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

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Horror! The Horror! (parts 1 and 2 of 3?)

Click here to access part 1 and this link to access Part 2 of a series of articles by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform
I’m constantly amazed by the ability of those in power to create a narrative trusted by a gullible non-critical thinking populace. Appealing to emotions, when you have millions of functionally illiterate, normalcy bias ensnared, iGadget distracted, disciples of the status quo, has been the game plan of the Deep State for the last century. Americans don’t want to think, because thinking is hard. They would rather feel. For decades the government controlled public education system has performed a mass lobotomy on their hapless matriculates, removing their ability to think and replacing it with feelings, fabricated dogma, and social indoctrination. Their minds of mush have been molded to acquiesce to the narrative propagandized by their government keepers.
Quinn makes many good points about the gullibility of Americans and the adept skills by what he calls the Deep State to manufacture the consent and dissent of Americans. The Deep State serves the interests of the transnational capitalist class who control the US-led Empire regardless of who occupies the White House or Congress. However, I don't agree with everything he writes.

First. his reference to the "Deep State" is based on Mike Lofgren's views in his book (of the same title). Although I have not read his book, I have read some of Lofgren's articles and find his conception of the "Deep State" much too vague and as only a relatively recent phenomenon in the US. Read my commentary posted in this piece regarding his concept.

Second, his reference in Part 2 to the Fourth Turning as some kind of explanation for our current state of affairs. This book apparently sees history as running in cycles. Thus, we shouldn't worry about the extinction of humans due to the degeneration of capitalist rule into a nightmarish nuclear Armageddon or worry about the destabilization of our climate and the resulting destruction of our habitat. It's just another historical cycle that humans will live through.

Reporter Actually In S-Y-R-I-A Exposes Media Lies About Everything

Click here if you wish to access Jimmy Dore's interview with Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett directly from The Jimmy Dore Show via YouTube.

I'll introduce this interview with a message by Eva Bartlett from her website (actually check this link out because it offers other relevant links. Also at around 2:00m in the interview she refers to an important article by Steve Gowans entitled "The Revolutionary Distemper in Syria That Wasn’t".)
Very pleased to have been on Jimmy Dore's show. I have a lot of respect for Jimmy, unabashedly speaking truth on Syria and many other issues--in fact, he has paid a price with Youtube demonetizing his videos. [On that note, how you can support his work: ▶Become a PATRON▶  https://www.patreon.com/jimmydore]
 

De-escalation Zone Memorandum – Decisive Step Towards Peace in Syria?

Click here to access article by Firas Samuri from Global Research. (Added a link to additional post from RT at 7 PM Seattle time.)
Following the results of the fourth round of Syrian talks in Astana the representatives of guarantor-states (Iran, Russia and Turkey) signed a memorandum on de-escalation zones in Syria.

....

The memorandum, which comes into effect on May 5, envisages the cessation of hostilities between the sides, conditions for returning refugees, the restoration of destroyed urban infrastructure and the access of humanitarian organizations. Moreover, the checkpoints to control the movement of civilians and the ceasefire regime will be created along the de-escalation zone borders.

It is notable, that the agreement doesn’t apply to Islamic State and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorists, it doesn’t depend on whether they are inside a zone or not.

Moreover, the flights of the U.S.-led International Coalition are strictly forbidden in the area. The airspace will be also controlled by the guarantor-states.
The agreement has received endorsement by various important actors involved in the Syrian conflict including UN officials and even luke-warm approval by US officials

Although this subject is not directly related to the purpose of my website, it is of interest to many US activists who are interested in the advanced revolutionary ideology of Syrian Kurds as I outlined in a previous post, and also how this latest agreement might dovetail with US officials who would like to see Syria fragmented. The Duran has very recently run a series of articles discussing the implications of this Memorandum worked out by Russia, Turkey, and Iran in Astana, Kazakstan. See this, this, and this. Also, added at 7 PM Seattle time, this post from RT entitled "Are airstrikes possible? Mixed signals from Washington on Syria safe zones".

Capitalist health care for workers

by political cartoonist John Jonik.

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Deep History of US, Britain’s Never-Ending Cold War On Russia

Click here to access article by Finian Cunningham from Strategic Culture Foundation. (Thanks to Caren in northwest Oregon for this article.)

