We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The “Left” Is No Longer Left or Progressive. It Has Been Co-Opted

Click here to access article by Mark Taliano from Global Research [based in Canada].

Well, I think that he over stretches his argument a bit, but it is true for much of what passes as "the left" in the US and Canada.
Dissent is suppressed within the framework of corporate media monopolies. Predominant narratives are supported by corrupt “NGOs” – totally bereft of objectivity — and intelligence agency “fronts”. Real investigative journalism offering historical context and legitimate evidence are relegated to the fringes, far outside the domain of the broad-based “consensus of misunderstanding.”

The Truth About Fake News

Click here to access article from Washington's Blog.

Following President Obama remarks in Germany regarding his concern about "fake news" being spread over the internet, major press media provided prominent coverage about this issue and the need for the control of such media. The absurd allegation prompted this brief article.
The discredited mainstream media who have spread propaganda and lies causing the needless death and suffering of millions are now arrogantly trying to censor the alternative media who are working to expose their lies and save lives.

History has proven that the corporate/state media is the truly dangerous and deceptive “news”.

The Daily Bullshit

by British illustrator and animator Steve Cutts from his website.


Friday, November 18, 2016

The Trump Election: Life Have Mercy On Us

Click here to access article by Christopher Black from New Eastern Outlook.

Blogger across what passes for a left in the US and Britain continue to hysterically expound over the Trump election and what it means for the future. Although I don't agree with everything that Black writes in this article, my differences are mainly one of nuances. The election of Hillary Clinton would have elicited much the same concern for our future, except that Trump made so many outrageous remarks, mostly racist, and his reports about his misogynist past behavior have elicited even greater anxiety among Americans who are concerned about social justice issues. 

Based on sixty years of adult activism, I am convinced that an underlying deep capitalist state, which is found in major capitalist think tanks such as the Council on Foreign Relations and Brooking Institute, makes all major decision about our future. To discern what they decide is always difficult at best because it usually takes some time before anyone can determine what they have decided. Thus, we don't really know what the election of Donald Trump as the formal head of the capitalist government precisely means for our future. But we can be certain of one thing: as always, the government will continue to act in support of one tiny class of people and against the interests of the vast majority. Black's article confirms that point of view.
In reality the world stands on edge because the dominant ideology in the west offers no solutions to the crisis because it is itself the crisis. Capital cannot rule for the benefit of the people. It does not matter what brand of capitalism they are selling. It produces for profit not for need. The only way out of this crisis is for working people to start to once again sit down with each other and discuss what the cause of their problems is, and what needs to be done to change that.
I have advocated a much more specific course of action: to bring about real change in our futures, read my commentary for this post.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Stay Alert, America: The Worst Is Yet to Come

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

I can't agree with all of his statements, but most of my differences are only ones of emphasis. However I'd like to point out that in these two paragraphs he essentially contradicts himself:
After all, presidents are just puppets on a string, made to dance to the tune of the powers-that-be. And the powers-that-be want war. They want totalitarianism. They want a monied oligarchy to run the show. They want bureaucracy and sprawl and government leaders that march in lockstep with their dictates. Most of all, they want a gullible, distracted, easily led populace that can be manipulated, maneuvered and made to fear whatever phantom menace the government chooses to make the bogeyman of the month.

Unless Trump does another about-face, rest assured that the policies of a Trump Administration will be no different from an Obama Administration or a Bush Administration, at least not where it really counts.
Either presidents in the US have become puppets or they are not. I conclude that they are. Thus if Trump substantially changed policies of previous administrations, it could only be if the ruling class think tanks, which serve as clearing houses of capitalist ruling class policies, substantially changed their policies. This has never happened in recent decades and there is no reason to believe that this will happen now. Should Trump defy these deep state authorities, he would be removed from office one way or another.

As anti-Trump protests spread, Democrats scramble to contain opposition

Click here to access article by Barry Grey from World Socialist Web Site
These protests point to the development of a significant political movement in the United States. An entire generation of youth is becoming radicalized by the coming to power of the most right-wing government in American history.

Since losing the popular vote by over 1 million votes but securing the Electoral College last week, Trump has reaffirmed his war on immigrants, pledged to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court with an anti-abortion zealot and made clear he will pack his cabinet with law-and-order reactionaries and warmongers.

