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, August 3, 2013
The author uses 19 logical characteristics of fake terror incidents and then reviews one suspect incident, the Boston bombing, to see if you think that the evidence fits these 19 characteristics.
(Note: as described in Part I, the "Syndicate" = "international bankers".)
Amid escalating denunciations and threats against both Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency (NSA) contractor-turned whistle-blower, and Russia, which granted Snowden temporary asylum on Thursday, the Obama administration on Friday issued a “global travel alert,” closing US embassies in Tripoli, Cairo, Tel Aviv, Baghdad, Riyadh and Doha based on supposed threats of Al Qaeda attacks.
Shocking 'Extermination' Fantasies By the People Running America's Empire on Full Display at Aspen Summit
This piece will give you a good idea of the thinking of leaders in the national security complex who are waging the "war on terrorism". This author introduces us to the important concept of "access journalism" while reporting on the friendly questions from journalists who were invited to this meeting.
Partisan lines and ideological disagreements faded away inside the darkened conference hall, as a parade of American securitocrats from administrations both past and present appeared on stage to defend endless global warfare and total information awareness while uniting in a single voice of condemnation against a single whistleblower bunkered inside the waiting room of Moscow International Airport: Edward Snowden.
Friday, August 2, 2013
As a subscriber I have thus far listened to most of the discussion, and I highly recommend it especially for those of you who are parents and at the point of giving up on local schools. The discussion initially focuses on what is wrong with public education; and following that, Lynn offers some good ideas about alternatives for parents to educate their children.
I encourage everyone who cares about our future--all of ours--to subscribe to the Boiling Frogs website which provides us with a wealth of insightful information that we can use to create a better future. Nobody is getting rich off this project which is run by people dedicated to truth and human welfare.
If you understand that every ruling class puts its stamp on all subsections of their societies, then you understand why the US ruling class has been using educational institutions to indoctrinate students to believe their version of history. This is especially true when their schools teach about massive war crimes as described in this article.
Americans suffer from a misinformation campaign initially perpetrated by the Truman administration and carried on to this day by high school textbooks that continue to tell the story as if Hiroshima and Nagasaki were indispensible in ending the war and saving countless American lives. The historical record is clear, however. As President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “It wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."
The author provides an excellent critical review of ruling class propaganda designed to smear a hero who exposed war crimes committed by them.
It is very gratifying to see Americans popping up all over to challenge the crimes, lies, invasive surveillance, and other nefarious activities of
If you’ve ever wondered why someone like Bradley Manning gets far less media coverage than, say, a “royal” birth or a mayoral candidate’s penis, well… you can always count on the “newspaper of record” to reveal the method behind the madness.
Marie Antoinette, meet Ronald McDonald.
A lot of people are angry about McDonald’s new financial advice website for employees, an ill-conceived project which drips with “let them eat cake” insouciance. “Every dollar makes a difference,” McDonald’s lectures its struggling and often impoverished workers.
But it’s time to ditch the resentment and offer McDonald’s a word of thanks. It has just performed an invaluable service for campaigns like Raise the Minimum Wage....The author explains how mega-corporations like McDonald's rely on state welfare programs to sustain their employees. Therefore, government welfare programs are used as subsidies for huge profit-making enterprises. This phenomenon is another symptom of the government takeover by corporations which has various names such as corporatocracy, plutocracy, or even fascism--if you add in a centralized authoritarian police state.
Of course, the word "fascism" has been reduced to merely a pejorative curse word by bourgeois writers and propagandists to divert attention away from the natural tendencies of capitalist rule. If one eliminates various stylistic differences of regimes characterized as "fascist" in various historical periods and locations, you will always find a common core feature: the direct corporate-capitalist control of government that uses police state methods combined with an elaborate propaganda apparatus to support their class interests. Hence, the term characterizes a state where capitalist rule is stripped of its "democratic" and "rule of law" facades, where the capitalist ruling class has its way through the application of various coercive methods that includes the use of invasive surveillance, prisons (concentration camps), and police intimidation. It's obvious that capitalist propagandists have worked overtime since WWII to make the term meaningless because of the natural and historical relationship that fascism has to their class rule.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
The author provides the rare exception to the flood of hoopla about abundant oil supplies emanating from corporate media. Unlike the latter reports, he supplies hard data. But first he deals with corporate hacks who are ecstatic about the demise of the premier website regarding peak oil, The Oil Drum.
