is a very serious mistake.                                                                                                                                                            

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Who was not responsible for the Russian Revolution, and who was? [part 2 of 5]

Click here to access article by Ramin Mazaheri from The Greanville Post

Mazaheri, an Iranian-American working in Paris, borrows heavily from a new book entitled A People’s History of the Russian Revolution (by Neil Faulkner) to explain what this revolution was all about.
What we should increasingly understand is that 1917 actually occurred not thanks to the intellectual – even a non-solitary one like Lenin – but thanks to the decades of grassroots organizations which defied the state police who then found their ultimate catalyst in the soldier unwilling to fight for a Tsarist, and then also a Bourgeois (West European) state.

We must remember that common soldiers are – for all intents and purposes – an organised, “grassroots” group…especially once they rebel from state authority and transfer allegiance to the People, who were increasingly represented by worker and share-cropper councils.

That is precisely what happened in 1917 – the confluence of massive groups which discussed, agreed and then carried the People’s will and placed it – fully formed – into the hands of a Bolshevik Party which promised to implement Their will.

Death Date Announced For The Internet

Click here if you wish to access this 8:40m video directly from YouTube.

This post represents a crucial battle in the war against real information being delivered to you via the internet. Trump's appointee, Ajit Pai, head of the FCC is launching another campaign to attack (reduce access to) information that the internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, etc, don't like or which don't see certain websites as providing sufficient profitable opportunities for them. After all, that is what America Inc. is all about: providing never-ending profits and power to our ruling capitalist masters. Because Pai has the votes on the FCC Commission, it looks certain that he will be able to transfer oversight from the FCC to the FTC which has extremely weak enforcement measures.
On December 14th the internet as we know it may be deceased. Cenk Uygur, the host of The Young Turks, tells you what you can do to stop it. ....

“Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai will reportedly seek to completely repeal net neutrality rules put in place under former President Obama, according to a Monday report.

Sources close to the matter tell Politico that Pai will seek to completely remove the net neutrality rules, which reclassified internet service providers (ISPs) as telecommunications companies and required them to treat all web traffic equally.

The FCC will reportedly vote on the plan in December, according to Politico.

Pai and other Republicans have argued the Obama-era FCC overstepped its authority with the regulations by reclassifying the ISPs as common carriers.

The FCC held a months-long open comment period on its proposal to repeal the rules after facing massive backlash after releasing its initial proposal in April.”


Here are some other posts that may interest you regarding this issue:

Ice Apocalypse

Click here to access article by Eric Holthaus from Grist
Antarctica is a giant landmass — about half the size of Africa — and the ice that covers it averages more than a mile thick. Before human burning of fossil fuels triggered global warming, the continent’s ice was in relative balance: The snows in the interior of the continent roughly matched the icebergs that broke away from glaciers at its edges.

Now, as carbon dioxide traps more heat in the atmosphere and warms the planet, the scales have tipped.

A wholesale collapse of Pine Island and Thwaites would set off a catastrophe. Giant icebergs would stream away from Antarctica like a parade of frozen soldiers. All over the world, high tides would creep higher, slowly burying every shoreline on the planet, flooding coastal cities and creating hundreds of millions of climate refugees.

All this could play out in a mere 20 to 50 years — much too quickly for humanity to adapt.
I hope this graphic will help you understand the material.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Luxury Socialized Medicine

Click here to access article by Meagan Day from Jacobin. (My thanks go to Christopher in northwest Oregon for alerting me to this article.)
Forget rationing and waiting lists. Socialized medicine delivers comforts and convenience that Americans can only dream about.
As an elder I no longer can receive adequate health care. No physician in private practice will take me on as a patient, because I can no longer afford supplementary health plans (to grow old in the USA is to sink into poverty) issued by insurers to add a subsidy to Medicare. I don't blame the physicians because the payments under Medicare are inadequate. Now only when I'm very sick (not for physical examinations, or minor ailments) can I receive Medicare coverage for health care from a charity clinic staffed by very poor physicians who apparently can't get a job working for clinics and hospitals. Very fortunately for me, I have taken good care of myself all my life, and as a result I enjoy excellent health, but sooner or later this will change. Yes, I agree, the USA is an "exceptional nation", but only in the sense that our nation, or more accurately, our ruling class, refuses to provide universal coverage for its citizens.    

The struggle for a Catalan Republic enters a new stage

Click here to access article by Jorge Martin from In Defense of Marxism.
The proclamation of the Republic by the Catalan Parliament on October 27th was short-lived. The Spanish state was ready to crush it decisively, while the Catalan government had no plans and no strategy to defend it. That, however, is not the end of the movement.
The author uses a class analysis to frame the future of the Catalan movement for independence. He sees an organization the emergence of the Committees for the Defence of the Republic as a constructive step toward a revolutionary movement of the people instead of merely the capitalist class in the Catalan province. (This step reminds one of the broad steps of the 1917 Russian Revolution.) The next official step of the Spanish government will be the holding of elections in Catalonia on December 21. 

The American Brainwash: Guess what, Ma, capitalism is not Americanness

Click here to access article by Patrice Greanville from The Greanville Post
Virtually unchallenged to this day, corporate media are accustomed to using a number of misleading “cultural equations” to hide the existence of undemocratic institutions at the core of the American system. Thus, capitalism, a “hierarchic tyranny” as Chomsky calls it, is usually identified by its euphemisms: “Free Enterprise,” “market system,” “private enterprise,” “the American Way,” etc. Academia also cheerfully participates in this deliberate cosmetisation [def.] of what otherwise many people would begin to recognize as something unhealthy and malodorous in their midst. But of all these quaint labels and false equations the most outrageous and cynically deceptive is that which makes “Americanness”—the very national identity of the United States— identical with capitalism, both concepts one and inseparable. [my link]
Our masters in the capitalist ruling class play all sorts of tricks on our minds by conflating the "American way of life" with capitalism and the latter as simply a state of nature or as the highest state of achieved by humans in their quest for the perfect economic and political system. Hence, the "end of history" argued by Francis Fukuyama, a noted capitalist ideologist. But what Greanville overlooks is the fact that every ruling class puts its ideological stamp on every society over which they have ruled since the beginning of civilization. Ideology, or the belief system of a society, is critically important to maintain a ruling class in power. They must convince their subjects to be loyal to their rule or else they must maintain their rule by force which is very expensive. 

That is why capitalist regimes, when they get in trouble, always revert to fascism. That is precisely why fascism was so attractive to the ruling capitalist classes of Western countries (and Japan) during the Great Depression of the 1930s when the Soviet Union was improving their economy by "leaps and bounds" (def.) and where there was no unemployment. And, that is why we are witnessing today the growing rise of fascism  in the USA after the collapse of the economy in 2008 known as the Great Recession from which many economists argue that we still have not recovered. 

In this fake form of democracy capitalist elites control all the political institutions ranging from the original adoption of the constitution to their control over political parties that are allowed to function. Only when humans have gotten rid of all class structured societies and achieve something like true equality can real democracy exist. That means control by the people, and for the people, every institution of society including especially the economy.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Trump era sparks debate about nuclear war authority

Click here to access article by Robert Burns of The Associated Press posted at Real Clear Defense.

