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, January 17, 2015

3,000 "Moderate Rebels" Defect to ISIS - US Preparing 5,000 More

Click here to access article by Tony Cartalucci from Land Destroyer. 
With them, these 3,000 fighters will bring weapons, cash, equipment, and training provided to them by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United States, the UK, and perhaps most ironic of all in the wake of the recent terror attack in Paris, France. Indeed, ISIS and Al Qaeda's ranks continue to swell amid this insidious network of "terror laundering" that is only set to grow.

It was an open conspiracy exposed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 article,  "The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?", that the US and its regional allies sought to use Al Qaeda and other extremist groups to wage a proxy war on Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

False Flagging the World towards War. The CIA Weaponizes Hollywood

Click here to access article by Larry Chin from Global Research. (Dec. 27, 2014)


 Like Kim Jong-Un, Vladimir Putin has been vilified, demonized and false-flagged, incessantly. If Kim is today’s object of ridicule, Putin is Evil Incarnate.

Consider the hysterical, desperate provocations by Washington in recent months.

A US-NATO coup, engineered by the CIA, toppled the government of Ukraine, planting a pro-US neo-Nazi criminal apparatus on Russia’s doorstep. The CIA and its worldwide network of propagandists pinned the blame on Putin and Russia for aggression, and for obstructing “democracy”.

The MH-17 jetliner is downed by Ukrainian operatives, with the support of the CIA, Mi-6, etc. etc. This false flag operation was blamed on Russia— “Putin’s Missile”. The US and NATO are still trying to pin these murders on Putin.

Back to the 30’s

Click here if you wish to access cartoon from the source. The satirical cartoon is by Max Gustafson from his website.


It's Official: 2014 Was the Hottest Year on Record

Click here to access an excellent graphic by Tom Randall from Bloomberg.

Also, from Motherboard this graphic:

 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Why Are We Afraid of Naming and Confronting Capitalism?

Click here to access article by Ajamu Nangwaya from Black Agenda Report. (Note: Although at this point in time the website contains some errors, you can access this important consciousness raising article by scrolling quite a ways down this link until it appears.)
“Let's make this clear, all forms of capitalism are unacceptable and revolting to justice, solidarity and equity.”

What is it about the term “capitalism” that inspires many of us to not call its name in vain and in the public square? Why is it that many of us will openly and forcefully critique “classism” but enthusiastically shy away from condemning capitalism in the same way? After all, we do publicly name and slam racism, homophobia or heterosexism, ageism, patriarchy or sexism and ableism. How effective will we be in organizing and rallying the oppressed against economic exploitation without naming the system that is brutalizing the majority?

Turkish President Says the Unsayable: ‘West is Behind Charlie Hebdo False Flag Attacks’

Click here to access article from 21st Century Wire.

The writer makes some very perceptive introductory comments about a report (included in the post) that appeared in Britain's Daily Mail in which Turkish President Erdoğan argued what many believe: that the Paris tragedy was an orchestrated terrorist attack.
The Mail Online has tried to obscure the impact of a potentially massive story such as this, by neutralizing its impact with the frequently used NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) device, the words “conspiracy theory”. That term, used by corporate and state-controlled media strictly as a pejorative term (and not as it was originally intended to be used), has been inserted for one purpose only: to shut down any real debate or discussion.  

FOX Prefers Fabrication to Fact When It Comes to Muslims

Click here to access article by Richard Zombeck from Huffington Post.
"We need to kill them," she insisted. "We need to kill them. The radical Muslim terrorists hell bent on killing us.

"You're in danger, I'm in danger," the fear mongering diatribe continued. "This is not going to stop."

,,,"Bomb them, bomb them and bomb them again,"....
The propaganda organs of the Empire are going full blast with their efforts to exploit the recent terrorist event in Paris. Fox media is only the worst as depicted in this liberal source. Here is a sample of the vicious propaganda that Americans who watch Fox News are fed:



I should not be surprised if this reminds historically aware people of Kristallnacht

European spies want more powers, but face uphill battle

Click here to access article from EurActiv.

This article from a European establishment source indicates that the CIA's counterparts in Europe want to exploit the Paris tragedy, the Kristallnacht of the 21st century, to increase surveillance on their citizens. 
Lawmakers and spy chiefs across Europe are now saying the security agencies need more powers if repeats of the Paris attacks are to be avoided, arguing technological advances are blunting their surveillance abilities.