The Oil Drum, a Web site dedicated to informed discussions about peak oil and energy, announced on July 3 that it is closing down. Those who hate the peak oil story didn’t bother to conceal their glee at the news; some even saw occasion to claim victory for their side in the “debate” over the future of fossil fuels.And, it's clear from the data that, yes indeed, post-peak oil is only approximately one decade away. For those of you who do not have your heads buried in the sands of corporate wishful thinking and want to keep informed on the issue, I highly recommend Gail Tverberg's Our Finite World, but there are several others: ASPO International, PeakOil, and Peak Oil Info & Strategies.
Do the American people have the right to know the nations with which the United States is at war?
The Defense Department says no.
When asked by senators to identify the groups being fought, the Pentagon said it’s a secret.
There could be no more bitterly appropriate coda to our Iraq conflict – a debacle schemed up behind official secrecy, distortion and lies – than the prosecution of a conscience-stricken soldier who delivered us the truth.
There is nothing like concrete experience to raise awareness.
I suppose it wasn’t really until I was standing on the west side of Hoboken, N.J., in water and oil up to my thigh, that climate change really made sense. And it wasn’t until I was out organizing on New York City’s outer beaches after Hurricane Sandy that I understood my sluggishness on climate justice was nothing short of climate change denial.
...the Third Square represents a significant and important aspect of the Egyptian political scene that has gone underreported. In essence, the Third Square is a reaction to the simplistic means by which domestic and international policymakers, citizens, and media sources have attempted to define what is happening in Egypt.
While there is much to learn about the Empire's doings in the Middle East, we shouldn't forget that the Empire is a global phenomenon. This author brings us up-to-date on Empire actions in relation to Asia which Obama referred to using Newspeak as the "Asia Pivot", specifically in the important region between China and India.
The Obama administration’s "Asia Pivot" is playing out in earnest in joint U.S.-Indian-Israeli intelligence operations in the Himalayan region. The actions by the three cooperative nations’ intelligence agencies are aimed at limiting Chinese influence here. The strategy in the mountainous area of the Sino-Indian border complements other U.S. strategies now being played out in the East China Sea, the Yellow Sea, the South China Sea, the South Pacific, and the Indian Ocean to box in China and prevent it from challenging America’s military presence in the Asia-Pacific region….I particularly liked the report about Bhutan's Prime Minister attempting to talk world capitalist powers into adopting a new measure of economic progress, "Gross National Happiness", instead of GNP, which is a key measure of profit-making opportunities in the religion of capitalism. So it was no surprise that he didn't stay long as Prime Minister.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Over 200 years ago our Founding Fathers signed the United States Declaration of Independence. They were branded as traitors by their then government. They were traitors to the British Empire. In short, they were traitors.
See also Pepe Escobar's commentary on Manning's military trial entitled "Bradley Manning lynched by the US government".
Although Orwell's total surveillance dystopia arrived a little behind schedule, it is clear that it now exists. And, to make matters worse, it was just officially approved by most of
For years, Congress tolerated or encouraged telephone and internet surveillance of Americans in the US by US government agencies. We all – and that includes the Chinese, for example – now know that, thanks to NSA leaker extraordinaire Edward Snowden. But on Wednesday, Congress was tricked into going on record.
This report begs the question: why the involvement of the CIA?
Climate geo-engineering is the only, and desperate, answer that capitalist directors have to the threat of climate destabilization caused by their system. It is highly controversial because of past failures which resulted in undesirable consequences and the recognized potential for even widespread disastors. Hence, it seems reasonable to suspect that more than CIA funding is involved here: the project will likely be under the control of the CIA in order to keep everything secret and out of the media.
This astute observer of events in the Middle East provides us with this prediction:
Barring unexpected reversals in Egypt or Tunisia, there should no longer be, within two to three months, major obstacles to the holding of Geneva II, the broadened "new Sykes-Picot"; named after secret agreements by which France and the United Kingdom shared the Middle East during the First World War. During this conference, the United States and Russia will divide North Africa and the Levant, at the expense of France, dividing the region into zones sub-contracted by the Saudis (Sunni) or the Iranians (Shi’ites).
Apparently even Empire directors are getting concerned about the actions of their puppet military's handling of governmental affairs in Egypt as being too transparently authoritarian. Having mastered the art of authoritarian rule under the guise of "democratic" processes in the US, Empire directors are sending emissaries to the Egyptian military to coach them on the correct way to do this.
Much of this piece reads like a humorous parody, and I found myself cracking up over certain sections. For example:
“The days of supporting friendly dictators or military regimes are behind us,” Graham said, “the Arab spring is real. I'm glad the president asked. We'll try to deliver a bipartisan message. We'll try to bring out the best in the future in Egypt before it's too late."
