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

Monday, December 11, 2017

Iran’s 1979 revolution picked up the People’s torch first lit in 1917 Russia

(Edited for errors at 4PM Seattle time.)

Click here if you wish to access an article (posted on A bird's eye view of the Vineyard) that I believe illustrates a profound insight: no one person can be absolutely knowledgeable about everything or anything, there are no absolutely "authoritative sources", there are no absolute experts, there are no enlightened or superior humans who we all must unquestionably follow, etc.  I am sorry for people who believe otherwise, and most people do, as does Ramin Mazaheri, an Iranian-American. I will try to explain why.

First off, I will try to explain why the people did not turn against the Muslim hierarchy in Iran as they did in other places like Russia against the Orthodox Church after the 1917 Revolution, in Spain against the Catholic Church in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-'38, etc; and why the  people supported the Catholic church in various places in Latin America starting in the 1950s during the Liberation Theology Movement and its activist expression in Christian base communities, reached its apogee in the 1970s-'80s, and to a diminishing extent since. However, the Vatican barely tolerated this support even though it was so popular throughout Latin America. There is a very simple explanation for this. The people supported their religious organizations when the latter supported them instead of the regime in power which typically occurs. 

On my trips to Nicaragua in the 1970s after the Sandinista Revolution I witnessed this firsthand. I met many people affiliated with the Maryknoll order (of the Catholic Church) who performed very important roles in the government and supporting agencies, particularly in education and social services.

In class-ruled societies that have existed during the last 10,000 years (period of civilization) of the nearly 200,000 yeas of humans, most people are indoctrinated to obey, and have faith in, authority figures. All ruling classes (theocracies, feudal rulers, and capitalists), once they take power, realize the necessity of accomplishing this in order to secure their rule. Ruling classes have always immediately recognized that using force to intimidate people into following their exploitative rule is impractical. Thus, an authoritarian orientation among civilized people has always been the case. This simply means that humans since civilization and class rule have always looked to authorities for guidance on what to believe, how to ascertain truth, and from whom to acquire this truth. 

Nowadays, the ruling capitalist class culture endows mostly teachers, police, judges and courts, experts, corporate media talking heads, "authoritative sources", church authorities (priests, mullahs, rabbis, etc), etc, with special knowledge about reality. All the latter people are, in turn, supported by ruling capitalist classes. Likewise, capitalists punish any of their appointed authorities if their activities counter the interests of the ruling class. People like Ray Bonner, Phil Donahue, Dan Rather, Jesse Ventura, and many whistleblowers can testify to this.

The Age of Enlightenment (largely in the 18th century) had temporarily challenged these authoritarian notions with its emphasis on seeking truth through reason and evidence, and above all, science with its rigorous methods of obtaining truth. This resulted in the explosive growth of all knowledge about our physical reality ranging from nuclear physics to the farthest reaches of the universe. Soon we humans were able to harness energy to drive machines to make our lives much less burdened by drudgery. 

However, this explosive period of knowledge was nipped in the bud by the rise of capitalist classes who saw the wondrous potential that all this knowledge could bring them if the energy, machines, the products of the latter, money, and even knowledge itself could be "owned" by them. The capitalist classes recruited workers and peasants with deceptive promises that they would enjoy "democracy" (read, for example, the "Declaration of Independence") if they joined them to overthrow the rule of the monarchy and aristocracy whose rule was based on their control over land and its inhabitants. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Although ordinary working people were freed from feudal authorities, they soon found themselves at the mercy of capitalist exploitation.

Today all this "enlightenment stuff" is largely forgotten. People are taught to obey, consume, and work hard for their bosses. Oh sure, a small minority of them are allowed to receive advanced training in technology so that capitalists can own and profit from the products of this technology. Still, these scientists and technologists are thoroughly indoctrinated in the virtues of living in capitalist societies. They are induced to identify with capitalist interests (profit and power) by offering them a comfortable life style, many extra privileges that are denied to ordinary workers, and opportunities to associate often with the ruling capitalist class.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Look at what media activists in Britain are doing!

Click here to access an alternative British media website.

I am posting this as an illustration of what British activists have accomplished in Britain to counter the propaganda they are fed daily by the BBC and other capitalist controlled media. They stream accurate news and information daily to build on a movement that started small by people who were fed up with propaganda and disinformation. 

Such a media service requires well organized people who will support, and above all, defend alternative media people who want to deliver accurate information about the world we live in, a world that is threatened by nuclear annihilation in the short term and climate catastrophe in the long term. Otherwise we will have journalists who are intimidated, threatened, jailed like Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and many others, or who die an early death like the German journalist who exposed CIA involvement in German media.

How I envy the Brits! If only I had an opportunity to receive daily news reports about events in the USA to counter the Empire propaganda that I receive daily from our masters' National Propaganda Radio (NPR). Unfortunately, it appears that US activists, who are devoted largely to social identity issues instead of class issues, are much behind our British peers. And, when they become involved in class issues, they only look to reform the capitalist system, and mostly look to the next election to vote for other candidates that our capitalist masters allow us to vote for.

Missing the Significance of Israel-gate

Click here to access article by Dennis J Bernstein from ConsortiumNews.

Bernstein, who I often listened to on KPFA (Berkley FM community sponsored radio) when I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, interviewed Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada, and learns that there is considerably more evidence of Israel influencing our government than Russia under the Trump administration. Of course, corporate media doesn't want to touch this subject. 
Ali Abunimah: The Michael Flynn revelation did not show collusion with Russia and certainly did not show any interference in the US election.  What Flynn pled guilty to was lying about two meetings.  Flynn is a serial liar, he lied about his work for the Turkish government.

The facts that were filed in the documents with his plea show that a “very senior member” of the Trump transition team, who has since been identified as Jared Kushner, had ordered Flynn to contact every member of the UN Security Council to try to defeat this resolution criticizing Israel.  It was also reported in The New York Times that Kushner had acted at the urging of Netanyahu.

None of this has anything to do with Russian interference in the elections.  What it does show is clear collusion at the highest level with a foreign government [Israel] to undermine and sabotage the policy of the sitting administration.
But actually the situation is much more complicated by the fact of the existence of a kind of fifth column in the USA consisting of Zionist Jews and Zionist Evangelicals who always promote and fund pro-Israel policies. 

Also related to this is an article entitled "An illegitimate capital for a state without legitimacy" posted on WhatsuPic which might interest you.

State of Fear: How History’s Deadliest Bombing Campaign Created Today’s Crisis in Korea

Click here to access article by Ted Nace from Mint Press News.

The Korean War has often been referred to as "the forgotten war" because of the war crimes committed there by the USA, and the US ruling capitalist class naturally wants us to forget about this particular war. (Our masters want us to remember "the good war" in which we heroically defeated the Nazis and "Japs" and saved civilization. But, as we know now, they only saved fascism to be led by Anglo-American capitalists.) This article only touches on one of the war crimes: firebombing and other bombing of civilian populations which leveled every city in North Korea. 

Our masters have been largely successful in censoring out nearly all information regarding the bacteriological weapons the US Air Force used against mostly civilians in North Korea and nearby China as extensively examined and described in a recent book by Dave Chaddock entitled This Must Be the Place (see this and this). (Notice that Nace doesn't mention war crime at all.) 

