The WikiLeaks documents expose the United States as the world’s greatest “rogue state” and “cyber criminal.” The monstrous US espionage network, paid for with hundreds of billions in tax dollars, uses diplomatic posts to hide its activities from its “allies,” spies on world leaders, organizes kidnappings and assassinations and aims to influence or overturn elections all over the world.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Finian Cunningham, originally from Belfast, Ireland, was born in 1963. He is a prominent expert in international affairs. The author and media commentator was expelled from Bahrain in June 2011 for his critical journalism in which he highlighted human rights violations by the Western-backed regime. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For many years, he worked as an editor and writer in the mainstream news media, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. [from Information Clearing House]The reason I went to such lengths to find a good bio on Cunningham is because this article is posted in an online Russian website. With US media corporations daily pumping out a deluge of unfounded anti-Russian propaganda plus the fact that many Americans believe this propaganda, I find it necessary to prove the unbiased nature of Cunningham's views.
And, I wonder why he had to resort to his article being posted first on a Russian website because I notice that it has since been posted on several Western websites. If this was simply his choice, it certainly is not a good idea.
During the past several years I have noticed the crazy reports coming out of corporate media regarding mostly Russia, but also China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), and it seems to be only getting worse. Maybe the Greek writer Euripides was right when he declared some 2,400 years ago, "Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad."
Western irrational fear of Russia – Russophobia – is no longer a random prejudice. It has become endemic pathological thinking among Western states.
Divorced from reality this mindset has become psychotic.
In a rare, candid conversation, Abby Martin interviews a former Israeli Army combat soldier who served as an occupier in Palestine’s Hebron City.
Eran Efrati spent years as a sergeant and combat soldier in the Israeli military, but has since become an outspoken critic of the occupation of Palestine and Israeli apartheid.
Efrati gives explosive testimony on the reality of his service and explains how war crimes are institutionalized, as well as how systematic the oppression against Palestinians really is in a war of conquest that will no-doubt be accelerated under the Trump Administration.
You might also be interested in a review by Philip Weiss of a film entitled "The Settlers". He writes:
The documentary’s thrust is that Israel as a polity/society has gone very wrong in this program of religious colonial supremacy. There are intimations that nothing can save Israeli society from this fervor, that only great bloodshed will end an injustice of historical proportion.
Friday, March 10, 2017
I am so thrilled to post this excellent article! I've never seen such a devastating attack on America's liberal version of feminism and identity politics. This article contains a treasure chest of political insights. Here is only one:
While the personal may be political, it will never be more political than actual politics and political consciousness. In reality, identity politics is the opposite of politics, in that, traditionally, politics or public engagement dealt with common issues, whereas identity politics further fragments consensus and is extremely divisive. Identity politics–women competing with men or racial groups pitted against one another–reflects the divide and conquer desires and strategy of the elite, since the masses are always weaker when they are divided. It forces a false polemic that stands in the way of consensus building, collective identity, and unity. As the old activist saying goes, “the people united will never be defeated.” Identity politics flies in the face of this and does the exact opposite; it divides people at a historical juncture when unity is most urgently needed.
Western liberal feminism has succumbed to the divisive and diversionary agenda of identity politics.
Millions of workers have been displaced by robots. Or, if they have managed to keep their jobs, they’re being deskilled and transformed into appendages of automated machines. We also know that millions more workers and their jobs are threatened by much-anticipated future waves of robotics and other forms of automation.I must be remember that robots, automation, artificial intelligence, and all the marvels of technology and science have been created by people who are also workers. But because this upper-middle class of people are indispensable to capitalists, they are generously rewarded and allowed to socialize with their masters which has made them feel very important and has alienated them from their fellow workers. See my commentary here for a lengthier explanation.
But mainstream economists don’t want us to touch those robots. Just ask Larry Summers [a prime member of the capitalist ruling class].
However it is clear that Zinn's history book is only a book that is available in some (likely a tiny minority) of schools. Most public schools rely on textbooks that are manufactured by book publishers as I learned from reading this article subtitled "A former schoolbook editor parses the politics of educational publishing". From memory I knew that the Texas Board of Education dominated textbook publishing for most schools across the US, but it appears from an article published more recently in The New York Review of Books that this is still the case, but perhaps less so than 40 to 50 years ago. Once again, we see the powerful influence of the rich--this time on the content of public school textbooks.
