We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Saturday, October 31, 2015
It appears that the project of a European Union was largely a secret project promoted by powerful actors in the US and carried out through offices connected with the CIA. This blogger discovered an online report from 2000 written by a top financial analyst, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, which provides declassified evidence for this revelation.
It is now clear that empire builders among the US ruling class following WWII saw the convenience of organized European governing bodies for US post-war domination of Europe. This project together with the Gladio program (also see this for more details), which was designed to contain post-WWII dissent from capitalist rule, managed to integrate most of Europe into a US-led Empire we see today, and included with the package, an army called NATO.
I've been wondering: maybe the Third Reich took control of the world after all--only it flies a US flag instead of a Nazi flag.
The ruling capitalist class's interest in supporting fortress Israel in the Mideast together with fascist oriented American Jews are combining to harass pro-Palestinian students on many campuses. This denial of free speech, especially on campuses, must not be tolerated. Giraldi offers some sound advice in the last paragraph to deal with this growing problem.
Nations are beginning to be successful in coping with the Empire's use of NGOs to ostensibly promote human rights while their real agenda is sowing chaos and destabilization of countries. Read the article to find out how China is doing this.
Friday, October 30, 2015
Roberts belongs to a circle composed of a large number of critics who are best identified as national capitalists. The members of this group, like Protestants, belong to a number of sub-denominations: liberals, social-democrats (Richard Wolf, Naomi Klein, and Bernie Sanders), traditional conservatives (PC Roberts, Pat Buchanan, and Ron Paul), and many independent critics of neoliberal capitalism as manifested today in the US Empire. They all share in their dislike for what capitalism has become in the 21st century and want to return to nationalist capitalism that came to rule the world in the 20th century.
Thus Roberts in this essay doesn't seem to understand that powerful capitalists in the Empire have changed the form of capitalism forever to a globalist form known as neoliberalism under their command. The latter, to secure and advance their interests for every greater wealth and power, are at war with any independent nations who refuse to submit to their command and their application of neoliberalism. This new globalized capitalism is creating ever greater concentrations of wealth and power for ever fewer trans-national capitalists while also creating greater numbers of poor and powerless people in the areas of the world under their command. Borders are being breached for their commercial operations and their movement while those for the control of workers and ordinary people are being erected everywhere in the Empire.
Roberts, like many other critics, seems to think that we can revert to a nationally based capitalism, and they are upset at the direction it is going. Using the provisions of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement clauses of the new trade treaties (TTIP, TPP, & TISA), Empire capitalists have been planning in secret negotiations to subordinate governments of individual nations to the power of transnational capitalist legal tribunals.
With his narrow focus on the US, Roberts seems oblivious to the growing world problem: increasing numbers of poor and powerless people everywhere in the world controlled by shrinking numbers of powerful and wealthy trans-national capitalists. In other words, the First World and the Third World will exist everywhere in the world. Instead, with his old-fashioned nationalist view, he narrowly focuses on the effects here in the US. He apparently wants, and believes is possible, a return to nationally based capitalism. He, like many other critics, simply does not understand that the concentration of wealth and power is an inevitable result of capitalist dynamics, and Empire capitalists are not going to allow national borders to stand in their way.
Only politically conscious workers can prevent this from happening, and prevent the many anti-social effects of capitalism by replacing the system with one that serves all the people everywhere.
Ryan’s ascendency lurches Washington further to the right. His neocon credentials are scary. He wants more spending for wars and militarism, less for social programs. ....
He rants about ‘keeping America strong,” supports its heavy intervention hand anywhere it wishes, serving US interests at the expense of all others.
Join Jeff and Dan on KFCF FM88.1 in Fresno, California, for an insightful and informative conversation about China, Russia, the United States and the rise of the Anti-West Alliance, to do battle against Western empire and colonialism. It is happening before our very eyes, but you would never know it in the West’s mainstream media. This interview will provide you with history changing news events that are either buried or completely distorted behind the Great Western Firewall.
This illustrates how most people in the US have been thoroughly indoctrinated in beliefs about the existence of "democracy" in the US. Here they sense that it is flawed, but they fail to realize how fake it actually is, and has always been--except to a lesser degree.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Humans seem to be at war with nature -- epitomized by the system of capitalism, which plunders as it grows. But what if we understood the realm of Nature as not separate from the human realm of Society? Radical scholar Jason Moore suggests that we need to embed our critique of capitalism within the web of life on earth – so as best to oppose it.Moore also goes on to develop the thesis that we must examine how the development of capitalism plays an integral role in organizing and altering nature on our planet Earth, and is now approaching nature's limits and causing all kinds of crises.
