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, October 27, 2012

Paying Taxes to Your Boss: Another Step Toward 21st Century Feudalism

Click here to access article by Tim Price from Next New Deal.

Corporations are demanding all kinds of subsidies to locate in your communities and to provide you with jobs. They are the "job-creators", aren't they? Well, yes, in a capitalist organized society or any society controlled by a ruling class. However, a new bill just passed in the Pennsylvania legislature, and awaiting the governor's signature, may have taken things a bit too far (back). You may be shocked to learn, as I was, that this peculiar arrangement is already permitted in numerous states. This article says 19, but the supporting document reports 16.
Good Jobs First, which has researched this and other instances of corporate welfare, found that laws in 16 states have allowed more than 2,700 companies to pocket $700 million of their workers' tax dollars. 
On the other hand, this arrangement has a certain perverse logic to it. If tax money typically goes back to companies via government inducements or subsidies, why not short circuit this process and directly give tax money to the companies? What we are seeing is the endgame of capitalism, a new, 21st century version of feudalism.

The Backfire in Baghdad

Click here to access article by Ben Van Heuvelen from Foreign Policy.
How ExxonMobil's God Pod beat Iraq's oil chieftains at their own game.
This report is all about the maneuvering of ExxonMobil to gain their booty from the spoils made available to corporations by the US invasion and victory in Iraq. While the new puppet leaders pretended to represent the interests of the Iraqi people, ExxonMobil outflanked them by dealing directly with Kurdistan provincial authorities. Corporate sociopaths will do whatever it takes to get what they want including bribes, lies, threats, and crimes against humanity.

More importantly, the report provides an illustration of the differences between 20th century classic imperialist invasions of other countries to plunder resources and the current neo-liberal, globalist version of imperialism. Instead of US based corporations taking all the loot, under globalization the plunder is made available to all corporations which are owned by the trans-national One Percents. Trans-national corporations--most prominent among them are the major banks--are now directly engineering world events through various governmental and supranational agencies on behalf of the global capitalist class instead of national capitalist classes. The only condition required to play on this team is to recognise and follow the leadership of the dominant players--US, Britain, and Israel. An excerpt from Wikipedia helps to explain this new arrangement:
Bush [Bush Sr] started to take the initiative from Gorbachev during the run-up to the Persian Gulf War, when he began to define the elements of the new world order as he saw it, and link the new order’s success to the international community’s response in Kuwait.
Initial agreement by the Soviets to allow action against Saddam highlighted this linkage in the press. The Washington Post declared that this superpower cooperation demonstrates that the Soviet Union has joined the international community, and that in the new world order Saddam faces not just the U.S. but the international community itself. A New York Times editorial was the first to assert that at stake in the collective response to Saddam was "nothing less than the new world order which [Bush] and other leaders struggle to shape."
In A World Transformed, Scowcroft notes that Bush even offered to have Soviet troops amongst the coalition forces liberating Kuwait. Bush places the fate of the new world order on the ability of the U.S. and the Soviet Union to respond to Hussein’s aggression. The idea that the Persian Gulf War would usher in the new world order began to take shape. Bush notes that the "premise [was] that the United States henceforth would be obligated to lead the world community to an unprecedented degree, as demonstrated by the Iraqi crisis, and that we should attempt to pursue our national interests, wherever possible, within a framework of concert with our friends and the international community."
Of course, some inter-nation rivalries will still continue to threaten Anglo-Israeli-American dominance of this New World Order that Bush Sr outlined. The current dominant leaders of this New World Order are seeing that China and Russia are not cooperating as well as they expected. Hence, especially with regard to China, we see efforts being made to militarily contain them.

The Dynamics of the Crisis in Syria. Conflict Versus Conflict

Click here to access article by Dr. Christof Lehmann from nsnbc

The author reports on the aggressive tactics used by Empire operatives to control information that NATO citizens receive including their parliamentary representatives. The measures include the targeting and killing of independent journalists, filtering and censoring of reports, blocking of the internet transmission of Iranian Press TV to European countries
According to contemporary US-American and NATO military doctrine, absolute image control is an essential element of modern warfare. 
Some current examples of the use of outright censorship in US mainstream media is the absence of reports about the continuing citizen protests in Bahrain and their government's use of brutal methods to crush dissent, and the lack of reports about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Libyan city of Bani Walid perpetrated by factions armed by NATO and their Arab allies.