Just last week, the head of Britain's MI5 counterintelligence agency argued again for more surveillance powers to spy on militant communications, calling it his "sharpest concern".

"The reality is today the security authorities don't have the necessary capability, I think, to fully protect society from these kind of threats," said Europol's Wainwright.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Russia and China: The Dawning of a New Monetary System

Click here to access article by Peter Koenig from TeleSur.

I think this article suffers a bit from a lack of editing, however it contains some very good explanations of what is driving Empire policies, and I think, in a very dangerous direction. Thus below I have rearranged some quotes to magnify the important contributions made in this article by Koenig. 
The petro-dollar is highly dependent on trading hydrocarbons in dollars – following the 40-year old agreement with the Saudis as head of OPEC in turn for US military security and protection. This alone, the constant demand for US dollars by all nations who needed to trade hydrocarbons, propelled the dollar into a ‘permanent’ reserve currency – allowing Washington to print dollars at will and to become a financial hegemon.

No longer. These times are gone.


The US is able to maintain pressure on other currencies, currently the ruble, only as long as the petro dollar remains the major world reserve currency. This is the main reason why Washington gets away with a seven-fold indebted dollar (i.e. total outstanding and uncovered commitments are currently more than 7 times higher than the US GDP (US$ 17.6 trillion, 2014 est. – vs. US$ 128 trillion of unmet obligations); making the US worldwide the most indebted country – by far.

Once the demand for the (petro) dollar fades – as hydrocarbons are no longer dealt in dollars – the value of the dollar will decline and at worst may result in hyperinflation in the dollar economies, including those closely linked to the US economy.


Washington’s relentless aggression on Russia is of course part of the PNAC (Plan for a New American Century), to achieve full world hegemony, but at the same time Washington is desperate not to lose its dollar supremacy. The US is in a terminal quagmire. There is no way out. Washington is acting like a wild beast in its last throbs of live
[life]. The empire may be capable of destroying the world – including itself – just so that nobody may survive outside of the self-appointed Masters of the Universe.
Although Koenig arrives at this dramatic conclusion, he fails to follow up on the dire implications! Meanwhile otherwise astute observers like Pepe Escobar and William Engdahl seem to be blithely celebrating the expected arrival of a "multi-polar [capitalist] world". I would feel much better about the current situation if we had a mature revolutionary movement in the US to counter any tendency by Empire directors to engage in Armageddon-like actions.  

Meanwhile, there is every indication that Empire directors are getting desperate with their multifarious actions to maintain their dominance in the world: promotion of terrorist incidents, false-flag incidents, sponsorship of terrorist armies, aggressive actions against Russia, a fully developed national security state here at home, etc.

FBI Thwarts Terror Plot on Capitol (That They Planned)

Click here to access article by Eric Blair from Activist Post. 
The FBI initially found a patsy by trolling Twitter for support of ISIS. That's exciting because finding someone retarded enough to admit support for murderers is really difficult. Then they sent an in-house jihadist to team up with the patsy to plan a grand terror attack on the nation's Capitol. Heroically, the moment the 20-year-old patsy said he would "go forward with violent jihad" the FBI steps in and declares a victory in the war on terror.
Well, it seems that our masters have decided to keep the "terror show" continuing in the US in order to keep us in a state of fear so that we will accept more surveillance, foreign military adventures, more austerity, and loss of civil rights. 

See also this.

Russia Cuts Off Ukraine Gas Supply To 6 European Countries

Click here to access article by Tyler Durden from Zero Hedge

It appears that Victoria Nuland-Kagan's comment, "Fuck the EU", is finally coming true. She made this remark in February 2014 during the infamous intercepted phone conversation with another US diplomat in which they were discussing which Ukrainian puppet the US should support. This was reported on ABC News, but of course the context of the discussion was totally missing. 
Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian state energy giant Gazprom to cut supplies to and through Ukraine amid accusations, according to The Daily Mail, that its neighbor has been siphoning off and stealing Russian gas. Due to these "transit risks for European consumers in the territory of Ukraine," Gazprom cut gas exports to Europe by 60%, plunging the continent into an energy crisis "within hours." Perhaps explaining the explosion higher in NatGas prices (and oil) today, gas companies in Ukraine confirmed that Russia had cut off supply; and six countries reported a complete shut-off of Russian gas.

