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, July 16, 2016
Nissani argues that many people, including the US-led Empire's most prominent enemies in Russia and China, underestimate the cleverness that the "controllers", the invisible government consisting of major bankers and top owners of corporations, are using in their mad efforts to extend their control over all the world. They may be crazy by risking a nuclear war (and destroying habitat) but they are not stupid as currently expressed by so many naive political observers. In addition to their plethora of powerful weapons, and Machiavellian strategies and tactics to destabilize and break up countries, they use the stealth weapons of finance and control of central banks which are probably even more effective in extending their control. Nissani's observations about the latter weapon as used on Russia is most revealing.
I firmly believe, and have argued many times, that these empire builders are under the influence of the most powerful drug of all--power. This drug works much like a metastasized cancer that is inherent in the advanced stage of transnational capitalism. (Only working people have opposed its more benign form when it was functioning mostly within nations and the latter's colonies.) By underestimating their drugged state of minds and their insane actions that threaten a nuclear war and havoc everywhere, their main opponents of Russia, China, and revolutionaries are failing to take the goals of these "evil geniuses" seriously, and thus failing to apply effective counter-measures. This essay is a passionate call to sane people everywhere to stand up to this juggernaut of invisible empire builders and evil, sick geniuses.
In the post-war boom era of 1945 to 1971, the U.S. surplus was at the center of the global economic order. Throughout the Bretton Woods period, the United States recycled part of its surplus via foreign direct investment – mainly in Western Europe and also in Japan. Within the system of international economic flows, the U.S. exported goods to the rest of the world and also finance these purchases. Besides, the United States created demand for the exports of foreign countries, primarily Germany and Japan.And she continues on to explain how the system changed and its consequences.
After the 1970s, this system of international economic flows changed.
...the maintenance of the U.S. supremacy requires global permanent unbalances. Consequently, the current global surplus recycling mechanism could not stabilize the world economy.
As the fundamental structural flaws in the global economy have not been addressed since the 2008 financial crisis, there are serious concerns that a new global economic crisis of unprecedented magnitude could still happen.
This piece I believe offers the best assessment at this early date of the attempted military coup in Turkey. As such it is necessarily speculative, but it is based on some very intelligent observations from excellent sources such as Sybil Edmonds who is of Turkish descent.
As pointed out by former FBI employee Sybil Edmonds, Gülen schools are a well-disguised rear asset of the CIA and are used for operations in the different regions of the world.I've always believed that the US has protected and supported the Gülen organization in order to act as a check on Turkish governments.
Then there is the timing of this coup:
The pro-American coup
itwas made at precisely the moment when Erdogan apologized to Putin and expressed a strong willingness to make adjustments in Turkey's foreign policy by beginning to change its position on the Syrian issue.
Friday, July 15, 2016
In this video Luke Rudkowski talks about the breaking news of Bernie Sanders endorsing Hillary Clinton just now in New Hampshire. This latest news is making Bernie Sanders supporters furious as they feel tricked and lied to by Bernie.
Sanders has signed up many people to register as Democrats, he has built up a ground campaign of enthusiastic young people that he will deliver to the Democratic establishment so long as they make trivial changes to the party platform, and he has signed up literally millions of people on an email list that the establishment is now salivating over.
This last point ought to give pause (though it won’t) to every left-wing and radical activist who volunteered for the campaign. That is, every time some volunteer went out doorknocking or sent out a mailer or invited people to a Facebook page or convinced somebody to make a $27 donation, and every time that led to them giving their contact information to the Sanders campaign, they were helping to create a mass contact list that will prove valuable for getting out the vote and appealing for donations for Hillary Clinton. Many self-proclaimed radicals and revolutionaries helped build the infrastructure of the Democratic Party.
...the same military-industrial complex is driving both US imperialism and state-sponsored police murders. While US military trains Poles and Latvians and Lithuanians and Georgians to kill Russians, so too do security firms in Israel and the US train police officers to act as occupiers and kill citizens in America. In effect, the belligerent foreign policy of Washington has been brought home. Perhaps it could be more accurately said that war and occupation have always been the status quo in communities of color, that the killings and violence are only being highlighted today because they have been brought to the attention of White America.
The lack of respect for peace and human life is evident both on the streets of Ferguson, Baltimore, and Baton Rouge, just as it is on display with US saber-rattling in Eastern Europe.