This writer who spent 21 years of her life working in Wall Street knows of what she writes--although she appears to be rather naive about changing things. Here we learn how the major ruling class investment/banking institutions have carved out their own legal space, which insulates them from official government criminal processes, to facilitate their own criminal activities.
The financial crimes you can’t see are the ones that can really hurt you.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
I don't see a lot of new analysis here of capitalism's latest economic collapse, but he explains the latest capitalist disaster very well. I especially like the conclusion he draws from his analysis.
It's not just the banks--although they are the key player in the system because they control the money supply and where money is invested. There is a more fundamental problem: the system itself promotes the addiction to profits for a tiny minority. The system gives the latter not only direct control where accumulated wealth is invested, but also under the ownership rules of capitalism they appropriate the new wealth that is created by workers regardless of the consequences to the rest of society. This cycle of private appropriation and investment results in a history of disasters: wars (destroying capital to provide capitalists with new profit opportunities), speculative bubbles, exploitation of workers, and environmental devastation. This history is only occasionally interrupted by capitalists who see the necessity of enacting reforms to save the system from its own destructive impulses.
There are times that one cannot help but admire the brilliance of their rule: they create all these disasters for us while operating an extensive system of indoctrination to inculcate in their citizens the belief that society functions as a "democracy". This effort has also been greatly aided by the use of secret surveillance agencies to intimidate the occasional renegade lawmaker (see this), and the periodic holding of carefully managed elections.
However, they have not assumed that these measures are sufficient to secure them and their system. They have added in fail-safe systems in case the latter systems don't do the job of keeping Americans subservient: full spectrum surveillance of all citizens, an extensive prison system, and a beefed up militarized police force under national direction (Dept. of Homeland Security).
This researcher specializes in all matters related to the National Security State. In this piece he draws from a wide variety of resources information related to the growth of the full-spectrum surveillance systems and their uses, all of which our hero Edward Snowden recently warned us about.
While the public is rightly angered by the illegal, unconstitutional nature of NSA programs which seize and store data for retrospective harvesting by intelligence and law enforcement officials, including the content of phone calls, emails, geolocational information, bank records, credit card purchases, travel itineraries, even medical records--in secret, and with little in the way of effective oversight--the historical context of how, and why, this vast spying apparatus came to be is often given short shrift.
One can be hopeful when Egyptians like this speak out.
We are thus faced with jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. The Muslim Brotherhood committed crimes and it must be held accountable and prosecuted for them, just like police and army officers and men of the Mubarak regime must be held accountable and prosecuted for their crimes. Do not be fooled into replacing a religious dictatorship with a military dictatorship.
The article offers a good survey of more democratic forms of people power drawing from both contemporary and historical examples. On the other hand, it seems at times laced with naive ideas about change as illustrated here:
If participatory budgeting is to be a tool for genuine democratisation of society, the citizens must be given decision-making power over the entire or at least a large part of the municipal budget, and the process must be a bottom-up process where the sovereign power lies with the citizens in the assemblies. Local authorities must be willing to give away power to the residents in the assemblies, and there is a need for decentralization of power from national and international levels to the municipal and local levels. [my emphasis]However, the author redeems herself later in the article with statements like this:
A radical direct and participatory democracy will not be handed down to us by the elites, but has to be struggled for by ordinary citizens and social movements.The major flaw in this essay is the glaring omission of the economic system that has integrated within it all elements of formal representative democracy, so that the major players of the former now thoroughly control the latter. She only makes rather oblique references to capitalism. Thus, she also ignores the damage done to people's political consciousness about taking responsibility for their lives while learning to submit over the past several centuries to the rule of capitalist ruling classes, and many other class ruled societies before them.
Although the dream of classless societies and authentic democracy has not been extinguished in the human race, such class rule experiences has left many with a submissive and passive relationship to authorities and a weak belief in their own power. Hence, the challenge for activists is the development of a liberatory social consciousness within a system that demands obedience and conformity to ruling class norms and commitment to its values.
...this year the record-breaking and jaw-dropping stories continue at an alarming rate.This disturbing report provides details on the increasing size of melt ponds in the Arctic Sea, the shrinking ice sheet in Greenland, the growing acidification of the oceans, and in Siberia the damage to the boreal forests and accelerating emission of methane from melting of the permafrost.
Ah, but think of all the profits that can be made by corporations using the opening of the Arctic Sea to ship all those exciting new consumer items!
See also this piece entitled "Night of the Living Permafrost".
Monday, July 29, 2013
This is a subsection of a longer article entitled "An Anarchistic Understanding of the Social Order: Environmental Degradation, Indigenous Resistance, and a Place for the Sciences" recently published as a hard copy in the Spanda Journal.