40 Years of Economic Policy in One Chart

Click here to access article by Mike Whitney from CounterPunch. 

It all began in the 1970s, that’s when everything started going down the plughole. Once wages detached from productivity, the rich progressively got richer. They used their wealth to reduce taxes on capital, role back critical regulations, break up the unions, install their own lapdog politicians, push through trade agreements that pitted US workers against low-paid labor in the developing world, and induce their shady Central Bank buddies to keep interest rates locked below the rate of inflation so they could cream hefty profits off gigantic asset bubbles. 

I think this attack on US workers began at this time because our masters in the One Percent felt sufficiently secure after they got away with the murders of John Kennedy, his brother Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, etc. They also likely sought revenge on a generation of young people who so effectively opposed their war in Southeast Asia.

Liberté D´Expression? [Freedom of Expression?]

Click here to access article by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama.

It seems that the French freedom of expression applies to only some people who use religious bigotry to attack opponents of the Empire. 

March of the Hypocrites

Click here to access article by Justin Raimondo from AntiWar. (Commentary updated 1/16/2015 at 9:30 PM Seattle time.)


 That politicians would steal the spotlight and turn the sincere outrage of millions into an opportunity for self-advertisement is hardly surprising. .... Those marchers will soon be cheering their soldiers as they go marching off to war, with “Je suis Charlie” inscribed on their banners.
 

The target? Syria

For example, read this piece about Benjamin Netanyahu, who managed to get in the front row of this elite mob, and his country of Israel entitled "Report: 17 Journalists Killed in Media’s Deadliest Year in Palestine". 

A Change Is Gonna Come

A poem by Andrew Blash, a homeless person, included in his letter to Linh Dinh entitled "Dispatch from the Front Line of Poverty and the Doorsteps of Hell", and posted on Dinh's website.

A Change Is Gonna Come

I was born by the river in a little tent

Oh, and just like the river I've been running ever since


It's been a long, a long time coming

But I know a change gon' come, oh yes it will


It's been too hard living, but I'm afraid to die

Cause I don't know what's up there beyond the sky


It's been a long, a long time coming

But I know a change gon' come, oh yes it will


I go to the movie and I go down town

Somebody keep telling me don't hang around


Its been a long, a long time coming

But I know a change gon' come, oh yes it will


Then I go to my brother

And I say, "Brother, help me please."

But he winds up knockin' me

Back down on my knees


There been times when I thought I couldn't last for long

But now I think I'm able to carry on


It's been a long, a long time coming

But I know a change gon' come, oh yes it will

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

VIDEO: Aaron Swartz And The Fight For Free Information

Click here to access article by Abby Martin from MintPress News.

This tragedy is another illustration of how capitalism turns everything into commodities for the rich to profit from.
The majority of the wealth of human knowledge is owned by a few publishing companies that hoard information and make billions off licensing fees, although most scholarly articles and journals are paid for by taxpayers through government grants. Aaron sought to change this. 
The script in this post is mostly repeated in Martin's video, but the video is better. So, if you are short of time, I recommend viewing the video and skipping the text. 

Her commentary was inspired by the release of a full length film on Aaron Swartz posted at the end of the article. She explains the legacy of Aaron Swartz: his fight to have the internet serve people instead of profits. 

Unfortunately, we lost a brave warrior whose valiant efforts were crushed by capitalist ruling class authorities whose only concern was to preserve their "ownership" of information. We, the living, must join the battle for which he fought or his short life's struggle will be in vain.  (I was particularly moved by Swartz's comments beginning at 5:18m.) 

 

Charlie Hebdo, the free press and racism

Click here to access article by Sara Flounders from Workers World.

This is the best article I've seen on the political significance of the latest terrorist event in Paris. Flounders surveys media coverage of killings and finds capitalist class interests consistently inform the kinds of coverage given by their corporate media.
Imperialism needs hatred of targeted peoples. Western politicians have cynically used Islamophobia to advance right-wing political agendas and curtail freedoms.

Who benefits? Regardless of whether a police conspiracy is ever exposed, we do know that the French ruling class and the corporate media are always primed to take full advantage of such acts to reinforce the repressive state apparatus and sow division among the working class. 