I've been wondering if the Deep State has set up controls on Trump to prevent him from launching nuclear armed missiles against any nation. It has become clear that he has exhibited and impulsive, volatile behavior which is not exactly what anyone wants who has his "fingers" on the triggers of nuclear weapons. Apparently there are members of Congress who have similar worries.
This past week’s Senate hearing was the first in Congress on presidential authority to use nuclear weapons since 1976, when a Democratic congressman from New York, Richard L. Ottinger, pushed for the U.S. to declare it would never initiate a nuclear war. Ottinger said he wanted to “eliminate the prospect that human ignorance and potential human failure in the use of nuclear materials, especially nuclear weapons, will lead to the destruction of civilization.”

....

“We are concerned that the president of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic, that he might order a nuclear weapons strike that is wildly out of step with U.S. national security interests,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said at the outset of last week’s hearing.
In case you are a member of one of the younger generations that has been raised on Star Wars, Star Trek, and all the computer games featuring futuristic combat by "good guys" and "bad guys" where the good guys always "win" in the end, I think you might be interested in a little realism that is offered in the following videos about nuclear war.




Saturday, November 18, 2017

Capitalism Collapsing from Inequality... Blame Russia!

Click here to access article by Finian Cunningham from Strategic Culture Foundation.

The Irish journalist sees capitalism, which has brought so much wealth and power to so few in those elites associated with the US-led Empire, in its death throes as illustrated by its official leaders neurotically declaiming about the wickedness of Russia.
Inequality, poverty and the denial of decent existence to the majority of people stands out as the clarion condemnation of capitalism and its organization of society under private profit. The human suffering, hardships, austerity and crippled potential that flow from this condition represent the crisis of our time. Yet instead of an earnest public debate and struggle to overcome this crisis, we are forced by our elites to focus on false, even surreal problems.

American politics has become paralyzed by an endless elite squabble over whether Russia meddled in the presidential elections and claims that Russian news media continue to interfere in American democracy. Of course, the US corporate-controlled news media, who are an integral part of the plutocracy, lend credibility to this circus. Ditto European corporate-controlled media.
All of this hysterical behavior that we are daily witnessing, he sees as a neurotic response psychologically defending them from the frightful reality that the end of a system and their rule is approaching, a system that has served this tiny ruling class so well over the past several hundred years. And he concludes with a warning to us ordinary people that we need to do something before they take us with them in a nuclear war conflagration or, more slowly, in a deteriorating environment that can no longer support human life.
The biggest disconnect is the obscene inequality of wealth and resources that capitalism has engendered in the 21st century. That monstrous dysfunction is also causally related to why the US and its Western allies like Britain are pushing belligerence and wars around the planet. It is all part of their elitist denial of reality. The reality that capitalism is the biggest threat to humanity’s future.

Do we let these mentally deficient, deceptive political elites and their media dictate the nonsense? Or will the mass of people do the right thing and sweep them aside?
 
We are increasingly noticing others who think that capitalism has become thoroughly dysfunctional. Read this review of a book entitled How will capitalism end? by Wolfgang Streeck re-posted in Real-World Economics Review Blog.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Who’s Afraid of Corporate COINTELPRO?

Click here to access article by C.J. Hopkins from CounterPunch. (Updated commentary at 10:45 AM Seattle time.)
... these days most elitist wankers are trained how to write, and read, and think, in MFA conformity factories, where they screen out any unstable weirdos with unhealthy interests in political matters. This is to avoid embarrassing episodes like Harold Pinter’s Nobel Prize lecture (which, if you haven’t read it, you probably should), and is why so much of contemporary literature is so well-behaved and instantly forgettable. This institutionalized screening system is also why the majority of journalists employed by mainstream media outlets understand, without having to be told, what they are, and are not, allowed to report.
Hopkins writes in a chatty style to explain how he learned about the subtle ways corporations have to discourage people from writing or accessing ideas that the ruling capitalist class finds objectionable. The reference to COINTELPRO is intentional to convey the hidden or secret nature of these methods. He doesn't see the methods as constituting outright censorship, but adapted from earlier forms to fit in the contemporary "brave new world" of digital media. As a writer and thinker he tells his personal story of his road to discovery of the pitfalls that any independent thinker/writer should consider when writing for this brave new digital world, or by implication, the difficulties that others might encounter trying to access material by independent thinkers and writers.

Actually the methods aren't all that new because I, personally, have experienced their analogs (def.) while working for bosses throughout much of my life. They have just been re-adapted to fit the online world. You see, our ruling masters want us to continue to believe the myths propagated by their system of indoctrination that all of their subjects (that's us) are exposed to all of their (our) lives; you know, the myths about all the freedoms we enjoy as Americans living in an exceptional country. So, what's a ruling class to do under those circumstances? Well, they have found sure-fire methods to discourage anyone from straying from their capitalist ideology while either writing for, or perusing, the World Wide Web. Read about Hopkins' experience to learn more, and you might find some similarities in your own experience either online or off.

You may also be interested in the growing effort to privatize the internet--the better to (def.) control its content--by reading "'Time to Raise Hell': Internet Defenders Mobilize as FCC Aims to Kill Net Neutrality Within Month".

The Russian Civil War: an international struggle

Click here to access article by Jules Legendre from In Defense of Marxism. (Note: As long as I continue to discover excellent articles on the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, I will post the them.) 

The profound effects of the revolution on the rest of the world only started after the Bolsheviks took power. The capitalist ruling classes throughout the West looked upon this workers state with horror, and from the beginning saw the necessity to crush it. They saw it like a virus that could be spread to workers in their own countries and threaten their rule. In fact, as you will see in succeeding posts, this nightmare for the capitalists shaped most of the subsequent events of the 20th century.
Initially, Lenin seemed to be right when he declared that the civil war phase of the revolution was over and that the Bolsheviks could now concentrate on the peaceful construction of the new regime. But this idea was soon to be shattered by events.

Whereas the anti-communist counter-revolution – also known as the White movement, as opposed to the Reds – was militarily and politically defeated, its leaders who were living on the country's borders received enormous military assistance from the great imperialist powers of the time. This started already in the early days of 1918. White units were equipped with high-tech weaponry, such as tanks and planes: all things that were lacking to the young Soviet republic.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A People’s History of the Russian Revolution pits new scholarship vs. Mainstream Media [part 1 of 5]

Click here to access article by the Iranian-American Ramin Mazaheri posted on The Greanville Post. (This is part 1 of 5 articles that will be posted. It is likely that I will re-post all of them by this excellent political analyst who tells it like it really is--no euphemisms like "market economy" or "Wall Street" for the real thing (capitalism).

It occurred to me this morning that there is another war going on that you may not be aware of. It is a war for your mind, that is, for the control of your mind about all things political. The capitalist US-led Empire is under siege by the new technologies of the Information Age, and the war is being fought over your allegiance to both the Empire and capitalism, the ideological foundation of the Empire. Being aware of this war should encourage you to take much greater care on what to believe about the world you live in. I hope this website and this post contributes to that process.

