It's back. Nothing sinister. Just a few technical problems.
It's back. Just had a few technical issues.
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, April 18, 2015
...over the last 35 years, most workers have not shared in all of the increased wealth that the productivity has generated. Between 1948 and 1979, two thirds of the aggregate income growth went to the bottom 90 percent. One third went to the top 10 percent -- so the richest did gain disproportionately, but at least everyone shared some. In stark contrast, between 1979 and today -- the same period that saw the drastic erosion of the minimum wage -- all of the aggregate income growth has gone to the top 10 percent!Meanwhile, there is seldom any problem that our capitalist masters have in funding the military-industrial complex, funding for 1000 foreign military bases, funding black-budgets of the CIA that are often used to destabilize governments, and funding terrorist armies like Al-Nusra in Syria.
Keep this in mind the next time you hear the country-club set self-righteously proclaim that people need to tighten their belts. That we cannot afford a hike in the minimum wage. That our very modest Social Security benefits, averaging just $1,330 a month for retirees, must be cut.
This is the latest article which casts considerable doubt about the FBI investigation into the anthrax attacks following the 9/11 event. It was my suspicion at the time that these anthrax attack were a part of the effort by hidden operatives to reinforce the widespread fear of terrorism following 9/11. The FBI reports of their investigation seemed wildly inconsistent with any objective investigation. Then under pressure to come up with some findings, they engaged in an ongoing public campaign to point an accusing finger at one person, Bruce Ivans, who later died from an apparent suicide. No autopsy was permitted to determine the cause.
In this article the blogger quotes from a lawsuit document filed by the former head of the FBI investigation, Richard Lambert, detailing his charges that the investigation was obstructed from beginning to end. The blogger also cites numerous examples of evidence that is already in the public record which strongly indicates that Ivans was innocent and other material that supports my hunch at the time that the anthrax attacks were a part of the false-flag 9/11 event to instill fear in the American people that they were under siege from Muslim terrorists; and thus would likely accept without question the first Patriot Act, other police state measures, and support foreign military invasions of countries in the Middle East.
Friday, April 17, 2015
I have long concluded that we know very little about the significance to the American Civil War because its history has been written by the ruling capitalist class. Our history like everything else in our nation has been shaped by the influence of this class. To free ourselves, we must recover not only our history but every institution in our society, and then create new institutions to reflect and promote our needs, those of the Ninety-Nine Percent.
I haven't yet read this book which is introduced and reviewed by Roberts, but his description of the DiLorenzo's interpretation of this major event in our history may offer an opportunity to discover and recover the real history. From what Roberts reports about the book, I can confirm some of the important realities that DiLorenzo writes about that largely goes unreported in the history taught in our schools. For example, that the governing class in the North was strongly protectionist regarding trade and the opposite was the case in the South. I also do know that following the Civil War, capitalists went on the offensive in their land grabs and buying up everything of value including all the inventions that were made by working people in the following fifty years. Thus, by the end of this period capitalists had defeated both the rising labor and the populist farmers' movements, concentrated their wealth in large corporations, secured control of money following the establishment of a central bank in 1913 (the Federal Reserve), and then set out on a road to build an empire.
This independent Brazilian journalist provides many of details of the current strategic moves made among these nations which are attempting to defend themselves from the aggressions of the Empire.
The article tells the story of an interned Syrian activist who published online accounts of Israeli support for Islamic terrorist groups--something which Israeli authorities are working hard to cover up. Meanwhile other reports are leaking out about Israel support for terrorists, but few make it into mainstream media.
Parry spots a NY Times correction posted on their business page of a 2012 kidnapping of one of their reporters in Syria which poses some very important questions about political influence that seems to have transformed US media coverage into political propaganda support for Empire policies and actions in the Middle East and Ukraine.
In December 2012, Syria’s U.S.-backed “moderate” rebels pulled off a false-flag kidnapping and “rescue” of NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and his crew, getting the crime blamed on a militia tied to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a propaganda scam that NBC played along with despite having evidence of the truth.
This article functions as an introduction to a much longer article about the development of a cooperative venture in the Catalan region of Spain. The venture seeks to build a network of cooperatives and one which has its own currency.
The Catalan Integral Cooperative (CIC, pronounced “seek”) is surely one of the more audacious commons-based innovations to have emerged in the past five years. It is notable for providing a legal and financial superstructure that is helping to support a wide variety of smaller self-organized commons.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Although I don't like the pro-hierarchy bias from this AFL-CIO labor official, he sees a bigger picture of several current political movements coming together in response to police brutality and killings, growing inequality, and low-wages.
...even though $15 an hour represents a doubling of the pitiful federal minimum wage, all the speakers recognized it was only the beginning.
