We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, February 18, 2017

A valiant verbal warrior demythologizes the CIA

Click here to access the review by Edward Curtin of a recent book entitled The CIA as Organized Crime authored by Douglas Valentine.

I confess that I don't remember reading any of Valentine's books because I felt that I already knew much about what he was writing. But Curtin's outstanding review of his works explains that his books offer unrivaled depth and width to the subject of the CIA's subversion of the US and it's Empire in service to their masters in the ruling capitalist class. I'm convinced that Valentine' books have the key to an understanding of many of today's seemingly incomprehensible events. Here is only one such tidbit from Valentine's recent book that promises an intellectual feast that awaits your reading:
“Journalism in the US is a traditional cover for CIA officers. And when the owners of the media aren’t covering for the CIA, they’re selling commercial time slots to the multi-national corporations that in turn are selling you commodities made in sweatshops in foreign nations that have been subverted by the CIA. You could almost say there is no such thing as factual reporting. . . . The CIA and the media are part of the same criminal conspiracy. You’re never going to learn anything substantive by reading what mainstream reporters dish out about the CIA. You can’t take a journalism course in CIA Criminal Conspiracies 101.”

Political insanity

by "Polyp the cartoonist" from the British website Polyp.org.uk.

Friday, February 17, 2017

How the Trump regime was manufactured by a war inside the Deep State [Not only a must-read article, but a must-study article of political reality]

Click here to access this updated article by Nafeez Ahmed from INSURGE intelligence. (I am very grateful to Dave Ratcliffe of ratical.org for alerting me to this article.)

Wow! I am going through the throes of an intellectual type of orgasm after reading this lengthy, but all important article. Therefore I hope that my "high" is not distorting my perceptions when I think that this might be the most important article I've ever posted. It brings together so many insights from my previous posts and contributes even more to understanding our very troubled world. The only important thing lacking is a revolutionary solution to our dystopic future under capitalism. But that is our assignment.

Whereas I have seen the split between two ruling class factions as centered around strategies to cope with the power realities of Russia, China, and Iran, he sees this split as encompassing far more factors--and he may be right.
Both sides of the US Deep State blame each other for the system’s failures, neither wishing to admit their own complicity in driving the systems responsible for those failures.

One side wants to respond to the systemic crisis by accelerating market share of the old paradigm — extending the life of the fossil fuel system and deregulating predatory capital. While most are climate deniers, some even appear to recognize the dangers of environmental crisis and resource scarcity but wish to shore up the US Deep State against the crisis as a nationalist response: Fortress America.

The other side hold a deep faith that technological progress will save the day and permit business-as-usual and endless extraction-premised growth to continue — they believe that digitally-driven technological innovations will allow Wall Street to have its cake and eat it: we can grow the economy, and enrich a tiny number of financiers in the West exponentially, and the dividends will trickle down to the Rest with a bit of technocratic tinkering, selective regulation and generous philanthropy.

Neither side truly understands that they both remain locked into the old, dying industrial neoliberal paradigm.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Human Rights Industry Protects Imperialism

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

Because the Anglo-American ruling capitalist classes after WWII formed a new Empire after they defeated the Axis capitalist gang, we are now plagued with a global regime that relies heavily on deception to sustain their rule and their imperial policies. George Orwell's insightful statement that "telling the truth is a revolutionary act" is more true today that ever. Now we see more than ever before that our masters turn truth upside down and claim that the whistle-blowers and truth-tellers are engaging in fake news while their corporate media daily spews out lies about nearly everything. Likewise reputedly humanitarian organizations have been turned into mouthpieces in support of Empire policies.

In this article Kimberly offers her take on the use of "human rights" organizations to serve the US-led Empire's war crimes.
Beginning in 2011 the United States used a tried and true method of getting support for imperialism. A foreign leader is accused of being a tyrant who terrorizes his nation. The claims silence critics, get buy in from corporate media and cynical politicians and ultimately lead to death at the hands of the so-called saviors. There are 9 million Syrian refugees precisely because of collusion between the west and its gulf monarchy allies. The suffering of the civilian population is the fault of these parties and it is only the determination of the Syrians and help from their allies which prevented it from going the way of Libya.

Now that the jihadists are on the run and their one-time backer Turkey has switched sides, the jig is up. But the imperialists will not go away quietly. That is why Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International reappear at a crucial moment.
 

Former Senator at Plaintiff’s Table in 9/11 Case Against FBI

Click here to access article from 28Pages.org.

