Monday, January 16, 2017

'Fake News' Isn't New: Dissecting Two Decades Of War Propaganda--Mint News



https://youtu.be/0BmeyuHl8jk

Saturday, January 14, 2017

"Ethics Fiasco: Trump, Divestment and the Perversion of Executive Politics" -- Anthony DiMaggio


WHOLE ARTICLE:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/13/ethics-fiasco-trump-divestment-and-the-perversion-of-executive-politics/

EXCERPT (emphasis mine):

Contrary to [Sen. Charles] Schumer’s divestment narrative, it’s important to identify how the entire political sy (emphasis stem has been captured by wealthy interests. It may be the case that corporate lobbyists fail most of the time in securing benefits from Congress. But when changes to the law do occur, wealthy Americans and business lobbies are much more likely to get what they want than the average American or citizen’s groups. Why is this so?  Political scientist Nicholas Carnes provides a simple explanation in White Collar Government: The Hidden Role of Class in Economic Policymaking. Carnes empirically documents how more affluent political officials are consistently more likely to support pro-business, conservative economic policies, as compared to (the few) working-class Americans who have historically served in Congress. The point here is simple: beyond the concern with campaign donations, government itself is captured by plutocratic actors who now run Congress directly. Government is not “controlled” by corporate America. Government is corporate America. Most members of Congress are millionaires, and their numbers have grown significantly in recent decades.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the median net worth of U.S. lawmakers reached $1 million in 2013, 18 times that of the average household.
The Schumer position on corruption in politics misses a key point. Most officials are socialized to embrace elitist, upper-class values, because they are part of the upper class. The famous sociologist G. William Domhoff spent years documenting how being socialized through elitist social, economic, and interpersonal networks allows for the perpetuation of the American upper class. Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci was right to focus on how the hegemonic power of socialization drives the indoctrination process. Socialization in favor of elite interests is absolutely vital to perpetuating plutocracy.
The Marxian position that economics determines consciousness, while seemingly crude, does explain how elite values perpetuate themselves. When coupled with elitist forms of socialization, one’s economic class (in this case being affluent) works to reinforce elitist ideologies that seek to enhance corporate power over politics. This hegemonic process isn’t recognized, however, in simplistic discussions of campaign donations “buying” officials, or for that matter by those naively claiming that divesting one’s financial assets guarantees they will act as honest brokers of policy change.
In a rare admission of how deep the rabbit hole really goes, the New York Times reports the insight of Sierra Club director Lena Moffitt, who speaks derisively of the notion that divestment will cure the Trump administration of their elitist policies. Taking aim at Rex Tillerson, Trump’s State Department nominee, Moffitt explained: “It is impossible for this man to remove his career, and frankly his personality, from the oil and gas industry. He has been knee deep in this industry for more than four decades.” Such is the way of things when political institutions are captured by business elites.
Correcting the perversions endemic in American politics requires more than disclosure and divestment from Trump and his nominees. Even “getting money out of politics” is unlikely to cure the problem of business dominance of government. Rather, Americans must take the initiative and purge the political system of the bi-partisan, wealthy officialdom who currently dominate Congress, the courts, and the White House. This project will require tremendous effort and a decades-long fight to roll back capture of government.
John Dewey was right say that “politics is the shadow cast on society by big business.” To fight the plutocracy requires a cultural, economic, and political revolution in the way people think about politics. Government must be transformed from an upper-class outfit into one dominated by the working class. The only way to do this is to remove the rot, from root to branch.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

#LongLiveAlAraqeeb #LongLivePalestine

Israeli occupation forces destroyed Al Araqeeb village in occupied Naqab for the 108th time

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

'Insane to Say Critical Reporting on Clinton Led to Trump's Victory' – Abby Martin on ODNI report



https://youtu.be/qis8b5nwMc8

GO, ABBY!  

USA & Russia Secretly Working Together All Along! -- The Excellent @Jimmy_Dore



https://youtu.be/AD9uJ8tBNVg

As the Democrats Press for War, the Left Must Demand Peace and Social Transformation -- Glen Ford @BlkAgendaReport

ORIGINAL AT:  http://www.blackagendareport.com/left_must_demand_peace_transformation

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Democrats are whipping up war hysteria and “cynically seeking to harness people’s well-founded fears of Trump’s domestic policies in order to sabotage the possibility of a relaxation of international tensions.” Some folks have taken the bait. “Leftists that think they can exploit the split between the Trump troglodytes (fascists) and the Obama/Clinton/Old Line GOP War Party (fascists) will ultimately wind up caught in a pincer between the two.”

As the Democrats Press for War, the Left Must Demand Peace and Social Transformation

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“The Left’s job is to oppose the warmongers, not band with them.”