Some extremely rich Texans have gotten into the board of education election game, putting their money at the disposal of conservative populists. No one has had more impact than James Leininger, the San Antonio physician who has had an intense interest in promoting school vouchers. He backed a group called Texans for Governmental Integrity, which was particularly active in state school board elections. Its most famous campaign was in 1994, when it mailed flyers to voters’ homes in one district, showing a black man kissing a white man and claiming that the Democratic incumbent had voted for textbooks that promoted homosexuality. Another organization Leininger has supported, the Heidi Group, sent out a prayer calendar in 1998, which unnervingly urged the right-to-life faithful to devote one day to praying that a San Antonio doctor who performed abortions “will come to see Jesus face to face.”
Thursday, March 9, 2017
During the 2015-16 election cycle, Wall Street banks and financial interests spent more than $2 billion to influence decision-making in Washington, according to a report released today by Americans for Financial Reform. That total, derived from an exclusive data set, works out to more than $2.7 million a day, and over $3.7 million per member of Congress.It's clear that people in the financial industry are heavily invested in keeping the facade of "democratic" government in place. You will notice that the major banks are not at the top of the lists for either campaign contributions or lobbying, but that is simply because they are solidly represented in the secretive Deep State (see my description here ) which in reality influences all major policy decisions pursued by the democratic facade of the three official branches of government (Executive, Legislative, and the Judiciary). In his new administration Trump has directly appointed many bankers to his official cabinet.
Since 2008, the financial services industry has spent more money on contributions and lobbying than it did before the crisis, and the total in this cycle is the highest yet. The numbers reflect the industry’s relentless efforts to roll back financial regulations put in place after the crisis, lobby Congress to weaken the rules, and to forestall deeper changes to the financial system.
Once you understand how capitalists rule, you will understand that at stressful times they are tempted to eliminate the huge costs of maintaining the fiction of democratic rule and opt to directly rule by fiat. The latter form of rule that derives from capitalism is known as fascism. But you won't find definitions that link fascism directly to the rule of capitalists. This is another illustration of how even the meaning of words is influenced by their rule--in this case they go to extreme lengths to hide the relationships between the rule of the capital class and fascism.
Although most who follow my daily postings already know how ruling class propaganda functions to deceive ordinary people, this article gives a basic lesson in how to spot propaganda for those of us who are less aware due to being overwhelmed with the daily struggles just to survive.
In this lesson please regard the propaganda target of Hugo Chavez as only an illustration of these techniques, and start applying them to all such propaganda. You can easily do this by simply watching news and public affairs programs on your local corporate TV stations.
The problem in trying to implement a full coverage system in the U.S. is trying to make sure that everyone gets their piece of profit along the way – the pharmaceuticals, the insurance companies, the care providers and their administrators, the equipment providers, etc. These things don’t only screw up healthcare policy, they screw up healthcare costs – higher and higher each year.As argued correctly by Wolf, the only plan that our ruling class of capitalists can come up with are plans that bring profits to themselves. In other words, the only way their governments are going to spend money on working people is if they can profit by it. That phenomenon illustrates the very essence of capitalist class rule. The Affordable Care Act is a boon for insurance companies, however other capitalists don't want their taxes to fund anything that doesn't benefit them. That is why there is a split among our masters over this issue.
Medicare administration is consistently under 10%, and the “paperwork” would be radically reduced if it was one system. This is far better than the costs of insurance companies.
Even Medicare under their rule is weakened as much as possible. I have learned from my experience that they will deny payments for medical services whenever they can find an excuse for doing so. Thus, it follows that the only way for working people to get adequate health insurance coverage is by revolutionary actions that ends the self-serving rule of capitalists and creates a system that serves all of the people.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
If my memory serves me correctly, I believe that Corbett has labeled himself as an anarchist which is someone who "advocates self-governed societies based on voluntary institutions". Thus he loves new companies like Uber, Bitcoin, and Airbnb, which he refers to fondly as a new "peer to peer economy".
He like many others, especially young people, are easily influenced by the older American conservative views espoused by Ron Paul, Paul Craig Roberts, and Pat Buchanan who have been superseded in the ruling capitalist class by the more imperialist and Zionist neoconservatives (aka "neocons" or "ziocons"). Paul and Roberts especially like to run critical articles about the current ruling class that is dominated by neoconservatives. The latter combined with liberals have vigorously promoted policies of neoliberalism and imperialist adventures which they like to criticize.