Quite often the truth of the Empire's crimes trickle out eventually, and this appears to be the case with the 9/11 event. Many architects and engineers after a decade got up the nerve to question the government's numerous deceptions about 9/11, and have accomplished much in poking holes in many of the original 9/11 Commission's findings. Now a lawsuit against the government has reached a federal court judge who has obtained many more FBI documents that were previously covered up. Already the court hearing have produce startling revelations regarding a more recent 9/11 Review Commission (aka "Meese Commission"), "not to be confused with the [original] 9/11 Commission".
As Christensen noted in his coverage of this week’s developments, “FBI Director James Comey picked the Meese Commission’s members, who operated in virtual secrecy, holding no public hearings and releasing no records about its work beyond its March 2015 final report.”

And, thanks to the Florida Bulldog suit, we now know the FBI paid the commissioners $80,000 each plus expenses.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Dennis Kucinich Says Intel Community Making 'Unprecedented' Effort to Upend Trump: 'Wake Up!'

Via YouTube former Congressman and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich offers, in my opinion, the best insights about the recent firing of Gen. Flynn as National Security Advisor. (Thanks go to Christopher in Oregon for alerting me to this video.)



Kucinich's comment dovetails with (although it doesn't prove it) my posed theory on what's going on: a CIA faction versus a Rockefeller faction that is contesting power among the capitalist ruling class. (See this and this.) 

For another analysis of this ruling class drama, I recommend Bernhard's take in his blog Moon of Alabama. For an even more sympathetic view regarding Trump's side on this matter, you should look into Bloomberg's take (and the Financial Times if you can) on this drama. To me, this suggests that Bloomberg and the Financial Times represent the Rockefeller faction of the ruling class. Whichever side wins in this contest, you can be certain that ordinary Americans will be the losers. That is precisely why we must be getting organized to end the system which powers both profit/power hungry factions--capitalism.

Patrick Martin at the World Socialist Web Site urges us not be involved with, or manipulated by, either faction.
Workers and young people must not line up behind either faction of the ruling elite. Both are preparing for new military bloodbaths to safeguard the profits of American corporations. They are fighting over tactics and the sequence of targets, not over whether to send American youth to kill or be killed in imperialist wars.

The struggle against the Trump administration poses the need for a complete break with the Democrats and Republicans, the twin parties of big business, and the building of a mass independent political movement of working people, based on a socialist and internationalist program.

A Documentary You’ll Likely Never See

Click here to access article by James DiEugenio from ConsortiumNews.

The likely poor distribution of this exposé on the overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine by US secret operatives is an excellent illustration of how real information is censored by the capitalist ruling class whenever it might expose their dirty secrets. Instead of permitting you to see this film, their corporate media replace real information with fake news.
Especially for American and Western European audiences, Ukraine on Fire could be revelatory in that it offers a historical explanation for the deep divisions within Ukraine and presents information about the current crisis that challenges the mainstream media’s paradigm, which blames the conflict almost exclusively on Russia.

Key people in the film’s production are director Igor Lopatonok, editor Alex Chavez, and writer Vanessa Dean, whose screenplay contains a large amount of historical as well as current material exploring how Ukraine became such a cauldron of violence and hate. Oliver Stone served as executive producer and conducted some high-profile interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin and ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
The author continues on at length to describe much of Ukraine's fascist history and what really happened in Ukraine's recent coup. I gave the US engineered coup considerable coverage on this website. Simply enter "Ukraine" in a search box or select "Ukraine" in the "Labels" section some distance down the right side of my website.

North Korean Paranoia is Well-Founded

Click here to access article by Ulson Gunnar from New Eastern Outlook.

The article provides another antidote to ameliorate the poisonous propaganda of corporate media.
North Korea is depicted across US and European media as a backward nation run by a despotic, delusional leader encircled by advisers suffering from irrational, militant paranoia. The nation is also depicted as a prominent security threat in Asia-Pacific despite North Korea waging no wars in the region since an armistice in 1953 effectively ended the Korean War.

A despotic, delusional leadership, however, most likely would not possess nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and a large conventional army and yet restrain its use regardless of decades of provocations engineered along its borders by the United States and its allies within the South Korean government. Likewise, a nation governed by the entirely irrational would be incapable of maintaining, even expanding ties with neighboring states like China.

Yet in reality, North Korea has done all of this.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Understanding America’s Many Wars

Click here to access article by Murray Polner from Uncommon Thought Journal. (Edited for much needed clarity at 8:15 PM Seattle time.)