These war crimes and the "forgetting" of them is likely due to the racism which influenced our masters' policies in the 1950s and 60s. Asian people were regarded (by them) as "gooks", not humans at all. That is likely why they had no compunctions about dropping nuclear bombs on "Japs" in order to intimidate the Soviet Union.

"I believe in miracles"

Because I subscribe to a newsletter published by AE911Truth, a website sponsored by architects and engineers, I received the following introduction to a new video which I've reproduced below the introduction:
‘I Believe in 9/11 Miracles’

Inspired by David Ray Griffin’s
‘Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World’
Friends:

Today we invite you to watch and share our newest music video, “I Believe in 9/11 Miracles.”

It’s a riff on one of the central arguments in David Ray Griffin’s most recent book, Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World, which says that for the official account of 9/11 to be true, numerous physically impossible things would need to have taken place that day. Thus, to continue to believe the official account after one has been presented with the overwhelming evidence of its falsity is to believe in miracles.

After publishing a review of Griffin’s book in September, we at AE911Truth set out to produce this music video in order to bring Griffin’s idea to an audience of millions through social media. To tell our story, we adapted the 1975 hit single “You Sexy Thing” — with its iconic “I believe in miracles!” lyric — and teamed up with Loose Change creator Dylan Avery to edit the piece.

The result is an unapologetically light-hearted and satirical approach to raising awareness — different from most of our educational materials, but essential for bringing the evidence to new audiences and for galvanizing millions of the already-informed to take action.

Help Us Share the Video with Millions

You can help us make this video go viral by sharing it on Facebook and by posting, embedding, and forwarding the YouTube version.

In addition, you can help us reach an even larger audience by donating to boost the video on Facebook. For every $10 we spend, the video will reach an estimated 2,500 to 7,500 Facebook users (which means with just $1 you can reach between 250 and 750 additional viewers).

Our goal is to raise at least $1,000 by tomorrow, enabling us to show the video to between 250,000 and 750,000 additional Facebook users in the next 24 hours. Hopefully, this will put us on a path to shattering our record of 1.5 million views of both “Solving the Mystery of WTC 7” and “Free Fallin’ starring Building 7.”

If you like “I Believe in 9/11 Miracles” and want to see it go viral, please chip in what you can today!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Recommended articles for 12/7/2017

Climate Crisis and Managed Deindustrialization: Debating Alternatives to Ecological Collapse

Click here to access article by Richard Smith from Common Dreams.

This "Richard Smith", who earned a PhD in economics, is the same person who authored my foundational paper entitled "Capitalism and the Destruction of Life on Earth". He has long studied the phenomenon of climate destabilization and became convinced that capitalism was a primary driver. Since this epiphany he has devoted his energies to the task of alerting the general public to the catastrophes awaiting us if we continue with a social-economic system that will cause our Earth's habitat to no longer support human and many other life forms. According to the editor of Common Dreams, Smith is a co-founder of System Change not Climate Change

However, I am convinced that upper-middle class academic researchers such as Smith cannot lead a movement to overthrow a system that provides addicts, the ruling capitalist classes, with their drugs of profits and power. The upper-middle class as a whole identify too much with the capitalist ruling classes, from which they receive so many rewards, to be effective generators of a revolutionary organizations and actions. If we want to avoid not only a further deterioration of are lives, but catastrophic climate destabilization, then we ordinary people must form the backbone of any revolutionary efforts to overthrow the deadly system of capitalism.

If you have read "Capitalism and the Destruction of Life on Earth", you won't learn much by reading this article. However, it offers a very good summary of that lengthy article.
...as our locomotive races toward the cliff of ecological collapse, the only thoughts on the minds of our CEOS, capitalist economists, politicians and labor leaders is how to stoke the locomotive to get us there faster. ... Corporations aren’t necessarily evil. They just can’t help themselves. They’re doing what they’re supposed to do for the benefit of their owners. But this means that so long as the global economy is based on capitalist private/corporate property and competitive production for market, we’re doomed to collective social suicide and no amount of tinkering with the market can brake the drive to global ecological collapse.

We can’t shop our way to sustainability because the problems we face cannot be solved by individual choices in the marketplace. They require collective democratic control over the economy to prioritize the needs of society and the environment.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Planet or Profit?

Click here to access articles by Dahr Jamail from Truthout
As the global impacts of anthropomorphic climate disruption continue to intensify, corporations and the global elite continue to plunder our planet, subjecting areas of the planet that already face fresh-water scarcity issues and other environmental contamination problems to still greater risks from various forms of pollution.
It is not clear whether we have already passed a tipping point such that human survival beyond the next few decades cannot be assured, but what is overwhelmingly clear is that capitalism - and the drive for profits no matter what the threat to the ecosystem all humanity depends upon - is a force for global destruction.

Trump tax cut plan will devastate public education

Click here to access article by Patrick Martin from the World Socialist Web Site
The tax cut legislation backed by the Trump White House is more than just a trillion-dollar windfall for the super-rich. The bills passed by the House and Senate in different forms will now be reconciled in a special conference, but both versions contain provisions that will devastate public education while promoting the growth of private and religious schools.
It's clear that it doesn't matter which capitalist party is in power because the class war continues, and in these times of desperation for the directors of the US-led Empire, at an accelerating pace. Meanwhile, back at the domestic ranch of the Empire (idiom), bloggers on alternative websites bitch and complain (examples: this, this, this, and this) while many ordinary Americans remain passive and glued to the latest corporate media headlines to learn about the latest Trump tweets, the latest celebrities who are accused of sexual abuse, and more Russiagate stories designed for Americans to hate and fear the Russians. 

While bitching and complaining are good, what is urgently necessary are thoughts about organizing an effective force to overthrow the rule of the rich and their system--and these are largely absent beyond going in the street and holding up a protest sign.
What is the solution to this mess? This writer plans to once again get out on the street corners of my town in a weekly peaceful protest. You see, it is NOT just about the new Caretaker for the Military Industrial Empire. Yes, this new guy is really bad news. Alas, if Mrs. Clinton was now in office (as with Mr. Obama) this ‘Military madness‘ would be just as bad. My sign will read:

Save our Cities..Our Troops.. Our Safety Net.

End this Military Industrial Empire!!
 
We must get serious...because they (the ruling rich) are!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Why Jihadism Won’t Be Allowed to Die

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar from Sputnik International.

He concludes his speculative analysis with this perceptive statement:
And that brings us full circle to the initial working hypothesis. Daesh won’t be allowed to die – as much as the geopolitical re-engineering of what Dr. Zbig [Zbigniew Brzezinski] used to call the “Eurasian Balkans” refuses to die.
ISIS-Khorasan, or ISIS-K – that regroup in Afghanistan – can be so handy to wreak havoc in the intersection of Central Asia and South Asia, so close to key BRI [Belt and Road Initiative] development corridors.

Moscow and Beijing though, know exactly what’s goin’ on. The phony Caliphate was useful in an attempt to break off BRI across “Syraq”, as much as Maidan in Ukraine was useful to break off the EAEU. Other war fronts will follow – from the Philippines to Venezuela, all bent on disrupting regional integration projects under a Divide and Rule strategy of US satraps manipulated into Hobbesian asymmetrical flare-ups.