Profiting from Global Warming

Click here to access this 55 minute recording by listener sponsored radio from KPFA (Berkeley, California). Sasha Lilley interviews journalist and author McKenzie Funk who shares with us his extensive knowledge of corporate strategies informed by their short-term view of maximizing profits.
Getting rich off of global warming may seem like the ultimate cynical business plan. But corporations are hedging their bets on unchecked climate change and the opportunities it affords. Journalist McKenzie Funk reports about the very lucrative business to be made from the deleterious effects of climate change, from opened shipping lanes in the melting Arctic to newly exposed mineral deposits, from food production on previously inhospitable land to the sale of artificial snow to the Alps.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

No. The Islamic State Did Not Hack CENTCOM - Updated - Cui Bono?

Click here to access article by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama.
Terror! Terror!! Terror!!! We have been hacked!!! Give us your data!
Here we see another attempt by Empire directors to make the internet safe for their pursuits. Fortunately, Bernhard spots some discrepancies in their latest attempt to fool people.

European Ministers Call For Increased Digital Surveillance After Paris Terror Attacks

Click here to access article by Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch. 
And so it begins again; the customary fingerpointing at the Internet as a platform for fueling extremist hatred in the wake of the latest terrorist outrages in Europe — accompanied, in certain corners of the political arena, by calls for greater powers of digital surveillance to preemptively thwart acts of terror.
The call in Europe by the Empire's official leaders for more surveillance and the criminalizing of provocative speech makes perfect sense if one regards the killings at the offices of Charlie Hebdo as a secret service operation by Empire operatives to accomplish these measures and others such as stirring up more hatred toward Muslims and support more military adventures in the Middle East.

See also this article from TeleSur entitled "UK Spy Bill Could Ban Instant Messaging Encryption". 

US to Use Détente as Cover for Plans to Destabilize Cuba

Click here to access article by Nil Nikandrov from Strategic Culture Foundation. 
The United States will use the non-government organizations for inciting street protests like it was done in Ukraine. There are a growing number of posts to Twitter saying that, no matter the White House sounds soft on Cuba, the US special services are concentrated on organizing Cuban Maidan demonstrations.

2015 Begins With CO2 Above 400 PPM Mark

Click here to access article by Andrea Thompson from Climate Central. 
While the 400 ppm mark is somewhat symbolic (as the increase in warming between 399 ppm and 400 ppm is small), it is a large increase from pre-industrial CO2 concentrations, which were around 280 ppm. The progressively earlier occurrence of these high CO2 levels — not seen in somewhere between 800,000 and 15 million years — points to the inexorable buildup of heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere as human emissions continue unabated. That increase in CO2 and other greenhouse gases has raised Earth’s average temperature by 1.6°F since the beginning of the 20th century. Some scientists say that to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, that warming needs to stay under 2°C, or 3.6°F.

What They’re Not Telling You About Monsanto’s Role in Ukraine

Click here to access article by Christina Sarich from NaturalSociety.
...a bit of political maneuvering by the IMF gave the Ukraine a $17 billion loan – but only if they would open up to biotech farming and the selling of Monsanto’s poison crops and chemicals – destroying a farmland that is one of the most pristine in all of Europe. Farm equipment dealer, Deere, along with seed producers Dupont and Monsanto, will have a heyday.

In the guise of ‘aid,’ a claim has been made on Ukraine’s vast agricultural riches. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

China’s Global Political Shift

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

Geopolitical analyst Engdahl sees in recent Chinese moves an important shift in China's world orientation:
....while fraught with danger, signal that China has deeply understood the Washington geopolitical game and the strategies of the neo-conservative US warhawks and, like Putin’s Russia, have little intention of bending their knee to what they see as a Washington global tyranny. The year 2015 shapes to be one of the most decisive and interesting in modern history.

‘JE SUIS HYPOCRITE’: Enemies of Press Freedom Hijack ‘Charlie’ in Paris

Click here to access article by Patrick Henningsen from 21st Century Wire.
The million-strong crowds were impressive, as were the variety of people who made it out to the event. Unfortunately, our televisions, newspapers and websites were more interested in plastering the eerily contrived image of our 50 ‘world leaders’, with arms locked “in an act solidarity”, in support of “the fallen” at French political cartoon magazine Charlie Hebdo.
What was designed as a globally-syndicated #kumbaya moment, instead gave off the distinct odeur of shameless political opportunism, in what can only be described as the world’s biggest-ever photo-junket for what can only be described as some of the world’s most unpopular leaders decked-out in $5,000 suits, camel hair overcoats and hipster glasses.

