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, November 15, 2014

Class Interests as Economic Theory

Click here to access article by Ismael Hossein-Zaheh from CounterPunch.

The author describes the evolution of capitalism from its revolutionary roots when the teaching of economics was regarded as a helpful understanding of the class nature of capitalism and the labor theory of value compared to today's capitalism in which owners of economic property have so consolidated their wealth and power that the teaching of economics must be more obfuscatory by necessity.
...not surprisingly, an increasing number of students who take classes and/or major in economics are complaining about the abstract and irrelevant nature of the discipline. For example, a group of French graduate students in economics recently wrote an open letter, akin to a manifesto, critical of their academic education in economics as “autistic” and “pathologically distant from the problems of real markets and real people”.

NATO’s Achilles’s Heel: Secession

Click here to access article by Wayne Madsen from Strategic Culture Foundation. 

Madsen assembles evidence to prove his thesis that the recent drives for smaller segments of nations to move toward independence as a threat to NATO. I'm not sure how much of a threat these independence movements pose for global capitalists, but it is surely obvious that the latter much prefer the efficiency of dealing with larger nations. 

Also it bring to my mind what has been cited as "America's single greatest contribution to political theory" as quoted in historian Woody Holten's book Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution (chapter 16). He refers to "the notion that the republican form of government works best in a large area...." that the early ruling elite soon discovered along with other bulwarks against popular rule such as indirect voting for electors, division of government in three institutions, and a transfer of the power of states to a central government.

Our benevolent founding capitalist fathers, who saw the huge commercial potential of what they saw as a rich and empty continent, were eager to exploit these riches under the system of property ownership and rule by property owners. Thus, they regarded all the democratic rhetoric that they had espoused before and during the War of Independence from Britain, in order to enlist the support of workers, as being an impediment after the revolution. This early ruling class consisting of plantation owners (e.g., James Madison), slave holders (e.g., Thomas Jefferson), and land speculators (e.g., George Washington was one of the most active) feared the "unwashed masses" and their participation in political affairs. Thus, large voting districts along with many other anti-democratic methods served to give the wealthy considerable control over elections.

A graphic illustration of what our ruling masters think of men and women before and after serving the Empire








Brazil: A Pyrric Victory and What Comes Afterwards

Click here to access article by Atilio Borón from teleSUR. (Note: this article suffers from a rather inadequate translation into English.)

This political sociologist from Argentina assesses the meaning of the re-election of Dilma Rousseff as Brazil's president. She is heir to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the Workers' Party (PT) which was first elected in 2002 by quite a margin. However, in the elections since then the mildly social-democratic PT has been winning by ever decreasing numbers. In this recent election she barely won out over a neoliberal candidate. Borón sees the threat of a right-wing coup by the neoliberal elites.
Dilma runs the risk of being asphyxiated by her rivals whose extreme bellicosity was made apparent in the electoral campaign, and they do not seem willing to wait another four years in order to form the government. That is why the hypothesis of an “institutional coup” has emerged, even if it is unlikely, it should not be discarded aprioristically, same with the unleashing of ferocious destabilizing offensive aimed at ending the PT “dictatorship” that according to the caveman right that meets in the Military Club is “sovietizing” Brazil. What happened with Jose Manuel Zelaya in Honduras and Fernando Lugo in Paraguay should serve as evidence to prove to convince the skeptics of the impatience of local capitalists and their North American mentors to take power by force even if conditions are not favorable to such acts.  

12 Steps to Overcoming Addiction to Voting for the “Lesser” of 2 Evils

Click here to access article by Jeffrey Dean from Systemic Capital.

Here is the very first step to recovery:
1.  Admit you are in a self-destructive relationship with the Democratic Party.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Obama at APEC: US steps up economic offensive against China

Click here to access article by Australian Nick Beams from World Socialist Web Site.