In this article Cunningham makes an excellent argument that the Cold War was just the continuation of hostility toward the Soviet Union, now Russia. I have argued this many times in my commentaries (see this, this, and this). That is why I make the Russian Revolution as the single most important event of the 20th century. The majority of the policies of the Western capitalist nations after this event in 1917 were a direct reaction to this event. The only disagreement I have with Cunningham is this statement of his:
Leaders like President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill appeared to be genuinely committed to defeating Nazi Germany.
I disagree with the inclusion of Churchill. According to James M. Burns and his biography of FDR, this was certainly true of Roosevelt who had developed an early antipathy to Germany in his childhood while attending a school in Germany for a short time and on other visits to Germany. However Churchill was an arch-imperialist of the old school, and he was of the British capitalist ruling class clique that wanted to crush the Soviet Union. From the beginning he vigorously opposed opening a second front in western Europe to take the pressure off of the Soviet troops. FDR along with Stalin wanted this to happen in 1942, but because of his opposition it didn't happen until June of 1944.

Now with Russia refusing to go along with the US in its plans for world domination, the US ruling class along with the rest of the capitalists in the Empire (NATO countries) have reactivated the old Cold War.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Eva Bartlett discusses the power outage and daily abuses in Gaza

Click here to access a 36:04m video interview with Eva Bartlett, an independent Canadian journalist, posted on the ANC website. 

Bartlett in her emailed introduction to this interview stated:
May 1, 2017, ANC Report
Thanks Ry Dawson for having me on to talk about the hell that is life in Gaza, as well as the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners, and solidarity with Syria.

(*Please note: webcam might be closer than it appears... Sorry for the close-up, some sort of setting or his recording program issue, I suppose.*)
It looks to me like the Israeli ruling class has long decided to engage in a slow motion genocide of the Palestinian people, especially those living in the Gaza Strip.

If you would like to know more about Bartlett, her experience in Syria, and her and Sheehan's views about corporate media, you might listen to her nearly one hour interview conducted by Cindy Sheehan

Contrast the work of Eva Bartlett with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. Goodman has always appeared to function as a "gatekeeper" of issues that are not discussed such as any questioning of the official story of 9/11 and she has never interviewed such critics on her show. Although in the past she has done some interesting interviews of left-liberal critics such as Noam Chomsky, Julian Assange, and Seymour Hersh, it appears from a recent interview with journalist Anand Gopal that she is now functioning as another propaganda outlet for the Empire's ruling class. Perhaps Discover The Networks gives us all the information (there appears to be a misprint on the top of this linked page which leads you to the wrong website) that we need to know about Democracy Now. For one particular view of the interview with Gopal, I direct you to this commentator who responds to an article posted on Moon of Alabama.

Slavehood 2017

Click here to access article by Peter Koenig posted on The Saker

This author who has an unusual history writes a very scathing essay about Western civilization that is now under the control of the US Empire.
As people of western nations, we are enslaved to an all-engulfing neoliberal fascism – to a predatory economic. Corporate lie propaganda drip-feds our brains. We haven’t even noticed it. We are enslaved to so-called ‘leaders’, put in office by obscure foreign masters of deceit – the ever-stronger corporate controlled propaganda machine – the six all controlling Zion-Anglo media, whom we believe whatever lie they vomit – because it is more comfortable to believe a lie than to confront the truth – that’s self-imposed slavehood.

That’s how far we have gone.

A North Korean Perspective on Reunification

Click here to access article by Roland Boer from his blog Stalin’s Moustache. (Boer appears to be an avid Australian traveler and cyclist.)
Since the DPRK (North Korea) is in the corporate news, and full of the usual misrepresentation, I thought I would reprise a section of an article I wrote a couple of years ago on Korean reunification – from the perspective of the north.

Reunification been a consistent policy of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea since its earliest days.
He also writes about his travels at another blog, Voyages on the Left, and the recent posts are about his interesting experiences in China.

"Free lunch" for the rich!

by political cartoonist Dan Wasserman.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Call for Professional Integrity Goes Unheeded

Click here to access article that I received from Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth).

This article reports on a meeting of professional association of architects, American Institute of Architects, in which they voted overwhelmingly to reject a new investigation of the collapse of Building 7 in the 9/11 attack.
Representatives of the American Institute of Architects’ local and national governing bodies voted overwhelmingly against supporting a new investigation into the total collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 (WTC 7) at the Institute’s annual business meeting held in Orlando on April 26, 2017.