I've spent too much time this morning trying to access information about the author to the detriment of this commentary/essay. Polner is the book editor of History News Network and has written several books and articles featured in many center-liberal publications. The best I could find on his bio is from Book Depository:
Murray Polner has had a rich and varied career as a teacher, college professor, writer and editor. He is the author of When Can I Come Home. His writings have also appeared in the New York Times, Newsday, the Washington Post, Commonweal, The Nation, Village Voice and the Boston Globe. He lives in Great Neck, New York. Murray Polner is an editor and the author of No Victory Parades: The Return of the Vietnam Veteran and has written for The New York Times,The Nation, Commonweal, The Washington Monthly, and many other publications.
I want to use this article/book review which Polner writes about so favorably as an illustration of how a mainstream American intellectual writes about political subjects such as US wars thereby serves as a useful propagandist for the US-led Empire. Now that the Japanese government is a useful ally/puppet of the Empire, we Americans must forgive and forget that we were once adversaries.

In his favorable review of a book by James Bradley’s entitled The China Mirage he uses circumlocutions and abstractions to hide the nature of the rivalries the capitalist nations engaged in during WWII, and as a result he obscures and distorts the realities of these wars. He ends up arguing that our war with Japan was a mistake because "we" (at that time) simply didn't understand Japan's economic needs. In other words, the war was all about national interests and "we" didn't understand Japan's national interests and instead mistakenly aligned our policies with China. Balderdash!
It is Bradley’s contention that Americans have misunderstood and misjudged China, wedded as they were to the fantasy that China was yearning to be Christianized, Westernized and Americanized while ignoring that it had and has its own national interests. This was never more obvious than after 1931, when the Japanese –eager to control China as part of its sphere of interest– invaded Manchuria, which the U.S. promptly denounced as an act of aggression. For both nations the great prize was China. After that, Japan and U.S. were on the road to war.
By referring to the competing capitalist national gang rivalries behind the abstractions of nations (China, Japan, US), he, like many ruling class propagandists, hides the real nature of the devastating wars in the 20th century.

Let me present a concise alternative view of history that focuses more specifically on competition among capitalist ruling classes to control access to markets and resources all over the world to satisfy their interests of profits and power.

In spite of the external military operations of other capitalist countries and internal threats posed by poverty, hunger, chaos, and epidemic diseases, the success of the Soviet revolution in 1917 posed an ongoing threat of a system that directly challenged private ownership of the economy that existed in all the other technologically advanced countries. Should the Soviet experiment succeed, all capitalist ruling classes were threatened by the alternative example of public ownership. Thus capitalist ruling classes, having failed to re-install a capitalist regime in the Soviet Union, waited to see if the new Soviet government simply collapsed under the weight of so many initial problems.

During the 1930s when Western nations were severely plagued by the Great Depression, the Soviet Union was making rapid economic strides and enjoying full employment. Obviously this was of great concern to Western capitalist ruling classes and they began a project to support right-wing fascist parties in Europe which ultimately brought the Nazi Party to power in Germany and the fascists in Italy. Because the "democratic" (the US, Britain, France, etc) nations stood by in neutrality, they allowed Germany and Italy to savage the far left elected Spanish government during the Spanish Civil War. Only the Soviet Union and volunteers from the non-fascist Western countries came to the aid of the Spanish government, and the Soviet leaders lost interest in doing so because they themselves felt threatened.

During this period American and other European ruling capitalist classes were split in their attitudes and policies toward the fascist countries. On the one hand, they saw the latter as a bulwark against organized labor unions and leftists, but on the other, especially as the latter grew in power, they feared that they might present a threat to the economic interests of capitalists in what became known as the allied nations. Also the more fascist oriented capitalists in the allied nations saw the splendid potential of the German Nazi government to expand eastward (Hitler had described this plan in Mein Kampf as Lebensraum). 

Similarly Japan's ruling capitalist class had their own imperialist concept of Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. What most Americans are unaware of is that the US ruling class had their own concept, the Grand Area (this area was extended after WWII and became known as the "free world"). The Allies patiently let Germany expand and grow their empire on the European continent and move east toward the Soviet Union. However Germany unexpectedly invaded Poland, with which Britain had a defense treaty, instead of going from Czechoslovakia on to the Soviet Union. Thus began a phony war after which the Nazi government attacked Britain and continued to move east and invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. Because the Netherlands, Belgium, and France had been easily overrun by German forces, the Allied ruling classes expected that Germany would easily defeat the Soviet forces. But whereas the defeat of the Allied countries was mainly due to their ruling classes being split in their orientation to the fascist nations, the Soviet government was united in their opposition to fascism. As a result the German forces encountered great difficulty after only a month into their invasion. 