Beams attempts to understand recent events related to the increasing competition between the new emerging economic giant of China with the decreasing post-WWII domination of the US both militarily and economically. To do this, he logically examines an article by US Trade Representative Michael Froman published in Foreign Affairs, a publication of the Council on Foreign Relations and one of the most influential ruling class think tanks.
The principle underlying GATT was the so-called “most favoured nation” policy, according to which trade concessions offered by any country were not to be made selectively, but had to be extended to all. The aim was to prevent the formation of trade blocs, which had contributed to the conflicts of the 1930s that led to the outbreak of World War II. The post-war trading system was not to be a web with a particular economy at the centre, but rather a system grounded on the principle of multilateralism.

The TPP and the related Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), covering economic relations between the US and Europe, are based on an opposed perspective.

.... He
[Froman] writes: “As President Obama remarked earlier this year, ‘Just as the world has changed, this architecture must change as well.’”

This begs the question: why?

When Henry Kissinger Makes Sense

Click here to access article by Robert Parry from ConsortiumNews.

One among many of the most startling developments I've noticed in this post 9/11 world has been gradual the decline of US mainstream media into pure propaganda organs of the ruling capitalist class. Never have journalistic standards have been so low in the US. Parry has also noticed this, and he points to the irony of recent remarks made by Kissinger, one of the most aggressive figures in the Empire's quest for domination, which disputes some of the most outrageous lies spewed daily over mainstream media.
The American public is faced with an information crisis as the New York Times and other mainstream U.S. media outlets have become little more than propaganda organs on behalf of the neoconservative agenda and particularly the rush into a new Cold War with Russia – so much so that even ex-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has broken ranks.

Dual Citizens in Congress?

Click here to access article by L. Michael Hager from CounterPunch.
“You are not entitled to that information!” That’s what a staffer in Senator Markey’s office bluntly told me when I called to ask for help in identifying Members of Congress who hold dual citizenship.
Seems that’s a question [the one in the title] no one wants to hear.
Hager then goes on to describe all of his attempts to answer this question and why it is important.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

FBI's "Suicide Letter" to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Dangers of Unchecked Surveillance

Click here to access article by Nadia Kayyali from Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Information about J. Edgar Hoover continues to be leaked from confidential sources like this recently released document on Hoover in an unredacted form. With all these disclosures after his death in 1972, he has gone from a much celebrated FBI crime-busting hero of my childhood days in the 1940s and 50s to a very disturbed man today. Our ruling class directors now feel safe to reveal such information 42 years after his death. In this commentary I will discuss two aspects--1) the man himself and his usefulness to the ruling class, and 2) an inspection of the criteria used by government censors in redacting documents.

During his long career starting in 1919 with the Department of Justice (sic) he was very useful to the ruling class directors. When there was a lot of anti-capitalist political activity following WWI, he was directed to hunt down and harass many radical activists. He achieved such success in the their purge that he was steadily promoted until President Calvin Coolidge appointed him to head the FBI in 1924, and he continued in this role until his death in 1972. He was essentially used as a watchdog for any threats to the ruling class; and when he found them, he was employed as an attack dog. 

He was not only used against left-wing radicals, but any liberal critics such as Congressmen, Senators, and Supreme Court justices who interfered with the insatiable appetite of the capitalist class for more wealth and, above all, power. Thus, during his long career he was worshiped by the media and their coverage of his activities was carefully controlled. They carefully concealed all the evidence of his rabid racism and his obsession with sexual matters. Thus, he destroyed the careers and/or lives of such people as Martin Luther King, John Lennon, actors Charlie Chaplin and Jean Seberg, along with many Black Nationalists, left-wing activists, student radicals, and anyone labeled as "communists"

His psychological problems with race and sex combined with left-wing activity played out with extreme viciousness against actress Jean Seaberg and psychiatrist Stuart Jeanne Bramhall who both had intimate relations with African-Americans. If you have any doubts about this, please read the horrifying stories of these two women: Jean Seberg (Played Out by David Richards) and Seattle area psychiatrist Stuart Jeanne Bramhall now political refugee in New Zealand (The Most Revolutionary Act).