Resolution 17-5, which was sponsored by 70 AIA members — and which initially had the backing of more than 200 members before the AIA introduced a rule late in the process that required handwritten signatures from sponsors — garnered 4% of the vote from delegates.

The 4% tally was a setback to concerned AIA members and activists who had hoped to continue the upward trajectory that saw support for a reinvestigation grow from 4% in 2015 to 11% last year.
The architects who have been pushing for this investigation presumably also belong to the AE911Truth. I believe that there are strategic reasons that the latter organization has been vigorous pursuing a new investigation of Building 7. Because it was not struck by any planes, if a new investigation should report that this was an impossibility, then it would strengthen their position to open an investigations of the obvious controlled demolitions that brought down the other two buildings that were hit by airplanes.

This vote is another illustration of highly skilled people in the upper middle class not wanting to antagonize the ruling class because they enjoy a high income and many perks that goes along with professional status. I have exposed the privileged role of this class in earlier commentaries of posted articles this year: see especially this and this.

There is an abundance of evidence that Buildings 1 and 2 of the World Trade Center were also brought down by controlled demolition methods in opposition to the official story. I think that most of the evidence points to the 9/11 disaster as history's most dramatic false-flag event (see this and this for starters). The most plausible explanation for the event is this: it was engineered primarily by Israel's Mossad in close collaboration with the CIA and Saudi Arabia, which supplied the Muslim "terrorists", using their advanced drone technology, which Israeli scientists pioneered, to guide the airplanes into the buildings. This was the "Pearl Harbor" event referred to in "Rebuilding America's Defenses", a paper produced by a major ruling class "think tank", the Project for the New American Century. This false-flag event was necessary to bring the US into conflicts with the moderate Muslim countries that were the bitter enemies of Israel. And as you can see, it worked so successfully.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Existential Question of Whom to Trust: “The Looming Threat of World War III” [commentary edited for an error]

Click here to access article by Robert Parry from ConsortiumNews. (Edited for an error regarding Chris Hedges--thanks to Caren of northwest Oregon. See first comment.)
The existing rewards-and-punishments system, which punishes truth-tellers and rewards those who deceive the public, has left behind a thoroughly corrupted information structure in the United States and in the West, in general.

Across the mainstream of politics and media, there are no longer the checks and balances that have protected democracy for generations. Those safeguards have been washed away by the flood of careerism.

The situation is made even more dangerous because there also exists a rapidly expanding cadre of skilled propagandists and psychological operations practitioners, sometimes operating under the umbrella of “strategic communications.” Under trendy theories of “smart power,” information has become simply another weapon in the geopolitical arsenal, with “strategic communications” sometimes praised as the preferable option to “hard power,” i.e. military force.
This former career journalist who worked for Newsweek and the Associated Press condemns his colleagues in journalism careers, but it turns out he is referring only to journalists who work for major media corporations. For people on the real left, it is a given that journalists working for major media must serve the ruling capitalist class or else they leave or are fired. Doug Valentine in his book The CIA as Organized Crime cites an example of a fake report (p. 123) submitted by Chris Hedges who was a journalist for the NY Times based on the testimony of two dissidents coached by the CIA to support the Empire's propaganda agenda to prepare the public for the eventual invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Parry concludes his essay by writing:
But the question is: whom to trust? And this is no longer some rhetorical or philosophical point about whether one can ever know the complete truth. It is now a very practical question of life or death, not just for us as individuals but as a species and as a planet.

The existential issue before us is whether – blinded by propaganda and disinformation – we will stumble into a nuclear conflict between superpowers that could exterminate all life on earth or perhaps leave behind a radiated hulk of a planet suitable only for cockroaches and other hardy life forms.
Nowhere does he refer to journalists such as Eva Bartlett, Vanessa Beeley, Jonathan Cook, and the journalists who work at TeleSur, Newsbud, Mint Press News, etc, all of whom work for little compensation while often risking their lives. These are the people to trust, and we need to support their work!