However these old fashioned conservatives also are strong advocates of laissez-faire capitalism and strong private property rights while opposing any tax funded measures to alleviate the worst effects of laissez-faire capitalism for working class victims. Moreover they oppose legislation that promotes regulatory agencies that (pretend to) reign in the excesses of capitalists in pursuit of profits. However because they enjoy their new popularity, you won't see them criticizing any similar measures passed by Trump (examples: the new Trump proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act or the appointment of a dedicated opponent of the EPA to head the EPA). Should they return to power in the US ruling capitalist class, you will then see their true views expressed in all their dark anti-working class colors. (see this regarding Paul)
In this talk you will get the perspective of a lawyer who has worked extensively with immigration issues in relation to the government's policies which vary according to the ruling class's political interests. You will also learn that it doesn't matter very much which capitalist party is in power, and more details about the Trump administration and it's policies.
Across the country, people are asking the question, where do we go from here? We look to what the future of the resistance movement will be against racism, sexism, xenophobia, anti-LGBTQ bigotry, and all that Trump and his administration represents. This event featured a presentation by immigration lawyer Heather Benno.
Over the last month, the world has watched as millions of poor and working people began to mobilize across the United States to protest Trump’s agenda. The question is now how can we grow the resistance into a powerful movement for revolutionary change?
The headline promises far too much because Blum only reviews two periods in this centenary, however the two instances reflect the dramatic extent that American empire builders will go to interfere in the affairs of their current arch-enemy, Russia. By providing a brief summary of many other countries where the US capitalist ruling class has interfered in their domestic affairs, Blum reminds us that Russia is not the only one. But then I guess that is why the US is an "exceptional" nation: our ruling masters reserve the right to interfere in any country where their opportunities for profit and power lie or interfered with.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Cartalucci examines whether Facebook Zero could be the current version of the Nazi's "People’s Receiver" which gave the capitalist sponsored Nazi party control over the minds of the German people.
In this era of fake everything made possible by a very sophisticated technology that is controlled by a transnational class of capitalists ensconced in the US-led Empire, it is more imperative than ever before for citizens to create their own organization for delivering news. Not only is a major citizens activated alternative news organization a must to end this era of fake everything, but it could very well serve as a catalyst for a revolutionary organization. Such a revolutionary movement is absolutely necessary to prevent the end of humans due to capitalists' obsession with profits and power that is destroying our planet's biosphere and threatening almost daily a nuclear holocaust.
I have argued this previously in this post, and I shall reproduce the relevant paragraphs (with some editing) here:
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 [media revolutionaries] 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
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.
Monday, March 6, 2017
Wolff cites commonalities and differences with the 1930s Nazi party. Both assume(d) the basic existence of the capitalist system, both are/were supported by major capitalists, and both attempt(ed) to deal with its many dysfunctions. This is another illustration of the affinity of capitalists for fascism whenever they feel that their system, the goose that lays their golden eggs of profit and power, is threatened.
One factor that he left out was the dramatic rise of the Soviet Union in which the government owned and controlled the economy except for small family enterprises. Thus many capitalists across Europe and North America financially backed the Nazi party and their takeover of Germany as a useful weapon that could destroy the Soviet Union. Hitler had even promised in his book Mein Kampf to use the Slavic countries as Germany's lebensraum (living space) to support the German economy. His racist beliefs also included Slavs which he saw as inferior human beings.
Because of this split affection for German fascism among capitalists, Western countries openly tolerated the dismantling of Spain's elected republican government by German and Italian militaries, easily succumbed to the German invasion of the Low Countries and France. Here in the US there were many fascist supporters and organizations, many of whom hid under the label of "isolationists". There were true isolationists, but these supporters of fascism were not. They just wanted Germany to destroy the Soviet Union which prohibited the practice of the private ownership and control of the economy (capitalism).
It was only when the German invasion of the Soviet Union in the late summer of 1941 met fierce resistance by the Soviets and appeared to be stalling that the Allied countries slowly began to seriously get behind an effort to defeat Germany and the other Axis powers. Even then, largely because of Churchill's influence, the Allies held off till June of 1944 to launch an invasion of western Europe.
Saudi Arabia’s king, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has recently undertaken a sweeping tour of Southeast Asia in what the media and analysts are claiming is a bid to firm up economic and political ties with Muslim-majority nations in the region.Cartalucci cites many examples of the Empire's increasing political use of Saudi Arabia's extreme, fundamentalist sect of Sunni Islam, Wahhabism, in Asia as a weapon to contain China.