This series of posts, which is based on new book entitled A People’s History of the Russian Revolution by Neil Faulkner, promises to offer you a much better understanding of the realities and the significance of the 1917 Russian Revolution which has had such a profound impact on subsequent world events. The book, and I think this series, presents a very different view of the revolution that you may be getting from mainstream media or what you were taught in schools.
... on the book’s very first page the author describes the formula of any successful popular revolution, just like the Iranian Revolution of 1979: “In essence, the Russian Revolution was an explosion of democracy and activity from below.”

Mainstream media and all bourgeois (US/West European) democracies have no interest in such explosions, and it is for this reason that they purposely distort not just the 1917 Russian Revolution but all anti-capitalist, pro-socialist, and anti-imperialist cultures. And they always will, because that is the only way they can try to preserve their status quo dominance.

‘The Atlantic’ Commits Malpractice, Selectively Edits To Smear WikiLeaks

Click here to access article by Caitlin Johnstone from The Greanville Post.
Everyone was buzzing about the shocking, bombshell new report by The Atlantic yesterday, which revealed that Donald Trump Jr. and the WikiLeaks Twitter account had engaged in a “largely one-sided” conversation in private messages over the course of several months.

Don Jr. actually comes off looking fairly normal in the report, while WikiLeaks comes off looking weird and sleazy in a way that will likely damage its reputation even further than the mainstream media campaign to smear the outlet already has.
 
The author explains how a major capitalist publication manufactured a smear against one of the world's greatest sources of exposures of Empire lies and secrets. Julia Ioffe can expect a "brilliant" and well-paid career ahead of her as a propaganda specialist for media corporations. 

Reforms, Freedoms, Maidan: The Recycled Lexicon of Victoria Nuland's Successor

Click here to access article by Ollie Richardson from Stalker Zone

In this article you will learn about how well-indoctrinated US government sociopaths, accompanied by bodyguards, pay phony respects to a monument that they, and their associates, helped to erect in Ukraine. But first, if you are a bit hazy about the history of US interference in Ukraine's affairs, you should see this and this. Then if you are totally clueless about the US interference in their affairs which brought about the establishment of an overt fascist government, you can click on the category "Ukraine" (on the lower right-hand side) to find out more.

Pride, Pain and War

Click here to access poem that was written by Michael John Pike (Spike the Poet) who reads his poem in a video posted by BSNews (Britain).  
Spike is a former [British] soldier, now a poet and peace activist. Once his experiences drove him on a path to self destruction. But through poetry, he has found an outlet. He is now a performance poet and speaker where he attacks the establishment that thrives on war. He is polemic and unswerving in his damning condemnation of the war machine.
It seems to me that many combat veterans like Spike could benefit psychologically by engaging in anti-war and anti-establishment activities that a genuine revolutionary movement could provide for them. The challenge to return such veterans to civilian life is monumental, but mainly the ruling class has taken this challenge by keeping damaged veterans in ideologically controlled "therapy" sessions. In other words, the veterans are lied to by the ruling class to sign up for such killing activities and they lie to them again when they return damaged in body and soul to civilian life by portraying them as heroes, people who have "sacrificed" for some noble cause. It seems to me that a real healing, a real return to psychological health could be provided by a revolutionary movement that would engage these wounded people in activities that would serve to undermine the power of their real enemies: the ruling capitalist class.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying: The great pressure on artists to pull their punches

Click here to access article by David Walsh from World Socialist Web Site.
...the film (like Ponicsan’s novel [on which it was based] sharply pulls its punches. Given the scale of the crimes involved, millions dead in Vietnam, millions more in the Middle East, the threat of even more horrifying wars… Last Flag Flying hardly begins to come to terms with things. It’s not much more than a mild rebuke.

Too many elements undermine what could have been a much stronger, fiercer work.
In my opinion David Walsh is the best American film reviewer by far, and he certainly demonstrates his skill and moral conscience in this review. I was sad to learn that the film, which Walsh faulted for its obvious suppression of dissent about two of our many wars, was directed by Richard Linklater whose films I've often admired. 

It's clear in the present ideological environment that no one could make a stronger anti-war film that exposed the lies of our ruling class's government. Thus, the film serves as another illustration of the role that Hollywood plays to sell supportive ideological propaganda to brainwash the American people. As Walsh suggests, the ideological climate today is much worse than it was in the early 1970s--which was far from good.
To oppose that [US military establishment] consciously and resolutely, to suggest that the US military is not, in the end, an “honorable” and “patriotic” institution, but a sinister and murderous one, will bring down upon the filmmaker denunciations and threaten his or her career, perhaps his or her life.

What’s China up to in Syria? Economic realpolitik, basically

Click here to access article by

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Abby Martin Exposes Untold History of U.S. Empire

The following video from a YouTube channel called the Empire Files features two of my favorite people who discuss the gross disinformation and propaganda disseminated by media corporations. Thus I am offering this post as a red pill (The Matrix) that you can take to maintain your (as well as my) sanity and grasp of reality. I think that the post would be better entitled as "Abby Martin and Jimmy Dore discuss the deplorable state of corporate news and other political matters".

Bombshell Report Confirms US Coalition Struck A Deal With ISIS

Click here to access article by Tyler Durden from ZeroHedge.

Durden concludes the article with this perceptive statement:
So it appears that the US allowed ISIS terrorists to freely leave areas under coalition control, according to no less than the BBC, while at the same time attempting to make the case before the public that a permanent Pentagon presence is needed in case of ISIS' return. But it’s a familiar pattern by now: yesterday's proxies become today's terrorists, which return to being proxies again, all as part of justifying permanent US military presence on another nation's sovereign territory.

America's Syrian adventure went from public declarations of “we’re staying out” to “just some logistical aid to rebels” to “okay, some mere light arms to fight the evil dictator” to “well, a few anti-tank missiles wouldn’t hurt” to “we gotta bomb the new super-bad terror group that emerged!” to “ah but no boots on the ground!” to “alright kinetic strikes as a deterrent” to “but special forces aren’t really boots on the ground per se, right?” to yesterday's Mattis declaration of an open-ended commitment. And on and on it goes.

Colin Kaepernick Is Righter Than You Know: The National Anthem Is a Celebration of Slavery

Click here to access article by Jon Schwarz from The Intercept.  (Updated with more commentary at 11 PM Seattle time.)

Strange, but I've never heard of this verse, or heard it sung. So, I googled it, and sure enough Kaepernick is right! Now I will forever associate that verse with the national anthem.
Almost no one seems to be aware that even if the U.S. were a perfect country today, it would be bizarre to expect African-American players to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Why? Because it literally celebrates the murder of African-Americans.