The very notable international human rights attorney draws our attention to the ongoing aggressive military events perpetrated by Empire directors very near Russia's borders. This reportage is almost completely missing from mainstream news sources, particularly from TV news programs. Instead the latter news reports, which most ordinary Americans follow for news of the world, are filled with trivia, entertainment, celebrities, scandals, election debates among candidates sponsored by the ruling class, and with a little anti-Russian and anti-Chinese slanted coverage thrown in. This type of corporate media coverage is a deliberate strategy designed by ruling capitalist class directors to keep ordinary people distracted and dumbed-down as to the directors' war crimes, preparations, and provocations that are carried out under the banners of the US and NATO.
Black in this article attempts to fill us in on an important missing segment: a major military exercise now going on in the Baltic states under NATO's direction. He carefully examines the texts and subtexts of official reports about this exercise and finds that it is a very aggressive, provocative project aimed like a dagger at Russia.
The NATO war machine is now engaged in its biggest military exercises since the end of the Cold War. Exercise Trident Juncture began on September 28 and continues through to November 6 with exercises taking place in all NATO countries but with major field operations taking place in Portugal, Spain and Italy. The exercises, involving 35,000 personnel, over 200 aircraft and 50 warships is taking place as the confrontation between the United States of American and its dependencies in the NATO war alliance on the one hand and Russia and its allies on the other continues to develop in a very alarming way on two fronts, Syria and Ukraine.
Jailing someone for debt who is too poor to pay is a civil rights violation under the 1966 U.N. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It is also illegal under the 1982 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Bearden vs. Georgia.
But though debtor’s prisons are not allowed de jure — by law — they are on the rise de facto.
New research indicates that the thermometer may climb to what meteorologists call a “wet bulb temperature” of 35°C [95°F] − the temperature of human skin. At this point, people in the region would be unable to keep cool, and after prolonged exposure, even young, healthy, fit people could die.
There is no record that such temperatures have been reached anywhere in the world in human history. But the scientific report in Nature Climate Change suggests that under the “business as usual scenario” − whereby no steps are taken to address climate change, and the expanding the use of coal, oil and natural gas dumps ever greater quantities carbon dioxide in the atmosphere − then such conditions could occur once every decade or so before 2100.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
In order to understand the potential consequences of this, VPRO Backlight traveled to Canada, which became one of the most sued countries in the world after it entered into a trade agreement with the US. American companies now summon the Canadian government to appear before an arbitration tribunal if they feel that Canadian rules aren't in compliance with the free trade agreement Nafta. Despite democratic decisions against fracking under Canada's most important river, the Saint Lawrence, the Canadian government was sued for millions of dollars by the oil and shale gas company Lone Pine.
Dolack starts out with statistics showing the growing disparities of income and some references to the advantage of being born into wealthy families. But soon he makes a much more original contribution to this phenomenon of inequality: he supplies solid data indicating that one's nation of birth is even a more powerful factor separating the rich from the poor in the world. To put it another way, the rich take even greater advantage of the power and wealth of already rich and power nations into which they are born than they do using the advantages of family wealth. Thus, the title could have been more aptly stated as "Work harder to be born into the right nation as well as the right family".
This, of course, reflects the factor of imperialism in today's world as a driving force to concentrate wealth in fewer hands and creating poverty in ever increasing numbers of the world's poor. In the 21st century we see the effects of this phenomenon on dramatic display with the operations of the US-led Empire and its hyper aggressive military and economic policies to gain control over populations, markets, cheap labor, and resources throughout many areas of the world.
This article written by an academic in Australia and published in an online journal supported by capitalist funding sources illustrates how many people are mis-educated and indoctrinated to serve capitalist propaganda interests. In the article Hearman exposes her complete naïveté with regard to one of history's most horrendous crimes against humanity. There has been a concerted effort since this 1965 event to cover it up by Western academic institutions and media because it exposes the roles of US and British subversive forces to extend their control over the newly independent country of Indonesia following WWII.
If you are not informed about this historic crime and the Empire's involvement in it, I direct your attention to some brief articles here, here, and here, or a longer series of three published in Ramparts Magazine in 1970 accessed here, here, and here.