Now that he as been dead for 42 years, the directors of the ruling capitalist class feel safe in releasing some of the truth about this very warped, but useful man. Hoover's long service to the ruling class is a dramatic illustration of how our masters will use anyone, no matter how disturbed, to protect their interests.

I also examined the two documents contained in the article: the earlier released redacted FBI document on King and the recently released unredacted document in order to get a clue as to what they consider a "threat to national security" which is always the reason government censors give when hiding their secrets. By enlarging the documents (on my PC computer by pressing Ctrl and + ), it appears to me that they were only trying to protect the FBI from criticism of their outrageous behavior.

Lame duck out of the Silk Road caravan

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar from RT.
There’s hardly a more graphic illustration of where the multipolar world is going than what just happened at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing.

Take a very good look at the official photos. This is all about positioning – and this being China, pregnant with symbolic meaning. Guess who’s in the place of honor, side by side with President Xi Jinping. And guess where the lame duck leader of the “indispensable nation” has been relegated. The Chinese can also be masters at sending a global message. 
This champion of a "multi-polar world" provides us with a recent update on the contending capitalist gangs for dominance in the world. While I don't buy into his thesis about the wonderful benefits of a multi-polar capitalist world, I do respect his analysis of the current scene in which their battles are currently being played out. 

To be sure, Russian and Chinese capitalists now want a neutral world in which capitalist players play by the rules. However, when and if they attain supremacy, I have little doubt that they will take on the same characteristics that so upsets Escobar about the current US-led Empire. Capitalists of all stripes, like street gangs, always want to extend their control over territories. They will combine with other gangs in ever changing alliances in order to achieve dominance in the forms of wealth and power. 

Of course, the problem with this kind of world is that ordinary people in the neighborhoods end up being victims of their activities--think worker exploitation and catastrophic climate destabilization due to the endless fouling of the atmosphere and oceans with carbon from fossil fuel consumption required to drive their growth machine of capitalism. Worse yet for the near future is the prospect of a global nuclear war. 

My curiosity is aroused by a sentence in his final paragraph where he drops a hint about the future in relation to Russian and Chinese ruling classes, but which he does not develop.
Russia and China may not be proposing an alternative system – yet.

How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations

Click here to access article by Glenn Greenwald from The Intercept. 

Greenwald provides a useful guide to all the methods used by the secret services of the ruling capitalist class to deal with anyone or group that threatens their interests of wealth and power, and the system that supplies them with both. He bases his report on the many secret documents that Snowden secured, and given to Greenwald.
One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.

Don't Replace Facebook, Disrupt It

Click here to access article by Tony Cartalucci from Land Destroyer.
Facebook is a problem. It is undoubtedly being used by special interests to manipulate and monitor entire populations both within the United States and well beyond. It represents a tool that in no way serves the people actually using it, and instead allows special interests to use the users. It is a dream global panopticon for the abusive dictators that run Western society and presume dominion over what they call an "international order."

But in order to counter this threat, Facebook cannot simply be "replaced." 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Forward to the past: Next stop, the 19th century

Click here to access article by Pete Dolack from Systemic Disorder.
If capitalism is taking us back to feudalism, we’ll have to pass through the 19th century on our way. In terms of wealth inequality, we’re on course to return to the century of robber barons. Back then, the public-relations industry hadn’t developed, so at least they were called by an honest name, instead of “captains of industry” or “entrepreneurs” as they are today. Although “heir” would frequently be far more accurate than “entrepreneur.”

We’re not at the 19th century yet, but we have arrived at the 1920s on our trip to the past. The level of inequality of wealth in the United States today has not been seen since the decade that led to the Great Depression.  

Canada’s false flag terror: fingerprints of U.S. involvement

Click here to access article by Barrie Zwicker from Truth and Shadows.