Sixteen years after 9/11, the name of the game is not GWOT (Global War on Terror) anymore; is how, under the cover of GWOT, to disturb geostrategic expansion by the people who matter
[to the Empire's transnational capitalist ruling class]; “peer competitors” Russia and China.   

Protests Planned Nationwide as Vote on FCC's 'Catastrophic' Plan to Kill Net Neutrality Looms

Click here to access article by Jake Johnson from Common Dreams.

Although I have quit signing petitions and attending protests, this is one that I very well might participate in. Without equal access to websites, this is a major step in the takeover of internet access and communications by and for the interests of corporations and the rich. 
With the FCC set to vote on chairman Ajit Pai's plan to kill neutrality in just over a week, a diverse coalition—ranging from consumer protection organizations to progressive lawmakers to Harvard professors—is denouncing the FCC's proposals and scheduling nationwide protests to combat the agency's move to let massive telecom companies "cash in on the internet" at the expense of consumers.

Monday, December 4, 2017

More recommended articles for 12/4/2017

  • Class Dismissed: Identity Politics Without The Identity by Michael K. Smith. This offers an excellent description of the white working class vs upper-middle class ("professional") social perspectives. These perspectives keep the upper-middle class identifying with the ruling capitalist class while looking down on the white working class while the latter become increasingly vulnerable and alienated from society. Of course, the ruling class encourages this division among workers. Malcolm X pointed to this phenomenon many years ago (1963). However, the advanced phase of capitalism, known as neoliberalism, is having increasingly damaging effects on the upper-middle class. So "the times [may be] a changin'" as Smith suggests in the final paragraphs. (Link to Malcolm X was changed on 12/5/2017 at 8:45 AM.)

How Russia-gate Rationalizes Censorship [a "best post']

Click here to access article by Joe Lauria from ConsortiumNews

After reading this rather lengthy article, I am convinced that the general political atmosphere among the ruling class indicates a clampdown is underway on any significant sources of information that challenges the information that we receive through corporate media. This accelerating campaign of censorship rivals anything we have seen outside of the fascist regimes of Nazi Germany, Japan, and Italy.

He begins by telling of his experience with censorship at Huffpost which had its origins in Huffington Post that became a very popular, politically liberal, and mildly alternative website. In 2011 AOL corporation purchased Huffington Post, and last year Ariana Huffington (an original founder of the website in 2005) completely left the website. Since then the owner, AOL corporation hired Lydia Polgreen, an editor from the NYTimes, to take over leadership of the website. That is when Lauria began to experience censorship of his articles. 

Lauria acknowledges that under the rules of capitalism in the US, that is, the US Constitution, censorship can be freely practiced by private parties. Because corporations have amassed huge fortunes, they have taken control over every institution including the US government (this constitutes fascism), but most especially control over information that you and I receive. They are now launching attack on all dissident information which Lauria expands on in the article. Likewise they have filled their media with the most outrageous propaganda that is directed against their enemies-du-jour--Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.

Recommended articles for 12/4/2017

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Why anti-socialists talk about Lenin even more than socialists (Part 4 of 5)

Click here to access article by Ramin Mazaheri from The Greanville Post.

Mazaheri continues to expand on the thesis (inspired by a recent author, who was inspired by many others) that successful democratic leaders are able to lead the people by listening to them and formulating actions to guide them in achieving more influence over their lives in opposition to serving the interests of relatively tiny social classes that have attained coercive power over entire societies. 

The history of humans since civilization began (roughly the last 10,000 years of our 200,000 year existence) with the end of the nomadic hunting and fishing groups and the establishment of settled, agrarian societies is the history of class rule. The basis of these classes that ruled over societies has been sheer power, that is, the coercive means of getting people to behave the way those who have power want them to behave. Ultimately such power often takes the form of violence.

This means that a tiny ruling class uses the rest of the population of societies to serve their interests. Thus we have witnessed during the last 10,000 years class-ruled societies ranging from military chieftains who used sheer physical violence (or the threat of it) to dominate societies, to divine authorities (spiritual leaders who were believed to have secured exclusive access to various all-powerful gods or supernatural forces) or some combination of the two (as seen under feudalism), to what we have today--the establishment of ruling classes based on the "ownership" of economic property. Although the latter form of class rule attempts to conceal or "legitimate" the use of violence with courts and laws, they ultimately intimidate others into compliance with the threat of violence (think of police and military forces) to enforce their rule.

In an attempt to argue against the "great man" version of history propagated by our current capitalist masters, I think that he may have overstated his argument and thereby understated the benefits of certain people who have special insights about guiding people (together with the ability to communicate such ideas) to take effective actions against their class oppressors and to establish societies in which people can live in harmony with each other and the environment. Clearly no such one person has ever existed which is a fact that the "great man" version tries to undermine. We all are gifted to a greater or lessor extent over a whole range of virtues, and no one person can have a monopoly on the virtue of leadership. That reality is what fundamentally makes us a social animal.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Recommended articles for 12/1/2017

  • To keep informed about the most important neoliberal strategy, the Investor-State Dispute Settlement clause (inserted in every corporate-state contract), to undermine democratic rights of people to defend themselves against corporate predatory behavior, I recommend reading the latest ISDS Newsletter and subscribing to it. If you need a refresher article about this subject, I recommend reading an article entitled "Frequently asked questions about ISDS" from the same source, ISDS Platform. You might also read past articles I've posted about the ISDS clause by simply typing "ISDS" in one of my search engines. 
You may have noticed the same thing is happening here in the USA with major corporations like Microsoft insisting if you want to use their operating system, you must accept a settlement in any dispute with Microsoft by a private arbitration tribunal.
  • How Sudan President’s Russia visit signals strategy alteration? The article gives another indication of how the geopolitical relations are changing in the Middle East as a result of the US Empire's failure to change the Syrian government into a vassal state. This trend is the nightmare of all capitalist directors of the Empire, and the nightmare is apparently causing them fits as suggested by their rather hysterical reactions ("Russiagate", sanctions against Russians and Russian government, etc). 
  • Progress Report on the US-Russian War by "The Saker" (Please know that I don't agree with everything he writes in this or most other articles of his, but I do agree with most of his observations.)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Is Washington the Most Corrupt Government in History?

Click here to access article by Paul Craig Roberts from his website. (I thank Christopher in northwest Oregon for sending me this article.)

I think such a question (in the headline) is the wrong one. It leads one down the wrong path that will lead to nowhere. I doubt that Roberts does this deliberately. He has been so well indoctrinated in capitalist ethics that he simply can't see that once you espouse a system that puts rich individuals at the center of it, that puts individuals who "own" substantial parts of the economy at the center of a social system, that totally organizes all parts of the social system that is usually called patriotically the "American Way of Life" or more benignly, "Western Civilization", then you will have what he now sees as widespread "corruption". I will argue that once you have such a system, you will almost automatically and eventually have widespread "corruption".

At this point we need to define what "corruption" really is. I think we can agree that it reveals itself when behavior, particularly despicable behavior, is at wide variance with the theory of how the system is supposed to function, that is, behavior does not conform to the rules that supposedly govern a society. 

