I'm an old Pogo fan. For some unknown reason I persist in outrage at Feudalism, as if human beings can do much better than this. Our old ways of life are obsolete and are killing us. Will the human race wake up in time? Stay tuned...
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(13 comments) SHARE This contains the word, "Bilderberg." Please ignore this, the function of that group is pro-Capitalist PR, its members already dominate everything, and the article is not about them anyway.
(5 comments) SHARE Unfortunately for the majority of human beings now alive, this is going to hurt. It is going to hurt a lot.
(2 comments) SHARE But what is likely? That's the trouble: what is likely is much, much worse than the fascist takeover of the United States of America by a megalomaniacal dictator with a personal defibrillator.
(3 comments) SHARE Bob Woodward's hints of a dire new weapon that has the Iraq war "getting better": Death Ray 1.0?
(1 comments) SHARE It's not that people don't believe Science. It's that they don't believe anybody not on a screen while they talk.
Book review -- who needs conspiracies when the truth is so much worse? A review of "Levers of Power"
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Who needs conspiracies, when reality is so much worse? They're comforting, I suppose. But we need people to start participating in public life, with awareness of what's actually at stake. That isn't going to happen by yelling at them about Bill Gates, whatever you want to yell at them about Bill Gates.
(3 comments) SHARE Meanwhile, as Tulsa braces for a convention that's certain to go down as a "super-spreader" event, we're being divided into two camps. One is for people who just don't believe there's a problem; Well, ok, only one camp. The other camp is all the normal, reasonably sane people -- most people.
Middle-of-the-road in a new light: Solidarity is not the strength-in-numbers of a flock of turkeys crossing the road, or a lynch-mob. It starts with going-it-alone.
(2 comments) SHARE Because of the algorithms in Great Googly-moogly and the Book of Faces (our externalized brain), most of the traffic is not coming from the Internet to our screens. Of course not: the purpose of Information is no longer to inform. It was superseded by aggregated Attention, which moves so much faster, albeit in the opposite direction.
(6 comments) SHARE human beings create paradigms. We don't do that by the ways we vote. We do that by the ways we live. And we live according to what we perceive as reality. And that's a function of the paradigm...
(10 comments) SHARE Hospitals and prisons in America are now run as a sector of the Hospitality Industry. The product is not, as the name suggests, a warm and friendly sojourn for your family or business associates, much less healthy and safe outcomes for people in medical or legal difficulties.
(5 comments) SHARE As to identifying an evil perpetrator, you and I have nothing to go on, and no knowledge, and no access, and no tools or weapons with which to do anything at all about that. And most of the people who claim such knowledge have a vested interest in our believing them, and scant actual credibility, except maybe a large following. Like the President. That's not going to make me drink the Clorox.
(1 comments) SHARE A cursory glance at the "U. S. Government COVID - 19 Response Plan March 13, 2020" tells us that it was hurriedly got up to confuse and delay the public about the degree of Executive engagement in managing the pandemic. (Zero degrees of Executive engagement.)
SHARE The Acorn kerfuffle, Obama's "eloquence": McCain turns assets into liabilities faster than a subprime mortgage...
(9 comments) SHARE Under our present culture of untrammeled profit-seeking, a rising level of poverty is absolutely guaranteed, and democracy is not. One will constrain the other, and when democracy is constrained by commerce, it doesn't exist at all. The true measure of our success lies in the ordinariness of rape and child abuse and enslavement.
(2 comments) SHARE This is Economics. But don't let that throw you: this is Economics that might just save the world.
We are not the pinnacle of Creation, or the high point of evolution, depending on your religious orientation. Or the descendants of extraterrestrials from Remulac. God, or Darwin, or Remulac, did not wind us up and set us ticking through the world repeating the same old crap under a different name, expecting different results. Each of these purportedly omnipotent sources is by definition way smarter than that.
"In today's dominant culture the bottom line is that you only get a good job if somebody else makes a profit by hiring you on terms that afford you a decent living. There is no reason why that auspicious outcome should befall every job seeker. It doesn't." - Dr Howard Richards
(2 comments) SHARE It's going to take something to penetrate the numbness, after all these years of abuse.
(2 comments) SHARE It's time to starve the attention addict-in-chief. Don't mention that name; don't tell anybody how terrible he is. Stop making up funny, angry screeds. It only bloats the thing all the more.
(4 comments) SHARE I asked one of my friends, back there at the Taj over teacups, "What happens when the system collapses?" He said, "It collapsed hundreds of years ago. It's always collapsing. This is it."
(4 comments) SHARE Nobody has ever gotten very far with a brute-force attack on the system. Until now. Only one person on the planet can get away with this one. It's an action that negates every notion of justice, whether retributive or restorative, technical or philosophical. Ok, or moral (but that was gone before this clown showed up).
SHARE Who said the revolution will not be televised? And it's not torches and pitchforks and burning castles this time. It's nuanced and detailed and documented. With circles and arrows on each one. There are people ready to step up and handle things, cause they've had to be.
SHARE The basis for the rollback is now crystal clear: to protect hospitals and other industry stakeholders from legal exposure for disobeying health and safety standards required by the OSHA and the CDC, by dumping the safety standards.
SHARE The crowd of sycophants, swindlers, hucksters and crackpots who have up til now held sway in Washington have at last found a voice!