In the face of growing opposition to Trump, top Democratic Party officials continue to preach accommodation and “unity.”
Even though I don't believe the capitalist ruling class's government will significantly change, they appear to me to be a bit reckless by installing Trump as their puppet president. I think it could very well have the effect of radicalizing many young people and others. Bloggers are making all kinds of wild speculations about the Trump presidency, but this one I believe is rather serious. This could be an indication of our masters' excess hubris and a slap down of the challenge by young people to their authority (think Bernie Sanders) or it could be an indication of their rational confidence in their police state infrastructure to contain any dissent. Time will tell. 

Hate Genie is out

by cartoonist Khalil Bendib.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Snowden: Stop Putting So Much Faith (and Fear) in Presidents

Click here to access article (includes a one hour video featuring comments by Snowden) by Jon Miltimore from Intellectual Takeout.

I am posting this interview from this website (also re-posted on the alternative website Russia Insider) because I think the post's primary focus on certain comments made by Edward Snowden says much more about the website's ruling class allegiance than it does about Snowden's observations about government surveillance.

Also I want to illustrate how a website functioning as a non-profit (they are designated "NGOs" when in foreign countries) shapes your views about current events to protect and preserve the existing capitalist system. By perusing the "About" sections here and here you can get an initial idea of their mainstream political orientation. 

The post is about an hour long interview, which I believe was broadcast on a Dutch TV program using a livestream feed from Moscow to obtain comments from Snowden, that touched on many issues relating to government surveillance of communications by citizens. 

Now I want you to contrast this post's coverage of the event either by listening to the one hour program or by reading an accurate summary of all of Snowden's comments posted on RT's coverage. By focusing on only one weak comment by Snowden, this post highlights or frames the entire one hour interview on government surveillance to blame the victim, the American people, for their political misfortune, and to obscure the nature of capitalist ruling class power.
“We should be cautious about putting too much faith or fear into elected officials,” said Snowden. “At the end of the day, this is just a president.”

He said if people want to change the world, they should look to themselves instead of putting their hopes or fears in a single person. “This can only be the work of the people,” Snowden said. “If we want to have a better world we can’t hope for an Obama, and we should not fear a Donald Trump, rather we should build it ourselves.”
The author reinforces this message by concluding the following: 
Would America not be a better place if people more often looked inward instead of putting their hopes and fears in some distant leader? Would we not be better people if we did so?
An accurate comment by a more perceptive person than Snowden would have said that you can't take seriously what political candidates say during their campaigns for office because once in office they serve as puppets for the capitalist ruling class.

Finally in this lesson on media bias and how the ruling class deviously shapes your news and views, I want you to do a little web research by using search engines to look for information on this website. If your search is thorough enough, you will find a website sponsored by The Center for Media and Democracy that provides information about Intellectual Takeout's connections to the Koch Brothers and major capitalist organizations.

The crises of neoliberalism won’t be solved by more neoliberalism

Click here to access article by Pete Dolack from Systemic Disorder.

Dolack once again exposes the latest capitalist thinking to the light of reality to reveal all the disasters that lie ahead not only for the self-serving masters of this system but all of us as well. Much like addicted alcoholics our masters continue to make all kinds of promises to avert these disasters (think Paris Agreement 2015 and the followup session now convening in Marrakech, Morocco), but continue the obsession with growth by clearing forests, constructing oil pipelines (Standing Rock), tearing up the earth to secure more materials for this growth, etc, all to secure their drugs of profit and power.

The only statement I don't like about this essay is contained in the opening sentence which declares that an abstract "we" simply don't know how to design another economic system so that we can live sustainably on our planet-home.
We’re in a world of trouble if we are unable to conceive of alternative economic models. We need not linger on the details of rising inequality, political instability, tightening corporate control of governments, looming environmental crisis, increasingly precarious employment (if even available) and the inability to meet the basic needs of billions of people around the world to see that capitalism is failing humanity.
Thus he completely ignores the reality of a tiny group of people who have imposed an economic system on the mass of humanity through their control of every means of coercion and indoctrination in order to satisfy their addictions to profits and power. It is not that "we" don't know any better,  it is because "we" are forced ultimately at gun-point to continue this deadly business-as-usual. What we don't know so far is how to overthrow the rule of these megalomaniac capitalist addicts. This is the stark political reality that is likely to cause humans and many other species to disappear from the Earth.

