Political Articles from 2018
Global Networks Are Necessary to Overcome Abusive Governments and Oligarchy
by Michael Krieger
Posted February 14, 2018
The world around us is changing at an incredible pace, and with such change come many pitfalls as well as immeasurable opportunities. At the same time, the more things change the more some things stay the same. For example, the most important issue humans will have to confront in the years ahead is the age old issue of concentrated power.
One of the most destructive side effects of the financial crisis and the corrupt official response to it, has been an even greater concentration of wealth and power in the hands of some of the most unsavory characters planet earth has to offer. If we are to evolve and create a better paradigm, we’ll need to address this forcefully and thoughtfully. More…
Congress Keeps Funding a War Machine That the Public Should Divest From
By Medea Benjamin and Elliot Swain
Posted February 12, 2018
In recent budget negotiations, Senate Democrats agreed to a boost in military spending that exceeded the cap for fiscal 2018 by $70 billion, bringing the total request to an enormous $716 billion. Inevitably, this means more Pentagon contracts will be awarded to private corporations that use endless war to line their pockets. Democrats capitulated to this massive increase without so much as a scuffle. But the move hardly comes as a surprise, given how much money flows from weapons makers to the coffers of congressional campaigns for both parties.
While the majority of the weapons money goes to Republicans, Democratic Senators Tim Kaine and Bill Nelson appear in the top ten recipients of campaign contributions — in both chambers and parties — from military contractors in 2017 and 2018. Northrop Grumman gave $785,000 to Democratic candidates since 2017. Hillary Clinton took over $1 million from the industry in 2016. Even progressive darlings like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders take money from weapons manufacturers, and Sanders supported Boeing’s disastrous F-35 because his home state had a financial stake in the program. More…
Social Change Will Upend the Status Quo
by Charles Hugh Smith
Posted February 12, 2018
The core narrative of the Status Quo is that nothing fundamental needs to be changed: all the problems can be solved with more “free money” (borrowed from the future at low rates of interest) and a few policy tweaks.
This core narrative is false: everything needs to change, from the bottom up.And that of course terrifies those gorging at the trough of status quo wealth and power.
The power structure can manipulate financial metrics, but it can’t manipulate rising wealth/power inequality or social discord. Whatever you think of President Trump, his election is a symptom of profound social discord. The nation is fragmenting because the Status Quo is failing the majority of the citizenry. The protected few are reaping all the benefits of the Status Quo, at the expense of the unprotected many. More…
Snowden Files Provide New Insight On The NSA And The Power It Wields
by Elizabeth Vos
Posted February 11, 2018
Another document revealed that the US does indeed intervene militarily in order to secure the flow of oil to the US and its allies. The admission was made in a file relating to a seminar on “African Petro-Politics.” The document reads in part: “By 2015, the United States will depend on West African oil for 25% of its oil imports… Oil production in Sudan has been a factor in the Sudanese civil war, with oil wealth sharing being a primary negotiating issue in the peace process.
Oil has played a role in the extent of corruption and in sustaining military might in several African countries… Finally, threats to – and security of – the oil producing areas in West Africa will be discussed (including U.S. engagement to improve security).”
This afterthought in the description of a Petro-Politics seminar is particularly relevant in light of the recent deaths of US Service members in African countries. More…
2018: Yearly Forecasts for Systemic Breakdown
By Jim Willie CB
Posted February 9, 2018
The magnificent event that occurred ten years ago has been called the Global Financial Crisis, centered and triggered by the Lehman Brothers failure as a firm. It was actually a suffocation event with killjob, whereby both Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan bought several $billion in Lehman mortgage bonds and never paid for them, thereby killing Lehman from a very severe sudden liquidity drain. What happened in 2007 (initial bust symptoms) and 2008 (final crisis unfolding) was horrible and quite devastating. What comes in 2018 in the systemic breakdown and global crisis will be triple in magnitude of damage and triple in breadth with range of extended wreckage. This year will see sovereign bonds enter failure, in an unprecedented manner.
Since the Lehman failure, all insolvent structures have become more insolvent, fortified with more leverage, flushed with more funny money, and been kept in place as the power center for the USGovt istelf. The Wall Street banks stole the $700 billion in TARP Funds as a launching pad for sacking Washington DC in a grand fascist display.
The broken silos of financial corruption have grabbed political powers, and written US legislation. In the last ten years, nothing has been fixed, or event attempted toward remedy. Nothing has been liquidated due to deep insolvency and rot. No amplified credit or monetary spigots have been turned off or even turned down. No power control rooms have been put to pasture and removed from the corrupt helm despite their failures. No economic development in the West has even been attempted. All the broken elements have been ramped up with bloated largesse. Wreck, wash, rinse, repeat, but with greater volume and emphasis, while the propaganda blasts on. What was seen in 2008 with Lehman failure will next be seen on a systemic level, since instead of remedy, the entire system has been subjected to same abuses that led to the mortgage finance and housing bust. More…
The Answer Is Economic Secession
by Derrick Broze
Posted February 8, 2018
If we move beyond simply applying secession to nation-states ( i.e., how and by whom we are ruled) we can amplify the effectiveness of the strategy. Specifically, if we focus our energies on “Economic Secession” we can begin to remove support for the systems which do not represent the values and principles we hold dear. What does it mean to economically secede? Quite simply, it’s the old adage of “voting with your dollar” (or euro, pesos, bitcoin, etc). You consciously choose not to do business with the individuals and corporations which you do not believe live up to your standards.
To truly understand this it’s important to understand that money (in whatever form it comes) is a form of currency. Currency is a medium of exchange, something people can trade as a representation of past time and energy. This means the currency, whether pieces of paper or digital bits on a screen, is a representation of your time and energy. Since your time on this planet is finite it is itself an incredibly valuable and irreplaceable currency. When understood in this manner one could say that giving your dollars to corporations which you do not support (and which often actually work against your goals) is akin to throwing away your limited and valuable time on this planet. More…
Facebook Acts as State Censor, Deleting Accounts at the Request of the US and Israel
by Claire S Bernish
Posted February 8, 2018
Social media critics of Israel’s occupation of Palestine have intimate familiarity with the swift hand of Facebook censorship, facing temporary or permanent account bans, post deletions, and newsfeed suppression more consistently and thoroughly than those focusing on nearly any other issue.
Now, Facebook readily acknowledges not only do the United States and Israeli governments submit myriad such requests pertaining to the ostensive contentious accounts of Palestinian activists and advocates — on the nebulous and subjective grounds of “incitement” — but the leviathan company obediently and readily complies with those demands. And zealously so.
“Israeli security agencies monitor Facebook and send the company posts they consider incitement,” the New York Times reported in December 2016. “Facebook has responded by removing most of them.” More…
Lies We Tell Ourselves
by Major Danny Sjursen
Posted February 4, 2018
Seven of my soldiers are dead. Two committed suicide. Bombs got the others in Iraq and Afghanistan. One young man lost three limbs. Another is paralyzed. I entered West Point a couple of months before 9/11. Eight of my classmates died “over there.”
Military service, war, sacrifice—when I was 17, I felt sure this would bring me meaning, adulation, even glory. It went another way. Sixteen years later, my generation of soldiers is still ensnared in an indecisive, unfulfilling series of losing wars: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Niger—who even keeps count anymore? Sometimes, I allow myself to wonder what it’s all been for. More…
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