The extract provides a rather rare glimpse of the growing suppression of scientific information in relation to the environmental crisis by both direct and indirect agents of the government, in this case, Canada. (See also the comment following an article posted on my website which illustrates the fear of reprisals that is affecting scientists.)
Since Stephen Harper's Conservative government came to power in 2006, there has been a steady attack upon the sciences, particularly those related to environmental issues, as the government cut funding for major programs and implemented layoffs. One major facet of this attack has been the 'muzzling' of Canadian scientists at international conferences, discussions with the media, and the publication of research. At one conference hosted in Canada, scientists working for Environment Canada were forced to direct all media inquiries through the public relations department in an effort "to intimidate government scientists." Under new government guidelines, scientists working for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) cannot publish material until it is reviewed by the department "for any concerns/impacts to DFO policy." The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) expressed in a letter to Stephen Harper their "deep dismay and anger at your government's attack on the independence, integrity and academic freedom of scientific researchers." Hundreds of Canadian scientists marched on Parliament Hill in July of 2012 in what they called a "funeral procession" against the government's "systematic attack on science."(Note: you will need to access the current issue of the Spanda Journal to locate the references.)
One of the world's leading science journals, Nature, published an editorial in March of 2012 calling on the Canadian government to stop muzzling and "set its scientists free." Journalists requesting interviews with Canadian government scientists on issues related to the Arctic or climate change have had to go through public relations officials, provide questions in advance, adhere to "boundaries for what subjects the interview could touch upon," and have a PR staffer "listen in on the interviews."
Dozens of government agencies and programs related to environmental sciences have had their budgets slashed, scientists fired, or were discontinued altogether. The Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria lodged a formal complaint with Canada's Federal Information Commissioner about the muzzling of scientists, outlining multiple examples "of taxpayer-funded science being suppressed or limited to prepackaged media lines across six different government departments and agencies." Natural Resources Canada now requires "pre-approval" from the government before any scientists give interviews on topics such as "climate change" or the "oilsands."
The attack upon the sciences is part of the Harper government's 2007 strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage, which directed "a major shift away from scientific goals to economic and labour-market priorities," aiming to focus on science and research which would be directly useful to industry and for commercial purposes. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has been steered by the government "toward industry-related research and away from environmental science." The government's minister of state for science and technology noted that the focus for research was to be on "getting those ideas out to our factory floors, if you will, making the product or process or somehow putting that into the marketplace and creating jobs." Further, the National Research Council (NRC) was "to focus more on practical, commercial science and less on fundamental science" which wouldn't be as beneficial to corporate interests. The minister of state for science and technology, Gary Goodyear, announced it as "an exciting, new journey - a re-direction that will strengthen Canada's research and innovation ecosystem for many years to come." The president of the NRC noted that, "We have shifted the primary focus of our work at NRC from the traditional emphasis of basic research and discovery science in favour of a more targeted approach to research and development."
As Stephen Harper said, "Science powers commerce," but apparently to Harper, that is all it should do, even though many scientists and academics disagree. The implications should be obvious: just as society's interaction with the environment is unsustainable, so too is the dependency of the sciences upon those institutions which are destroying the environment.
This Irish political analyst argues that the French are quickly scheduling managed elections to legitimatize the re-establishment of their colony in Mali. The method as applied in 3rd world countries is used to establish "neo-colonialism" and has been successfully applied in much of the Empire. This subversive weapon was actually perfected in the Empire's home base--the US. The method consists of the control of information through control of media, elections managed by their operatives, and candidates approved and funded by their directors.
In Marx's book we find a timeless grasp of farcical repetitions in history, by comparing the French coup of December 1851 by a nephew of the great Napoleon who, even though he lacked the minutest genius of his uncle, called himself Emperor Napoleon III. From Marx's point of view, the 1851 coup was a caricature of Napoleon's coup of 1799, above all due to the "grotesque mediocrity" of the nephew.I think the author misses a key point with regard to Gen. Sisi: he is a mere puppet of the Empire as was Gen. Pinochet of Chile. While Sec. of State Kerry may not have been in touch with Sisi, US military leaders are known to have been in constant touch (see this and this), and are no doubt controlling Sisi.
In comparison, Sisi, whose ruthless snipers massacred dozens of demonstrators in Cairo and other cities in cold blood on Friday, is not even a pale replica of the pan-Arabist Nasser who ended the 72-year British domination of Egypt and thus became a hero of post-World War II anti-colonialism.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
There has been considerable controversy over the alleged tapping of only "metadata" by your Big Brother in the NSA. The involves such questions as: what kind of information can they really obtain from metadata? Can they obtain private communication content as well? This blogger attempts to unravel these question with the evidence available so far from our friendly Big Brother.