You can find these rules nearly everywhere: most prominently in history textbooks, in the way corporate media frame news events, in the way politicians expound about the glorious "American Way of Life", in some laws passed by governments, particularly in the official founding documents of a nation, etc. All of these rules are described as representing "democracy": the rule of the people by representation, that is, people choose others to represent them in congresses or parliaments and executive branches of government. 

However, laced throughout these rules are another set of rules that sanctify the private ownership of property. Here, I'm not talking about personal property, but property of economic value that has been created by people as a result of their work and their imagination. This property is in essence social property because it is property that has been the result of efforts by more than one person: by the efforts of present living members of society and previous generations of humans throughout the roughly 200,000 years of human existence. 

I'm referring to the set of rules of a social-economic system called capitalism which is a system that has turned nearly everything into a commodity to be bought and sold. You won't find the word "capitalism" often used because the supporters of capitalism prefer other more nice sounding or obscure words such as "free markets", "Wall Street", and even more imaginatively, "democracy". This set of rules which virtually sanctified the "ownership" of social property by individuals resulted over time in a class of people, called capitalists, who were able to accumulate considerable social property which they could essentially use and dispose of as one would personal property. And they as a class soon discovered many other advantages.

Another class of people simultaneously arose under the operation of this system called workers. These people were essentially rented by capitalists to produce value for them. Within this very large group of workers there evolved sub-classes that are nowadays roughly referred  to as professionals, highly skilled, and unskilled workers. Probably a more meaningful way to divide these rented workers is between two categories: salaried and hourly workers. Salaried workers function much more independently than hourly workers who tend to be carefully supervised and must function according to well-defined rules. Among other advantages capitalists have found that dividing up workers this way serves to divide workers which are natural antagonists of capitalists. Also, by giving salaried workers more perks serves to identify these workers with their capitalist masters, their values, and their behaviors.

Actually a third class of worker arose in the history of capitalism, and they were called "slaves". They were also treated as private property to be used as the "owners" saw fit to accumulate wealth. However, this practice was largely abandoned (though it still exists) primarily because owners regarded the renting of workers much more practical and efficient to accumulate wealth. (Think of renting tools when you need them versus owning a large inventory of tools that you have to store and maintain.) 

Capitalists noticed over time as they accumulated economic property and employed large numbers of workers that they had much more influence over decisions of government, over the selection of governors, and over every institution of societies including most especially education and media. Naturally they installed people in every institution that promoted their interests in relation to the accumulation of social property. It almost naturally followed that they began to see the ownership of property brought them not only fabulous wealth, but even more importantly, POWER. (Power is, of course, the ability to have others behave the way you want them to.)  

Thus, the accumulation of wealth was no longer an object by itself, instead the accumulation of power became the prime driving force behind all of capitalist endeavors. The history of capitalism became the history of wars because different national capitalists would compete for power until one faction ruled over the whole world. This is essentially where we are today with the existence of the US-led (capitalist) Empire trying to eliminate every last competing power such as posed by Russia and China. 

There are many directions one could go with this analysis of capitalism, but I will only take one road which many are bothered by--the current media issue of today: sexual harassment. Have you noticed that largely only one class of people have been affected by this: high profile salaried workers? You won't find any major capitalists like Donald Trump being fired from his job over accusations of sexual harassment. Many salaried workers, who often identify with their capitalist bosses, have learned the lessons about sexual behavior from their bosses who routinely take advantage of their powerful positions vis-à-vis their subordinate workers (of either sex). 

I strongly suspect that the capitalist ruling class's current media focus on sexual predations of high profile salaried workers, like their focus on Russiagate and in the recent past on gender-neutral bathrooms, serves to distract people from any coverage about the Empire's war crimes that they are committing in many places of the world and other embarrassing issues such as the decline of living conditions of American workers.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Hassan Nasrallah: the US keep supporting ISIS in every possible way

Click here to access video and transcript of a report by Hassan Nasrallah, head of the Lebanese political and paramilitary party Hezbollah, and posted by "The Saker" on his website, A bird's eye view of the Vineyard

Most of my fellow Americans will be very skeptical about this report; but after many years of witnessing the lies, false-flags, and subversive interference in other countries by our government (in addition to my other knowledge), I am convinced that Nasrallah is telling the truth. And be aware of his final warning:
And the danger is that ISIS is restored again by the Americans in the next stage, with a new name, new slogans and new forms to accomplish the same missions accomplished by ISIS. 

Suddenly, I’m a ‘Russian Agent’!

Click here to access article by Dave Lindorff from CounterPunch. (See also "Russia-gate Inquisitors Subpoena Journalist".)

Lindorff is disturbed by the latest attempt by our ruling class's government to clamp down on information unacceptable to their interests. He also lampoons their attempts and sees such attempts as ridiculous, maybe even laughable. 

Unfortunately for people like him, mostly reformist liberals (read this for an excellent example of reformist thinking), he doesn't really understand the class nature of most of the world that is dominated by mostly Western capitalists, a gang that have aligned themselves with the now US Empire which is backed by the powerful US military-industrial complex. He doesn't understand the viral nature of a self-seeking class that uses a system their ancestors designed to serve their interests as private owners of essentially social property.  

Although he does understand that US capitalists have expanded their activities to much of the world, he doesn't understand the full implications of how US capitalists, who have been joined by other capitalists since WWII (maybe even earlier), to accumulate more ever more profits and power even though these activities are having extremely damaging effects on the lives of people and our entire biosphere. Now the activities of their Empire is threatening a nuclear conflagration. Hence, their desire to control information about the world they have so severely damaged and are continuing to damage and exploit. Their efforts at censorship are perfectly rational given this reality.

So instead of lampooning their attempts at censorship, Lindorff, many Americans, and people throughout the world must be made conscious of these dangerous effects of the runaway virus of capitalism that is slowly and surely causing the extinction of humans. They, like addicts, are so addicted to power and profits that they refuse to face reality, and they definitely don't want us to know this reality either. The only answer to insure the survival of humans is a worldwide revolutionary movement to take away their weapons, extreme wealth, and power. Hence, the war over information--because if they can control our minds, they will control our actions. We must join this war on the side of accurate information and fight against their war to censor information.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Dark Inevitability of Zionism

Click here to access article by Lawrence Davidson from ConsortiumNews.
Following World War II, it became understood that these behaviors and attitudes are morally indefensible and their consequences should be remedied. And so, the United Nations was established, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights issued, and a number of treaties embodying international laws designating crimes against humanity were signed. With this process the world entered a potentially more civilized, post-colonial age.

When this happened the Zionist project instantly became an anachronism. In fact, Israel became a state that defied the modern norm the moment it was proclaimed.
However, Israel does not want to be outside the norm. It wants to be accepted as a “normal” nation, particularly within the Western state system. There are only two ways this can happen:

The Right Returns to the Religion Well

Click here to access article by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship from ConsortiumNews

The authors comment on the significance of a new museum just blocks away from the nation's capitol and called the "Museum of the Bible", sponsored by the rich right-wing of the ruling class. This may be another indication of the desperation of the ruling class that presides over the killing machine of the US-led Empire.
As the old joke goes, this is what God would do if He had money.