When I first encountered the reporting of this "terrorist" incident in Ottawa, I felt that it overwhelmingly reeked of the odor of another false flag operation that we have seen so often here in the US to manipulate citizens into giving up freedoms and to support the imperial designs of the capitalist Empire. Zwicker in this article reinforces my initial reaction with many observations about the similarities of this event with such well known false flag operations in the US.
THE “TERRORIST” EVENTS of Wednesday October 22nd in Ottawa and two days earlier in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu bear all the hallmarks of a coordinated cross-border one-two punch false flag operation.
He then goes on to provide details about what he sees as nine such hallmarks of well planned and coordinated false-flag "terrorist" operations:  "the timing, prior 'involvement' of agents of the state [with 'terrorists']", "the chosen miscreants are 'human wreckage' [unstable individuals]", "the 'lone wolf' or 'lone gunman' narrative [probably to head off any notions of a conspiracy]", "'lone wolves' tend to become quickly deceased [to avoid any public trial]", "the branding" [as 'terrorism' by ruling class spokespeople immediately following the incident], "'security exercises' and the false flag [operations] curiously overlap", "media manipulation on both sides of the border", and "failure of media to ask fundamental questions".

The only criticism I have of his analysis is that too much emphasis is placed on the cross-border aspects of the Ottawa incident, and not enough on the class interests involved--the only exception being with a few hints in relation to anti-capitalist opposition in the form of comments about the Canadian security state's suppression of left wing dissidents. Thus, the main implication is that it was the fault of a well established US "security state" which is constructing the same security state in Canada. Such a limited perspective avoids looking at the underlying global class interests of the transnational gang of capitalists known widely as the Empire--sometimes referred to as the "Fourth Reich".

To be sure, this Empire is most firmly embedded in the US, but this is only because of an accident of history which left the US ruling capitalist class with an intact military-industrial infrastructure following WWII. The essential feature of this present transnational ruling class is its global nature. They have no more regard for the disintegrating US civilian infrastructure than they do for anyplace else on earth, except to prevent any organized reaction from US citizens that might threaten their military-industrial complex, security state, and above all their capitalist gang rule. (Also, it must be kept in mind the inter-capitalist gang competition that is presently heating up especially against Russia, and secondarily against China; and that this competition for global dominance could easily descend into a nuclear war.)

This latter concern is the reason they have not only constructed the security state apparatus in the US, but everywhere in the NATO countries (including Canada) and its Middle Eastern fortress of Israel. It is precisely in these countries where the Empire is located. Borders between these states have been erased by the Empire's ruling capitalist class for their operations, and are now only used to control the movements of workers within, and to, the Empire. Failure to recognize this "Brave New World [Order]" can only result in a failure to destroy it.

Europe’s Stark Choice: Revolution or Resignation?

Click here to access article by Don Quijones from Raging Bull-Shit.
...I’ve decided to re-feature an article I wrote about the subject in April, 2013. Since then the situation in Europe has immeasurably deteriorated. The old continent’s economy is seizing up at the joints, a bloody proxy war has been engineered on its Eastern fringes, a suicidal trade war has been declared against its most strategically vital neighbour, Russia, and the final touches are being put to a transatlantic trade treaty that seeks to transfer virtually all economic power and decision making to the transatlantic corporatocracy.  

Political Bunraku

Click here to access article by John Chuckman from Uncommon Thought Journal.

The metaphor he uses is perfect to describe the political puppet show being daily performed here in the US. Unfortunately, he has only scratched the surface in his application of the metaphor. Things are far worse than his awareness. He omits 9/11, the most dramatic illustration of this kind of performance, which has had much more of a dramatic and devastating impact on Americans and the world.

Also, he exhibits confusion about who are the puppets and who are the puppeteers when he poses government as a puppeteer, instead of what they really are: puppets.

If his awareness is a measure of the awareness of many educated people in the US, then his consciousness shows hopeful signs of awakening to the dreadful condition we are really in.