However, both the media and analysts are sidestepping or entirely omitting the role Saudi Arabia has played in fueling global terrorism, extraterritorial geopolitical meddling, and even divisive and terroristic activities the notorious state sponsor of terrorism has been implicated in across the planet including within Southeast Asia itself.
Saudi Arabia has long been useful to the US. First as a source of petroleum during WWII, and then in 1974 to prop up the dollar as an international reserve currency after Nixon took the US dollar off the gold standard in 1971 because of the huge expenditures in the Vietnam War. Kissinger negotiated a deal with the Kingdom in 1974 in which Saudi Arabia promised to sell oil only in US dollars and agreed to buy US Treasury securities and other US investments with their profits in exchange for US protection.
The Murder of environmental activists has reached unprecedented levels throughout Latin America – and nowhere is this more pronounced than in the Central American nation of Honduras. Since Honduras’ government was overthrown in 2009 in a coup backed by the Clinton-led State Department, the industry-friendly government that came to power is cracking down local activism by any means necessary.
Over 120 Honduran activists have been killed since 2010, making the small nation the world’s deadliest place to protect the environment. Berta Cáceres, one of the slain activists, was the winner of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize. However, her international prestige and recognition did not prevent her from being gunned down in her own home last year.Once again we receive news about deadly terrorist attacks on activists in "our backyard" of Honduras, this time on a noted environmentalist, and links to the notorious terrorist training school at the School of the Americas in Georgia. Terrorism is a weapon used by agents of the Empire against the people not only in Syria, but wherever the Empire's corporate and political interests can be advanced. This includes within the US.
Though the U.S. military insists that SOA/WHINSEC is dedicated to preserving human rights, the training manuals used at the facility tell a different story. In 1996, bowing to public pressure, the Pentagon reluctantly released training manuals that had been used at SOA. The manuals expressly advocated torture, extortion, blackmail, and the targeting of civilian populations.
The numerous crimes committed by SOA and WHINSEC graduates throughout Latin America are also well-documented. In Colombia alone, U.S. assistance was considered a factor in a total of 5,763 extrajudicial killings that took place in the nation from 2000 to 2010.
On April 9, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT will devote its
207 MIT India Conference to the topic of “Digital India”. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Information Technology and Law and Justice, will be one of the prominent speakers from India. He should be able to report to the “future world leaders”, how you can push ahead with a huge databank of biometric information named Aadhaar, which is being used as the cornerstone for digital payments and made mandatory for government payments and services – even if data security and privacy are a disaster, even if the necessary infrastructure is absent in large parts of the country and even if a constitutional court deems it illegal.
Sunday, March 5, 2017
...the American people haven’t stopped acting like gullible sheep. In fact, many Americans have been so carried away by their blind rank-and-file partisan devotion to their respective political gods that they have lost sight of the one thing that has remained constant in recent years: our freedoms are steadily declining.While I like the efforts of people like Whitehead to shake people up to the increasingly oppressive rule of capitalists, such critics never point to the core of our oppression: a system that supports the rule of a tiny class over the rest of us.
Here’s the problem as I see it: “we the people” have become so trusting, so gullible, so easily distracted, so out-of-touch and so sure that our government will always do the right thing by us that we have ignored the warning signs all around us.
You see, Whitehead, has enjoyed a very good education that most Americans have not had the privilege of having. He has served the ruling class of capitalists very well and enjoyed having access to many of their media and amply rewarded for his service. He has been rewarded because he has never criticized the system itself, served to put a thin veneer of human rights over the ugly, oppressive self-serving class rule, and often sermonized to ordinary Americans, as in this essay, about their failings much like a preacher admonishing his parishioners about their sinful behavior (their gullibility). He is most useful to our masters by cleverly disassociating fascism from capitalism as illustrated in this essay. In reality fascism always lies just below the veneer of respectability that professionals like Whitehead construct for the system.
Still, I am encouraged that members of this upper-middle class of professionals are feeling the pinch of a ruling class that is starting to cut their opportunities and rewards because it no longer needs most of them in their obsessive drive for more profits and power. Once sufficient numbers of this class become disenamored ("our freedoms [read 'rewards'] are steadily declining") of serving capitalists, the system will be in real trouble.