In their introduction the Martens attempt to put a gloss of bi-partisanship over the hoax of this bill, but fail to provide any linked documentation. Their conclusion puts the lie to any bi-partisanship involved in the evolution of this bill. Aside from their introduction the rest of the article provides an excellent exposé of how the bill is being used to fool the American people into believing that it significantly places restrictions on the too-big-to-fail banks.
The legislation promised to rein in derivatives – it didn’t. It promised to end the future need for taxpayer bailouts of too-big-to-fail banks. It didn’t. It promised to institute the Volcker Rule to prevent banks from gambling with insured deposits. It didn’t. It promised to reform the practices of the ratings agencies that played a pivotal role in the 2008 collapse. It didn’t.
The third and final conclusion of this series entitled "A Very Heavy Agenda", which provides details on the latest iteration of neoconservatives (Zionist conservatives), is now available for viewing. See the trailer below.
While stage managing the American empire has undoubtedly proved to be a more difficult task now than in the bipolar world of the cold war era, it is not for lack of greed or hubris that the Kagans and others continue to sell their vision. Did they create these ideas because they truly believe in America’s right to be the dominant force in the world? Or, do these ideas help sell weapons and control resources like oil and rare minerals? .... When you take stock of the mindset of people who not only have access to the nexuses of power, but who trade in forming and widely disseminating arguments that justify bringing America closer to a potential nuclear confrontation with Russia, it shows something more plainly Machiavellian at work, with an aim ultimately much more sinister than simply spin.
Europeans are learning about the revolving door practice that our masters in the US capitalist class use so effectively to protect their interests.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
The title of this post is also the title of a new book by Hudis about the insights of Franz Fanon that are very relevant today especially here in the US where racism is raising its ugly head once again. Fanon (1925 –1961) was born in Martinique in the Caribbean and became a psychiatrist, philosopher, and revolutionary writer. He wrote most profoundly about the psychological effects of racism on the victims of racism and how it develops out of exploitation to become such a tenacious problem for all people to overcome. (The same holds for sexism also.)
(A side-note: In recent years I have become aware of my own racism that is not only directed toward African-Americans but also people of Japanese descent. The racism takes the form of a visceral reaction and, of course, I would never consciously act on such feelings. The Japanese reaction is a product of my brainwashing at the hands of the US ruling class in the early years of my life during WWII. They needed us to hate Japanese so that young Americans would go to war and kill them in order to eliminate the Japanese capitalist class as a rival for domination and exploitation of Asian resources and markets. I was constantly subjected to despicable yellow caricatures of "Japs" that to this day brings out a visceral reaction whenever I see people of Japanese descent.)
As a Marxist Fanon was often critical of traditional Marxists because they ignored racism as an independent factor which had to be dealt with by revolutionaries, and that racism would not simply vanish when a socialist revolution was accomplished. Hudis writes about Fanon:
His dire warning of what happens when the struggle against racism and colonialism loses sight of the ultimate goal of transforming human relations remains as important today as when it was written. Indeed, in some respects it has become more important, in light of the many unfinished and aborted revolutions that we have experienced over the past 50 years.
True, Fanon may not provide us with a golden key to resolve the questions of our time, and he surely would never have pretended otherwise. What a reexamination of his thought can achieve, however, is for us to come to a better understanding of the complex inter-relation between race and class as we try to work out how today’s struggles against racism, sexism and class society can lead to a new humanism.
I am convinced that the European Union is a prison. This is a consolidation of financial interests, but not the union of the people. This consolidation will not be long. Brexit – is a good example for us. Soon other countries will think of doing the same. Perhaps, this is the beginning of disintegration of the European Union.Although I don't agree with several observations made by this author, I think this piece represents another indication that Europeans are waking up to the fact that they are a colony of the US-led Empire. The are ruled, like we ordinary Americans are, by a transnational class comprised of American, British empire, and European capitalists. We are all subjected colonial people.
My motivation to write this article was heightened by my longstanding conceptual and experiential distaste for the industry. Conceptually, it is like a large casino that bets I am a low risk to it and will nevertheless extort me while I, on the contrary, am betting heavily and acting like I am a high risk to it. Experientially, I am a low risk policy holder (no claims ever), but I pay high risk premiums for auto and homeowners’ insurance policies. My premiums are always rising. My auto insurance company makes me share the costs of large claims (sometimes overloaded with law suits) from other policy holders....The author focuses our attention on one major capitalist industry to provide us with details on how this one sector simultaneously exploits us and corrupts government. The only criticism I have of the article is that it should have provided links, such as to Glen Greenwald and the "article in the U.S. Constitution that forbids forcing individuals to enter into contracts against their will...."