Listen To a Glacier, Forecast a Flood

Click here to access article by John Upton from Climate Central. 
Scientists recently analyzed data that was collected using seismometers during two summer months at a Swiss Alps glacier in 2007. They discovered potentially revelatory harmonic properties of ice quakes, which are minor rumbles produced when cracks in the ice are reshaped by water flowing through them. The ice quakes cause a glacier to hum in a way that’s normally imperceptible to humans. But you can listen to a sped-up version of the glacier’s amplified atonal aria here: [this is supplied in the article]
If this doesn't "grab" you, another article from the same website should. It's about the extreme weather, another symptom of climate destabilization, that is now occurring in areas east of the Rocky Mountains in the US. This is an inevitable result of the burning of fossil fuels required by the growth imperative of capitalism.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ten lies told about World War I

Click here to access article by Dominic Alexander from CounterFire (Britain).
The First World War saw the point at which capitalism became addicted to war and to a permanent arms economy. The war demonstrated the capacity of capitalism to create industrialised waste, carnage and destruction on a colossal scale. The remembrance of the war is appropriately a time for mourning the horror, the loss and the waste of it all, but it should also provoke a determination to resist our rulers’ insistence on promoting war to further their interests.
Here in the US we see in our mainstream media the ritual-like statements made by our leaders on our Veterans Day (Remembrance Day in Great Britain and their former colonies) extolling veterans for their service and sacrifice for our country. It always seems so hollow to me. I wonder how many of my fellow Americans are taken in by these leaders and their statements. I have no doubts about the reactions of veterans with disabilities and other medical problems as they try to obtain medical services from the Veterans Administration.

When I spent a lot of time in Canada for several years in the middle 2000s, I noticed a much more serious regard for the deaths of their veterans. Every soldier who died in Iraq or Afghanistan was commemorated with an elaborate public event, whereas here in the US, the media were prohibited from showing any caskets of our soldiers and discouraged from any intimate reports of these lost veterans and the effects on the families they left behind. What the US media frequently showed on their TV channels were the happy scenes of soldiers arriving home to their spouses and sweethearts.

Anyway, this article paints a rather accurate picture of what WWI was all about: a contest between and among empires and their ruling classes for world dominance.

New Plan to End Too Big to Fail Banks Previously Failed Spectacularly

Click here to access article by Pam Martens from Wall Street on Parade.

The Martens run this website and they appear to be very qualified to critique the financial establishment. Unfortunately, they are rather naive in their belief that the financial core of our ruling One Percent class will seriously ever regulate themselves. They did enact some limited reforms during the Great Depression, but they were forced to because of a very militant and angry working class. Nowadays, because they are in control of much more wealth and power, they always like to appear to be regulating themselves. That is where the Martens step in to attack these pretenses as they do in this article.
These Wall Street mega banks are now holding hostage our nation, its economy, and the living standard of the next generation who will be left to deal with the mountains of debt taken on to deal with the financial collapse and its overhang. When six years of near zero interest rates can’t revive an economy to normal job creation and economic growth, it’s time to call our monetary policy what it is: a political masquerade to artificially prop up a failed, global banking business model.

This Chart Shows How The Biggest Problem in the Jobs ‘Recovery’ Keeps Getting Worse (by the Atlanta Fed!)

Click here to access article by Wolf Richter from Wolf Street.

It's becoming so obvious that the much celebrated "jobs recovery" is another public relations stunt that even mainstream media isn't buying it, or at least, not all of it. (See this, this, this, and this.) 

By focusing in on those hit hardest by this "job recovery", hourly-wage workers, Richter finds a report from the Atlanta branch of the Fed that reveals more of the truth about it. You see, graphs, like statistics, can lie or show the truth. First, look at what the current administration shows as evidence supporting the recovery:




This government supplied graph looks impressive, doesn't it?

Okay, then look at the graph below this which Richter obtained from the Atlanta branch of the Federal Reserve and we learn that much of the data from the Obama administration is padded with part-time employees from 2008 to 2014.