From White House to madhouse: climate denial in the era of Donald Trump

Click here to access article by David Spratt from Climate Code Red (Australia).
... [Trump] can do immense damage to domestic programs and the international mood.
Spratt uses a review of a book he just read, The Madhouse Effect, to speculate on the changes that might come about regarding the climate destabilization issue under the Trump administration. But I argue that there can't be any substantial change when no substantial change has been occurring except empty promises. It is just that the Trump administration might stop using rhetoric that suggests they are concerned about the issue or lying about doing something to mitigate the looming disaster that lies ahead due to the ongoing capitalist assault on the environment. This candor might be refreshing. 

Change for the white working class

by cartoonist Jimmy Margulies.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Talk Nation Radio: Jonathan Simon on How Machines May Have Counted Our Votes Wrong

Click here to access a 29:00m audio interview with Jonathan Simon who is interviews by David Swanson.
Jonathan Simon is author of CODE RED: Computerized Election Theft and The New American Century. He serves as Executive Director of Election Defense Alliance (www.ElectionDefenseAlliance.org), a nonprofit organization founded in 2006 to restore observable vote counting and electoral integrity as the basis of American democracy. In addition to CODE RED, Dr. Simon has published, both individually and in collaboration, numerous papers related to various aspects of election forensics and election integrity. We discuss the counting of votes in last week’s U.S. elections.

Meet the Neocons, 9/11 Criminals and Goldman Bankers On Team Trump

Click here to access article by James Corbett from The Corbett Report
The voting machines have decided who will be the next puppet figurehead of the Pax Americana deep state for the next four years. The circus is over and the peanut shells are being swept out of the stands. So what do we have to show for all of it?

Well, I have some good news, some bad news, and some not-so-good news for you. Let's start with the bad news.

“Clean Energy” is a Dirty Joke

Click here to access article by Michael Swifte (I believe he is from Australia) posted on Wrong Kind of Green.

Swifte dissects the methods used by people who ostensibly oppose carbon capture and storage (CCS) but actually serve to legitimate it.
When I discovered that some of the very same people who were presenting the most popular arguments for why we should #keepitintheground were also paving the way for carbon capture and storage I began asking questions....

I quickly realised I was asking the wrong questions. I shouldn’t be asking why, I should be asking how? How do fundamentally economic concepts like unburnable carbon, stranded assets, and carbon budgets work for the inevitable continuation of fossil fuel extraction and the wholesale destruction of forests? How much political will for carbon capture and storage is out there and how is it expressed? How are pundits, mouthpieces or messaging agents able to use “clean energy” to mask their support for energy that is in no way clean?

It’s impossible to answer these questions without going on the journey to understanding how conflated logics and rhetorical devices appear, are transmitted, and express themselves in language. This is the very heart of psychological warfare....

The year 2016 set to be hottest on record

Click here to access article from France 24
The year 2016 will "very likely" be the hottest on record, the UN said Monday, warning of calamitous consequences if the march of global warming cannot be halted.

Average temperatures for the year were set to hit about 1.2 Celsius (2.16 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels – meaning that 16 of the 17 hottest years on record were this century, said the UN's World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Monday, November 14, 2016

From “political revolution” to collaboration: Sanders and Warren pledge to work with Trump

Click here to access article by Patrick Martin and Joseph Kishore from World Socialist Web Site.

The authors point out the career politicians and union leaders who are scrambling to climb on board the Trump bandwagon to secure their careers after the capitalist ruling class has decided to use Trump and associates to head their government following the discovery that their chosen candidate, Hillary Clinton, was so distasteful to the general public.

However, I think the authors were placed too much weight with the appointment of Stephen Bannon as "chief strategist and senior counselor". Given his background I think he will serve in the latter position mostly as a public spokesman for his administration. What I believe to be a more important appointment is the selection of Reince Priebus as Trump's chief of staff. (Obviously the authors did not learn of this appointment when they published this article.) The latter is clearly an approved political functionary of the ruling capitalist class, the directors of which likely made a deal with Trump to clear his election as president. As such Priebus will likely perform the role of handler/controller for Trump to see that he pursues the policies of the ruling capitalist class as mediated by their secretive think tanks such as the Council on Foreign Relations and Brookings Institution, and not do something that they regard as stupid. (How do you think Ronald Reagan, who had Alzheimer's, made it through his second term of office?)