Trump’s Real sin in DC is not distinguishing between “Good” and “Bad” Dictators

Click here to access article by Juan Cole from his blog Informed Consent
Donald J. Trump’s peculiar comments about and relationship with dictators and loonies among foreign leaders have upset a range of observers, from sincere human rights activists to cold-blooded Think Tank Rats. First he welcomed the Philippines’ demagogue and possibly cold-blooded murderer Rodrigo Duterte to Washington. Then he said he understood the problems North Korea’s Kim Jong Un had battling off his bloodthirsty relatives.

But I would argue that the inside-the-Beltway Blob is mainly upset because Trump doesn’t seem to know the difference between the Bad dictators, whom you diss, and the Good dictators, whom you praise as strong allies. Trump just seems to like all the dictators.
Cole is trying to counter the ruling class's management of your consent to their rule and interests (wealth and power) to one of "informed consent". He (maybe naively) believes that if we are informed of the truth, we can as free citizens of a "democracy" make wise choices by electing good government leaders among the choices given to us by our masters (or so the capitalist version of democracy claims). 

As Cole tells us--and I think he's right--the problem Trump is having with the ruling class and their media pundits is that he doesn't know who the good guys and bad guys are--as they define them. This might be because he has never played the government-office-holders game before, the game in which he must in public utterances preach the line of the ruling capitalist class. However in recent weeks Trump looks to be a quick learner by spewing the appropriate anti-Russian and anti-Assad propaganda and acting accordingly.

The only problem I have with this scenario is that democracy in the US, like corporate sponsored news, is fake. Both are simply designed to fool people into supporting a tiny class of billionaires who, under the logical dynamics of capitalism, which is the goose that lays their golden eggs of wealth and power, own and control nearly everything of value in the US and a large amount that exists abroad. And they want more of both because an addict can never get enough of his/her drugs.

Corporate Sovereignty Used To Bully Ukraine, Colombia And Italy For Protecting Public Health And The Environment

Click here to access article by Glyn Moody from Techdirt
Corporate sovereignty provisions in investment treaties have become much better known than they were when Techdirt first wrote about them in 2012. Despite that growing awareness, and widespread outrage at the idea that corporations can request secret supra-national tribunals to make awards of hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars paid from public funds, companies continue to use the system to bully governments into changing their policies.

Monday, May 1, 2017

May Labour Day: What is International Workers' Day?

Click here to access article from Al Jazeera. (Edited and material added up till 6:30 PM Seattle time.)
Each year, people across the globe take to the streets to commemorate International Workers' Day, or May Day.

In dozens of countries, May Day is an official holiday, and for labour rights campaigners it is particularly important.

In the United States, it is symbolic of past labour struggles against a host of workers' rights violations, including lengthy work days and weeks, poor conditions and child labour.
The article continues on to give the history of this day which began in Chicago in 1886 which is a history that our ruling masters have almost disappeared from the consciousness of many American workers. But looking at the history of International Workers' Day, we learn that the day is as American as apple pie! Our ruling masters have attempted to obliterate its meaning by relabeling the day to various other meanings, by changing it to "Labor Day" and shifting it to the first Monday of September, by removing most of the history of this day from schools and educational materials, and by media corporations portrayal of the day as almost un-American by framing the day as one of potential violence. Isn't ironic that the most violent ruling class in recorded world history treats American workers with such paranoia?

See also "Today Is Labor Day, Whether America Knows It or Not" from Fusion

Here you can access a compilation of May Day scenes around the world beginning in Seattle provided by Ruptly via YouTube. 

 

The US Political Scene: Whiteness and the Legitimacy Crisis of Global Capitalism

Click here to access article by Salvador Rangel and Jeb Sprague-Silgado from TeleSur.

The two professors of sociology from University of California (Santa Barbara) offer their interpretation of ruling class policies regardless of who occupies the White House, and the continuing efforts by their media to manage the people's consent to their self-serving policies in spite of the deteriorating effects on the lives of ordinary people.
It is important to understand how the forces behind Trump (and their ideological mechanisms) are now operating through the U.S. political scene. ....

We wish to argue that the reason for which Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” and rhetoric resonated with so many white workers and middle strata is because the ideological terrain had in part already been prepared for it. The field in which Trump planted the seed of xenophobia and hatred among white people had been tilled by neoliberalism and fertilized with money from the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch– and other ruling elites. In fact, it has roots also in the nation’s formative history, through the violence against negatively racialized populations, most notably against Native and African Americans. ....