Richter then does his own calculations to compare wage growth between part-time and full time employees from August of 2011 to approximately April of 2013. Clearly employers are cutting costs and possibly increasing profits by using part-time workers. It's also clear why employers don't mind high unemployment. They get a disciplined workforce: workers eager to work, likely won't ask for raises, and won't complain about working conditions.

What is missing from both the administration and this report are data about those who have completely dropped out of the labor market because they couldn't find any jobs, except possibly under-the-table work for cash.





Then he breaks down wage growth by education for the latter period to see how different workers are affected--and it ain't pretty.





 

Lenders Can Now Disable Your Car When You're Driving on the Freeway

Click here to access article by Cliff Weathers from AlterNet. 
Financial analysts say about a quarter of all automotive loans are subprime, and expect that number to climb as consumer debt continues to rise. These loans can be highly lucrative for lenders, with interest rates that can be well over 20%. Many of these subprime auto payments often come in late, bringing in late fees as well. Nearly 4% of all subprime auto loans are more than 60 days late, up by 3% from 2013.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that investment rating companies are bestowing top grades for bonds based on subprime auto loans...
In case you missed the latest capitalist scam, our masters in the One Percent are now making big profits by investing in packaged auto loans. Surely you remember how the packaged house mortgages (capitalists call them "securities") ended. Well, capitalists made big bucks while this latter scam lasted, and they are still benefiting by buying back the foreclosed homes at bargain-basement prices and renting them out to people who lost their homes. Read this article to find out how the "investors" are making sure their bets on these new packaged auto loan securities are safe. And, they think that this new techno-fix should work with house sales.

Monday, November 10, 2014

‘Lux Leaks’ causes ‘tax storm’ of government, media response

Click here to access article by Leslie Wayne and Kelly Carr from The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). (I modified my commentary early Tuesday, Nov. 11.)

I think that the ICIJ may be doing a bit of self-promotion by exaggerating the impacts of their investigations on the use of tax havens by the One Percent to avoid paying taxes. As they state in another article,
...reports of the demise of offshore tax havens have often been greatly exaggerated. Highly touted clampdowns in 2000 and 2009 yielded few results. In the last five years, two French presidents have vowed to wipe tax havens off the map entirely, but so far no one has come close to dealing a coup de grâce.
Still, they have a mother lode of information regarding tax havens, their lobbyists, and naming some of the names benefiting from tax havens located only in Luxembourg (there are hundreds of others). For example, one link in the article takes you to many corporations that are using these Luxembourg havens. Another link provides us with information about who are doing the lobbying for the corporations. From what I saw perusing their articles this morning is that their focus is limited to corporations using these havens in Luxembourg, not individual rich people.

Such schemes are possible for the rich because their concentrated wealth easily translates into power, and they use this power for their own benefit. Remember the fundamental asocial principle of capitalism so well articulated by former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher?
...there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour.
Thus the former British head of state does not recognize the moral principles expressed in our American Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
No wonder that we declared our independence and fought a war for it. But it looks like we, the people, were duped once again. It seems that this British moral principle was secretly adopted by our native capitalists who didn't want to pay taxes to the British Crown, and to avoid restrictions which interfered with their exploitation of the new American lands, poor immigrants, and slaves. Since the War of Independence our new ruling class have been engaging in subverting the very principles our ancestors fought for.

Since this war our history has been a history of the concentration of wealth by a small, amoral and asocial class of exploiters. As a result they are now so powerful that they are not only destroying our society but many other societies throughout the world in an effort to capture the remaining energy and other resources vital to capitalist expansion. Hence tax avoidance schemes by the rich are merely another means to enrich this class at the expense of the rest of us. Other logical outcomes are managed elections in which the rich choose who we can vote for, media owned by the rich who report only items and opinions that favor their interests, austerity policies for the people and the military-industrial complex for the rich to profit off of wars. 