To be fair, by most accounts, the museum is well designed and executed, high-tech and state-of-the-art. Philip Kennicott, art and architecture critic for The Washington Post, wrote, “What it does well, it does as well or better than any museum in the country,” but added:

“There… is a lot of slippage between [the museum’s] claims that the Bible is enormously influential (which is indisputable) and that the stories it tells are fundamentally true (a claim disputed not just by atheists, agnostics, secular scholars and scientists, but also by billions of adherents of the world’s other religions). Every resource of museum design and careful argumentation has been mustered to sweep up these unrelated ideas in one, big, overwhelming package.”
What has many observers far more concerned are connections among the new attraction’s principal funders and the right wing. Here its mission becomes suspect, more political than religious, although with the right wing, it is always difficult to separate the two, each possessing a will to dominate. 

The End of the Syrian War Is the Beginning of a New Middle Eastern Order

Click here to access article by Federico Pieraccini from Global Research.

This article appears to offer an excellent summary of the new geopolitical situation in the Middle East following the defeat of ISIS which was originally promoted primarily by Saudi Arabia, the US, Turkey, Qatar, and Israel to produce regime change in Syria. The Russian involvement in backing the Syrian government proved a crucial factor that tipped the scales (def.) that has ended in a very different geopolitical scene.
The result of the war in Syria has carved out a new Middle East, where the likes of Riyadh, Tel Aviv and Washington, previously regional masters of all they surveyed, appear to have more or less been deliberately cut off from the decision-making process. While it can be argued that Washington has played out its role in the region with the defeat of Daesh, thanks to Trump's "America first" policies that resists direct involvement in conflicts, Riyadh and Tel Aviv do not seem to have any intention of accepting Tehran’s new role in the region, even as it is supported by Turkish and Russian diplomacy and even military might.

The aggression against the Syrian state initially saw a compact front comprising the United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Jordan, Israel, France and the United Kingdom. All were at the forefront of arming, training, financing, assisting and treating the injured of the tens of thousands of terrorists sent to Syria. It was a destabilization operation with few precedents in history.
  

Monday, November 27, 2017

The fascinating People’s account of how the Russian Revolution was actually won (part 3 of 5)

Click here to access article by Ramin Mazaheri from The Greanville Post.

The Iranian-American argues that a recent book entitled A People’s History of the Russian Revolution by Neil Faulkner presents the real story of the Russian Revolution. This recent book borrows heavily from Trotsky's 3-volume History of the Russian Revolution.  

Both Trotsky and Faulkner treated the February revolution as the decisive event that led eventually to the Bolsheviks taking power. It was the people who were decisive in overthrowing the Czarist government; and had the embryonic capitalist class succeeded in co-opting it, you would see the Russian Revolution celebrated in Western media and in their histories. Instead we are fed mostly lies which denigrate this great achievement of the people.  
There is no such thing as a self-made man, nor a one-man revolution – these are both capitalist myths.

The opposite is what is presented in this book: The People’s story of the February Revolution, and how they ended their millennia of rank tyranny.
The people won the allegiance of army veterans, who were of the people and could identify with the people. This was of critical importance. The people instinctively knew not to waste their time with the police, who were carefully recruited to serve the ruling aristocracy. Mazaheri personally saw this also to be true in 2011 while covering events in Egypt.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

America’s Enemies, Who’s On the List?

Click here to access article by James Petras from Global Research (based in Canada). (Clarification added in first paragraph on 12/1/2017.)

The latest fascist Empire, like the Third Reich, must pursue war in order to pay off the debts accumulated by the US government, which has now passed $20 trillion--debt which is owed to its mostly capitalist investors. Yes, capitalists do invest in war...well, not directly. They mostly invest in weapons manufacturing corporations and other supplies needed by their armies. Otherwise they invest in US securities like Treasury bills which are owed to them by the government's taxpayers--that's us. This enormous debt is presently the basis for the "never-ending wars" agenda of the Empire that was made possible by the 9/11 event. By conquering or intimidating other countries, we can force the latter to pursue policies favorable to Empire capitalists. But, do we, the people, have to (def.) go along with this agenda?
For almost 2 decades, the US pursued a list of ‘enemy countries’ to confront, attack, weaken and overthrow.

This imperial quest to overthrow ‘enemy countries’ operated at various levels of intensity, depending on two considerations:  the level of priority and the degree of vulnerability for a ‘regime change’ operation.

The criteria for determining an ‘enemy country’ and its place on the list of priority targets in the US quest for greater global dominance, as well as its vulnerability to a ‘successfully’ regime change will be the focus of this essay.

We will conclude by discussing the realistic perspectives of future imperial options.

Cheap dignity of the Ukrainian revolution

Click here to access article by the editorial board of the Oriental Review (independent website based in Russia--no doubt Russian propaganda--sarcasm).

If you followed the Ukrainian coup, engineered by Victoria Nuland of the US State Department and the CIA, as closely as I did, you will not be surprised by this article and the following videos which the article refers to. Still the videos offer more concrete evidence that the US paid snipers to create chaos in Kiev during the anti-government protests, and brought about the coup. I'm sure our ruling class masters consider the $5 billion spent on the coup as money well spent. (The videos may take more than a few seconds to appear.)




And Then The Clown Prince Told Friedman: 'Suck On This.'

Click here to access article by Bernhard from his blog Moon of Alabama
The Moustache of Understanding, Thomas Friedman, has written the probably most embarrassing fanfiction ever....
I don't normally post articles like this that lampoons someone, but this is so brilliant that I can't pass it up. Besides, it occurs to me that Friedman and the NY Times, as revealed here, illustrate the degeneration of the US Empire's entire trans-nationalist capitalist ruling class. Bernhard's satirical exposé suggests not only Friedman's literal obscene behavior, but metaphorically the real obscenity of the Empire's ruling class and their weltanschauung (def.)--after all, the NY Times is the "newspaper of record" for the Empire! This is well-deserved satire when many alternative sources are reporting about the horrible humanitarian crises that the Empire and its vassal kingdom of Saudi Arabia are currently creating for the people of Yemen (see this, this, and this or this). 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Hostile Posturing Towards Iran Proves U.S. Losing Grip on Power

Click here to access article by Randi Nord from Geopolitics Alert

It seems that all we hear nowadays is bad news: attacks on the internet and censorship increasingly occurring on the internet, Russia-gate, mysterious events in the Middle East, and Trump's administration (together with Congress) increasing belligerence toward North Korea and Iran, the recent distractions offered by allegations of sexual misconduct by well-known men, etc. In dramatic contrast to these bad news events is that ISIS, the world's number one terrorist organization, is about to be thoroughly defeated! I think that all of these events are related, and I'd love to be able to write such an article.

Could it be that the defeat of ISIS is bad news for the US Empire's capitalist ruling class and its vassal states? It appears so.  I think this article by Nord, which I believe offers sound insights on the relationship of at least some of these events, adds to this suspicion of mine. And if, as she argues, our ruling masters are losing their grip, God (or Allah, etc) help us! Because it appears that we are unwilling or unable to help ourselves.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Pentagon Says It's Staying In Syria, Even Though ISIS Appears Defeated

Click here to access article by Mark Katkov from NPR (National Propaganda Radio). 

Read how the "good guys", the USA, are helping Syrians and want to restore "democracy" in Syria. Then following this, read remarks from Pentagon officials and their explanation (lies) as to why they want their military to remain there.