Food MythBusters Takes on “Feeding the World” Myth

Click here if you wish to access the source of this 6:30m video posted by Paula Crossfield at Civil Eats.
A seventh of the world’s population experiences hunger every day. There are two ways people have argued to solve this problem: intensify agriculture using industrial practices which have not proven themselves over the long term, or diversify agriculture using methods that have sustained us over thousands of years. Big chemical and seed companies–which have made millions in the last half-century–would like us to keep following the former model, while more and more people are voting with their forks for the latter.
Now, the Real Food Media Project, a collaboration between author Anna Lappé and Corporate Accountability International, has debuted Food MythBusters, a campaign to provide videos and resources debunking the yarns Big Ag players spin about our food system–beginning with their myth about how we should feed the world.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Countering the Corporate-Insurgency A guide to how the war for control is waged upon us, and how to fight back.

Click here to access article by Tony Cartalucci from Land Destroyer Report

I don't know how he does it, but this author continues to pour vital information needed to counter and overthrow the efforts of a tiny One Percent class to maintain their self-serving dominance over the rest of us. I'm not just talking about Americans. 

In this age of globalization the only significance that boundaries continue to have is that of controlling the movements of workers, the 99 Percent, throughout the world. That means that our government which is thoroughly controlled by the One Percent will always try to exploit and abuse  workers all over the world. Workers, or "wage slaves" as some of us identify ourselves, are simply regarded as a cost of doing business by the One Percent who "own" our economies. Hence, their profits (and power) depend on keeping their costs as low as possible. That is precisely why they shipped many of our jobs overseas to areas where people would work for less, where environmental laws were unenforced or non-existant, where taxes were low, inducements paid for by the host governments were high, and where government officials could be easily bribed to violate their own nation's wage, safety, and environmental laws.

The global One Percents make communities, regions, and nations compete for jobs in their corporations. It's like a reverse auction where instead of the highest price going to the buyer, it is actually the lowest price going, in this case, to the corporate buyer. Jobs will come back to American workers if and when they will work for less and the US government offers more inducements to corporations. In other words, under capitalism it is a race to the bottom for workers of the world.

In this piece Cartalucci suggests that to effectively fight back we can learn much from our opponents' own manuals on how to dominate us.
...what is described by the 2009 counterinsurgency (COIN) guide, is an accurate description of how political control has been achieved and maintained by all governments throughout the entirety of human history - it also forms the foundation of modern empire. Understanding this is key to finding solutions when one finds themselves under the subjugation of an unfavorable political ideology or system. The tactics the guide describes can, and often are, used by either side in any political struggle, not necessarily only in an armed "insurgency."
And, he offers numerous examples of communities in the US that are already applying such tactics.

Financial Co-Dependency: How Wall Street Has Kept Shale Alive

Click here to access article by Deborah Rogers from EnergyPolicyForum via Energy Bulletin (more readable).

Using the shale gas industry as an example, the author sheds light on a new kind of relationship that has evolved between investment bankers and industry.
Investment banking has changed over the past few decades. There was a time when a bank was there to provide services to its clients in a partnership type relationship. Then a subtle shift occurred and investment bankers realized that fees could be maximized by employing a different mindset. In short, it no longer mattered whether the client was succeeding because the banks could make money on the way up or on the way down with a “client”. I use this term loosely for a reason.
This, of course, was first dramatized by revelations in Congressional hearings which revealed that Goldman Sachs place bets against their own clients.

President Declares ‘War on Entropy’

Click here to access article by Richard Heinberg from Post Carbon Institute.

The author reports that President Obama, as formal head of the One Percent ruling class, announced recently that the 2nd law of thermodynamics will no longer be valid under his administration. If this were possible, it would mean that growth can continue on our finite planet; hence, capitalism can continue as usual. 

He must be looking for more donations from the corporate sector.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

NATO Using Al Qaeda Rat Lines to Flood Syria With Foreign Terrorists

Click here to access article by Tony Cartalucci from Land Destroyer Report.