The self-serving and class-serving moral principle of capitalists pits individuals and families against all other individuals and families. Those who by "hook or by crook" can acquire "ownership" of economic property will always win in these contests. So, it is no wonder that our type of society produces so many sociopaths in general, and so many sociopaths in our ruling capitalist class who think nothing of destroying whole nations in their quest for more wealth and power. Because they tend nowadays to be globalists, they don't even mind the slow destruction of US society.

ISIS is America’s Dream Rebel Army

Click here to access article by Tony Cartalucci from New Eastern Outlook.

Cartalucci draws from a document from the Brookings Institution, the Empire's premier "think tank", cuts through the obvious fog of propaganda, and reveals the planning behind the reality of the Empire's new "dream rebel army".
Removing Pollack’s rhetoric about secular professionals, and inserting “ISIS” reveals Pollack’s paper as the actual already ongoing plan to overrun not only Syria, but pro-Iranian factions in Iraq, and perhaps even Iran itself. ISIS is a massive mercenary army trained and funded abroad by the US with its support laundered via Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and Turkey, staged along Syria’s borders in both Jordan and Turkey, and acquiring an impressive arsenal just as what is required in Pollack’s plan to enter into and overthrow the government of Syria – minus eradicating extremists of course.

A creeping conflict [Ukraine]

Click here to access article from The Vineyard of the Saker

This blogger has listed a Florida address, but is undoubtedly of Russian origin. Although there is much evidence of a pro-Russian position on his website, I think he has a very good grasp of what is going on in Ukraine. With Western media so heavily influenced by Empire interests, we are lucky to have access to this alternative source of information.

Although he offers his opinions about what should be done organizationally in Novorussia, I think the real value of his articles are his reporting of more factual information. It appears that there is some confusion as to the political and military organization in Novorussia, but this is understandable given the chaos of the war and the destruction of their new country as a result of the war. Given the huge investment by the Empire in the installation of the fascist Kiev regime, the future of the people in eastern Ukraine does not look good. However, there is some good news of Russian support. In any case, this ongoing conflict does not bode well for the prospects of international peace.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The FBI: America’s Secret Police

Click here to access article by John W. Whitehead from The Rutherford Institute.

Although civil libertarian Whitehead is very concerned with the growing police state in the US, he doesn't  really understand it. He exposes the similarity of the FBI to abhorrent police agencies in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, but only offers vague ideas about why they exist.
Indeed, a far cry from the glamorized G-men depicted in Hollywood film noirs and spy thrillers, the government’s henchmen have become the embodiment of how power, once acquired, can be so easily corrupted and abused.
 ...as I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, it’s no coincidence that the similarities between the American police state and past totalitarian regimes such as Nazi Germany grow more pronounced with each passing day. This is how freedom falls, and tyrants come to power.
He goes on to describe the great affinity between Nazi spies and our own secret services:
As Gellately noted, “[A]fter five years of Hitler’s dictatorship, the Nazi police had won the FBI’s seal of approval.”
Indeed, so impressed was the FBI with the Nazi order that, as the New York Times recently revealed, in the decades after World War II, the FBI, along with other government agencies, aggressively recruited at least a thousand Nazis, including some of Hitler’s highest henchmen, brought them to America, hired them on as spies and informants, and then carried out a massive cover-up campaign to ensure that their true identities and ties to Hitler’s holocaust machine would remain unknown.
So, his explanation begs the question: why did the FBI and other US secret services actively recruit so many Nazi spies, and not Soviet spies, for their secret services?
 
Obviously the reason for this was that these secret Nazi agents also served their capitalist counterparts, and the latter had fundamental differences of ideology with the Soviet ruling class. Such agencies as the FBI and their Nazi counterparts both had a common commitment to capitalist rule. Hence they were natural allies.