Although I cannot yet prove it, I am convinced by much circumstantial evidence that leading US ruling class figures at this time saw that Germany was not going to succeed in conquering the USSR and therefore Germany was now a threat to the British Empire and the US. They and their British associates began formulating plans in the late summer of 1941 to prepare for war with the Axis powers. They saw the necessity of securing what they referred to as the Grand Area, which included the Western Hemisphere plus southeast Asia, in order to win the war against the Axis powers. Of course, this put them on a collision course with Japan's ruling class who vitally needed the resources in that area and oil from the US. The US government soon embargoed oil exports to Japan in order to force Japan along together their ally Germany into a war with the Anglo-American combination.

Capitalist ruling classes are very much like street gangs in that they compete over territories which provide them with opportunities of profit and power. Thus the Anglo-American capitalist combination were not going to permit the capitalist ruling classes in Germany and/or Japan to dominate the world and threaten their access to raw materials and markets. The Anglo-American Empire, soon to become the US-led Empire, went on to win WWII with the result that they have dominated the world ever since. However, the governments of Russia, China, Iran and other countries are now starting to challenge their dominance, and we can expect more major wars to follow--unless we organize an effective opposition against our profit and power addicted ruling class!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Are humans like horses?

by Ron Horn. I thank "Don Quijones" (pseudonym) for this video which he posted on his new blog Rigged Game. He previously posted articles on Raging Bull-Shit, then posted articles on Wolf Street, and now has returned to his own blog.



The narrator alerts us to some very real issues facing humans regarding the ever advancing improvements in technology. In this 15 minute video he compares humans to horses to illustrate how the latter became obsolete with the appearance of autos, trucks, etc. There are now relatively few horses around especially in the technologically advanced nations. Like most metaphors, this one is also limited in its aptness--far more than what its creator intended. I think that it reveals the ideological blindness of the creator (and narrator). 

The creator/narrator of this video along with the vast majority of Americans like fish in the sea don't see the system or the water in which we all swim--capitalism. This system is an artifact created by humans, but it was made by only a certain class of human who saw the potential benefits of profit and power that such a system could give them. They simply and deceptively extrapolated the system of feudalism in which aristocrats and monarchs owned all the land (which their ancestors had conquered) and claimed ownership of most everything that peasants produced in their new system of capitalism. The new class of capitalists now claimed "ownership" over the products and creations of workers who became essentially wage slaves. 

The new system of capitalism was widely known and discussed in most of the West until the last half of the 20th century. In an effort to prevent people from examining the inequities of capitalism, our masters, the ruling capitalist classes, since then have disappeared the word from most of their writings, their history, etc. As a result, most people, like the narrator, simply take for granted that the system is an immutable reality; thus it has almost disappeared as a topic of discussion. 

Now let us return to the metaphor the narrator uses--humans as horses. The metaphor seeks to expose the problems for workers given the advances of technology where most of them are no longer needed. This is accurate and poses a dilemma for humans. However the metaphor fails to provide an understanding of the class-based exploitation that the system of capitalism imposes on the vast majority of humans. Did horses invent cars, trucks, etc? Of course not. But human-workers did invent them along with all of technology. The problem is that the benefits of their activity did not go to the workers, but to a tiny class of capitalists who claim "ownership" over everything the workers produce and create--and this includes technology. The metaphor hides this glaring fact.

Instead of a blessing that could free workers from not only mindless tasks but more complex tasks, under the existing system technology is now threatening their very existence. With a new system that distributed the benefits of technology to everyone, humans could be free of the necessity of spending so much time in activities to meet their material needs of existence. This could free them to engage in the tasks of making decisions about production, about what they want to produce, about issues of relations to each others, about questions in our relations with nature, about refinements to the new system that they created,  etc, etc. 

As you can see, this is in marked contrast to today's world where only a tiny minority decide everything--and for their exclusive benefit. In such a new system humans would need to spend a lot of time in education about the world in which they live. Thus technology could free all humans to develop their fullest potentialities. It's hard to imagine what humans could be become under a system that was designed to serve all of them.

Will Superweeds Choke GMO to a Timely Death in USA?