Now read the report from RT which our government has forced a media company to register as a "foreign agent" in a post entitled "Syria, Russia & Iran shift to diplomacy, while US and allies push for war". Which of the two reports do you think is the most accurate? Perhaps our government should register as a "foreign agent".

RT America a foreign agent, tax dollars fund sexual abuse & more

Click here if you wish to access this post directly from RT that features Lee Camp doing satire . 
The Department of Justice ordered RT to register as a foreign agent, yet refuses to cite what laws were broken. Furthermore, the government has done nothing to demonstrate how RT journalists are taking orders from the Kremlin or that RT employees have lobbied Congress on behalf of the Russian government, which is required by law. This move is clearly political since ACTUAL foreign lobbyists like the Podesta Group and AIPAC were not threatened with arrests and a test case for a wider campaign of media suppression. The fact is the political establishment is scared to death that more and more of us are abandoning its corporate media, and doesn't want us hearing outside perspectives.

Syria - This U.S. Occupation - Or "Presence" - Is Unsustainable

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

This is a rather long article with many links to document his arguments. Nevertheless, if you can spare the time, it will offer you important information, and one that I will supplement by another Kuwaiti independent journalist, that contributes to a comprehensive picture of the terribly complicated, game-changing and potentially explosive nature of the present situation in this area.

Because I don't like to be dependent on one source of information, I am supplying you with another article by Elijah J. Magnier, an independent Kuwaiti journalist, entitled "A US buffer zone in north-eastern Syria and a land-Bridge from Tehran to Beirut" which corroborates much of Bernhard's post and offers more information on this volatile area. I have provided the following maps: one furnished by Magnier that I've enlarged, and have provided another so that you can clearly see what both posts refer to.

































































I am providing you with one more link which will confirm Bernhard's claim that the US military advised the Syrian Kurds to add "democratic" to their name. See this general's remarks at 25:10m into his talk at the Aspen Institute in July of this year.  This is an illustration of how attuned US leaders are to framing issues to hide their illegal and criminal activities behind nice sounding words.
To disguise its cooperation with the Kurdish terrorists, the U.S. renamed the group into the "Syrian Democratic Forces" (SDF). Some Arab fighters from east Syrian tribes were added to it. These are mostly former foot-soldiers of ISIS who changed sides when the U.S. offered better pay. Other fighters were pressed into service. The people of the Syrian-Arab city Manbij, which is occupied by the YPG and U.S. forces, protested when the YPG started to violently conscript its youth. 
However, I think the Syrian Kurds are more complicated than he describes them here. They do have some factions among them that have appealed to US leftists. I think that they were fighting for survival from ISIS forces (the US played both sides in relation to this terrorist army) when they teamed up with the US military and allowed the latter to construct bases on territory which they controlled in northeast Syria. But I think that now their continuing collaboration with US forces is a very serious mistake.                                                                                                                                                            

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Who was not responsible for the Russian Revolution, and who was? [part 2 of 5]

Click here to access article by Ramin Mazaheri from The Greanville Post

Mazaheri, an Iranian-American working in Paris, borrows heavily from a new book entitled A People’s History of the Russian Revolution (by Neil Faulkner) to explain what this revolution was all about.
What we should increasingly understand is that 1917 actually occurred not thanks to the intellectual – even a non-solitary one like Lenin – but thanks to the decades of grassroots organizations which defied the state police who then found their ultimate catalyst in the soldier unwilling to fight for a Tsarist, and then also a Bourgeois (West European) state.

We must remember that common soldiers are – for all intents and purposes – an organised, “grassroots” group…especially once they rebel from state authority and transfer allegiance to the People, who were increasingly represented by worker and share-cropper councils.

That is precisely what happened in 1917 – the confluence of massive groups which discussed, agreed and then carried the People’s will and placed it – fully formed – into the hands of a Bolshevik Party which promised to implement Their will.

Death Date Announced For The Internet

Click here if you wish to access this 8:40m video directly from YouTube.

This post represents a crucial battle in the war against real information being delivered to you via the internet. Trump's appointee, Ajit Pai, head of the FCC is launching another campaign to attack (reduce access to) information that the internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, etc, don't like or which don't see certain websites as providing sufficient profitable opportunities for them. After all, that is what America Inc. is all about: providing never-ending profits and power to our ruling capitalist masters. Because Pai has the votes on the FCC Commission, it looks certain that he will be able to transfer oversight from the FCC to the FTC which has extremely weak enforcement measures.
On December 14th the internet as we know it may be deceased. Cenk Uygur, the host of The Young Turks, tells you what you can do to stop it. ....

“Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai will reportedly seek to completely repeal net neutrality rules put in place under former President Obama, according to a Monday report.

Sources close to the matter tell Politico that Pai will seek to completely remove the net neutrality rules, which reclassified internet service providers (ISPs) as telecommunications companies and required them to treat all web traffic equally.

The FCC will reportedly vote on the plan in December, according to Politico.

Pai and other Republicans have argued the Obama-era FCC overstepped its authority with the regulations by reclassifying the ISPs as common carriers.

The FCC held a months-long open comment period on its proposal to repeal the rules after facing massive backlash after releasing its initial proposal in April.”


Here are some other posts that may interest you regarding this issue:

Ice Apocalypse

Click here to access article by Eric Holthaus from Grist
Antarctica is a giant landmass — about half the size of Africa — and the ice that covers it averages more than a mile thick. Before human burning of fossil fuels triggered global warming, the continent’s ice was in relative balance: The snows in the interior of the continent roughly matched the icebergs that broke away from glaciers at its edges.

Now, as carbon dioxide traps more heat in the atmosphere and warms the planet, the scales have tipped.

A wholesale collapse of Pine Island and Thwaites would set off a catastrophe. Giant icebergs would stream away from Antarctica like a parade of frozen soldiers. All over the world, high tides would creep higher, slowly burying every shoreline on the planet, flooding coastal cities and creating hundreds of millions of climate refugees.

All this could play out in a mere 20 to 50 years — much too quickly for humanity to adapt.
I hope this graphic will help you understand the material.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Luxury Socialized Medicine

Click here to access article by Meagan Day from Jacobin. (My thanks go to Christopher in northwest Oregon for alerting me to this article.)
Forget rationing and waiting lists. Socialized medicine delivers comforts and convenience that Americans can only dream about.
As an elder I no longer can receive adequate health care. No physician in private practice will take me on as a patient, because I can no longer afford supplementary health plans (to grow old in the USA is to sink into poverty) issued by insurers to add a subsidy to Medicare. I don't blame the physicians because the payments under Medicare are inadequate. Now only when I'm very sick (not for physical examinations, or minor ailments) can I receive Medicare coverage for health care from a charity clinic staffed by very poor physicians who apparently can't get a job working for clinics and hospitals. Very fortunately for me, I have taken good care of myself all my life, and as a result I enjoy excellent health, but sooner or later this will change. Yes, I agree, the USA is an "exceptional nation", but only in the sense that our nation, or more accurately, our ruling class, refuses to provide universal coverage for its citizens.    