Weather is what happens, climate is what people grow to expect from the weather. So climate change, driven by global warming as a consequence of rising carbon dioxide levels, in response to more than a century of fossil fuel combustion, could be – for many people – gradual, imperceptible and difficult to identify immediately.
But Sybren Drijfhout, of the University of Southampton in the UK and his collaborators in France, the Netherlands and Germany, are not so sure.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
His ideological obsession in countering the Soviet Union in the Cold War knew no bounds. Talbot reports that private citizen Dulles funded espionage activities with treasure looted from Jewish families; that he set up, together with Frank Wisner and others, his own espionage unit deep within the State Department – the Office of Policy Coordination; that he was instrumental in the rise of Richard Nixon to political prominence. Throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s he was hard at work constructing the infrastructure of the CIA and a powerful secret government that would outlast him.Unfortunately Curtin emphasizes Dulles's antisemitism in the first half of this review and in the last half provides a rather narrow focus on the machinations and well-grounded suspicions of Dulles that Talbot revealed in his book. Missing from Curtin's review is a larger picture of how Dulles represented dark fascist forces in the US which, having failed with a government coup in 1933 (read Jules Archer's The Plot to Seize the White House), buried themselves under the label of isolationism to impede any efforts by the Roosevelt administration to counter the growing forces of fascist capitalism that overran Europe.
Once he finagled his way into the position of CIA Director under Eisenhower, “the CIA would become avast kingdom, the most powerful and least supervised agency in government …. More in keeping with an expanding empire than with a vibrant democracy.”
After WWII they then used the naive President Truman, whose main claim to success was as an operator of a department store in Missouri, to ensconce themselves in a new secret organization that soon became the CIA. This is where Talbot's exposé comes in to tell the story of the gradual takeover of our government by these authoritarian capitalists, while Curtin in this review fails to provide the more important larger history by focusing on "evil-doers" such as Dulles. This constrained focus is necessary in order to avoid issues of fascism and the fake democracy-themed distractions we now see played out over our TV sets.
Perhaps I'm being a bit unfair. So, read the review and the book to see what you think. Also, check out this recent post regarding the book, its author, and my commentary.
Occasionally one finds in small countries, where capitalist elites haven't yet taken full control of these countries, unusual patterns of genuine accountability of leaders to their societies at large. Iceland appears to be one such example.
In a story not reported on at all by any Western mainstream media source, Iceland just sentenced another five high level bankers to prison for directly contributing to the collapse of the country’s economy in 2008.
This brings the total to 26 bankers now behind bars in Iceland, with most being CEOs of large financial institutions, rather than low level traders.
Most of those jailed will serve terms of two to five years, according to a report by Iceland Magazine, which notes that three executives at Landsbankinn and two at Kaupþing, along with one prominent investor, have been prosecuted.
Monday, October 26, 2015
The interview with the former Greek leader as well as the online source, Open Democracy, encapsulates what I believe is representing a stunted version of "radical" thought often found in online media today. This radical thought is essentially a product of the tenuous status of middle class people in an advanced capitalist world in which the need for middle class people is diminishing because of the increasing sophistication of technological innovations all of which were created by workers but have become "owned" and controlled by capitalists.
Efficiency of production has always been a driving force among capitalists in order to achieve greater profits and power. We have now arrived at such advanced technologies that the need for managers, miscellaneous professional staffs, government bureaucrats, etc have been considerably reduced. The middle class is threatened by this, and thus we have many people like Varoufakis who are reacting to this stress by making various proposals dressed up in "democratic" clothing to try to cope with this déclassé threat. I think that this is the case with Varoufakis in spite of one line, a paraphrase of lines from past genuine revolutionaries, thrown into the interview by him to give his views a veneer of radical respectability:
There are ways you can imagine intervening immediately in the European crisis today to stabilise European capitalism in order to be able to begin discussing political projects for democratising it. It is either that or barbarism. [my emphasis]I argue this because of many other statements he made in the interview that betrays a capitalist perspective such as this:
A state emerges as a result of the political need for a mechanism, a collective action mechanism, that ameliorates class conflict and group conflict.This is a decidedly a capitalist perspective on the role of a state. It only acts as a mediator of intra-capitalist class conflicts. The capitalist state functions to constrain and contain opposition from workers and to co-opt essential middle-class workers by giving them various perks, privileges, and higher pay. A state is a creature created by capitalists who took over the control of territories under the former ruling class consisting of monarchs and aristocracies who gained control through the use of violence.