The common thread of the newly emerging movements like “Black Lives Matter,” “OUR Walmart” and “Fight for $15,” UNITE-HERE Local 2 Food Service Director Anand Singh told me, is that all our particular social concerns “come together by fighting against economic inequality, which is the next step enabling working people to make some gains.”
...despite the progressive forces having won the presidency, they lost the upper and lower houses of representatives and now Brazil has its “most conservative congress since democracy was reinstated in 1985”.
On Wednesday (8 April), the reactionary forces in the federal congress showed their strength by imposing a massive attack on workers' rights. The bill of law PL 4330 approved by congress extends outsourcing and strips workers of rights they had conquered since 1943.I was interested in this article mainly because of a rising clamor by some of the most astute geopolitical analysts like Brazilian journalist Pepe Escobar, William Engdahl, Tony Cartalucci, and Mike Whitney who enthusiastically welcome the rise of the BRICS countries. To a certain extent I can sympathize with their position because of the rampaging imperialism exhibited by the US-led Empire. However, the rise of another capitalist gang which doesn't yet exhibit the imperialist tendencies of the advanced capitalist US Empire simply doesn't inspire me. It's more likely to result in a nuclear conflagration.
Our salvation from the nightmares of never-ending wars, a nuclear war, and the disasters that await us from climate destabilization caused by the growth necessity of capitalist economies can only be prevented by a global uprising of the world's Ninety-Nine Percent who comprise the workers of the world.
Oh god, another election circus to endure!
This blogger provides us with a lot of real information on the leading capitalist candidates for president that you will find totally missing in mainstream media coverage of their campaigns.
I think that there is one significant difference between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton: Jeb Bush is from a ruling class dynasty family which first rose to prominence under Prescott Bush, who like with many other capitalists during the 1930s was a financial supporter of German fascism, while Hillary who, as a woman is a useful fake populist puppet that the Democratic party likes to run in elections (much like Obama and Carter), will dutifully serve the directors of the Empire.
I also recommend this article by Webster Tarpley entitled "Hillary Clinton: The International Neocon Warmonger" posted on VoltaireNet.
Referring to research done by a team led by University of Edinburgh researchers and published in Science journal (behind a paywall), the author writes:
The biggest extinction event in planetary history was driven by the rapid acidification of our oceans, a new study concludes. So much carbon was released into the atmosphere, and the oceans absorbed so much of it so quickly, that marine life simply died off, from the bottom of the food chain up.
That doesn’t bode well for the present, given the disturbingly similar rate that our seas are acidifying right now.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Fast-food workers, child care workers and home care workers are heavily represented among those who depend on public assistance to supplement their subpar wages — about half of all the employees in these three industries. That is no surprise. What might be surprising is the increasing prevalence of this in “white-collar” fields. Twenty-five percent of adjunct college professors receive public assistance! So much for “lack of education” as the cause of stagnant or falling wages, as right-wing apologists for growing inequality like to claim.Dolack provides us with the findings of research from the U. of California (Berkeley) which proves what many workers especially in service industries already know from personal experience. Yes, these are the effects of an advanced capitalist economy where the concentration of wealth equals concentration of power. Thus, the inevitability of tax havens for the rich, subsidies to corporations, never-ending wars to feed the military-industrial complex, and the export of jobs to cheap labor areas of the world causing high unemployment and low wages and home. To add insult to injury, because the rich pay less than their share of taxes, the burden of supporting low wage workers largely falls on higher wage workers.
I'm not sure I entirely understand how the networks of the internet work, but I'm sure that many of you with younger minds will have no such problems. According to Wikipedia the internet can be closed off in its entirety such as exists in China or partially as exists in most countries (the US censors child pornography) or heavily surveilled such as exists in the US by NSA and its contractors. According to Gunnar we now see powerful US interests beginning to see the advantages of such control over internet access and around internet censorship using various technologies. As I understand it, private parties have already funded such a project known as the Outernet, and its founder will be put in charge of this government project which is identified only as a "shadow Internet". Gunnar seems to lump the two together.
Of course the US will use this "shadow Internet" for "humanitarian" purposes (sarcasm) such as freedom of information as stated by Hillary Clinton in the NY Times:
[According to] Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose department is spearheading the American effort. “We see more and more people around the globe using the Internet, mobile phones and other technologies to make their voices heard as they protest against injustice and seek to realize their aspirations,” Mrs. Clinton said in an e-mail response to a query on the topic. “There is a historic opportunity to effect positive change, change America supports,” she said. “So we’re focused on helping them do that, on helping them talk to each other, to their communities, to their governments and to the world.”
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
This piece is obviously written for an academic audience, but it makes some very good points that ordinary readers can understand about ecosocialism.