The author provides another excellent, well-documented description of the reality that lies hidden behind the lies that justifies US assistance to terrorist groups operating in Syria. 
Despite the narrative repeated by the Western press, it would appear that the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia above all others, constitute the greatest purveyors of state-sponsored terrorism. Furthermore, it would appear that the most feared and notorious international terrorist organization, Al Qaeda, and its various affiliates including the Muslim Brotherhood political front, was in fact not only created by the US and Saudi Arabia in the mountains of Afghanistan in the 1980's, but has since then been perpetuated by the US and Saudi Arabia.
Nations accused of coddling Al Qaeda and sponsoring terrorism, including Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Qaddafi's Libya, have in fact fought the hardest against these extremist forces but have been consistently sabotaged by Western efforts portraying targeted militants as "pro-democracy protesters" as was done in Libya when Qaddafi's forces were at the gates of Benghazi. Similarly, this is being done in Syria today as the government of President Bashar al-Assad fights fiercely against these verified, documented terrorist networks, habitually referred to by the Western press as "freedom fighters" and "pro-democracy rebels."
The evidence keeps mounting that operatives of the Empire are currently using terrorist groups as false flag operations as a primary method to accomplish two basic objectives:
  1. Secretly using and sponsoring groups inclined toward terrorism to destabilize governments to further the interests of the Empire.
  2. Mis-characterizing such groups as "freedom fighters" or as "Arab spring activists" to gain citizen support for Empire military assistance to such groups.   
In the past using such terrorist groups has been extremely effective in cultivating the "war on terror" in the minds of Empire citizens to justify more invasions, more military expenditures, and restrictions on civil liberties within the home countries. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Corporations profiting out of food crisis

Click here to access article by Simon Butler from Green Left (Australia).
The small group of food multinationals that monopolise the world food market are positioning themselves to take full advantage of the crisis.
Hunger and food insecurity is great for big business. During the “Great Hunger of 2008”, big food corporations such as Monsanto, ADM, Bunge and Cargill posted huge profits.

Police Speak Out: Why They Harass and Violate Rights of The Innocent

Click here to access article from OccupyEducated.

What is seen here in New York City may be the future for all cities across the country as our capitalist run society continues to deteriorate due to diminishing resources and destruction of our environment. If you are Muslim, a minority member, an anarchist, poor, and live in certain areas of the city, you are already living in a police state. This article provides the living details from both those who are harassed and those who are hired by the One Percent to do the harassing (the police).
New York State law prohibits the use of quotas for arrests, summonses, and stops by the NYPD. But, active officers (speaking on condition of anonymity) explain that quotas are definitely being used, and officers are threatened with retaliation if they don't meet them.

Shamiur Rahman: NYPD Paid Me To 'Bait' Muslims Into Saying Things About Jihad, Terrorism

Click here to access article by Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo of AP via Huffington Post.

At last we have an inside story from a young American Muslim on how the New York City police recruited, paid, and used him to spy on various domestic and foreign Muslim students. He also had some minor drug infractions which the police took care of in exchange for his cooperation.
A paid informant for the New York Police Department's intelligence unit was under orders to "bait" Muslims into saying inflammatory things as he lived a double life, snapping pictures inside mosques and collecting the names of innocent people attending study groups on Islam, he told The Associated Press.
Shamiur Rahman, a 19-year-old American of Bangladeshi descent who has now denounced his work as an informant, said police told him to embrace a strategy called "create and capture."  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

3 Loose Shingles to Blow the Roof off Global Corporate Oligarchy

Click here to access article by Tony Cartalucci from his blog Land Destroyer Report.
Wind...finds its way into the weakest points of a roof, and no matter how strong, should it find these points, is capable of taking the entire roof off with a good gust. Imagine increasing global awareness of the disparity and injustice purveyed by global corporate oligarchy as a storm, and imagine the roof of this oligarchy's house covered in workers trying to tack down these weakest points. Where are they? Where do they fear the wind blowing hardest?
"3 loose shingles" refers to three areas where corporate domination over our lives is most vulnerable; thus, they are areas which provide activists with many opportunities (wind) to attack and weaken their domination. These areas relate to corporate efforts to monopolize the benefits, and exploit the misuses, of recent advances in technology. As always with his essays, this one offers cogent arguments supported by many links to sound and interesting documentation. This is a must-read for anyone concerned about corporate control of our society.

50th Anniversary of Cuban Missile Crisis Offers Lessons for Iran

Click here to access article by Jim Lobe from Inter Press Service.

The author explains how the real nuclear-holocaust-saving resolution of the Cuban crisis offers some lessons for both sides. However, a new factor complicates the present scene in the form of reckless Israeli fanatics.
The fact that Israel, which has repeatedly threatened to attack Iran’s nuclear sites unilaterally, actually has the assets to act on those threats makes the situation today more complicated than that faced by Kennedy.