Few people know this because we only ever sing the first verse. But read the end of the third verse and you’ll see why “The Star-Spangled Banner” is not just a musical atrocity, it’s an intellectual and moral one, too.
Francis Scott Key, the author of "our" national anthem, was obviously from well-heeled and well-educated British stock who saw the US has any opportunist bourgeois of the era saw it: splendid opportunities to grow rich by plundering the American continent. And he apparently unconsciously accepted the Marxist axiom that all value comes from labor by casually accepting the use of human property to create value for this new class of capitalists. The latter just needed workers to work for them to help them plunder and clear the continent of those "savages" who were living there. They couldn't get enough workers from Europe to immigrate, so they captured, imported, purchased, and used Africans to produce their wealth. 

Meanwhile, the British tried to undermine the economy of the USA by offering slaves freedom if they could make it to their Canadian colony. What treachery! Those British scoundrels who taught Americans to believe in the sanctity of property were trying to steal American property!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Recommended articles for 11/13/2017

The Arctic Silk Road: A Huge Leap Forward for China and Russia by Federico Pieraccini from Strategic Culture Foundation.

In this article he not only provides information about the new Arctic Silk Road project, but provides a sort of progress report on the other aspects of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the reasons why China and Russia are pushing it. The BRI is a global network transportation system using high speed rails and sea lanes.

Saudi Arabia Begins System Reform by Petr Lvov from New Eastern Outlook

Speculations are heating up everywhere as to the significance of this happening and the eventual outcomes. Pepe Escobar recently reported:
The Saudi “anti-corruption” crackdown led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), which initially netted 11 princes and a few dozen ministers and former ministers, has caught up with hundreds of businessmen, who are being detained in the luxurious Ritz Carlton and other hotels in Riyadh. The Wall Street Journal reports the Crown Prince is targeting an astonishing $800 BILLION in assets believed to be held in 1,700 frozen bank accounts.
In this report by Lvov he goes into considerable detail in some places. For example, about the inter-clan politics and feuds, which boggled my mind and I skipped over most of it to find what interested me. There certainly is little coverage provided by Western media.
There is no escape for the Saudis in any case – in the regional rivalry with Iran, they will almost certainly lose in the current situation precisely because of their obsolescence, inflexibility and deadlock in development. With today’s developments, it will be increasingly difficult for Saudi Arabia to compete with Iran, and the internal problems caused by the artificial inhibition of the development of society are already excessive. In a sense, Wahhabism is re-experiencing the fate of Soviet ideology. Wahhabism also inhibits development. However, the main thing is that it does not respond to contemporary challenges at all, and the niche is beginning to fill with ideas that are far divorced from the Saudi interests. Here, the Islamic state for the lower classes, and the shine of Western liberalism for the upper strata, the contradictions are mounting, and will inevitably tear apart the Saudi society if it does not offer a different alternative that suits the majority. The question is, can this young and ambitious Mohammad [Defense Minister and heir to the throne, Mohammad Bin Salman] pull all these strings into place?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

China and the US: Rational Planning and “Lumpen” Capitalism

Click here to access article by James Petras from Dissident Voice
Mired down in gossip, idle speculation and petty denigration of its leaders, the Western press has once again failed to take account of the world-historical changes which are currently taking place in China and throughout the world.

World historical changes, as articulated by Chinese President Xi Jinping, are present in the vision, strategy and program of the Congress. These are based on a rigorous survey of China’s past, present and future accomplishments.

The serious purpose, projections and the presence of China’s President stand in stark contrast to the chaos, rabble-rousing demagogy and slanders characterizing the multi-billion dollar US Presidential campaign and its shameful aftermath.
The retired sociology professor contrasts China's activities with US's activities along a number of indices such as economic planning, economic development, dealing with corruption, military, innovation, imperialism and subversion, etc., and measures the results in terms of economic growth. We are a distant number two along any and all of these indices from a positive perspective. 

I think that this is because the Chinese Communist Party which is in control of strategic planning and the overall government remains largely uncorrupted by the growing wealth and number of capitalists in China's economy. I have long feared that the latter would thoroughly corrupt the Communist Party and wrest control of China away from them, but there are few indications that is happening. From all appearances the Chinese Communist Party have under Deng's influence (starting in the late 1970s) demonstrated a strikingly different philosophical orientation from that of Western Capitalism. I am referring to his "win-win" policy, which is continuing under President Xi Jinping, that seeks harmony in relations with others by ensuring that most parties to any economic activity win, that is, achieve mainly what they want.

Thus the Chinese offered their cheap labor as an incentive to capitalists around the world to attain the high profits they desired while the Chinese benefited from the technology that these corporations brought to China. They have learned well and are now leading the way in many technological advancements.

Guiding these actions is the Chinese Communist Party which plans, measures outcomes, and implements corrective actions to ensure that they reach planning goals that offers benefits to China--as a nation, not as a Chinese ruling class--as well as foreign capitalists. Western capitalism has been guided by a zero-sum model in which participants are pitted against each other for a major share of the economic and political pie. 

This winner-loser orientation preceded capitalism and has plagued societies since the beginning of civilization roughly 10,000 years ago. However capitalism fitted well with this conflict model by producing winners and losers guided by the chaotic "invisible hand" of the market. Western capitalism has viewed the concentration of wealth for ruling classes as the ultimate weapon which they saw as useful in conflicts with workers, other capitalists, and other nations. Hence, the history of capitalism has been largely a history of class conflict, wars, and imperialism.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Haunted by the Ghosts of War

Click here to access article by Edward Curtin from OffGuardian

Curtin reminds all Americans that today is Veteran's Day and the responsibility we all have to end war. However, both he and his featured Canadian aboriginal song-writer, Buffy Sainte-Marie, come up short as to how we can end it: Buffy by suggesting that we can elect better leaders and Curtin comes up short when he repeats the slogan "War is a lie, and only truth will free us." In the next and final sentence he appeals to our individualist ethic derived from capitalist culture by writing "Then we must devote ourselves to ending war. Each of us is responsible." I assume this last message was meant to be profound, but to me it is meaningless.

But what about the other sentence: that "war is a lie, and only truth will free us"? I can relate to that by referencing the lie in the Latin quote at the beginning of his essay: "It is sweet and proper to die for the fatherland." That is the lie that all ruling classes have used throughout the history of civilization to get ordinary people to fight in their wars for their benefit. And the clause "only truth will free us" must contain the truth about the class nature of societies throughout the bloody history of civilization and to learn how we can organize to free us from all ruling classes forever. They will never allow us to vote them out of existence. We must collaborate, if necessary even fight, to learn these truths, otherwise humans can only look forward to extinction either in the short term through nuclear wars or in the long term via climate destabilization.

Right now we are witnessing vigorous attacks on truth because our masters are threatened by the information and views many of us are receiving from digital media instead of from hired talking heads and propaganda specialists in their media corporations. They are now only beginning to implement measures of censorship of this online media. After a few decades this will be considered a new normal by everyone. Then we all will be living in a world portrayed in the 1999 film The Matrix. We won't need blue pills to keep us ignorant and obedient, and red pills won't exist. 

US Slow-Motion Shutdown of RT and Sputnik?