The insurance industry as a whole forces us to provide cash to capitalists so that they can at the Wall Street casino.
The author introduces us to the new Prime Minister of Britain, and the headline says it all. It's clear that she will be a perfect fit for head of one the components of the US-led Empire.
On the 13th July 2016 David Cameron stepped down as leader of Britain. Theresa May is now Prime Minister. She voted for the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in 2003, for the deployment of more British troops to Afghanistan in 2010, the destruction of Libya in 2011 which created a safe haven for death squads in the region and most recently for RAF airstrikes on Syria. She has reshuffled the British cabinet, appointing well known racist bigot Boris Johnson as ‘Foreign Secretary’ and denier of colonial crimes Liam Fox as ‘Secretary of State for International Trade’.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
According to the website William Astore is a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF).... "He has taught at the Air Force Academy and the Naval Postgraduate School, and now teaches History at the Pennsylvania College of Technology."
This is a confession of how a US military officer broke through the shackles of brainwashing (see definition #2 here) that he received mostly effectively through futuristic science fiction films to see who the real bad guys are. His story also offers, in my opinion, another excellent illustration of the weakest link in the Empire's rule: the ordinary people they depend on to sustain their drive to dominate everyone on our planet with so many disastrous effects. Any genuine revolutionary movement must engage in efforts to convince people, especially in the critical area of law enforcement, of the unjust and immoral realities of ruling class governance.
Yes, there really is brainwashing, but not the fictional kind that our masters alleged was used by the Chinese and North Koreans (see definition #1 here) to explain away what our masters claimed were false testimonies of veterans who confessed about the US use of biological warfare (BW) against the North Koreans and Chinese during the Korean War. Of course the use of BW was a major war crime, and no doubt it has been dubbed the "forgotten war" because of this war crime not to mention all the other nefarious reasons for the US interference in another country's civil war. (Officially the UN fought this war, but at that time the UN was under the complete control of the US.) Our ruling masters made a massive effort to cover up their war crime by utilizing every medium of indoctrination at their disposal--corporate media, books and movies about "brainwashing", authority figures such as professors, threats to returning veterans who knew that we used BW, etc.
Fortunately after more than 50 years of this coverup of a major war crime, you can now learn the convincing truth by reading Dave Chaddock's This Must Be The Place in which he assembles a massive amount of information to conclusively prove that we, or rather, the US government did precisely that and lied about it.
Similarly Astore's story is another testimony of how people can break through their own brainwashing to realize who the really bad guys are--they have been us, as in "US of A".
In this much better than average translation, Meyssan offers a very accurate brief history and current assessment of NATO, the US Empire's army.
Addressing the governing powers of Europe, Meyssan writes:
Despite an abundant historical literature, the Western powers have still not understood that NATO was originally created by their governing classes for use against them, and that today, it is being used by the United States against their elites. The case is a little different for the Baltic states and Poland, which entered into the Alliance only recently, and are still at the stage of elitist fear of the Communists.
|Iconic moment in Baton Rouge. Photo by Jonathan Bachman.|
Making a cake is easy... as long as you follow the recipe and instructions. Messing it all up and creating a disgusting, inedible mess is just as easy — particularly if you get distracted or fail to take your time with everything.
Somehow, the United States of America wants to have all of the ingredients for murder and mayhem, cook it at 500 degrees for a few years, and be shocked when what comes out on the other end isn't sweet peace and colorful rainbows. That's not how recipes work.
Sheepdog Sanders has performed his job well for the sheep farmer known as the ruling capitalist class. He has herded many dissident-sheep into the farmer's corral known as the Democratic Party. The dissidents are now being fed with a "progressive" platform to allay their fears, and are faced with the agonizing choice of going down the Democratic Party's chute to be slaughtered or leaping over a small fence and going down the Republican Party's chute to be slaughtered. White in this article clarifies the significance of the platform.
...the Clinton-controlled Democratic Party platform committee agreed to a number of amendments to the party’s 2016 platform proposed by the Sanders camp. The 35-page document, which will be finalized and ratified at the Democratic Party national convention in Philadelphia later this month, is nonbinding and of zero significance in terms of the policies of the next president.
It has been decades since the official platforms adopted by the two parties of American big business, the Democrats and Republicans, were seen by the parties themselves or the political and media establishment as a whole as anything more than window dressing. This year, however, Sanders has sought to portray the document and the convention itself as having great political import. He is doing so in furtherance of his effort to divert the popular disgust with the political system and desire for an anticapitalist alternative that was reflected in the broad support for his campaign....