The Trumpian-right also mixes into this sentiment a rightist populist critique of globalization. Yet, Trump’s election has not come to represent a rupture but rather a continuation of strategies deployed by the transnational capitalist class (TCC), with a different guise.

Beneath the surface of the U.S. political system, one can see how power is entrenched. 

Much more than power at stake in Israel-Hamas electricity standoff

Click here to access article by Shlomi Eldar from Al-Monitor

Issues among Palestinians and between Palestinians and Israel appear to be coming to a head following the cutoff of all electricity to the Gaza Strip by the Palestinian Authority ruled by the Hamas party. 
It seems real this time. Barring a last-minute turnaround, the Gaza Strip will find itself in the worst humanitarian crisis it has known since the 2007 revolution that brought Hamas to power, with disastrous repercussions for its 2 million residents and for Israel.

On April 27, the Palestinian Authority (PA) informed Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories that it was immediately cutting off funding for Gaza's power supply. Not only will it no longer buy diesel fuel to operate the Gaza Strip’s one and only power station — the PA stopped doing so several weeks ago — it will stop footing the monthly bill for the power supplied by the Israel Electric Corporation to Gaza.
In an article entitled "Abbas fears the growing influence of Marwan Barghouti" is Jonathan Cook's take on the explosive situation. Cook is a British independent journalist who resides most of the time in Nazareth. In this article Cook sees a powerful threat to Abbas's leadership of Hamas that controls the Palestinian Authority.
There is anger in the West Bank, both on the streets and within the ranks of Mr Abbas’s Fatah movement. The trigger is a two-week-old hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners.

Last Thursday, Palestinians shuttered their businesses in a show of solidarity, and the next day youths clashed with the Israeli army in a “day of rage”.

About a quarter of the 6,500 political prisoners held by Israel – almost all of them in Israeli territory, in violation of international law – are refusing food in protest at their degrading treatment. They want reforms to Israel’s industrial system of incarceration. Some 800,000 Palestinians – 40 per cent of males – have passed through Israel’s cells since 1967.

Stop World War 3 - An Asymmetrical Response

Click here to access article by Luke Rudkowski from StormCloudsGathering.

Rudkowski is convinced that the ruling capitalist class has already decided to opt for WWIII; in fact he says this has already begun. Whether or not these accusations are true, WWIII is likely to happen given the history of capitalist ruling classes. They always choose war whenever their system is threatened because we, the people, have always in the past rallied around their flags and supported them when they called for war largely because we believed the lies we were told in their newspapers and other media. In the past we have been like children who believe everything their parents tell them. In this era of advanced nuclear weapons to choose war is to risk the survivability of humans, but that doesn't matter to capitalists who, like addicts, will risk death to defend the system that delivers their drugs of wealth and power.

Rudkowski in this article justifies his concern and continues on to offer some ideas about how we can stop this war which will likely be the end of humans.
Some of you are going to want specific instructions. Steps 1, 2, 3 and 4. Some of you are waiting for someone else to lead.

What we need right now (and will need even more in times ahead) are decentralized nodes of leadership operating independently, creatively, with the skills and resources they have, coordinating, amplifying, with other groups.
[emphasis added]

Seek those willing to commit to a simple, self evident moral stance: No wars of aggression (covert, conventional, economic or nuclear), regardless of who is in office. No supporting such wars in word, silence, action or inaction. This is a line worth dividing on and an anchor worth unifying on, identifying with.

Don’t know how to find such people? Start by speaking out. All it takes is one voice to break the conformity principle, to expose the fact that the emperor wears no clothes. Someone else might find their courage because of you.

Once you start taking action you’ll start meeting others who are already in the trenches; people with experience and skills you lack, perspectives that clarify things further. Now you can coordinate, synchronize, and amplify. You’ll also make new friends, and the group might become more than a means to an end.
 
This piece appears to follow a thesis he started in a 2013 article he entitled "Revolution: An Instruction Manual" which, in spite of the title, argued for a revolution but only offered general ideas to prepare for it.