Click here to access article by Stephen Lendman from his website.
Hostile US demands on popular English-language Russian media, combined with social media censorship of alternative views called “fake news,” threatens press freedom in America.

It’s tyranny by any standard, the way all police states operate, controlling news, information and analysis, suppressing alternative truth-telling, notably on vital issues.

America is on a dangerous slippery slope in this direction, the future of independent reporting and commentaries at stake, along with other fundamental freedoms – gravely threatened if speech, media and academic freedoms are lost.
I think that this blatant move toward censorship of media that don't serve the interests of the US ruling capitalist class is a desperate move to contain the spread of alternative media which has arisen in the digital age to serve the interests of ordinary people. Thus this tendency is not only directed against media organizations which do not serve the US capitalist class, but our masters have decided to embark on a very slippery slope to contain and manage all dissent. This is reflected in their current use of media corporations to propagate pure propaganda and to eliminate any significant sources of information that does not serve their interests. Hence their recent campaign of "fake news" designed to undermine people's credibility in alternative media, and their campaign against RT.

The importance of managing news and information grew along with the concentration of wealth and power in the late 19th century that was designated as a Gilded Age in the US. Our masters, as well as capitalists in other leading countries, began to see the importance of managing news and information in order to not only contain dissent but to promote their self-serving policies of accumulating more power and wealth. The latter policies were reflected in their promotion of devastating imperial wars between colonial powers in the 20th century, to crush any militant labor organizing, to promote austerity policies among the general population, and control governments, always advertised as "democratic", to ensure that they serve capitalists. 

During this time we witnessed the rise of a new intellectual discipline that took the euphemism of "public relations" to advance the study of the management of information in order to promote capitalist policies ranging from consumption of toothpaste to the cause of war. Thus, even though profitable opportunities lie in industrial and financial investments, they made sure that any significant media were under capitalist control by investing in newspapers, radio stations, and later TV stations to supplement and reinforce the indoctrination ordinary people received in public education that they already controlled. 

However, the digital age has made to the transmission of information and analysis so much cheaper that many ordinary people, in combination or by themselves, now have websites which offer countervailing views. This poses a direct threat to their class rule. Thus, in spite of propaganda about a "free press", which is supposedly guaranteed by the Constitution, the capitalist ruling class have embarked on this phony campaign of censorship by launching this attack on RT and "fake news" in general (see this and this). Where this will end is the stuff of nightmares. 

What we really need to save ourselves is a strategy to organize around a movement that makes freedom of news, analysis, and information as their core issue, even to the extent of pooling resources in the form of an organization that provides such services (see my potentially revolutionary proposal--Part 1, Part 2a, Part 2b, Part 3).

Friday, November 10, 2017

Enbridge to Nowhere

Click here to access report from the Public Accountability Initiative. (Note: the post provides an index of sub-topics (on the right-hand side) in this rather lengthy report to help you access the different parts.)

Protesters march against Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline proposal
(Photo: Ellen Schmidt--Minnesota Public Radio)
This report is about how Enbridge corporation is cleverly attempting to deceive and, overcome the resistance of, the people of Minnesota into approving a largest pipeline ever, a pipeline that, if approved, will pass through Minnesota and pump millions of barrels of tar sands oil into the US from Canada.  
A recent study released by the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) on the economic benefits of Enbridge’s controversial Line 3 replacement pipeline is deeply compromised by major conflicts of interest, many of which are undisclosed, as well as serious methodological problems. The Duluth News Tribune, the Duluth area’s leading newspaper, also has major undisclosed conflicts surrounding its coverage of the UMD study.

The UMD study is a prime example of a wider tactic used by the fossil fuel industry, which we’ve reported on before, whereby the industry and industry-backed groups fund studies that bear a legitimizing university imprimatur but are in fact deeply influenced and/or supported by the very oil and gas companies that have a vested interest in the results of the studies. The findings of these industry-financed studies are then spread by backers as fact in op-eds, editorials, letters to editors, public hearings, and other mediums, all while being referred to as a given university’s study — with the authority and trust that confers — rather than an industry study.
This is another dramatic illustration among a vast number that shows how nearly everything in a capitalist society is fake in order to promote profits for a relatively tiny group of investors while destroying the ecosystem upon which we all depend.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

‘McCarthyism on steroids’: US war on Russian media won’t stop with branding RT foreign agent

Click here to access article from RT
Washington’s ultimatum for RT America to register as a foreign agent is a “significant escalation of the war launched against Russian media” which only demonstrates how desperate the US establishment has become, British media expert Neil Clark believes.
I rely on websites like RT and teleSur to provide real news about what is happening in the world. They along with independent journalists and bloggers offer the only antidote to the brainwashing drugs that media corporations provide for ideological addicts here in the USA.

"Explosive" Leaked Secret Israeli Cable Confirms Israeli-Saudi Coordination To Provoke War

Click here to access article by Tyler Durden from ZeroHedge.
Early this morning, Israeli Channel 10 news published a leaked diplomatic cable which had been sent to all Israeli ambassadors throughout the world concerning the chaotic events that unfolded over the weekend in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, which began with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's unexpected resignation after he was summoned to Riyadh by his Saudi-backers, and led to the Saudis announcing that Lebanon had "declared war" against the kingdom.

The classified embassy cable, written in Hebrew, constitutes the first formal evidence proving that the Saudis and Israelis are deliberately coordinating to escalate the situation in the Middle East.
 
Tyler concludes this report by writing:
What has both Israel and the Saudis worried is the fact that the Syrian war has strengthened Hezbollah, not weakened it. And now we have smoking gun internal evidence that Israel is quietly formalizing its unusual alliance with Saudi Arabia and its power-hungry and hawkish crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Dictator, the Revolution, the Machine: A Political Account of Joseph Stalin

Click here to access article by Sean Ledwith from CounterFire (Britain).

This book review is the best portrayal I've found online regarding the personality, revolutionary role, and rule of Stalin.
This year’s one-hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution is partly overshadowed by the moustachioed and gimlet-eyed figure of Josef Stalin. As October draws closer we can expect a drearily predictable litany of articles and documentaries from right-wing historians (and some misguided left-wing ones) proclaiming the event as one of the great calamities of the twentieth century and the foundation of Russia’s ineluctable descent into a dark dictatorship presided over by the baleful cobbler's son from Georgia. The alleged thread of mass coercion connecting the careers of Lenin and Stalin will be one of the tropes of the right in its case against radical change of any form. Any similar project to cast off the shackles of capitalist inequality and oppression, it will be argued, can only lead inexorably to variations of the Gulag and the KGB.

Politics Makes Strange Bed Fellows

Click here to access article by Stephen Gowans from his website What's Left (Canada).

As history demonstrates, ruling regimes, ruling classes, and government leaders often make compromises with other powerful actors in order to take advantage of opportunities or even just to survive. Gowans, who in my opinion is one of the world's top geopolitical analysts, apparently received private communication from Michel Chossudovsky, founder of Global Research, criticizing (I can't find any online source for Chossudovsky's criticisms.) Gowans' recent article entitled "The US-Led War on Yemen" (I posted it on the 7th of November.). Gowans responds to his criticisms convincingly, in my opinion. See what you think.