The British have been engaging in numerous discussions about the Chilcott Inquiry that was an official investigation into the Iraq War that started on November 24, 2009 and concluded on February 2, 2011, but the results were kept under wraps until just recently when they were published on July 6th. There has been much consternation expressed over the widespread lying that occurred both during the run-up to the war and its aftermath. But it appears that there is an attempt by the British ruling class to lay the blame entirely on the useful idiot Tony Blair who was (Labor Party!) prime minister during this time. There are plenty of war criminals on both sides of the Atlantic that need to be brought to trial, but won't be. At least the British are recognizing that they were lied to, something that many Americans will probably not experience publicly for many years.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Ruccio, in addressing his fellow economists, describes the narrow limits within which "elites", also known as the US ruling capitalist class, as well as their subset of mainstream economists, discuss their policies. Because they are a ruling class, their organs of information, media, education, and even entertainment also reflect this kind of permissible discussion not only about economic issues, but about all issues that impinge upon their pursuits of wealth and power.
Mainstream economists use different theories and promote different policies within those narrow limits. What they exclude are theories and policies that fall outside those limits—and thus, in their view, don’t deserve a hearing.Their expertise ends when it comes to theories that focus on such things as the inherent instability of capitalism or the role of class in determining the value of goods and services and the distribution of income. And they exclude policies that either change the fundamental rules of capitalism or look beyond capitalism, to alternative ways of organizing economic and social life.
What a powerful writer! Rodgers expresses, like no other I have found, what it is really like to be a veteran of US wars and having a hard time fitting back into civilian life.
After reading this, I recommend another entitled "What If?" which gives you the experience of a long life in prison: "Today I got my release papers from the Castle. Twenty years I served behind its ...."
The collapse of the Soviet Union left Bulgaria [and adjacent regions] achieving in the 1990s what the rest of the world is working hard to manage in the 2020s, a reduction in its carbon dioxide emissions of more than 45%.
But while a lot of inefficient mines and smelting plants have closed, the rump of the minerals industry survived. It is now expanding again, destroying pristine forests and wildlife and raising questions about Europe’s policy of transporting ore across the globe for smelting and refining.
Vast quantities of raw material are transported by ship, but the emissions caused are not counted because shipping is not covered by the Paris Agreement of last December.
Monday, July 11, 2016
(Note: Because this extremely complex article has been substantially revised quite recently, it will fit into my posting requirements that articles should be written and/or posted on some website within the last 30 days.)
Because I have been convinced that the capitalist system needed to be overthrown ever since the days of the Vietnam War, I was expecting something much more practical regarding methods which would overthrow the system. The only feature which qualified for this was his reference to an historical "Al-Sabbah". Nissani writes:
Up to now, we have shown that rulers and powerful cliques often safeguard their position by killing their opponents. We still need to show that assassinations can likewise be productively employed by the weaker party in any given conflict. Hassan Al-Sabbah and his successors provide one fascinating example of this form of asymmetrical warfare.Essentially this method means adopting the oppressor's methods that are used against us, to use against them: bullying, blackmailing, and killing influential opponents. (See the nine ingredients advocating in overthrowing an oppressive ruler contained in this post regarding Al-Sabbah--towards the bottom.)
This article as a whole appears to be a summing up of many articles that Nissani has written over the last several years. But instead of a "revolutionary toolkit" what I found was much more like what the sub-headline described--"What I've learned in a lifetime about humanity's needless predicament, its causes, and cures". It might also be thought of as providing some very good recommendations for preparing for a revolution. But I argue that it provides very little substance as a "toolkit" for revolution.
Also this summing-up article reflects a lot of conceptual confusion. Nissani's previous articles focused on three pillars: bribery, assassinations, and co-optation. In this article we are confronted with 14 pillars that support the ruling regime--whatever that is: "bankers"? "controllers", a "criminal syndicate"? Then under the sub-heading "Revolutionary Strategies" the content refers partly what is needed before we embark on any revolution, or dispensing with reformist measures that have been used in the past. But then Nissani suggests a "surgical reform strategy" which is still a reformist strategy, and which purportedly and vaguely strikes at the root. What the root is, is not clear. The best I could find was in the sentence "Eradicating the scourge of private money from American politics." So, I guess this means passing a law that forbids large money contributions to political campaigns of candidates.