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

Engdahl cites recent studies, including this one and explained by this article, which report data that suggests that pesticide resistant "superweeds" are increasing on US farm lands. Engdahl writes:
When we human beings become too self-destructive for our own well-bring and that of our Earth, sometimes nature takes control and does what we in our greed and stupidity refuse to do. The refusal of Governments around the world–with notable exceptions such as the GMO-free Russian Federation–to order an immediate global ban on planting of Genetically Manipulated Organisms, GMO, including for corn, for soybeans, for cotton to name just a few, along with an immediate ban on paired weed-killers such as Monsanto’s Roundup, is stupidity pure. The response of nature, however, may sound the death knell for American farmers’ use of GMO seeds more effectively than any labelling or WHO carcinogen warning. Superweeds are literally choking GMO plants to death across the US Midwest farm belt and that should send a very real signal that nature abhors GMOs and their toxic weed-killing chemicals.
I must take issue with his first sentence. I think I can safely assume that people reading this article are human beings. So, are you responsible for developing and promoting Roundup? Of course not! People who developed, promoted, and sold this product were instructed and paid by capitalists to do it, and were likely fired if they refused.

Wake Up Call

by British illustrator and animator Steve Cutts from his website.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Some observations and solutions about the contemporary class war being waged (on us) by our capitalist ruling class

by Ron Horn for this website.

I ended up with this essay this morning by reading and recalling a number of articles of how the capitalist ruling class through various NGOs or non-profit organizations (NGOs are usually used to refer to non-governmental organizations abroad, but within the US they are usually referred to as non-profit organizations) are so often used by them to shepherd Americans into fairly safe activist organizations, marches, demonstrations, protests, etc. Then I began to think how this is only one part of a complex of controlling mechanisms to insure that Americans support the existing rule of American capitalism and all its contemporary features of imperialism. Let me provide some details about this train of thought and where it led me.

I read and/or scanned articles entitled Amnesty International Stokes Syrian War and Standing Rock: Profusion, Collusion & Big Money Profits, and recalled other posts of a similar nature to realize more fully the complex nature of the forces of control used by the ruling class to secure our compliance and to divert our opposition energies toward fairly harmless pursuits that don't interfere with their interests of profits and power.

This complex of forces runs all the way from ideological indoctrination and information that we experience in education, to media, to entertainment, to the control of jobs especially in higher education and in non-profits which are usually funded by the rich, and to infiltration of their well-paid agents in activist organizations. Sometimes these forces that the rich ruling class commands seem overwhelming and invincible, and they very well may be. If so, I think that this is going to lead to a series of catastrophes such as nuclear war or major climate disasters or both that will likely end the existence of humans, or at least major loss of life. However, it seems that my human nature resists hopelessness and looks forever toward solutions.

I keep thinking that if only ordinary people knew about, and understood, the realities of their condition of indoctrinated wage slaves or well-paid and indoctrinated agents of an exploitative ruling class that they might engage in revolutionary activities to change the system that supports this ruling class. They would do this because they would understand that the underlying reason why we experience so much extreme inequality, never-ending wars, and environmental devastation is the existence of the capitalist system. So this suggests some action to start the process of this understanding. My individual solution was to start this website. But social problems, especially of this magnitude, require collective solutions.

The only activity that I can see would generate a collective revolutionary movement would be focused on organizing alternative news, information, and opinion sources that are strictly funded by non-ruling class sources. I see signs such as more and more websites that are devoted to presenting such content and are funded by ordinary people. But many need to rid themselves of advertising because their sponsors inevitably end up influencing content. They also need to combine resources such as journalists, administrators, and funding in ever large media collectives to effectively counter the influence of corporate media.

To attract the right kind of activists they need to build in new alternative organizational structures, and not simply borrow hierarchical structures typical of class-structured organizations and societies. Thus some kind of bottom-up control structures are necessary to assure authentic democratic control which serves the people. Thus much experimentation must be done to produce a workable, practical model that can be adopted by other organizations in a growing revolutionary movement. 

Once such alternative collective media organizations become a significant influence, we can expect attacks from the ruling class in the forms of infiltrators who would try to create dissension in these organizations, attempts to bribe people to serve the ruling class, smears in corporate media in an attempt to discredit the alternative media, and even threats to people engaged in work for the new media. All such attacks could escalate as the new media became more effective, but this would only serve to attract more attention and people to the new media organizations. The new media could serve as a revolutionary catalyst that could grow a viable movement to overthrow the reign of capitalists and their entire support system, and then to replace it with a genuine democratic system that affirms life and harmony with nature.