I think that Chossudovsky's criticisms may illustrate the immature thinking that many on the left are infected with, that is, the need to find pure, moral heroes (good guys versus bad guys) in the world instead of accepting that all of us, to a greater or lesser extent, often make compromises to powerful people and nations in order to at least survive. When compromises are made with power in order to thrive is where criticism is justified.    

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Russian revolution: 50 Years after

Click here to access article by Ted Grant from International Marxist Tendency (based in Britain. The should be distinguished from another Trotskiest organization based in Detroit, Michigan, by the name of International Committee of the Fourth International. The latter's website is World Socialist Web Site. Both, in my opinion, are good organizations.)

I prefer this article to another which provides a summary view of the Russian Revolution after 90 years and posted in 2007. However in the last paragraph Grant tried in 1967 to forecast the future and, of course, it didn't turn out quite that way. The Stalinist ruling class and its bureaucracy came crashing down in 1990 with the collusion of Russian opportunists and Western agents. However, since then Putin and his supporters have taken back much of the stolen national wealth from the opportunists, and is now leading an independent Russia with a mixed economy. Communist parties--actually, there are several--in Russia are still very popular, the accomplishments of the Revolution are still fondly remembered, and some have even been restored partially. Perhaps we have not yet seen the end of the socialist ideas that arose during the Revolution of 1917. 
The aims of the revolution were simple and clear. They had been worked out theoretically by Marx. Rule by the working class, as a step towards Socialism. From the beginning, a higher form of democracy than under capitalism. They involved the rule of the Soviets, spontaneously set up the workers during the course of the revolution. These Soviets were committees of factory workers, peasants, housewives, democratically and freely elected. This was to replace the capitalists' state machine. No official was to receive higher pay than that of a skilled worker. In place of a standing army was to come the armed people. Instead of a bureaucratic hierarchy, gradually all jobs in the administration of the state, were to be done by everyone in turn. Thus when everyone was a "bureaucrat" no one could be a bureaucrat. In Lenin's aphorism "every cook should be able to be Prime Minister". These aims were [present at] the beginning of the revolution. 

Recommended articles for 11/8/2017


In this article Cunningham draws from recent events in the Middle East to support the rather obvious implication that the US and its allies (Saudi Arabia and Israel) are preparing a war against Iran.
I was deeply chagrined to find this report on the website of ConsortiumNews. I have long been aware that Reporters Without Borders have been serving as an astroturf website that deceptively serves the interests of the Empire. Just look at the comments (you will need to click on "Show Comments") by aware people who follow this otherwise excellent website. If that is not enough for you, then read this. Then view this to see Udo Ulfkotte explain how he and other journalists were trained to lie by US intelligence agencies. Strangely enough, you won't find anything about Ulfkotte on the website of Reporters Without Borders. Ulfkotte conveniently (for the "intelligence" agencies) died of a "heart attack" earlier this year.
As someone who has found considerable evidence to indicate that media corporations have been thoroughly corrupted by the CIA to only cover and disseminate news that serves their imperial interests, I must ask myself why this topic has received this kind of coverage now. The answer that comes back is that the coverage serves to distract Americans from international events that serve to put the US Empire in a bad light.
The CIA corrupted media executives will use anything to distract Americans from real news about the Empire's many criminal activities in foreign lands--real or contrived terrorist or mass shooting events, sexual and other identity issues, the latest "news" about Trump's connections with Russia's Putin, the latest epidemic (opiod), and/or the latest sensational scandals of celebrities.  

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Russian Revolution: Soviets in Action

Click here to access article by the American journalist John Reed from the archives of Marxists.org. (Note: I erred in not placing this article before those of Rosa Luxemburg. Because reporting on the Russian Revolution has taken so much time and energy for me, I will be winding up this series in the next few days.)

One of our own from the Pacific Northwest (Portland, OR) of the United States of America covered the revolutionary events in Russia as an eye-witness for American workers. Like most all of his reports immediately after the successful conclusion of the revolution, this article was published in 1918 in The Liberator  (not to be confused with the abolitionist newspaper leading up to, and during, the American Civil War) which was a radical newspaper for American workers.
Through all the chorus of abuse and misrepresentation directed against the Russian Soviets by the capitalist press there runs a voice shrill with a sort of panic, which cries: ‘There is no government in Russia! There is no organisation among the Russian workers! It will not work! It will not work!’

There is method in the slander.

As all real socialists know, and as we who have seen the Russian Revolution can testify, there is today in Moscow and throughout all the cities and towns of the Russian land a highly complex political structure, which is upheld by the vast majority of the people and which is functioning as well as any newborn popular government ever functioned. Also the workers of Russia have fashioned from their necessities and the demands of life an economic organisation which is evolving into a true industrial democracy. 

The Russian Revolution: Chapter 8: Democracy and Dictatorship

Click here to access the final chapter of the book The Russian Revolution authored by Rosa Luxemburg while she was in prison in 1918, and only a few months before she and Karl Liebknecht, left-wing members of the German Social Democratic Party, were assassinated.

In this final chapter Luxemburg returns to the anti-democratic nature of the Bolsheviks touched on in Chapter 4. While she recognizes the deficiencies of democracy in the Russian revolutionary government, she forgives the Bolshevik leaders because of the overwhelming obstacles that confronted them. In addition to the epidemics, war, lack of food, counter-revolutionary armies, invasions by capitalist nations, she refers also to the lack of international support for the Russian revolution by socialist organizations in the more advanced capitalist countries. I remember reading somewhere that this concern was also shared by Lenin and Trotsky who saw the need for revolutions in other capitalist countries in order for the Russian revolution to be successful.
Let the German Government Socialists cry that the rule of the Bolsheviks in Russia is a distorted expression of the dictatorship of the proletariat. If it was or is such, that is only because it is a product of the behavior of the German proletariat, in itself a distorted expression of the socialist class struggle. All of us are subject to the laws of history, and it is only internationally that the socialist order of society can be realized. The Bolsheviks have shown that they are capable of everything that a genuine revolutionary party can contribute within the limits of historical possibilities. They are not supposed to perform miracles. For a model and faultless proletarian revolution in an isolated land, exhausted by world war, strangled by imperialism, betrayed by the international proletariat, would be a miracle.

Recommended articles for 11/7/2017 (One is a "best post")

Because of very recent, fast moving developments in Saudi Arabia and nearby areas, I am posting these articles early. (In roughly chronological order)
  • Saudi Coup? from UK Column. Mike Robinson and Patrick Henningsen (of Century 21) are joined by geopolitical analyst Marwa Osman for yesterday's UK Column News. The link includes show notes.
  • Defeated Elsewhere, Saudi Tyrant Declares War On Lebanon by Bernhard from his website Moon of Alabama. What literally happened is that "Saudi Gulf affairs minister Thamer al-Sabhan said the Lebanese government would 'be dealt with as a government declaring war on Saudi Arabia' because of what he described as aggression by Hezbollah.'"