For ecosocialists, capitalism is an irremediably expansionist, productivist order responsible for the emergence of a fundamental rift in the metabolic relation between human society and the rest of the natural world. Originally parts of a complex whole, the two come to be increasingly separated with the maturing of capitalist relations as the driver of a socio-ecological crisis. By the force of capital, all external boundaries―be it ecological, economic, cultural, geographic, biological, even ontological―are reconfigured as mere barriers to be overcome.... .... Capital is “caught in the cycle of ‘grow or die’ that characterizes accumulation under the terms of relentless competition”. If capital ceased to increase, it would cease to be capital, i.e., money used to make more money.
Commodifying the natural world, capitalist relations reduce the variegated richness of its forms into mere stuff for appropriation and exploitation. [references omitted]
This Irish independent journalist looks at her history of promoting pro-war activities throughout the world and other policies to insure that nothing changes in the rule of the plutocracy in the US.
I think that her hawkish support for US wars is probably influenced by her Democratic party handlers who, for years, have been grooming her as the first woman president. They want to assure conservative people that she will continue to support US's imperial policies.
Americans will see no change under a Hillary Clinton presidency except for further deterioration in their social conditions. The rest of the world, and Russia in particular, can be sure that Clinton will pursue more of the same militaristic aggression that characterised her four-year stint as Washington’s top diplomat.
Whether described as "liberal", "conservative" or "hawk" – all American presidential candidates are the same in practice. Puppets for sale.
Former Washington insider and four-star General Wesley Clark spilled the beans several years ago on how Paul Wolfowitz and his neoconservative co-conspirators implemented their sweeping plan to destabilize key Middle Eastern countries once it became clear that post-Soviet Russia “won’t stop us.”
Thus it is clear to McGovern that the neocon faction of our ruling class follow this theme in their policies in support of Israel. This theme essentially promotes Arabs killing Arabs as long as possible to protect not only the security of Israel, but I think its hegemony and expansion in the Middle East.
...they [Israel’s leaders (and their neocon allies)] look on deeper U.S. involvement – overt or covert – as likely to ensure that there is no early resolution of the conflict there. The longer Sunni and Shia are killing each other, not only in Syria but also across the region as a whole, the safer Tel Aviv’s leaders calculate Israel is.Since the founding of Israel (through terrorism) events have been consistent with the thesis that Israel and its allies are looking for ascendancy as argued in 1968 by John Mitchell Henshaw. They are, and have been, carrying out this policy by promoting Arab on Arab terrorism.
Our ruling masters hold a lot of secrets, and one of the most successful has been the existence and influence of this key global banking institution. Because it has been described as a central bank of central banks, we activists and wide-awake citizens need to know about it.
This article is an excerpt (from a book) which mainly focuses on factual material of the history of the bank, but also remarks on its extreme efforts to maintain anonymity and secrecy. Hopefully, the book will delve much deeper into actual operations. This review from Booklist (posted on Amazon) looks promising:
...this is a serious, well-documented story about a very real bank, the Bank for International Settlement (BIS), which predates both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Founded by the governors of the national banks of Britain, France, Italy, and the U.S. in 1930, the bank was created to oversee German reparations payments after WWI. Drawing on previously published sources, original research, and interviews with some of the key players in the story, the author introduces readers to this little-known but highly influential bank and charts its course into the twenty-first century. It’s a story of financial intrigue, secrets and lies, rumor and truth. LeBor, a business journalist (he’s also the author of several thrillers), knows how to make a true story about finance as thrilling as any spy novel. A highly entertaining and informative book about the most powerful bank you’ve probably never heard of. --David Pitt
I have only rather superficially followed neoliberal efforts to modify public education and promote private education in the form of "charter schools" by supporting policies referred to in Newspeak as "No Child Left Behind". Common Core State Standards Initiative is the application of this policy in high schools across the country. My attention has been drawn to the issue because of local opposition (see this and this) and a growing oppositional movement nationally. Opponents argue that this "educational reform" movement is designed to better serve the needs of corporations rather than critical thinking citizens.
This program identifies its roots in leading neoliberal organizations of the 1980’s & 90’s, and articulates the dominant narratives about the failures of public education. Highlights major funders & promoters of corporatized education & how they profit.
Diane Ravitch: New York University professor, educational researcher, historian. Former education official in the George H.W. Bush & Clinton administrations.
Kevin Kumashiro: Dean of USF School of Education, Former President of National Association for Multicultural Education, Founding Director for the Center for Anti-Oppressive Education.
Monday, April 13, 2015
...even most activists willingly and counterproductively genuflect at the altar of profit margins. Just like mainstream folks they deride, many if not most radicals parrot homilies passed down to them by their corporate commissars. Capitalism, we’re conditioned to believe, may need the occasional tweak and sometimes an overhaul, but hey, it’s better than anything else out there!To be an anti-capitalist is not rocket science as Mickey Z. argues. He lays out all the simple and obvious reasons why we must end capitalism. He concludes by confronting us with this ultimate choice:
Prices may be controlled, wages can be raised, products might be made to last longer, etc. etc. etc. -- but what all this ignores is that capitalism = ecocide.