Why Natural Gas isn’t Likely to be the World’s Energy Savior

Click here to access article by Gail Tverberg from her blog Our Finite World

She delves into the numerous problems that shale gas poses to counter the much ballyhooed propaganda found in mainstream media designed to promote the idea that capitalism can maintain its growth addiction.
...people who are counting on natural gas to solve the world’s energy problems are “counting their chickens before they are hatched”. Natural gas is a fuel that requires a lot of infrastructure in order for anything to “happen”. As a result, it needs a lot of up-front investment, and several years time delay. It also needs changes on the consumption side (requiring further investment) that will allow this natural gas to be used. If the cost is higher than competing fuels, this becomes a problem as well.
She always attracts knowledgeable people who add comments to her essays that offer additional insights.

Israeli poll finds majority in favour of 'apartheid' policies

Click here to access article by Harriet Sherwood from The Guardian. 

Israelis' affirmation of apartheid policies, and Jimmy Carter's thesis, are once again validated by the results of a recent poll conducted by Haaretz:
Two-thirds say Palestinians should not be allowed to vote if West Bank was annexed, while three in four favour segregated roads.

Monday, October 22, 2012

ZOA Seeks to Manipulate Global Jewish Communities

Click here to access article by Tony Cartalucci from his blog Land Destroyer, based in Bangkok, Thailand.

This morning I have spent much more time perusing his postings than in the past. I must say that I am very impressed, much more so than I have been previously. He makes some rather startling statements and arguments; but I now feel that he backs them up with solid documentation, as I discovered this morning. In this particular article he develops the thesis that Zionists through...
ZOA intentionally perpetuates a strategy of tension used to co-opt and manipulate people on all sides of the political spectrum. More importantly, it serves as one of many propaganda fronts used to repackage frank conspiracies generated by think-tanks like the Brookings Institution, to make them acceptable to the general public. Stemming from these organizations is rhetoric that finds its way into mainstream and faux-alternative news....
I encourage you to take the time to investigate the links documenting his arguments to see if you are not also impressed.

Does the Romney Family Now Own Your e-Vote?

Click here to access article by Gerry Bello, Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman from The Free Press.

Not that it makes much difference which One Percent candidate wins, but this report on certain types of voting machines is just another illustration of the pervasive corruption now existing under capitalist rule in the center of the Empire.
Through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son and brother are major investors in an investment firm called H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. in turn holds a majority share and three out of five board members in Hart Intercivic, a company that owns the notoriously faulty electronic voting machines that will count the ballots in swing state Ohio November 6. Hart machines will also be used elsewhere in the United States.

Nationalizing banks works for the short term; why not permanently?

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

I viewed the Bill Moyers show on PBS last night which featured two liberal journalists, Matt Taibbi and Chrystia Freeland, who have received national attention in liberal circles for their criticisms of the banking industry and the government bailouts of that industry. 

After a lengthy discussion about all the reckless practices of the banks and a growing plutocracy, suddenly Freeland interrupts to assure everyone that she believes in capitalism, and that the government bailouts were absolutely necessary. It was like she had received instructions by the show's handlers through her earphone that she needed to do this. If that wasn't the case, she was sufficiently politically sensitive to know that this was a wise career-enhancing statement to make. 

This journalist and author went on to explain that what the US needed was another FDR type leader who would stand up to the special interests by introducing reforms and restoring regulations over the banking industry. Taibbi seemed by his silence and facial gestures to indicate agreement with her statements. 

What we have here is a quintessential current expression of US political liberalism that confines itself to a moralistic position on current issues, and as such is permissible under unwritten US corporate media rules. If either of them had espoused another alternative, even temporary measures to deal with their banking crises undertaken by the governments of Norway and Sweden as was described in this article, they would not have been permitted to be on the show.
Sweden and Norway made the banks — and their executives, directors and shareholders — pay for the crisis they caused, rather than making their taxpayers pay for it. 
Because the author of this article goes even further to pose the question in the headline, he will never be invited to appear on Bill Moyer's program or on any other program controlled by the One Percent.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Why are we bailing out the banks? part three – Lies and Opposition

Click here to access article by David Malone from his blog Golem XIV (UK).
At the end of part two I suggested that the mainstream justification for bailing out the banks, namely that by so doing we have provided them with the money they need in order to lead the rest of us to recovery by investing in the real economy – was what Goebbels and his boss would call The Big Lie. The banks have demonstrably and unequivocally NOT used the money they have taken from the public purse to invest in the real economy. Nor are they going to.
Why not?
Excellent article which attempts to clarify issues about money, the recent economic collapse, and the austerity policies of the various One Percents. I'm not sure why I didn't post the earlier parts, but you can access them from this posting. I got so involved in the earlier posts and the astute comments following each post that I've run out of time for today's postings.