Monday, November 6, 2017

Recommended articles for 11/6/2017

Curtin, in my opinion, is one of the wisest people on the World Wide Web. In this piece he analyzes and explains the reasons why people lie to others and to themselves.
We are awash in information (and disinformation) and both good and bad reporting, but it is still available to the caring inquirer.

The problem is the will to know.  But why, why the refusal to investigate and question; why the indifference?  Stupidity?  Okay, there is that.  Ignorance?  That too.  Willful ignorance, ditto.  Laziness, indeed. Careerism and ideology?  For certain.
One reason he didn't directly mention is the extreme individualism (the next step is sociopathy) that is promoted by a capitalist social system. But the sad reality is...we live in an advanced form of a capitalist society. So, we often lie to ourselves and to others, and believe the lies we are told by authority figures and sources. Consider this as a survival trait almost necessary to survive in an advanced capitalist system. Curtin explains this very well. (This is a "best post".)
No single entity in modern history, foreign or domestic, has told more lies -- and been caught bloody-handed, during or after the fact -- than the CIA.

The Russian Revolution: Chapter 6: The Problem of Dictatorship

Click here to access article by Rosa Luxemburg from her book The Russian Revolution that she wrote in prison in 1918 a few months before she and Karl Liebknecht, left-wing members of the German Social Democratic Party, were assassinated.

Notice that I have skipped Chapter 5 which dealt with universal suffrage. Instead, the Bolshevik leaders instead emphasized (or at least initially) the soviets (councils of workers and soldiers). In this chapter I found her arguments to be overly condensed--especially the first several paragraphs. But then, who knows what primitive conditions she experienced while writing this in prison. In this chapter she criticizes the Bolshevik leaders, especially Trotsky, for expecting too much of the proletariat. 
“Thanks to the open and direct struggle for governmental power,” writes Trotsky, “the laboring masses accumulate in the shortest time a considerable amount of political experience and advance quickly from one stage to another of their development.”
Russian Empire 1914

In defense of the Bolshevik leaders, she may not have been aware of the extreme difficulties they experienced after they took power. (By the way, I erred in the belief that the Bolsheviks took power around Nov. 1, they actually took power on November 7, 1917.) They were confronted by all kinds of problems in addition to organizing new governing institutions: food shortages, typhus and other epidemics, the counter-revolution organized by the White generals, the independence movements in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland; the invasion of other capitalist countries to crush the revolution: principally Britain, USA, France, and Japan; etc. It's quite a miracle that the revolution succeeded at all.

Still Luxemburg emphasized the importance of educated and experienced people to safeguard the revolution, to create a new kind of society, and to participate actively in making policy decisions. I remember reading elsewhere that the Bolsheviks had to rely on many members of the Czarist bureaucracy to enable their new government to work.

Democrats In Denial Over Allegations That Further Confirm Primary Was Rigged

Click here to access article by Kevin Gosztola from Mint Press News. (Addendum posted at 6:12 PM Seattle time.)

Although most ordinary people who follow corporate sponsored news don't know much about it, political people, particularly those in Washington and especially those connected to the Democratic Party, are in an uproar over Donna Brazile's revelations that she reported in a recently published book and statements she has made since then. Instead we are constantly bombarded with grossly exaggerated details about Trump's connections to Russia.

Such corruption events are not news to people who are fully conscious about the power of money in capitalist "democracies". Aware people know that huge amounts of wealth that capitalism naturally promises for individuals gives the latter a weapon to exercise the power of wealth to rig governments and elections to serve themselves. Only when one faction of the One Percent are adversely affected by the corrupting influence of money do we hear about it in any media. 
...former interim DNC chair Donna Brazile has [recently] given credence to claims that the DNC rigged the primary, which is what members of the Sanders campaign and supporters have repeatedly asserted—even though most DNC officials or Clinton supporters treat such claims as the product of sexism or downright foolishness.

Brazile found a copy of the joint fundraising agreement between the DNC, Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary For America. It was signed by former CEO of the DNC Amy Dacey and Robby Mook, who was Clinton’s campaign manager. The Clinton campaign’s legal counsel, Marc Elias, was copied.

It specified that Clinton would “control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.”
So, Brazile's testimony suggests to me that Hillary Clinton (and her CIA backers) tried to rig (and failed) the 2016 election--not the Russians! Of course, this was what I always suspected.)

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Recommended articles for 11/5/2017

  • Forced recession as a tool of social war against the 99% by Ramin Mazaheri from A bird's eye view of the Vineyard.  Note: I found this article very challenging. I think it is because of its conversational style and the author's casual references to many economic topics which I am unfamiliar. 
At this point I ran out of time and energy to look for more interesting articles.

The Russian Revolution: Chapter 4: The Constituent Assembly

Click here to access this chapter by Rosa Luxemburg from her book The Russian Revolution that she wrote in prison in 1918 a few months before she and Karl Liebknecht, left-wing members of the German Social Democratic Party, were assassinated. 

(For present day readers difficulties are presented in the book with the (now) obscure references she makes to events that were well known in her time. The notes help somewhat. She writes in the style of German writers of this era by using complex sentences. Also this English translation of her book was published in 1940, and I think it likely poses some problems for present day readers. Nevertheless her insights shine through these difficulties.)

Luxemburg argues in this chapter that the Bolsheviks were inconsistent with regard to constituent assemblies. They promoted them initially, but after the completion of the takeover of the government, they had no further use for them.  
It is a fact that Lenin and his comrades were stormily demanding the calling of a Constituent Assembly up to the time of their October victory, and that the policy of ragging out this matter on the part of the Kerensky government constituted an article in the indictment of that government by the Bolsheviks and was the basis of some of their most violent attacks upon it. Indeed, Trotsky says in his interesting pamphlet, From October to Brest-Litovsk, that the October Revolution represented “the salvation of the Constituent Assembly” as well as of the revolution as a whole. “And when we said,” he continues, “that the entrance to the Constituent Assembly could not be reached through the Preliminary Parliament of Zeretelli, but only through the seizure of power by the Soviets, we were entirely right.”

And then, after these declarations, Lenin’s first step after the October Revolution was ... the dissolution of this same Constituent Assembly, to which it was supposed to be an entrance. What reasons could be decisive for so astonishing a turn?
After reporting the rationales that the Bolshevik leaders offered, she makes a counter argument:
Since the Constituent Assembly was elected long before the decisive turning point, the October Revolution, and its composition reflected the picture of the vanished past and not of the new state of affairs, then it follows automatically that the outgrown and therefore still-born Constituent Assembly should have been annulled, and without delay, new elections to a new Constituent Assembly should have been arranged.
She will address this anti-democratic stance of the Bolsheviks more completely in a later chapter.  