If you understand this, then you will understand that WWII was really a war against a system that did not allow major concentrations of private property in the hands of a few--the Soviet Union. (Of course, the latter had its own bureaucratic ruling class and their associated class interests.) The war got sidetracked for a while by Hitler and associates, who drunk with power on their early easy victories over class-conflicted capitalist nations in nearby Europe, decided they could make short work of Britain with bombing air-raids. 

This threatened the Anglo-American Empire's capitalist class's dominance of the world, and could not be tolerated by the Anglo-American ruling classes. Thus, after the much celebrated but brief (3 months and 3 weeks) Battle of Britain they welcomed the subsequent movement of Nazi armies against the Soviet Union. Have you noticed in your readings of WWII history that the Allies only got serious about defeating Germany after the decisive defeat of the Nazi army at the Battle of Stalingrad? The Anglo-American Empire, soon to become the US-led Empire, then finished off the already defeated Germany, but immediately afterwards began waging a long Cold War against the Soviet Union. Notice that this quest for dominance did not end with the collapse of the Soviet system. 

Capitalist gangs always compete for dominance much like street gangs. However, they are different than street gangs in that they don't engage in wars themselves--they have property-less, ordinary people do that for them. Meanwhile, they profit hugely from wars as the military-industrial complex is now doing by furnishing weapons to Iraqis, fascists in Ukraine, terrorists (ISIS) in Syria, Iraq, and Eurasia, and directly engaging in bombing campaigns supposedly against ISIS.

Judge approves Detroit bankruptcy plan

Click here to access article by Jerry White from World Socialist Web Site.

So, class, today's question for you activist students is: how do capitalist "democracies" settle debt issues when debtors can't pay. Well, we have a live demonstration of the answer in this report of how Detroit's debts were settled. The first procedure we see is this:
...“emergency” situations create the necessity for abolishing “traditional government,” in order to force through the dictates of the corporate and financial elite over mass opposition. It the place of elected city officials, the Michigan governor appoints an "emergency manager", Kevyn Orr.
Then this "emergency manager and his associates come up with a "Plan of Adjustment".
The so-called Plan of Adjustment ... will rob the pensions and health benefits of 32,000 current and retired city workers. At the same time it will pay hundreds of millions to the Wall Street banks, hedge funds and bond insurers involved in interest rate swaps and other financial schemes.... In other words, the same financial forces responsible for the impoverishment of Detroit—after decades of plant closings, corporate tax cuts and financial swindles—are being paid off at the expense of workers and retirees.

The plan includes the transfer of the Detroit Institute of Arts to the control of private foundations. It also paves the way for the privatization of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. In preparation for this move, the city has been carrying out a systematic and brutal policy of water shutoffs.
Then a judge gives legitimacy to this plan with a formal legal judgement. 

The execution of this plan will be carried out by a "financial review commission" -- I don't know who appointed them, but you can reasonably guess that they represent our masters in the ruling class. Meanwhile the judge, the Governor, and many other ruling class figures are mouthing words of sympathy for workers and pensioners, and there is much talk of "restoring democracy".
...in fact the powers of Orr will now be transferred to a new financial review commission, with the power to veto labor contracts and city expenditures for the next 20 years.

This political conspiracy against the social and democratic rights of the working class in Detroit has had the full backing of every institution of the capitalist state. This included the Obama administration, which supported the bankruptcy from the beginning, Democrats and Republicans on the state and local level, the courts, the media and the trade unions. All of these forces signed on to the “grand bargain” approved by Rhodes.
Ain't capitalist "democracy" grand?

Community Police in Guerrero’s Costa Chica Region to Celebrate 19 Years of a Better Way to Combat Crime and Corruption

Click here to access article by Greg Berger and Oscar Olivera from The Narco News Bulletin.

This rather lengthy report tells an inspiring story of how people in over a hundred communities in the violence ridden Mexican state of Guerrero have organized themselves and created their own parallel justice and policing services.
The Same Southern Mexican State Where 43 Students Were Disappeared Is also Home to a Grassroots Movement that Shows How People Can Police Themselves When the State Becomes Criminal