Perhaps I'm being too cynical.
The authors provide a rebuttal to what appears to me to be propaganda that has circulated on left-wing websites about the Syrian Kurds. US forces have been actively supporting them and have been rewarded with permission to install military bases on Syrian territory under their control. I feel guilty as well by having posted articles in the past that have extolled the leftist virtues of the Syrian Kurds. See this and this. Yes, I might have also been conned with fake-news by the people who administered the website "Reflections on a Revolution"--since sold to a non-profit and re-named simply ROAR.
The US-led coalition of war criminals is using elements of Syria’s Kurdish population to achieve the U.S Empire’s goal of destroying the non-belligerent, democratic country of Syria, led by its hugely popular, democratically-elected President, Bashar al-Assad.You might also be interested in Part 2 by the same authors.
I found viewing the film titled "Ukraine on Fire", which I posted here, a bit challenging because of distractions and the speed at which subtitles are presented. Still, due to censorship that our overlords impose on us, this offering is much better than not seeing the film at all.
The distractions were due to the fact that the film is narrated in Russian (I believe) which is voiced over an English narration. My difficulty in keep up with the script may be due to my advanced age. I knew what the script was referring to in most cases because I had posted many articles on this event, but that is probably not true for the average person. Thus to make this information available to others, I used my website to cull the articles from late 2013 to about the middle of March 2014 when the Ukrainian coup was accomplished, and listed the articles below in chronological order. There are still many beyond March of 2014 which cover, for example, the downing of the Malaysian passenger plane over eastern Ukraine, but I ran out of energy.
If you want to do your own culling beyond where I finished, you can use the archives at the bottom of the page on the right hand side. Click on the arrow head next to 2014 to drop down a list of posts weekly and start perusing the articles at 3/16/2014 - 3/23/2014. Probably a better way is to use the label "Ukraine" (located near the bottom right of each page) and work backwards to 3/16/2014 by clicking on "older posts" (located at the bottom of the posts for each page). You can also enter "Ukraine" in the search boxes, but this will bring up too many posts that are more recent and not in any kind of order.
- Ukraine's fascist coup (Note: I listed the original sites for the posts except in my posts where the commentary added more links and substantive information.)
- From Bahrain to Ukraine: Hail the Western Salesmen of Subversion and Deception
- Ukraine and the Bigger Picture of US and European Assault on Russia’s Sphere of Influence
- A Tale of Two Protests: Ukraine & Thailand
- US NGO Uncovered in Ukraine Protests
- From Egypt, Ukraine, the Turkish-Syrian Border, Cuba and Thailand: West Manufactures “Opposition Movements”
- What about apologizing to Ukraine, Mrs. Nuland?
- Nuland's F** the EU scandal proves illegal Ukraine Regime Change Plans | nsnbc international
- After Yugoslavia, Ukraine?
- Will NATO annex Ukraine?
- US non-interferences in the affairs of Ukraine and Venezuela | Al Akhbar English
- Attempts of EU, far-right opposition to set up Ukraine government collapse - World Socialist Web Site
- Ukraine’s Sickness & Europe’s Cure
- The geopolitical dimensions of the coup in Ukraine - World Socialist Web Site
- Ukraine: "Go West, Young Man" (or Dr. Strangelove's Revenge)
- Ukraine: Secretive Neo-Nazi Military Organization Involved in Euromaidan Sniper Shootings
- Target: Ukraine – How Foreign Intervention is Tearing the Country Apart | Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization
- Kiev snipers hired by new coalition, not Yanukovych - Estonian FM to Ashton
- Aid for the Ukraine “Will Be Stolen” – Former Ukrainian Minister of Economy | Wolf Street
- Ukraine drafts in its super-rich tycoons to help curb unrest in Russian-speaking east | Daily Mail Online
- Ukraine (by William Blum)
- A Nation Is Not a Person: Now Let's Talk About Ukraine
- William Engdahl on the Ukraine – Bewusst.tv
- Ukraine: The Sovereignty Argument, and the Real Problem of Fascism
- Crimea: Democracy Is Not Democracy…Unless Obama Says It Is… | New Eastern Outlook
- Ukraine: How to Hide a Nazi Army | New Eastern Outlook
- Surviving Capitalism - a selection of the most credible articles on the web : Must watch: Ukrainian Deputy: US to stage a civil war in Ukraine!