Syria: Beyond Western Myths and Half-Truths

Click here to access a review by Ron Jacobs of a new book entitled Washington’s Long War on Syria authored by Stephen Gowans posted on CounterPunch. (I regard Gowans as one of the world's most astute political analysts.)
Gowans provides a reasoned, at times quite partisan, defense of the pan-Arabism project that once represented the hopes of millions across the Middle East. As his history tells it, it was a project founded on principles that included anti-imperialism, the ownership of the region’s resources by the people of the region and the fair distribution of those resources amongst all the people, and a secular approach in the realm of politics. As Gowans also points out, the desires embodied in this project were counter to the designs of Washington and its allies in Europe and the Middle East (esp. Saudi Arabia). Consequently, it was doomed to be in the bombsights of those governments almost since it began. Syria remains the only nation left of the original nations that made up the pan-Arabist project. This explains why the Syrians who support Assad’s defense of his regime against Islamist and imperial enemies are so adamant in that defense. They know that if he loses, their fate will be as bad, if not worse than, that endured by the people of Egypt and Iraq.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Who’s Arming Radical Militants in Syria and Iraq?

Click here to access article by Martin Berger from New Eastern Outlook.
The main reason for the fight taking so long is not the alleged amount of support that the idea of a “world caliphate” has received in the region, but rather Washington’s interest in maintaining tensions across the Middle East. Thus, it’s been using ISIS as it used to take advantage of Al-Qaeda’s existence.

Unfortunately, it is also necessary to recognize that the interests of US military contractors in the eyes of Western politicians overshadows any other public concern, leaving the arms market at the mercy of gun traffickers. And why should we even be surprised by the fact that the alleged “fight against international terrorism” is taking so long, when what was supposed to be a humanitarian operation carried out by the international community has been transformed into an arms dealer’s paradise?

Trump tax cuts: A bonanza for corporations and the wealthy

Click here to access article by Patrick Martin from World Socialist Web Site
The Trump administration is proposing the largest tax cut for the wealthy in American history. The plan outlined on Wednesday would transfer trillions of dollars from future tax collections into the pockets of the super-rich. Its purpose is twofold: to enrich the financial aristocracy and force the destruction of programs such as Social Security and Medicare by depriving the federal government of the revenue needed to fund them.
My post by David Lindorff last December entitled "Get Ready for an All-Out Assault on Social Security by Washington in 2017" seems almost prophetic.

Economics is a form of brain damage

Click here to access article by Asad Zaman from Real-World Economics Review Blog.

Zaman provides a testimonial to his "brain damage" and recovery by awakening to the reality that capitalist economics was the cause and other insights such as the following:
The parasitical nature of the finance industry has been covered up by the idea of “wealth creation” — when wild speculation doubles the price of stocks, financiers have created wealth, which is a socially valuable activity, instead of a fraud and deception. The ideas of cut-throat competition, survival of fittest, and social darwinism have been used to justify a large number of free market activities which harm the masses to make profits for the wealthy.
He has recovered by cleansing his brain of the false notions of capitalist economics and replacing them with concepts that include our economic activity within the web of nature as succinctly explained by Canadian retired professor Suzuki in the short video.

The Gentrification-to-Prison Pipeline

Click here to access article by Lacino Hamilton from TruthOut.

Hamilton explains what people experience as they are removed from their neighborhoods under the policies known as "gentrification" (a very nice sounding word). Usually the people who are being removed are low income and powerless people of color who find it very difficult to fight back to preserve their homes and neighborhoods. The most vulnerable people of our society are targeted by developers and bankers who see the prospects of making loads of money if these people can be removed so that they can develop the property and sell or rent it to higher income people. Hamilton describes the aggressive nature of this removal process and what typically happens to the people who are forced out.
...the city of Detroit's approach to "social development" came to rely so dramatically on the bricks and mortar of prison at the expense of other responses that would have been both more humane and more effective -- such as social development with people in mind, not profit.

If we are willing to take seriously the consequences of a justice system that is the extension of money and power, it should not be difficult to reach the conclusion that enormous numbers of people are in prison simply because someone else's vision for the future did not include them. We were sent to prison not so much because of the crime we may have indeed committed, but largely for the expropriation of land (i.e., gentrification), which requires getting rid of the people who live on the land. Social development, urban renewal and the like are just new words for what sociologists in the past called imperialism, and what we can loosely refer to as colonialism. Gentrification and colonialism are the same processes largely because they share the same goals -- dislocation, expropriation and the pursuit of profit.

Conspicuous productivity

Provided by economist David F. Ruccio from his blog Occasional Links & Commentary.

The graph speaks for itself.