Thus with the Trump administration nothing substantial will change. You will still have ever increasing inequality, poverty, a growing prison industry, and definitely more wars--just like you would have seen if Hillary had won the election. With Bannon handling public relations, the rhetoric will change a bit: instead of the smooth talking Obama, you will likely hear more jingoistic rants against Russia and China, racist rants against Muslims and foreigners, war-on-crime lectures to justify imprisoning desperate poor people, and moral condemnations against the lazy poor.

This should be a political lesson for especially young people whose "sins" are looking to career politicians in the capitalist class and other collaborators such as union leaders to lead them out of today's capitalist purgatory instead of understanding that only they, themselves, can do this and acting accordingly.

The authors conclude with this statement:
One of the basic problems in the demonstrations is that many of those participating still express illusions in the role of the Democratic Party. In fact, the Democratic Party—from Obama and Clinton to Sanders and Warren—bears political responsibility for the election of Trump, and it is now making clear that it is willing to work with him in implementing a policy of war abroad and reaction at home.

In the coming months, popular anger will grow, as workers, including those who voted for Trump, come to realize what they confront. Opposition to Trump cannot be organized through or in alliance with the Democratic Party, but only in a ruthless and uncompromising break with it and all of its political agents, and with the capitalist system they defend.

It’s Class, Stupid, Not Race

Click here to access article by Marshall Auerback from CounterPunch
The establishment, especially the Democratic Party establishment, keeps enforcing what divides people rather than what unites people by embracing identity politics and ignoring class. Yes, a huge majority of women were offended by Trump’s “locker room talk”, but a large chunk still voted for him, and larger numbers of Hispanics voted for Trump than Romney.  Doesn’t that suggest that identity politics has reached some sort of limit?  Why not find common ground on the issue of class?
No longer will the ruling capitalist class have a minority, articulate, and more liberal appearing and personable figure like Obama lead their government. Now that Americans have rejected their new minority figure, a woman, they are retaliating with their alternative choice: a racist, misogynist, narcissistic, and ignorant rich guy to serve their interests. It might be good for the political education of the general public to see what our masters are really like by having their "brownshirts" at least appear to run the government. 

However, Auerback is rather vague about the system that inevitably created the class structure of our society--capitalism. He seems to suggest that the Democratic party erred in not emphasizing class rather than identity politics, rather than the fact that the Democratic party is an integral part of capitalist "establishment" and therefore must avoid any discussion of class.

Our continuing plight after the elections

by British illustrator and animator Steve Cutts from his website.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The myth of the reactionary white working class

Click here to access article by Eric London from World Socialist Web Site
The most significant statistic from 2016’s election is the massive drop in support for both the Democratic and Republican candidates. While uncounted votes from California may slightly alter these figures, Hillary Clinton received about ten million fewer votes than Barack Obama did eight years ago. Trump, who lost the popular vote while winning the electoral vote, received the least votes of any candidate from either party since 2000. These figures are even more striking because of a drastic increase in the population of eligible voters: 18 million since 2008.

Far larger in number than the vote for either candidate are the 99 million eligible voters who abstained from the 2016 election or voted for a third party. This is a measure of social discontent and not of apathy. In other words, while Clinton and Trump received the vote of 26.6 and 25.9 percent of eligible voters, 43.2 percent chose neither.

10 Things We Should Be Doing Instead of Obsessing Over the 2016 Election

Click here to access article from LocalOrg
Here is a list of 10 things Americans should have been doing to strengthen their communities and empower themselves sociopolitically, economically, and technologically over the past 2 years instead of having obsessed over the ultimately irrelevant process known as Election 2016.
It is ultimately irrelevant because regardless of who wins, just like in 2008 when Barack Obama took office, all of the abuses and wars raging now will continue, and all the wars meant to begin under the previous president will be justified and executed under whoever the new president happens to be.