The struggle for a Catalan Republic enters a new stage

Click here to access article by Jorge Martin from In Defense of Marxism.
The proclamation of the Republic by the Catalan Parliament on October 27th was short-lived. The Spanish state was ready to crush it decisively, while the Catalan government had no plans and no strategy to defend it. That, however, is not the end of the movement.
The author uses a class analysis to frame the future of the Catalan movement for independence. He sees an organization the emergence of the Committees for the Defence of the Republic as a constructive step toward a revolutionary movement of the people instead of merely the capitalist class in the Catalan province. (This step reminds one of the broad steps of the 1917 Russian Revolution.) The next official step of the Spanish government will be the holding of elections in Catalonia on December 21. 

The American Brainwash: Guess what, Ma, capitalism is not Americanness

Click here to access article by Patrice Greanville from The Greanville Post
Virtually unchallenged to this day, corporate media are accustomed to using a number of misleading “cultural equations” to hide the existence of undemocratic institutions at the core of the American system. Thus, capitalism, a “hierarchic tyranny” as Chomsky calls it, is usually identified by its euphemisms: “Free Enterprise,” “market system,” “private enterprise,” “the American Way,” etc. Academia also cheerfully participates in this deliberate cosmetisation [def.] of what otherwise many people would begin to recognize as something unhealthy and malodorous in their midst. But of all these quaint labels and false equations the most outrageous and cynically deceptive is that which makes “Americanness”—the very national identity of the United States— identical with capitalism, both concepts one and inseparable. [my link]
Our masters in the capitalist ruling class play all sorts of tricks on our minds by conflating the "American way of life" with capitalism and the latter as simply a state of nature or as the highest state of achieved by humans in their quest for the perfect economic and political system. Hence, the "end of history" argued by Francis Fukuyama, a noted capitalist ideologist. But what Greanville overlooks is the fact that every ruling class puts its ideological stamp on every society over which they have ruled since the beginning of civilization. Ideology, or the belief system of a society, is critically important to maintain a ruling class in power. They must convince their subjects to be loyal to their rule or else they must maintain their rule by force which is very expensive. 

That is why capitalist regimes, when they get in trouble, always revert to fascism. That is precisely why fascism was so attractive to the ruling capitalist classes of Western countries (and Japan) during the Great Depression of the 1930s when the Soviet Union was improving their economy by "leaps and bounds" (def.) and where there was no unemployment. And, that is why we are witnessing today the growing rise of fascism  in the USA after the collapse of the economy in 2008 known as the Great Recession from which many economists argue that we still have not recovered. 

In this fake form of democracy capitalist elites control all the political institutions ranging from the original adoption of the constitution to their control over political parties that are allowed to function. Only when humans have gotten rid of all class structured societies and achieve something like true equality can real democracy exist. That means control by the people, and for the people, every institution of society including especially the economy.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Trump era sparks debate about nuclear war authority

Click here to access article by Robert Burns of The Associated Press posted at Real Clear Defense.

I've been wondering if the Deep State has set up controls on Trump to prevent him from launching nuclear armed missiles against any nation. It has become clear that he has exhibited and impulsive, volatile behavior which is not exactly what anyone wants who has his "fingers" on the triggers of nuclear weapons. Apparently there are members of Congress who have similar worries.
This past week’s Senate hearing was the first in Congress on presidential authority to use nuclear weapons since 1976, when a Democratic congressman from New York, Richard L. Ottinger, pushed for the U.S. to declare it would never initiate a nuclear war. Ottinger said he wanted to “eliminate the prospect that human ignorance and potential human failure in the use of nuclear materials, especially nuclear weapons, will lead to the destruction of civilization.”

....

“We are concerned that the president of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic, that he might order a nuclear weapons strike that is wildly out of step with U.S. national security interests,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said at the outset of last week’s hearing.
In case you are a member of one of the younger generations that has been raised on Star Wars, Star Trek, and all the computer games featuring futuristic combat by "good guys" and "bad guys" where the good guys always "win" in the end, I think you might be interested in a little realism that is offered in the following videos about nuclear war.




Saturday, November 18, 2017

Capitalism Collapsing from Inequality... Blame Russia!

Click here to access article by Finian Cunningham from Strategic Culture Foundation.

The Irish journalist sees capitalism, which has brought so much wealth and power to so few in those elites associated with the US-led Empire, in its death throes as illustrated by its official leaders neurotically declaiming about the wickedness of Russia.
Inequality, poverty and the denial of decent existence to the majority of people stands out as the clarion condemnation of capitalism and its organization of society under private profit. The human suffering, hardships, austerity and crippled potential that flow from this condition represent the crisis of our time. Yet instead of an earnest public debate and struggle to overcome this crisis, we are forced by our elites to focus on false, even surreal problems.

American politics has become paralyzed by an endless elite squabble over whether Russia meddled in the presidential elections and claims that Russian news media continue to interfere in American democracy. Of course, the US corporate-controlled news media, who are an integral part of the plutocracy, lend credibility to this circus. Ditto European corporate-controlled media.
All of this hysterical behavior that we are daily witnessing, he sees as a neurotic response psychologically defending them from the frightful reality that the end of a system and their rule is approaching, a system that has served this tiny ruling class so well over the past several hundred years. And he concludes with a warning to us ordinary people that we need to do something before they take us with them in a nuclear war conflagration or, more slowly, in a deteriorating environment that can no longer support human life.
The biggest disconnect is the obscene inequality of wealth and resources that capitalism has engendered in the 21st century. That monstrous dysfunction is also causally related to why the US and its Western allies like Britain are pushing belligerence and wars around the planet. It is all part of their elitist denial of reality. The reality that capitalism is the biggest threat to humanity’s future.

Do we let these mentally deficient, deceptive political elites and their media dictate the nonsense? Or will the mass of people do the right thing and sweep them aside?
 
We are increasingly noticing others who think that capitalism has become thoroughly dysfunctional. Read this review of a book entitled How will capitalism end? by Wolfgang Streeck re-posted in Real-World Economics Review Blog.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Who’s Afraid of Corporate COINTELPRO?

Click here to access article by C.J. Hopkins from CounterPunch. (Updated commentary at 10:45 AM Seattle time.)
... these days most elitist wankers are trained how to write, and read, and think, in MFA conformity factories, where they screen out any unstable weirdos with unhealthy interests in political matters. This is to avoid embarrassing episodes like Harold Pinter’s Nobel Prize lecture (which, if you haven’t read it, you probably should), and is why so much of contemporary literature is so well-behaved and instantly forgettable. This institutionalized screening system is also why the majority of journalists employed by mainstream media outlets understand, without having to be told, what they are, and are not, allowed to report.
Hopkins writes in a chatty style to explain how he learned about the subtle ways corporations have to discourage people from writing or accessing ideas that the ruling capitalist class finds objectionable. The reference to COINTELPRO is intentional to convey the hidden or secret nature of these methods. He doesn't see the methods as constituting outright censorship, but adapted from earlier forms to fit in the contemporary "brave new world" of digital media. As a writer and thinker he tells his personal story of his road to discovery of the pitfalls that any independent thinker/writer should consider when writing for this brave new digital world, or by implication, the difficulties that others might encounter trying to access material by independent thinkers and writers.

Actually the methods aren't all that new because I, personally, have experienced their analogs (def.) while working for bosses throughout much of my life. They have just been re-adapted to fit the online world. You see, our ruling masters want us to continue to believe the myths propagated by their system of indoctrination that all of their subjects (that's us) are exposed to all of their (our) lives; you know, the myths about all the freedoms we enjoy as Americans living in an exceptional country. So, what's a ruling class to do under those circumstances? Well, they have found sure-fire methods to discourage anyone from straying from their capitalist ideology while either writing for, or perusing, the World Wide Web. Read about Hopkins' experience to learn more, and you might find some similarities in your own experience either online or off.

You may also be interested in the growing effort to privatize the internet--the better to (def.) control its content--by reading "'Time to Raise Hell': Internet Defenders Mobilize as FCC Aims to Kill Net Neutrality Within Month".

The Russian Civil War: an international struggle

Click here to access article by Jules Legendre from In Defense of Marxism. (Note: As long as I continue to discover excellent articles on the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, I will post the them.) 

The profound effects of the revolution on the rest of the world only started after the Bolsheviks took power. The capitalist ruling classes throughout the West looked upon this workers state with horror, and from the beginning saw the necessity to crush it. They saw it like a virus that could be spread to workers in their own countries and threaten their rule. In fact, as you will see in succeeding posts, this nightmare for the capitalists shaped most of the subsequent events of the 20th century.
Initially, Lenin seemed to be right when he declared that the civil war phase of the revolution was over and that the Bolsheviks could now concentrate on the peaceful construction of the new regime. But this idea was soon to be shattered by events.

Whereas the anti-communist counter-revolution – also known as the White movement, as opposed to the Reds – was militarily and politically defeated, its leaders who were living on the country's borders received enormous military assistance from the great imperialist powers of the time. This started already in the early days of 1918. White units were equipped with high-tech weaponry, such as tanks and planes: all things that were lacking to the young Soviet republic.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A People’s History of the Russian Revolution pits new scholarship vs. Mainstream Media [part 1 of 5]

Click here to access article by the Iranian-American Ramin Mazaheri posted on The Greanville Post. (This is part 1 of 5 articles that will be posted. It is likely that I will re-post all of them by this excellent political analyst who tells it like it really is--no euphemisms like "market economy" or "Wall Street" for the real thing (capitalism).

It occurred to me this morning that there is another war going on that you may not be aware of. It is a war for your mind, that is, for the control of your mind about all things political. The capitalist US-led Empire is under siege by the new technologies of the Information Age, and the war is being fought over your allegiance to both the Empire and capitalism, the ideological foundation of the Empire. Being aware of this war should encourage you to take much greater care on what to believe about the world you live in. I hope this website and this post contributes to that process.

This series of posts, which is based on new book entitled A People’s History of the Russian Revolution by Neil Faulkner, promises to offer you a much better understanding of the realities and the significance of the 1917 Russian Revolution which has had such a profound impact on subsequent world events. The book, and I think this series, presents a very different view of the revolution that you may be getting from mainstream media or what you were taught in schools.
... on the book’s very first page the author describes the formula of any successful popular revolution, just like the Iranian Revolution of 1979: “In essence, the Russian Revolution was an explosion of democracy and activity from below.”

Mainstream media and all bourgeois (US/West European) democracies have no interest in such explosions, and it is for this reason that they purposely distort not just the 1917 Russian Revolution but all anti-capitalist, pro-socialist, and anti-imperialist cultures. And they always will, because that is the only way they can try to preserve their status quo dominance.

‘The Atlantic’ Commits Malpractice, Selectively Edits To Smear WikiLeaks

Click here to access article by Caitlin Johnstone from The Greanville Post.
Everyone was buzzing about the shocking, bombshell new report by The Atlantic yesterday, which revealed that Donald Trump Jr. and the WikiLeaks Twitter account had engaged in a “largely one-sided” conversation in private messages over the course of several months.

Don Jr. actually comes off looking fairly normal in the report, while WikiLeaks comes off looking weird and sleazy in a way that will likely damage its reputation even further than the mainstream media campaign to smear the outlet already has.
 
The author explains how a major capitalist publication manufactured a smear against one of the world's greatest sources of exposures of Empire lies and secrets. Julia Ioffe can expect a "brilliant" and well-paid career ahead of her as a propaganda specialist for media corporations. 

Reforms, Freedoms, Maidan: The Recycled Lexicon of Victoria Nuland's Successor

Click here to access article by Ollie Richardson from Stalker Zone

In this article you will learn about how well-indoctrinated US government sociopaths, accompanied by bodyguards, pay phony respects to a monument that they, and their associates, helped to erect in Ukraine. But first, if you are a bit hazy about the history of US interference in Ukraine's affairs, you should see this and this. Then if you are totally clueless about the US interference in their affairs which brought about the establishment of an overt fascist government, you can click on the category "Ukraine" (on the lower right-hand side) to find out more.

Pride, Pain and War

Click here to access poem that was written by Michael John Pike (Spike the Poet) who reads his poem in a video posted by BSNews (Britain).  
Spike is a former [British] soldier, now a poet and peace activist. Once his experiences drove him on a path to self destruction. But through poetry, he has found an outlet. He is now a performance poet and speaker where he attacks the establishment that thrives on war. He is polemic and unswerving in his damning condemnation of the war machine.
It seems to me that many combat veterans like Spike could benefit psychologically by engaging in anti-war and anti-establishment activities that a genuine revolutionary movement could provide for them. The challenge to return such veterans to civilian life is monumental, but mainly the ruling class has taken this challenge by keeping damaged veterans in ideologically controlled "therapy" sessions. In other words, the veterans are lied to by the ruling class to sign up for such killing activities and they lie to them again when they return damaged in body and soul to civilian life by portraying them as heroes, people who have "sacrificed" for some noble cause. It seems to me that a real healing, a real return to psychological health could be provided by a revolutionary movement that would engage these wounded people in activities that would serve to undermine the power of their real enemies: the ruling capitalist class.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying: The great pressure on artists to pull their punches

Click here to access article by David Walsh from World Socialist Web Site.
...the film (like Ponicsan’s novel [on which it was based] sharply pulls its punches. Given the scale of the crimes involved, millions dead in Vietnam, millions more in the Middle East, the threat of even more horrifying wars… Last Flag Flying hardly begins to come to terms with things. It’s not much more than a mild rebuke.

Too many elements undermine what could have been a much stronger, fiercer work.
In my opinion David Walsh is the best American film reviewer by far, and he certainly demonstrates his skill and moral conscience in this review. I was sad to learn that the film, which Walsh faulted for its obvious suppression of dissent about two of our many wars, was directed by Richard Linklater whose films I've often admired. 

It's clear in the present ideological environment that no one could make a stronger anti-war film that exposed the lies of our ruling class's government. Thus, the film serves as another illustration of the role that Hollywood plays to sell supportive ideological propaganda to brainwash the American people. As Walsh suggests, the ideological climate today is much worse than it was in the early 1970s--which was far from good.
To oppose that [US military establishment] consciously and resolutely, to suggest that the US military is not, in the end, an “honorable” and “patriotic” institution, but a sinister and murderous one, will bring down upon the filmmaker denunciations and threaten his or her career, perhaps his or her life.

What’s China up to in Syria? Economic realpolitik, basically

Click here to access article by