This metadata is useful to find connections between people, to reconstruct where they have been when and to find out about certain habits of the people involved.
But the content of the calls may be much more interesting.It seems reasonable to assume that the NSA uses algorithms to screen metadata to pick up suspicious content. (Of course, what constitutes suspicious content is any content which our ruling class defines as adversely affecting their interests.) Then future content of communications is directly accessed from that suspect's digital forms of communication.
The horrifying bloodshed following the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood reveals that Egypt’s true oppressors have never truly been removed from power.Some Egyptians understand this, but many still do not. The revolution in Egypt depends on the battle of perceptions and ideas. The revolutionary process continues.
Meanwhile in this recent attack on demonstrators by the Egyptian army, there are many questions.
While there is still a major dispute over how the violence started, and whether or not armed Brotherhood supporters initiated the attacks by firing at security forces, independent witness accounts and international media reports seem to indicate that most gunfire ended up being directed towards a sit-in of peaceful protesters. No state officials are reported to have been killed in the clashes, which lasted for 8 hours and continued all night.There have been numerous reports surfacing which allege sitings of snipers being used against Muslim Brotherhood protestors (see this, this, and this).
Over the past several years I've been noticing reports of unknown snipers being spotted in many other troubled areas of the world. I recall Mahdi Nazemroaya, a Canadian journalist, who reported about snipers while trapped in a hotel in Libya in August 2011. (See first video regarding a video phone interview with Nazemroaya in article that I posted on August 22nd at segments 0:55 - 1:18 and 4:55 - 6:55m.) See also this and this.
It seems that this is a standard destabilization tactic used against targeted countries by agents of the Empire. In Egypt I think it is likely being used to terrorize the Muslim Brotherhood into submission or to incite a civil war, and to cause the rest of the population to turn to the Army to secure peace regardless of the policies of the latter. This Empire terrorist strategy is known as the Salvador Option.
The US has a criminal record of training and sponsoring terrorists through its School of the Americas in the US state of Georgia. Graduate from these schools have gone on to promote death squads in many countries in Latin America and other places.
In recent decades there has been a popular belief that we are heading to a "New World Order", which is often identified by liberal-reformist types as a "conspiracy theory" in order to dismiss it. To be sure, the right-wing in America has used it to sow paranoid ideas about governmental bodies. Early in the history of the belief (after the Korean War) it was used to denigrate and discredit the influence of the United Nations from curbing the aggressive agenda of the forming US Empire.
Within the US, right-wing pundits also employed its own version of the belief to remove government restrictions that were seen to limit corporate profits: union organizing, health and safety laws, other worker protection regulations, restrictions on banks regarding speculative betting, outsourcing of jobs, etc. This version helped lay the propaganda foundation for the promotion of neoliberalism that began to bloom under the Reagan and Thatcher administrations.
Broadly speaking, the use of this belief to serve ruling class interests has greatly contributed to where we are today: the collapse of the world-wide economy due to the bursting of a major speculative bubble in housing, the retreat in most areas of the world of workers' rights, and the burdening of citizens to pay for illegitimate sovereign debts.
However much the myth was exploited by right-wing forces, there is a reality that the myth was attempting to describe, and that was a growing concentration of power by elites who will use authoritarian methods to oppress the great majority. Thus, we see how a belief that was grounded in the real experience of ordinary people was transformed by ideological institutions of the ruling class into ideas that furthered their interests. This propaganda operation has contributed to the neoliberal world we now live in today. This article describes one aspect of that neoliberal world which is occurring today--the desperate plight of workers within the US.
Currently US corporations are beginning to employ American workers who, under the reality of the New (neoliberal) World Order, are being forced to compete for jobs with the lowest paid workers throughout the world. To do so, they first needed to find ways to limit wage and working conditions that curbed their profits. It appears from the evidence provided by this article that they are succeeding:
Across America, temporary work has become a mainstay of the economy, leading to the proliferation of what researchers have begun to call “temp towns.” They are often dense Latino neighborhoods teeming with temp agencies. Or they are cities where it has become nearly impossible even for whites and African-Americans with vocational training to find factory and warehouse work without first being directed to a temp firm.
This corporate friendly source states the following:
As we’ve written before, the mysterious mass die-off of honey bees that pollinate $30 billion worth of crops in the US has so decimated America’s apis mellifera population that one bad winter could leave fields fallow. Now, a new study has pinpointed some of the probable causes of bee deaths and the rather scary results show that averting beemageddon will be much more difficult than previously thought.Oh, but it's all really so complicated; so best to do nothing.