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 LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, July 7, 2017

Deranged capitalist leaders

By political cartoonist Jeff Darcy.

Deranged leaders of the capitalist class go crazy when they don't get what they want.

When Will Co-opted Figures and Board Members Be Hauled into Court?

Click here to access article by Colin Todhunter from his blog East by Northwest. (See especially the comments section. Also notice in the sixth paragraph there is one typographical error. The first sentence should read "The integrity of public institutions is compr[om]ised due to the political influence and financial clout ....")
The public is being poisoned, disease rates are spiralling, waterways are contaminated, soil is being degraded, insects, birds, invertebrates and plant diversity are in dramatic decline. Humanity and the planet are being poisoned for profit.

We are experiencing an assault on life by the agrotoxins industry, which is in fact contributing to a sixth mass extinction. Armed with a harmful chemical cocktail of highly profitable agrotoxins, ranging from disease-causing glyphosate to bee-killing neonicotinoid insecticides, biocide manufactures are waging biological and chemical warfare on us all under the guise that they are serving humanity by helping to feed the world.
The answer to the question in the headline is thus: they will not be hauled into court as long as the tiny capitalist class rules the world. There is no kind of good capitalism simply because like cancer wherever capitalists attain a critical level of power they will begin to devour the rest of society and the environment until all of humanity is threatened with extinction. And, like cancer, the best chances of a cure is in the early stages, but it is never too late to fight for survival.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Long, Dirty History of U.S. Warmongering against North Korea

Click here to access article by Christine Hong from The Progressive
As the latest North Korea crisis unfolded, and Donald Trump swapped campaign plowshares for post-inauguration swords, Americans took to the streets demanding that the President release his tax returns and then marched for science. There were no mass protests for peace.

Although the substance of Trump’s foreign policy remains opaque, he had campaigned on an “America First” critique of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s liberal interventionism in Libya and, to his own party’s mortification, blasted George W. Bush’s neoconservative adventurism in Iraq.

Once in the White House, though, Trump announced he would boost the U.S. military budget by a staggering $54 billion and cut back on diplomacy, while pushing the United States to the brink of active conflict with North Korea. None of this provoked a major backlash.
From my observations and experience with my fellow Americans, I think the ruling class has been very successful in their campaign to "gaslight" the American public. They have been so bamboozled by the manipulative reports spewed by corporate media about foreign affairs that they no longer pay attention to events happening outside our national boundaries. As a result they are distracted by ongoing coverage by corporate media about Trump's health care bill, efforts to $15/hr minimum wage in various states, or the latest incident involving the police.

I notice that the author made brief reference to Bruce Cumings by quoting a statement from one of his books about the Korean War. I read both volumes of his important study entitled The Origins of the Korean War, and I strongly recommend them. But if you don't have time to read at least volume 1, then I recommend that you view at least the first of a two part interview with him regarding the war that was posted on YouTube in 2011.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Why Wall Street Should Be Viewed as a Major National Threat

Click here to access article by Pam Martens and Russ Martens from their blog Wall Street on Parade

The Martens are no leftist revolutionaries. Rather they are reformers of the capitalist system because they believe naively that they can with their little blog alert Americans to the Wall Street's self-serving hold on the American economy--thus on the US itself--and then Americans will elect representatives who will regulate these Wall Street subversives in order to keep the economy stable. There is no hint in their writings of a "Deep State", 24/7 surveillance of ordinary Americans, the prolific organs of ideological control and news management, the insidious insertion of laws that create a police state if needed, etc.
Both the Democrat and Republican party platforms for the 2016 presidential campaign promised to rein in the abuses of Wall Street by restoring the Glass-Steagall Act and its separation of insured banks from the wild speculations of investment banks on Wall Street. Only an uproar from the American people and strident, ongoing editorials from our nation’s newspapers will bring that critical legislation to the fore.
However as reformers, they do dig up some interesting facts about the crimes of Wall Street  (a more acceptable liberal synonym for capitalists) and the deleterious effects that they are having on ordinary people of the US.

Documents expose how Hollywood promotes war on behalf of the Pentagon, CIA and NSA

Click here to access article by Tom Secker and Matthew Alford from Insurge intelligence.

From government documents from a recent request under the Freedom of Information Act, the authors have found that the secret agencies of the government have influenced over 1,800 movies and TV shows. They conclude their report with this statement:
... we are looking at a vast, militarised propaganda apparatus operating throughout the screen entertainment industry in the United States.

It is not quite an official censor, since decisions on scripts are made voluntarily by producers, but it represents a major and scarcely acknowledged pressure on the kind of narratives and images we see on the big and small screens.

In societies already eager to use our hard power overseas, the shaping of our popular culture to promote a pro-war mindset must be taken seriously.
This is only one component of the full-spectrum ideological dominance that has proved so effective in the shaping of Americans' consent to many of the outrageous crimes perpetrated by the US Empire. These secret agencies of our masters in the ruling capitalist class have not only spied on the communications ranging from ordinary Americans to the the communications of political leaders of many countries, but have through their subversive activities overturned governments that they don't like causing horrific consequences for many millions of ordinary people as we have witnessed recently in places like Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Syria--to mention only a few.  

Monday, July 3, 2017

It’s not about cutting taxes for the rich

Click here to access article by Jim O'Reilly from his blog Comments on Global Political Economy.
In a recent blog post, Paul Krugman branded the healthcare bill as “pure class warfare, with extra contempt” and said it’s really “all about the tax cuts”. While he’s certainly right about class warfare, I think he overstates the brutality of this particular battle versus the great many preceding it. What I’ll quarrel with here, though, is the idea that the central goal of the conservatives is as simple as cutting taxes for the rich. I believe the driving dynamic is not about monetary taxes but is instead deeply fundamental to the system itself. It is very old.
This retired (and my favorite) banker, who I believe now lives in Denver, knows of what he writes when he argues that healthcare issues are about power. But I also wonder if the US ruling class is getting worried about financing its many military adventures and subversive operations abroad to support their hegemonic aspirations. Thus they are doing everything they can to cut back domestic expenditures to their working class.

Insurance corporations control healthcare in the US

by political cartoonist John Jonik.

Health care, like everything else in the US, serves corporate profits.