The only real consolation was that Tony Blair didn’t invite himself to this one…
Also, I recommend this article by Michael S. Rozeff entitled "Truly Massive Display of Hypocrisy by Western Leaders".

Deep Questions Arise Over Portland's Corporate Water Takeover

Click here to access article by Victoria Collier from TruthOut.

It appears from this article that the neoliberal world order is "coming home to roost". Well, why not? We Americans are part of the New World Order promised by Herbert Walker Bush, former CIA director and President.
...Portland activists were shocked to discover the existence of a plan to push a government-industry coordinated privatization agenda on the entire West Coast.

The West Coast Infrastructure Exchange (WCX) was launched collaboratively by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and CH2M Hill, though the corporation has since recused itself from an official partnership position.

Now comprised of governors and state officials from California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, the WCX is quietly developing a regional "public-private partnership" (PPP) model to fast-track private financing and development of infrastructure - everything from schools, bridges and highways to energy, waste and fresh water systems.

Citing the crippled tax base of so many US states, the WCX notes with regret that crumbling public infrastructure and future development needs can no longer be met by the public sector.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

McKibben’s Divestment Tour – Brought to You by Wall Street | Part VIII: The “Social Capitalists”

Click here to access article (On 4/12/2015 I discovered that this link no longer works. Access the article from The Art of Annihilation) by Cory Morningstar from The Wrong Kind of Green.

It appears that I have been remiss in missing most of this series devoted to a devastating exposé of the fake nature of "green capitalism" that is being propagated under various names and organizations in order to maintain the capitalist system and fool people into thinking that progress is being made. Many of these organizations such as McKibben's 350.org are non-profits (Morningstar refers to them as "non-profit industrial complex (NPIC)") which are the domestic versions of NGOs that we have seen operating in foreign countries on behalf of the Empire's capitalist interests. Such astroturf organizations function within the US to propagandize people into believing in "green capitalism". Empire operatives have a global perspective to go along with their global Empire aspirations, and thus there is no reason to separate their functions abroad from their domestic applications to manage the views and opinions of ordinary people. 
 
In this article and series Morningstar continues to argue that such organizations are being funded by very rich capitalists and for their interests. These non-profits funnel money of the rich to these organizations in an effort to head off growing criticism from the new-economy movement and their focus on changing the system.
...it matters little whether or not the money is moved from direct investments in fossil fuel corporations to so-called “socially responsible investments.” The fact of the matter is, all corporations on the planet (thus all investments on the planet) do and will continue to require massive amounts of energies (including fossil fuels) in order to continue to grow and expand ad infinitum – as required by the industrialized capitalist economic system.

The windmills and solar panels serve as the beautiful (marketing) imagery, yet they are somewhat illusory – the veneer for the commodification of the commons, which is the fundamental objective of Wall Street, the very advisers of the divestment campaign.

Thus we find ourselves unwilling to acknowledge the necessity to dismantle the industrialized capitalist economic system, choosing instead to embrace an illusion designed by corporate power.
Morningstar also contrasts what is currently being done to meet the threat of climate destabilization with what is really needed to be done:
Massively cutting our energy consumption for essentials such as heat will be very difficult if not impossible. Virtual zero carbon emissions would appear to be no easy feat. But deep and immediate cuts in emissions would be achievable simply by the eradication of, or even the collective rejection of, energy-intensive products, flying [travel by air] and energy-intensive food sources. Think no more “Black Friday.” Think the relinquishing of air conditioners, personal automobiles, fast food, flying, gadgets and everything else we believe we need, but which are in reality, for the most part, no more than short-sighted wants.

Charlie Hebdo: Divide and Rule or Freedom of Speech?

Click here to access article by John Spritzler from New Democracy World.
What is happening now in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre has absolutely nothing to do with free speech or its defense. Free speech is, itself, a bogus concept (as I discuss here). What is happening is a contest between the wealthy and powerful few who are trying to divide-and-rule us versus the many who want a far more equal and democratic world.

The ruling elites allow pundits and cartoonists and ideologues who promote mutual fear and mistrust between Muslims and non-Muslims to prosper, to have huge audiences with TV prime time shows and columns in mass circulation newspapers and successful big-media careers, while denying those who promote mutual trust, understanding and friendship between these groups anything close to the same size audiences.