As is ordained by law, at the end of the week much of President Obama’s legacy will become Donald Trump’s powers, including the power to detain Americans indefinitely (forever) without trial or charge [3], an authority the First Black President secured from Congress in 2011. Obama’s wars become Trump’s wars, which, if Trump follows Obama’s example -- and if he succumbs to the furious pressures of leading Democrats, old line Republicans and an openly aggressive and “politicized” national security establishment -- will be expanded and multiplied. The most imminent threats to human survival under a Trump presidency flow, not from the billionaire’s own belligerent instincts and unpredictability, but from the momentum of Obama’s policies of ever-escalating confrontation with Russia and China -- his deliberate “pivots” towards brinksmanship on all the geopolitical fronts of Empire.

“U.S. policy is to militarily intimidate the world into submission -- a gangster’s game.”

It is the Democrats that have whipped up war hysteria and a new McCarthyism, attacking Trump from the Right to force him to keep Obama’s imperial “surge” moving forward. With western economic power fading fast, U.S. policy is to militarily intimidate the world into submission -- a gangster’s game. For the Lords of Capital and their national security servants, Obama’s greatest achievement was to put the U.S. back on the offensive after George Bush’s defeat and humiliation in Iraq. From their perspective, Obama has already “Made America Great Again” with his “humanitarian” military intervention doctrine, trampling every principle of international law, including the sovereignty of nations, in Libya and Syria. Trump’s talk of “deal-making” with Russia and China threatens to slow the imperial offensive.

The ruling class realignment that congealed in the Clinton campaign’s Big Tent sees any relaxation of U.S. military pressures against Beijing and Moscow as a prelude to imperial collapse. For them, de-escalation is an existential threat. They don’t give a damn about the damage Donald Trump intends to inflict on what remains of the U.S. social safety net -- and neither did Obama, who came into office scheming to forge a Grand Austerity Bargain [4] with the Republicans. And, if his preventive detention bill were not enough, Obama’s support for creation of a “Ministry of Truth” -- officially, a joint governmental commission to police the media for “foreign disinformation and manipulation [5]” -- screams out to high heaven that protection of civil liberties is not part of their agenda, either. Internet publications like Black Agenda Report, cited by the Washington Post as “fake news” and “minions” of Russia, will be punished for deviance from imperial “exceptionalism” and aggressive war policies.

“Trump’s talk of ‘deal-making’ with Russia and China threatens to slow the imperial offensive.”

This is all about war. The Democrats, massed corporate media and the fully mobilized legions of spooks and disinformation specialists are cynically seeking to harness people’s well-founded fears of Trump’s domestic policies in order to sabotage the possibility of a relaxation of international tensions. Leftists that think they can exploit the split between the Trump troglodytes (fascists) and the Obama/Clinton/Old Line GOP War Party (fascists) will ultimately wind up caught in a pincer between the two.

The ruling class is, indeed, in an acute political crisis, to match its larger, systemic crisis. The duopoly system that has served the rich so well for most of the history of the Republic has come undone, split at the seams, endangering the corporate-imposed national “consensus” on empire and war. The War Party, deploying every disinformation trick in the book, foments anti-Russian hysteria to create a mass base for its imperial agenda. They point fingers at phantom “minions” of Moscow in order to make leftists into political foot soldiers of the Pentagon, Langley and the military industrial complex. MoveOn.org moves to their beat, as does the entire Congressional Black Caucus, including Barbara Lee [6] (D-CA), the nation’s most left-leaning congressperson. Fine; they are duty-bound to go down with the Bad Ship Hillary. But the social movement activists that allow themselves to be swept up in the Democrats’ offensive-from-the-Right against Trump are the biggest dupes of all.

“They point fingers at phantom ‘minions’ of Moscow in order to make leftists into political foot soldiers of the Pentagon, Langley and the military industrial complex.”

The Democrats are incapable of agitating for anything more than defense of Barack Obama’s “legacy” -- chiefly, his doomed Affordable Care Act, which was already disintegrating from its own contradictions and whose final demise will create an acute crisis that cries out for single payer health insurance, the outcome Obamacare was designed to forestall. The Left should be making that demand right now, rather than helping Democrats join with Republicans to patch together an even worse private-based system, down the road. 

The precariat economy that is emerging from Obama’s post-Meltdown restructuring, in which 94 percent [7] of the new “jobs” are so contingent, inadequate and insecure they can hardly be called jobs at all, demands a National Minimum Income – a potentially transformative leap that the Left should be loudly championing, right now.
Five years after Occupy Wall Street, the Left should finally call for the nationalization -- not fragmentation -- of the big banks, and creation of a public development bank to rebuild the national infrastructure without going into debt to private capital. Anybody that doubts masses of people will join in this demand doesn’t know their fellow Americans and their deep hatred for Wall Street banks.

“The social movement activists that allow themselves to be swept up in the Democrats’ offensive-from-the-Right against Trump are the biggest dupes of all.”

Ferguson set the new Black movement on a course of confrontation with the Mass Black Incarceration State, in all its manifestations. Obama’s legacy -- and that of the Black misleadership class that has collaborated with mass Black incarceration for two generations – is to intensify intelligence gathering in Black communities, while dispersing Black population concentrations through gentrification. Trump or no Trump, there is no avoiding the logic of the movement’s central grassroots demand: Black community control of the police. Non-Blacks on the Left must support that demand.

There is no such thing as a genuine Left that supports imperialism, but there are plenty of fakers that do, including phony socialists. How sad -- and maddening, at the same time -- that a Donald Trump can speak of “cutting down” on “regime change,” while purported leftists rally to Obama’s “humanitarian” military interventionism, the lip-stick on the imperial pig. The Democrats want war so badly, they are fouling their bourgeois institutional nest and bearing down hard from the Right to prevent any let-up in tensions with Russia and China. The Left’s job is to oppose the warmongers, not to band with them.

There is no mystery to what the moment demands. What’s needed is Left movements for social transformation, not a farcical, Democrat-led anti-Trump pseudo-movement, whose real agenda is war.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com [8].

Monday, January 09, 2017

Former FBI Agent Asks Obama to Free Native American Activist Leonard Peltier #FreeLeonardPeltier [CALL WHITE HOUSE EVERY DAY!]

MEDIA ADVISORY
January 09, 2017
Contact: Peter Clark, Co-Director, International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, (505) 217-3612 or contact@whoisleonardpeltier.info
Former FBI agent asks Obama to free Native American activist Leonard Peltier
In a letter dated January 3, former agent and charter member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Agents Association (FBIAA) John C. “Jack” Ryan wrote to President Obama to request a grant of clemency to Native American activist Leonard Peltier. Leonard Peltier should receive clemency, Ryan said, “…in the interest of the system of justice for which my two fellow agents died, and in the interest of reconciliation and compassion.”
In 1977, Peltier was sentenced to two consecutive life terms for the shooting deaths of FBI agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams on the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota.
“… the circumstances surrounding the case in combination with the passage of 4 decades of time served support [Peltier’s] request to live his final years at home… When Agents Coler and Williams lost their lives it was a devastating loss to us agents. Emotion ruled the decision-making process and likely clouded the judgment of the massive team of whom were driven to hold someone responsible for our loss,” Ryan wrote. “If the government could do it all over again, it would respond differently. Through today’s lens, Leonard Peltier was not treated fairly and did not get a fair trial.”
In 2000, Congressman Don Edwards (also a former agent) stated: “The FBI continues to deny its improper conduct on Pine Ridge during the 1970s and in the trial of Leonard Peltier. The FBI used Mr. Peltier as a scapegoat and they continue to do so today. At every step of the way, FBI agents and leadership have opposed any admission of wrongdoing by the government, and they have sought to misrepresent and politicize the meaning of clemency for Leonard Peltier. The killing of FBI agents at Pine Ridge was reprehensible, but the government now admits that it cannot prove that Mr. Peltier killed the agents.”
Edwards’ words ring true today. Last week, the FBIAA succeeded in pressuring American University to remove a statue of Peltier that was exhibited there, and when former U.S. Attorney James Reynolds’ letter to the President to request that he grant clemency to Peltier was publicized, some sought to discredit Reynolds stating that he falsely claimed involvement with the Peltier case.
“The FBI's perpetual demonization of Leonard Peltier is an effort to poison public opinion and avoid self-reflection. Mr. Peltier's clemency petition is not a referendum on federal law enforcement; it presents a moral imperative which President Obama can address,” said Peltier attorney Cynthia Dunne, herself a former federal prosecutor. “By reckoning with the past and moving forward in the best interests of justice, reconciliation and compassion, we can become a stronger nation. It is time to free Leonard Peltier.”
Currently imprisoned in a maximum-security facility in Coleman, Florida, Peltier is far away from his reservation in North Dakota. Maintaining strong family ties has been difficult. He has never even met some of his grandchildren or great-grandchildren. In December, Peltier’s younger son passed away while in Washington, DC, advocating for his father’s release. Prison authorities refused to allow Peltier to attend his son’s funeral.
At 72 years, Peltier suffers from serious medical problems that impair his ability to walk, see, and conduct normal life activities. He suffers from severe diabetes, hypertension and a heart condition, and has been diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Recently, he was told he needs prostate surgery.
Imprisoned for 41 years, Peltier has long been eligible for release, but federal authorities have yielded to the objections of the FBI in denying Peltier’s applications for parole—most recently in 2009 when he was told he will not receive another full parole hearing until 2024 when, if he survives, he will have reached nearly the age of 80 years. Peltier says he’s eligible for mandatory release, but the government has failed to apply its 30 -year rule (after 30 years served, all sentences are to be aggregated and the prisoner released) or consider the good-time credit he has earned (20 years, to date).
Peltier's release from prison now depends on a grant of clemency by President Obama who leaves office on January 20.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

"CrossTalk: Targeting Russia" -- Great Discussion of the Realities Here in U.S.



https://youtu.be/S1G94BcX5wo

Friday, January 06, 2017

Defund DAPL Pipeline Demonstration in Seattle -- 1/5/17


SEATTLE PI'S COVERAGE:  http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Protesters-gather-in-Seattle-against-bank-s-10839660.php