Saturday, November 4, 2017

"Everything [indeed] is terrible"

by Tom Tomorrow

Today's recommended articles (11/4/2017)

by Ron Horn
Then there are two posts by The Saker featuring Russian TV programs (here and here) which lampoons the current political scene in the US. Although the guests on these TV programs entertained the Russian audience with hilarious stories about their experiences with US corporate media and US authorities, I, as an American, felt embarrassment and deep disgust for my country. Thus, I didn't listen to much of the second post.

The Russian Revolution: Chapter 3: The Nationalities Question

Click here to access article by Rosa Luxemburg from her book The Russian Revolution that she wrote in prison in 1918. (Difficulties are presented for present day readers in this chapter with the now obscure references she makes to events that were well known in her time. The notes help somewhat. Also she writes in the style of German writers of this era by using complex sentences.)

Russia in 1914
Whereas in chapter 2 she pointed out the contradiction of the slogan "land to the peasants" and encouraging peasants to take land from the aristocracy and to essentially privatize it (which they later permitted under NEP to encourage food production) in this chapter she points out the contradiction promulgated by the Bolsheviks in their slogan (roughly translated) "right of self-determination to the point of separation". She explains how the rudimentary capitalist classes used this slogan in the border regions of the Russian Empire (Ukraine, Poland, and Baltic lands) to further their own interests and used it to promote counter-revolutionary activities against the Bolsheviks.
How does it happen then that in all these lands the counter-revolution suddenly triumphs? The nationalist movement, just because it tore the proletariat loose from Russia, crippled it thereby, and delivered it into the hands of the bourgeoisie of the border countries.

Instead of acting in the same spirit of genuine international class policy which they represented in other matters, instead of working for the most compact union of the revolutionary forces throughout the area of the Empire, instead of defending tooth and nail the integrity of the Russian Empire as an area of revolution and opposing to all forms of separatism the solidarity and inseparability of the proletarians in all lands within the sphere of the Russian Revolution as the highest command of politics, the Bolsheviks, by their hollow nationalistic phraseology concerning the “right of self-determination to the point of separation,” have accomplished quite the contrary and supplied the bourgeoisie in all border states with the finest, the most desirable pretext, the very banner of the counter-revolutionary efforts. Instead of warning the proletariat in the border countries against all forms of separatism as mere bourgeois traps, they did nothing but confuse the masses in all the border countries by their slogan and delivered them up to the demagogy of the bourgeois classes. By this nationalistic demand they brought on the disintegration of Russia itself, pressed into the enemy’s hand the knife which it was to thrust into the heart of the Russian Revolution.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Chinese President Responds to Letter from Kim Jong Un

Click here to access article from TeleSur.
The letter suggests that relations between the two countries may soon normalize, as Xi Jinping expresses a desire to share "common prosperity."
In this report we learn that relations between China and North Korea (DPRK) seem to be warming, Chinese President's perfectly reasonable solution to the crisis between North Korea and USA, and finally it suggests the possibility that Trump in his bellicosity towards North Korea may be motivated by something other than any threat they pose with their nuclear weapons/missile developments.

Shrinking the Spectrum of Thought:

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

Hirthler describes the brave new propaganda world we now live in, and in my opinion it is an Orwellian house of horrors. It has become so distasteful to me that I have gotten rid of cable TV, and now I have only high speed internet and my radio. Now I limit my intake of trash news media by waking up to my radio alarm to listen to NPR. (Unfortunately, where I live, this is the only radio station I can receive clearly.) Waking up to such nonsense makes me angry, but I think that this is good preparation for my daily chore of posting articles (occasionally with commentaries) for you to read and think about. Waking to NPR news spurs me to action, and my posting of sane, rational articles cleanses my mind of their CIA-inspired bunkum (def.) and re-expands my spectrum of thought.
The end game is total conformity to the corporate state, which is how Mussolini defined fascism. The end game is unquestioning mental acquiescence, just as these journalists exhibited. Resistance is ultimately a battle for one’s heart and mind. We may believe we are free agents autonomously selecting beliefs from a self-created filtering system. But we’re not. The filters are imposed. So long as we are aware of their imposition, we still have a chance to fight against them.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Today's recommended articles (11/2/2017)

Record surge in atmospheric CO2 seen in 2016 by Matt McGrath from BBC News

In Shocking, Viral Interview, Qatar Confesses Secrets Behind Syrian War by Tyler Durden

*How the DPRK riddle is freaking out the US establishment by Pepe Escobar posted in A bird's eye view of the Vineyard
This is an especially important article authored by one of world's top journalists. Escobar uses an unnamed source, but his stature among journalists is so high that he can get away with this. The article is also very challenging to understand for people, like myself, with a rather weak scientific background to interpret his statement regarding "electromagnetic pulse" (EMP) from a nuclear bomb. Also formatting poses problems because when one spells out a website address in an article, the rest of the line remains blank. Then there are concepts like Pilsudski’s Intermarium Plan against Russia with countering China by seeking to ally India, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.
Other related articles that may be helpful in understanding this post:
North Korea Just Took the Nuclear Step Experts Have Dreaded
Regarding the Sudetenland metaphor
Tony Cartalucci-Land Destroyer talks about Baba Beijing on China Rising Radio Sinoland
In this post Jeff Brown of China Rising provides a broadcast of his reading of questions that he posed to Cartalucci as well as his answers. You will not hear Cartalucci because Brown simply reads his answers. He also provides a transcript of the conversation which I much prefer.
Tillerson: US to Build Additional De-Escalation Zones in Syria by Alex Gorka from Strategic Culture Foundation.
Gorka concludes his article with this statement:
If the US-backed coalition established the zones unilaterally to present other actors with a fait accompli, it would be the way to divide Syria contrary to what the UN-sponsored Geneva peace effort, as well as the Russia-Iran-Turkey-initiated Astana talks, has tried to achieve. If not, it should become part of international agenda. The US plan to build additional de-escalation zones was announced as a slam dunk during congressional hearings. The way it was done makes one think it’ll be a unilateral move taken to obstruct the Russia’s peace plan. The division of the country into zones controlled by opposing coalitions runs counter to the interests of Syrian people. This is a very worrisome development which can potentially hinder the prospects of stable peace in Syria.
Capitalists alarmed about capitalism by Rob Sewell from In Defense of Marxism.
Here is the link to the Financial Times' article that Sewell refers to. If you can't access the FT, a very similar post is this in the Independent.
Former FBI agent says tech companies must “silence” sources of “rebellion” by Andre Damon
Top legal and security officials for Facebook, Twitter and Google appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, in a hearing targeting “Extremist Content and Russian Disinformation Online.”

Over the course of four hours, senators argued that “foreign infiltration” is the root of social opposition within the United States, in order to justify the censorship of oppositional viewpoints.
Neocons Push Dubious Paper To Allege Iran - Al-Qaeda Connection by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama.
The anti-Iran powers in the U.S. again try to smear Iran as allied with al-Qaeda. The accusations will be used to justify further hostilities against the country.

Suddenly an anonymous, and likely fake, document appears and is prominently launched into the public circulation. To provide plausibility for the publishing the new CIA director Mike Pompeo ordered his staff to release additional data allegedly found in Osama Bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan.