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
Sunday, December 31, 2017
This very lengthy article is Part 21 of her long series of articles. Throughout her article she lists numerous instances of lies told by government officials and media corporations, and in the background she always poses the question, "Whatever Happened to Investigative Journalists?" Later in the article she gives some very good answers to this question.
However, missing from her tome is a more profound class analysis, and thus it ends up being quite naive politically. But this lack of understanding of the important role of class in determining history is common throughout American society. The capitalist ruling class has been extremely successful through their control of all institutions to censor any thought of class as a political factor. Thus, she believes that the government has been corrupted along with corporate media, and naively believes that the solution is to get rid of the corruption by investigating and exposing it!!!
At one point she comes close to the truth by writing, "To question the official 9/11 story is simply and fundamentally revolutionary", but in the next sentence she negates this insight by writing "questioning the official story is also simply and fundamentally American." Her entire article doesn't support this last statement. Yes, to question the 9/11 story and so many other stories (lies) would be to reach the conclusion that we must prepare for a revolution. That she can't handle, and that is so true of most Americans. Yet, without a revolution, we are doomed to extinction either through a nuclear war conflagration or ultimately by climate destabilization.
Vltchek has demonstrated what a real journalist does in reporting the truth, as he sees it, in his/her travels to the most war-torn areas of the world. Also, I think he has stumbled upon what is so vitally needed to overcome the forces of greed and cruelty spawned (def.#3) by the anti-human system of capitalism which sets one tiny class over the entire world's humans. He complains about the lack of support in 2015 he received from readers while suffering from exhaustion.
You and your determined work may save several villages, or if you are very good, you could make a difference on a global scale. Your writing or your films may help to stop a war. But never expect any official recognition, any practical backing or even mercy from your readers. In 2015, after making several films and writing books about several particularly horrid war zones, mostly in Africa, I totally collapsed. For several weeks, I was not able to move. I thought it was the end. There was no help at all coming from those millions of my readers living in all parts of the world. At that time I made my condition public. Still, nothing. Few letters of ‘moral support’ arrived. Few: “Be strong, the world needs you!” In the end, it was my close family circle that literally pampered and rescued me and put me back to my feet and into fighting order.What is totally lacking is an organized effort to support journalists such as Vltchek. We who see the ongoing destruction of both humans and the environment caused by capitalist rule must become aware that it will take something more than family support to confront this evil monster of capitalism. Remember capitalism puts families as the primary social unit of capitalism. This was so succinctly expressed by that British servant of capitalism, Margaret Thatcher:
This is not a reproach, just a warning to those who are getting ready to fight for the survival of humanity: “You will be totally on your own. You will most definitely collapse on several occasions.”
...you know, there's no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look after themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbours.However, she omits (and therefore lies) that these rich families are united and highly organized under capitalist class rule.
I simply don't understand why it is so difficult for activists to realize that some greater scale of organization is needed to break the power of capitalists than the family unit. Yet, Vltchek expected greater support for his work from readers when he suffered from exhaustion in 2015 when there wasn't any organization to support him. We on the left have not moved one iota from family support to build larger organizations with clout to defend ourselves from "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" inflicted upon us by this tiny class of capitalists. How can we expect anything different than exhaustion, defeat, and more misery!!!?
We must put social back into the effort of building socialism. We must think in different terms than what we were raised with. We must be conscious of our indoctrination under capitalist rule and create another consciousness--or else we will perish.
Saturday, December 30, 2017
- Russian military advisors work with all Syrian army units — Russian General Staff from TASS, a Russian News Agency.
I learned about this report by way of an article from a Kuwaiti independent journalist posted on his website. I'm not sure one can draw all the implications he does from this TASS announcement, but it is very much worth our attention.
- The Next Financial Crisis Will Be Worse Than the Last One by Nomi Prins from TruthDig.
She takes a gander (def.) at the huge run-up of corporate debts, tax cuts for the rich, and continuing low-interest money available to corporations, and reaches the following conclusion:
What does that mean? Financially speaking, 2018 will be a precarious year of more bubbles inflated by cheap money, followed by a leakage that will begin with the bond or debt markets. The GOP tax cuts won’t technically kick in monetarily for corporations until after the year is over in 2019, but the anticipation of extra funds will fuel more buybacks. This will help to provide cover for any rate hikes the Fed implements, because it provides corporations the ability to boost their own share prices further.
Meanwhile, the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and other smaller regulatory authorities in Washington will push for greater deregulation of the financial systems and banking industry on any level possible. If there is another financial crisis in 2018 or later, it will be worse than the last one because the system remains fundamentally unreformed, banks remain too big to fail and the Fed and other central banks continue to control the flow of funds to these banks (and through to the markets) by maintaining a cheap cost of funds.
- Venezuela after the municipal elections by Jorge Martin from Defense of Marxism (Britain).
Thursday, December 28, 2017
- China plans to break petrodollar stranglehold by Pepe Escobar from Asia Times. (Because I am very busy today taking care of personal problems, this is the only article I could find at this time. I may post additional articles later if I have the time.)
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
At the 2017 Holberg Debate, Julian Assange, John Pilger and Jonathan Heawood discussed the presence of propaganda in news and social media, and its democratic implications.
The event took place at the University of Bergen, Norway, on December 2nd, 2017.What really piqued (def.#3) my interest listening to Assange was when the moderator got on the topic of artificial intelligence (at 45:40m) in the context of the information war (the crafting of news and information to get people to believe and do things that would promote capitalist ruling class interests, and likewise, not believe and do things that might interfere with ruling class interests). At this point Julian Assange made this rather startling statement in reference to artificial intelligence: "...it's overwhelmingly the biggest threat to humanity as much as...a much bigger threat than climate change." His following remarks elaborated on this statement which I found most interesting and insightful.
Here are the brief show notes:
About 00:11:00 Julian Assange; About 00:56:00 Questions for Julian Assange; About 01:19:00 Jonathan Heawood; About 01:43:00 John Pilger; About 02:17:11 Las Q&A Session.I rarely post videos or article of this length; but because this topic is so important, I decided to post it. I recommend listen to Assange's response to a question posed by the moderator at 45:40m regarding artificial intelligence, skip the second speaker, and listen to Pilger's entire address.
About the speakers:
Julian Assange joins the panel via videolink. Assange is an award-winning journalist and the founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks. He is also a programmer, cryptographer, author and activist. Founded in 2006, WikiLeaks has published millions of leaked documents and several videos. This includes logs that relate to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the controversial “Collateral Murder” video from Iraq, U.S. diplomatic cables, and election campaign related e-mails from the Democratic National Committee and from Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta.
Jonathan Heawood is the CEO and founder of IMPRESS, the only press regulator to be recognised as independent and effective under the Royal Charter in the United Kingdom. He has previously worked as a journalist and human rights campaigner, and he is a former director of English PEN. Heawood has written on free speech and regulation for various publications, including The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction, Critical Quarterly, Journal of Media Law, Ethical Space and Communications Law.
John Pilger is an Australian journalist, author and documentary film-maker. Pilger has covered military, political and cultural conflicts around the world for more than five decades, and his criticism of American, Australian and British foreign policy is strongly reflected his documentaries and writings. He worked at the Daily Mirror from 1963 to 1986 and wrote a regular column for the New Statesman magazine from 1991 to 2014. Pilger has won numerous awards as a journalist and film-maker, and he is one of only two people to win British journalism’s highest award twice.
The Holberg Debate 2017 is a collaboration between the Holberg Prize, the Fritt Ord Foundation and Norwegian PEN (Western Norway).
Supplies of materiel, including advanced light weapons systems the U.S. military, from foreign parties — notably the United States and Saudi Arabia, ended up in the hands of ISIS fighters.You may be tired of finding evidence of the US-led Empire's and their allied governments' support of ISIS in Syria in order to overthrow the government of Syria and replace it with a government that is acceptable to the Empire's ruling capitalist class. I have (including this article) 37 links to articles offering such evidence. Meanwhile, most Americans continue to believe the propaganda crafted (def.#5) in the ruling class's media corporations that omits or denies this well documented fact. What most Americans are not aware of is that the purpose of media corporations is not to inform them, but to manage their thoughts in support of ruling class interests.
What you need to know is that this fact is a prime characteristic of the new version of fascism 2.0. In contrast to the earlier German, Italian, and Japanese versions, this updated version doesn't care that you and a relatively small number of people like you know what is really going on in the world. They just need a certain (unknown) percentage of brainwashed people to maintain capitalist rule. With this arrangement they avoid the troublesome task of brutalizing people into acceptance of their rule. However, this arrangement depends on the level of security that their fascist rule enjoys. If I and other observers are correct, we can expect the decline of the power of the US Empire and the ascendance of other nations led by Russia and China. With this decline we can expect that our masters will increasingly go after people like you and me. Should we just wait for this to happen or should we take action now to prevent this from happening? And if we want to take action now, what should we do?
These are the crucial questions facing us. I don't have the answers--nobody or no one person does, but we might put our heads together and come up with some good answers.
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
The video post includes extensive quotes which are essentially a transcript of his talk starting with the section "What is the deep state?". Etler accurately describes the capitalist Deep State that is behind the curtain and in control of their puppets regardless of actors and administrations. The two political parties in the US represent a "heads I win and tails you lose" that is offered by the Deep State to ordinary Americans in their "democratic" elections.
Sunday, December 24, 2017
- Pyongyang rejects biological weapons rumors, accuses US of fabricating pretext for attack This is another example of the psychological term called "projection", a term that I touched on in the third article in the post "Recommended articles for 12/19/2017" entitled "Putin Is Preparing for World War III". I strongly suspect that this charge was made by Trump's regime because the US actually used biological weapons during the Korean War against North Koreans and nearby Chinese populations. Since then the ruling class has devoted massive efforts--and largely successful--to cover up this major war crime. For a recent, comprehensive review of the evidence, the best source is a recent book entitled This Must Be the Place by Dave Chaddock.
- US Congress passes tax windfall for corporations and the rich Excellent analysis of the latest move by the ruling capitalist class to enrich themselves in the face of government budget deficits.
- Western Media Consumed by Myanmar Monster of Own Creation by Tony Cartalucci
Clinton and Aung San Suu Kyi pledge to work together for Burma
Friday, December 22, 2017
I'm mainly posting this article as an illustration of leftist journalism that very much annoys me. So much of left journalism functions like a cheerleader to lead a more left crowd in cheering for progressive measures, movements, or entire countries, but sadly often at the expense of reporting the truth regardless of its nature. Hazeldine does get around to reporting the rightward political movement of recent elections in Catalonia, but the headline and the opening paragraphs paint quite another picture. If we are to become truly informed about the ongoing ruling capitalist class war against workers, we desperately need, and require, the truth about events. Here is his first paragraph:
Catalan independence forces have won a 5-seat majority and 47.5% of the vote in Parliament on a 82% turnout and against the full political force of the Spanish state which as tried every tactic they could to delegitimise and destabilise them. Unionist parties garnered 43.5% of the vote.Only when we read further on down do we become aware that the "Unionist" parties are against Catalonia independence. I guess we should have known by the name alone that this was so, but proper names, such as this capitalized one (it should not have been capitalized because there is no "Unionist" party), can mean anything. So, then, should we conclude that 47.5% versus 43.5% is a smashing victory as suggested by the headline and early paragraphs? Apparently not, because after reading several paragraphs down, we learn that the leftist parties suffered defeats, and there was a decided shift toward the right and centrist parties among the pro-independence voters.
This reminds me of the elections held during the last days I lived in San Francisco when proponents of a new baseball stadium wanted to build it on a site closer to the downtown area. They kept holding such referendums for voters to decide until they finally got the vote they wanted. Then they went ahead to build the stadium. It looks like the Spanish government is using the same strategy and introducing measures to pressure the voters of Catalonia until they get a vote they want. Hazeldine alludes to pressures, but he doesn't elaborate.
A combination of political pessimism and the pressures of repression brought about a quite inward-looking and closed campaign generally....A better report is, sad to say, from the NY Times. In this report we learn of the difficulties that separatist leaders confronted in the campaign: one was in prison and the other in exile.
The best report I have read this morning comes from a British Marxist website called In Defense of Marxism in a report entitled "Catalan elections: Rajoy's strategy defeated".
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
- Why Putin Confounds US Media by Finian Cunningham from Strategic Culture Foundation.
- US Germ Warfare Apology to North Korea Could Advance Dialogue by Wayne Madsen from Strategic Culture Foundation. Of course, there will not be any apology issued. The main reason for this article is to advance the case for the fact that the US used biological weapons during the Korean War, a major war crime that the ruling class has devoted massive efforts--and largely successful--to cover them up since then. For a recent, comprehensive review of the evidence, the best source is a book entitled This Must Be the Place by Dave Chaddock.
And for other war crimes committed by the US on North Korea during this war, read an article entitled "State of Fear: How History’s Deadliest Bombing Campaign Created Today’s Crisis in Korea" by Ted Nace from CounterPunch.
- Class Dismissed: Identity Politics Without The Identity by Michael K. Smith from CounterPunch. This piece provides an accurate description of the social "identity" problems suffered by the white working class that is obscured by corporate media with its emphasis on gender and racial politics. Of course, this is intentionally done by the ruling capitalist class to distract people from the real issues of class war. It also accurately describes one main difference between the work lives of upper-middle class salaried workers from wage workers of the lower classes.
...in the optic of identity politics, white people are “privileged” by definition, so downward mobility can only be the result of personal failure. In particular, if you are white and don’t have a college degree, and two-thirds of American adults do not, then you are not part of the good life and have only yourself to blame.
As a result, the white working class is virtually invisible today.
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
- US Plans Slash and Burn of Middle East to “Minimize” Iranian Influence by Tony Cartalucci. The author is great on accessing publications by the Deep State to determine what they are planning. (The Deep State are top capitalists in finance and industry, who function much like a board of directors for the capitalist ruling class, and function behind a curtain of secrecy, much like puppeteers, to control all institutions, most especially government and media.) I sometimes think that articles published on Brookings' website (or their surrogates) reflect important policies that they want to be considered by the wider capitalist class, but not necessarily implemented. In any case we should be informed about what they are considering as plans for our world.
- War and Conflicting Geopolitical Agendas by F. William Engdahl. (Disregard the opening paragraphs which appear to be a commercial to sell his book Gods of Money.) I am only posting this because I think he makes a disastrous attempt to interpret history of WWII. It is very important to understand history, especially that of the 20th century so that we can understand present day issues. I will not go into a detailed review of this article, because it is not worth the effort. This article illustrates that Engdahl knows a lot about geopolitical facts, but he sometimes errors in interpreting these facts--and he misinterprets big time in this article! In it his one major error is to argue that Churchill and company refused to support the anti-Hitler camp of Germany's ruling class, a mistake that led to war against Germany. He mostly bases this on something Sir Halford Mackinder wrote in 1904! He totally omits the significance of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the obsession by the Western capitalist countries to rid the world of this blasphemy for capitalist enterprise. I wonder if he hasn't lived too long in Germany where he may have been influenced too much by German apologists for the Nazis. For my interpretation of WWII see this, this, this, this, and this.
- Putin Is Preparing for World War III "Lookie" (def.) here at the latest cover of Newsweek magazine! Our masters may be preparing us for WWIII and it will likely be a war fought with nuclear weapons. It seems to me that our masters nowadays are frequently guilty of projection, a psychological mechanism that tries to project onto others what they themselves want to do (or did) to others.
Sunday, December 17, 2017
- How Do The People Of Truth Win The Current Information War? by Tim Bryant from The Last American Vagabond. (a "best post").
- Three Unelected Men Just Overrode The Will Of 83% Of The US Population by Caitlin Johnstone from The Last American Vagabond.
- Doctor Who Exposed Clinton Foundation Corruption In Haiti Found Dead by
Ryan Cristián from The Last American Vagabond.
Thursday, December 14, 2017
I love Hopkins as a writer. Consider this as a masterful antidote to all the ruses that our ruling class have imposed on us especially since Trump's unplanned-for election. However, liberals, mainly the upper-middle class (and their wannabees) who identify with the ruling capitalist class, are the butt of his extended lampoon. They are immune to any antidote because they are the "house niggers" (Big Brother Google, concerned that you might become aware of the history of racism in the USA, removed this video from YouTube--simply because they "own" YouTube. So now can only videos like this video when Malcolm described them more politely as a "house Negro" and thus passed Google censors) who love their capitalist masters more than themselves while working in their corporate offices.
Here is a sample of Hopkins' writing in the article:
Look, I know what you’re probably thinking, but it isn’t like liberals don’t actually care about fundamental liberal values like freedom of the press and speech and all that. It’s just that they desperately need the Democrats to take back the House and the Senate next year, so they can get on with impeaching Trump, and if they have to stand by while the corporations suppress a little leftist dissent, or, you know, transform the entire Internet into a massive, mind-numbing echo chamber of neo-McCarthyite corporate conformity … well, sacrifices have to be made.
The researchers found that even small internet outlets such as Truthout, Ms., Yes!, etc, can have a very significant influence on people's attention in their communications as measured by Twitter.
You can see the reasons for doing this kind of research: to further refine how corporate media corporations shape news events. This has been common knowledge for many decades. That is precisely why our capitalist masters like to invest in major media even though they are by and large not profitable. It's because major media corporations are powerful in shaping news and opinions of the general public which always ends up supporting the interests of the tiny ruling class of capitalists in opposition to the general interest. This is precisely why Jeff Bezos (Amazon corporation) bought The Washington Post. Our ruling class already know this, and they've known it for many years. The tip-off is suggested in the concluding naive questions:
If mostly small publishers working in small collaborations can influence conversation so significantly, what of non-profit news collaborations, local newspapers, and television news? What of collaborations between all three?Of course, you and most of the people who follow this blog know that major media have for a number of years collaborated to dumb-down, mislead, and deceive the general public. The challenging implication from this is that we, the people, must find a way to establish our own media. Otherwise we will continue on down the road of ignorance and deception while capitalists, because of their addictions to profits and power, will destroy all of humanity.
The ruling class controls every institution to insure that they serve their interests. As a way of illustration to demonstrate this insight, I recommend reading "How Hollywood sold us the (good) Korean War" by Patrice Greanville. This very popular TV series (M*A*S*H) sold imperialism as entertainment to the gullible American people.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Unfortunately this author has a very common name which has caused me endless minutes/hours to access his writings or to verify writings by him. However, I have no doubts that this is the same "Richard Smith" who has authored an article (entitled "Capitalism and the Destruction of Life on Earth") which I consider a "foundational" article that supports my concerns about the prospect of climate destabilization that is now facing humans.
I am posting this scholarly article by him because it offers another rather comprehensive view of China's political and economic policies with particularly emphasis on environmental issues. I have had considerable difficulty in accessing unbiased articles in alternative websites about China's policies in relation to the issue of climate destabilization. Recently articles authored by Jeff Brown of China Rising have been posted and re-posted on alternative websites, but I consider him as too much of a cheerleader for all things China nowadays. He is rarely critical of anything regarding China. I offer this to you as a counter-balance to such articles, and I will leave it to you, as a critical thinker, to decide on the merits of Smith's observations about China and its leadership regarding this issue.
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Minin merely describes President Assad's position regarding a federal system for that country. I would go much further by asserting that Assad is absolutely right, and that a federal system as proposed is designed to fragment a country and create antagonisms along ethnic lines. It is a thinly disguised weapon that the British ruling class has so often used to create tensions in their former colonies. It is a version of the old divide and conquer strategy to create divisions, conflicts, and chaos. Apparently the British ruling class thought that if they can't control a nation, then the latter should be punished with never ending conflict.
Probably the most famous example is their breakup of their colonial possession of India into Muslim and predominately Hindu sections which are today represented by Pakistan and India. This produced the ongoing hostile relations between the two countries and the ongoing, never-ending conflicts in Kashmir. Then the British applied this strategy to the Middle East by establishing a European ethnic group, European Jews, as a nation in the middle of their former British colonies.
This is precisely the weapon that subversive agents of the US-led Empire have been using in Iraq by supporting the Kurds and more surreptitiously the more fundamentalist and disaffected Sunnis to create political weakness in Iraq in the aftermath of their invasion, and more recently by organizing, funding, etc, ISIS, a terrorist army to overthrow the Syrian government. Although failing in Syria with the funding of opposition groups, these agents of subversion latched onto the Syrian Kurds to use them in the same strategy to dismember Syria.
You will notice that I carefully posed my position on this issue by stating "a federal system as proposed" by the adherents of such an arrangement. A federal arrangement that did not divide a country up into ethnic groups or religion would be acceptable. But Empire agents are thoroughly dishonest by disguising their strategy as simply one of federation. In any case, no outside agents should be involved in geopolitical arrangements in the Middle East or anywhere else. But, in this era of advanced capitalism, the scourge of imperialism will have to be defeated by the defeat of capitalists everywhere--or else: the very survival of humans depends on the outcome of this conflict.
The majority of the issues facing all people today derive from one basic issue which I have been developing throughout my eight years of blogging: whether economic property is to be owned and controlled by individuals (either as individuals or collectively as shareholders) or whether such property will be democratically owned and managed by and for the people residing in the various regions of our planet Earth. That is the most fundamental question of our era! The outcome of this struggle will decide whether we humans continue to exist or whether we will become extinct: either in the long term due to catastrophic climate destabilization or in the short term due to nuclear wars.
Which side are you on? Are you on the side of the overwhelming majority of humanity or on the side of this tiny class of "owners"? Are you on the side of nature and its preservation, or are you on the side of the tiny numbers of "owners" of economic property?
Monday, December 11, 2017
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 1980s 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.
Sunday, December 10, 2017
- Why Did the Top Army Officer in the U.S. Do So Little in Response to the 9/11 Attacks? from 911 Blogger.
Friday, December 8, 2017
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.
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.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.
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.
Also related to this is an article entitled "An illegitimate capital for a state without legitimacy" posted on WhatsuPic which might interest you.
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 9/11 Miracles’
Inspired by David Ray Griffin’s
‘Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World’
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
- Trump Settles Debt With Zionists - Confirms That Iran's Struggle Is Righteous by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama.
- The death of Kissinger’s Shuttle Diplomacy: the Jerusalem factor by Ghassan Kadi from A bird's eye view of the Vineyard. I think that this piece gives a good summary of the change of US involvement in the Middle East that was only clumsily topped by Trump with his recognition of Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel.
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
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.
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:We must get serious...because they (the ruling rich) are!
Save our Cities..Our Troops.. Our Safety Net.
End this Military Industrial Empire!!
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
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.
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
- 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.)
- EL PETRO: Venezuela rocks cryptocurrency world by announce oil backed crypto by Adam Garrie from The Duran.
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: corporations + government = 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.
Sunday, December 3, 2017
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.
Saturday, December 2, 2017
- Abbie Martin interviews Mike Papantonio, a lawyer fighting for opioid sufferers in Ohio and against pharmaceutical corporations.
- Yemen: Today’s Guernica from Strategic Culture Foundation.
Friday, December 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.)
- Huge Human Inequality Study Hints Revolution is in Store for U.S. (Thanks to Christopher in northwest Oregon for alerting me to this fine article.)
Thursday, November 30, 2017
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
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.
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
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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
Saturday, November 25, 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.
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.)
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).