By definition, the state, even if it is not democratic, as in China for instance, nevertheless is a purely political process for the purpose of stabilising social conflicts.This statement implies that Europe has enjoyed authentic democracy. And, the state does not function to stabilize social conflicts. It functions to contain it for the benefit of the ruling capitalist class.
You will see other examples of a capitalist perspective if you peruse other articles on Open Democracy's website.
There are two ways to consider the White House’s announcement last week that, no, American troops will no longer withdraw from Afghanistan as previously planned. You can look back over President Obama’s record in such matters or you can face forward and think about what this decision means, or implies, or suggests —or maybe all three—about the next president’s conduct of foreign policy.I've only had an opportunity to scan this article, but it appears to offer at least a mild recognition that a "deep state" is really in control over all important decisions, particularly with regard to foreign policies, affecting our nation. I completely agree with the following:
I do not like what I see in either direction. What anyone who looks carefully and consciously can discern in Obama’s seven years in office are limits. These are imposed in part by inherited circumstances, but let us set these aside for now, appalling as they are. My concern is with the limits imposed by the entrenched power of our permanent government, otherwise known as the “deep state.”
I put this question to David Talbot in a telephone exchange Tuesday. Talbot (who founded Salon 20 years ago) has just published “The Devil’s Chessboard,” an account of the deep state focused on the crucial role of Allen Dulles as it emerged in the 1950s. Dulles directed the CIA from 1953 until President Kennedy fired him in 1961. It is Talbot’s contention that elements of the deep state, probably including Dulles, were responsible for Kennedy’s assassination two years later.
“Presidents have to be thoroughly vetted before getting to the White House,” Talbot replied. “Kennedy was probably the last president not thoroughly approved by the deep state."
People sometimes wonder why is it important to investigate the alleged hijackers and others officially accused of committing the 9/11 crimes. After all, the accused 19 hijackers could not have accomplished most of what happened. The answer is that the official accounts are important because they are part of the crimes. Identifying and examining the people who created the official 9/11 myth helps to reveal the ones who were responsible overall.
The people who actually committed the crimes of September 11th didn’t intend to just hijack planes and take down the buildings—they intended to blame others.
The geopolitical stakes in the Middle East have just gotten higher by an order of magnitude. Take a little-known Newark, New Jersey oil company, the contested Golan Heights between Syria and Israel, add a reported major oil discovery there just as Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria goes into high gear, shake it vigorously and we have a potential detonator for World War III.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
(Note: This article really consists of two essays with the headline emphasizing the first. I regard the second essay by the above title as far more important. You will need to scroll down a bit to find it.)
MacMillan finds evidence that TTIP, one of the latest secret trade pacts (includes also TPP & TISA), is being crafted not only to promote more corporate dominance over the governments of the Empire, but is strategically directed against Russia which insists upon independence from the Empire. The directors of the latter simply cannot tolerate such independence. Like all fascist forms of capitalist regimes they can only accept subservience . I think a similar argument can be made for TPP with regard to China.
Sometimes employees of the Empire's directorate forget about the latter's propaganda and inadvertently tell the truth. Not to worry--no corporate media will take notice of this slip-up and broadcast it. What is interesting is that a person well connected to the Council on Foreign Relations, a major Empire think tank, noticed her slip-up.
Bernhard concludes by asking this question:
If there are any competent opponents to her candidacy for president they should pick up on this and use it to destroy her: "You want a president that is lying to you about going to war?Well, I think they are all demonstrating competence by knowing when to keep their mouths shut in order to preserve the lies of the Empire. On the other hand, her Empire handlers might be concerned about her slip-ups, but then they know that everyone of influence will cover for her.
Shannon reviews a recently published book by Tim Flannery in which the author describes several promising techno-fixes to the excessive pumping of carbon into the atmosphere and oceans by capitalist engines of production for profit. He concludes his review with these statements:
By not scaring the sacrosanct GDP horses, by not challenging the capitalist god of economic growth, Flannery obscures the link between global warming and the capitalist economic system that has given rise to it. ....
Flannery's “Third Way” is the grand, and risky, illusion of geo-engineering, albeit shorn of its dangerously wilder fantasies, that will keep capitalism humming all the way up to environmental Armageddon.