What is striking to me is that nowhere is any system identified although the term is used frequently--mostly a reference is made to a "political system". I think that Nissani is himself a victim of "Belief Perseverance" which he has identified as a hindrance in understanding human problems. The ruling capitalist class has so long and so effectively forbidden the identification of the system as capitalism in any negative sense that most people simply cannot think in terms of this system which imposes a class structure based on a ruling capitalist class's control over what is an essential core of society--its economy.
What I would like to do with the short time I have left this morning is to leave readers with a better and more constructive view of a revolutionary toolkit by providing three videos produced by StormCloudsGathering website.
Sunday, July 10, 2016
The article begins with the lyrics and YouTube video of a popular activist song by Phil Ochs, a genuine radical during the Vietnam War. This is followed by a list of the previous articles about the pillars that support the ruling capitalist class. Then Nissani gets into the meat of the essay with the section entitled "Benefits of Leading, Infiltrating, or Co-opting the Opposition". (Although the title indicates this is part 1, I don't see that it has been followed up by a part 2.)
What follows is essential reading for any serious activist to understand. I learned these lessons about co-option over many years, but Nissani gives us this knowledge in one essay. I see this pillar as probably the more powerful than the previous two discussed in this series (see here and here) because it functions so skillfully below the consciousness of most activists. This pillar allows the ruling class (Nissani refers to them as "bankers" because they are so numerous at the top of the ruling class) to very capably manage dissent. The co-option pillar supplements all the ideological organs of capitalism in that those who escape capitalist indoctrination are herded into what appears to be activist publications or organizations which are often managed by well-meaning people who fool themselves into thinking they are uninfluenced by taking money from agents of the ruling class. As a result much of seemingly progressive activism or media is defused and limited, and thus is no threat to capitalist rule.
It is when all of these pillars fail to contain activists that they will bring out the mailed fist of fascism or a police state to crush dissent. They didn't hesitate to do this in the 19th century when the new ruling capitalist class used private armies as well as their government armies to thoroughly crush organized worker opposition. Farmer resistance during the Populist Movement was more easily managed by capitalist political operatives which co-opted resistance leaders and diverted activists toward dead-end projects like silver coinage.
Today our ruling masters are once again prepared to do this with their creation of militarized police forces, 24/7 surveillance of citizens, stacked courts with ultra-conservatives, Patriot Acts etc that lay a veneer of legality to their police state methods, unaccountable secret agencies, and the armed forces if all else fails. However they depend on ordinary people to staff all these agencies of control, and frequently there are people like Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, and William Binney who rebel. This is their weakest link in the chain of control, and it is this link that we must work hard to break.
But first we must attack their control of pseudo-activist organizations and pseudo-activist media, and to do this we must be able to identify them--Nissani helps us with that task in this article. Simultaneously we must financially and otherwise support genuine alternative media who bring us information that we vitally need to act intelligently for our interests in creating equality, social justice, and sustainability.
Roberts asks some very important questions and tries to understand this violent police behavior and the assault on the police as witnessed in Dallas. He comes fairly close (for a conservative) in the final paragraphs.
For those who understand that we live in a class structured society in which one self-serving class rules to the disadvantage of the other classes, the explanation is becoming obvious. The police as well as all official agencies of violent coercion exist ultimately to secure the interests of the über-class. This latter class is the capitalist class whose control over the world and its own nation is being threatened in countless ways, they are feeling increasing insecure and prone to violent solutions, and instilling fear in the population tends to increase the latter's support for more police actions and restrictions on civil rights.
Clearly they must be recruiting people who have a proclivity to violence and racism, training them to use force whenever it suits them, and assuring them that they can do this with complete impunity. There is evidence, some of which Roberts supplies, to support the second hypothesis, and the record over many years clearly shows that police rarely receive any punishment for murdering people. Actually they are rewarded with a paid vacation (paid "administrative leave").
Gosztola leads a discussion with other activists in this 56:54m audio interview (with a "partial" transcript). I have not yet listened to all of it, but it appears to offer a very interesting discussion about a very topical issue.
NATO’s decision to deploy four battalions of troops on a supposedly rotating basis to Poland and the Baltic States is the worst sort of decision. However we need to stay calm. It does not mean war is coming.You might also be interested in reading this article entitled "Europe’s NATO Ambivalence" by an ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.
Today’s climate scientists have a lot more to worry about than peer review. Organizations with perverse financial incentives harass scientists with lawsuit after lawsuit, obstructing research and seeking to embarrass them with disclosures of private information.