.... It's all about design.
Which side are you on, comrades? The future is waiting on your decision.
In this British online journal for leftists Couesbouc focuses on the methods used by the capitalist class to maintain their rule. Well, the obvious first one is the imposition of violence or the threat of violence against serious dissenters. The other methods are more subtle, but arguably just as effective.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev never had a chance.
While there is significant evidence supporting the accused Boston bomber’s innocence, none of it made it into his trial, which just concluded with guilty verdicts on all 30 counts against him. It seems that law enforcement, the media, and especially Tsarnaev’s own lawyer, Judy Clarke, were focused on suppressing any evidence that could have undermined the official story of the bombing. The truth has been covered up just as effectively as it was the day Lee Harvey Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby.And McKee continues on providing details about the abundance of significant evidence that the defense attorney ignored.
On this 20th anniversary of the tragic Oklahoma City bombing you will see mainstream media coverage of this domestic "terrorist" event that continues...
a pattern of ... limited ... coverage in the years since the crime. This week, accounts will not repeat early reports of secondary devices in the building, or reports of the involvement of unknown middle-eastern characters. There will also be little if any mention of the extensive independent investigation into the crime that was conducted by leading members of the OKC community. Here are seven more facts that will probably not see much coverage on the 20th anniversary.
Weisbrot brings us up-to-date regarding the challenge that Greece and the Syriza party pose for European capitalist elites. Thing are rapidly coming to a head as indicated in this paragraph:
According to conditions in the February 20 agreement, the Greek government would present a list of reforms that it would undertake, which it did, and which European officials approved. Remaining issues were to be negotiated by April 20, so that the final instalment of IMF money — some €7.2 billion — could be released.Meanwhile Weisbrot reports on all the economic weapons that the European Central Bank has been using to intimidate the Syriza administration to force it to capitulate to the banks demands.
In this brief article she responds to four questions.
Sunday, April 12, 2015
The manipulators rely on emotional images and messages, not facts. They depend on willing partners in the mainstream media who amplify the easy and glib characterizations of who and what is good and bad. The manipulators depend on their audience not asking questions or investigating on their own. In these times of rapid spread of visual and text information via social media, the potential for deceit is huge.One weapon that the capitalist directors of the Empire use to contain and control dissent is the creation of front activist groups that purportedly advocate for social justice and humanitarian causes, but really serve the ruling class by diffusing dissent, leading activists down blind alleys, or serving in foreign countries to destabilize governments ("responsibility to protect") as we have witnessed in the various "color revolutions".
Keep in mind that our minders are globalists and they think globally. Thus, their applications of these astroturf organizations as activist non-profit organizations or NGOs (as well as infiltration and corruption of existing advocacy groups) to control and steer dissent works just as well here as it did in Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, Georgia, the Balkans, Ukraine, and as we see in this article again in Syria to impose a no-fly zone.
This article focuses on one such astroturf organization, Avaaz; but we have seen many more here in the US such as the Tea Party, 350.org, Americans For Prosperity, and Alliance for Excellent Education.
Published below is a heavily condensed and edited version of a chapter from Dario Azzellini’s recent book,“An Alternative Labour History”. The chapter can be read in its entirety here (PDF).Yes, this article appears highly condensed, but it offers an important overview of worker taker-overs ("recuperations") of factories that were closed by the owners in various countries. It is must reading for anyone contemplating such an action and, to others, an important study as to the potential this sort of action might have in transforming capitalist organization of a society into something that served all of the people.
Is modern society hitting our defining moment, the point of diminishing returns?
In this brand new short video released today, Richard Heinberg explores how — in our economy, the environment, and energy production — we may well be. When previous societies have hit similar limits, they often doubled-down by attempting ever more complex interventions to keep things going, before finally collapsing. Will this be our fate too? And is there an alternative?
This video is the first in a four-part series by Richard Heinberg and Post Carbon Institute. The themes covered in these videos are much more thoroughly explored in Heinberg’s latest book, Afterburn: Society Beyond Fossil Fuels.
Heinberg knows what we need to do to avoid extinction, but can we do it under the system of capitalism? With reference to declining net energy returns and environmental limits, he says in the interview:
If we plan for that sort of future, we can optimize the transition and the outcome. If we don't, we could end up as just one more failed civilization....Judging from my reading of his past essays, I think we can safely assume that he thinks this is possible. We should find out in later parts of this series.
Clearly I think not--and such a notion is dangerous to our survival! Such a notion is what is precisely keeping us from doing anything constructive to head of this disaster.