(3 comments) SHARE Education and upbringing, ceremonies and relationships, can be designed to form a society where there would not be anybody who thought only of benefits and costs to himself, not caring about others; there would not be anybody whose only question about the customs of the community was whether he or she could get away with breaking them. This is not an imaginary example. Before 1600 traditional cultures governed southern Africa.
(3 comments) SHARE The allocation of punishments still follows race first, and then net worth. Of two very famous men accused by many women of raping them, the black one is now in prison, and the white one, despite bragging about grabbing women "by the p*ssy," was made President of the United States of America, and may well be given a second term, albeit by hook or crook.
SHARE A view is whatever you see from a certain point. A worldview does not involve an actual point in space-time: Only what we call "here". Another name for that location is "where I stand". We have dominion over that.
(2 comments) SHARE Because ten of the thirteen pounds of plutonium did not fission but were drawn seven miles into the stratosphere and rained back down on the planet, a huge area of the Southwest will be contaminated for 240,000 years with the most toxic poison known to man.
SHARE I'm not thinking about which character I want to be in A Night To Remember, as the deck tilts and the lights flicker.
SHARE Where did all this military repression come from? It didn't start last year.
(1 comments) SHARE It's hard to put your knee on a man's neck and not fall off, without specific training. Then you have to know how much pressure to apply. It doesn't become "deadly force" when somebody dies from it. It's already deadly force. Those officers had to know what would happen. If they didn't, they were inadequately trained, and should never have been given a badge.
SHARE Wait. Protecting the troops? Yes. That's what we were told those contractors are doing over there. What the troops are doing, is protecting American business interests, aka "our vital interests."
(2 comments) SHARE Everybody understands exxactly what is wrong. Exxactly. But we're not supposed to remember anything that didn't happen on TV less than 48 hours ago, and nobody with a microphone or a vote in Congress will pay the slightest attention to anything else. They're all like those two TV comics (how come there's only two of anything left?) who only make jokes about what goes on the last 48 hours of video.
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After the strange snowstorm this morning, great gobs of slush hurtling out of the blue, and then little foamy pellets, some in bright sunshine, it occurs to me that all talk of how many years we might have to deal with global warming is the voice of denial. It is here now, with bells on. At stake is the end of life itself. All life, anywhere, ever. But each of us still has all the power it takes to turn this ship around.
SHARE Critical systems rely on private, for-profit companies. We knew this. We didn't call it "Fascism" when we should have.
So we're crammed into the Seperator. We're all communicating, suddenly, face to face. This is the last thing the machinery was designed to deal with. The Surveillance Capitalists have been diligently isolating us into little tiny markets-of-one for the last half-decade.
(4 comments) SHARE Do you think his bizarre career is coming to an end? Really? The next day a "debate" is staged as if this parasite was a letitimate contender for the highest office of public trust. Of course we thought it was the Office of the Presidency we were inviting into our living rooms. Instead we dignified and legitimized a deadly criminal.
(7 comments) SHARE We might be asking ourselves how long we're going to continue pretending there's an election going on. Even before this great honking sabot was thrown in the gears, the election process was already sabotaged until the remains were unrecognizable without dental records.
SHARE What if there ware a Peace Army, at a time like this, when our government seems to be actively hostile to its citizens?
(1 comments) SHARE One guy cannot possibly run the world's economy, or even part of it. And one guy could not possibly have pulled this off with out a lot of complicity from a lot of politicians. We need to take names.
SHARE We're huddled together on this vast island in "the Cloud". Now what?
SHARE Even the fouth is a bone of contention now. This has me thinking in annual terms. Where will be be next year? Has anyhing even changed?
(1 comments) SHARE Kevin Young, co-author of Levers of Power, argues that the route to successful protest does not involve building public opinion, but instead on disrupting "business as usual" until the powers that be in business and politics have to give in. MKL knew this and applied it!
(2 comments) SHARE Public discourse about the healthcare crisis is, as usual with our popular media, filtered and depth-gauged beyond absurdity. Here is a useful way of approaching the problem that offers real if somewhat annoyingly simple and easy solutions.
(2 comments) SHARE If our election goes badly, as it will in any case for a lot of reasons besides the ascendancy of a true American dictatorship, Bolivia may well be the next project for the trainees that have cut their teeth (and broken a few) on Venezuela. In fact, this may happen regardless of a Biden win. Because it is What Wall Street Wants.
SHARE A great many things need to happen that will never happen unless and until Wall Street is shut down, and shut out. Maybe that could be done. It would probably take a General Strike. I've lived through one of those. It can't be faked, though. It has to be the real thing.
SHARE Howard Richards knows whereof he speaks. He was Cezar Chavez' and the United Farm Workers' lawyer in the '60s. He witnessed the US-backed coup in Chile that brought Pinochet (and Chicago-school Freidmanomics) to power. When he says greedy people are not the cause of our global crisis, he doesn't mean there are no greedy people making a mess of things.
(3 comments) SHARE People who have no integrity and no dignity can only stay afloat by pushing everybody else under. Now, thanks to Palast, at least we now how they did it, and who they are. The ball's in our court, now.
(3 comments) SHARE Any rational examination of history sees that short term planning based on narrow and not people interests always backfires. Chickens come home to roost. There are hundreds of examples from US history.
(2 comments) SHARE You have to have feelings to hate. A psychopath doesn't hate, or love, for that matter. So they use other people, who do. They needed a vehicle, something that would scale up, a kind of distributed app, a cookie-cutter stink-bomb that could be ignited anywhere. Fear is low-hanging strange-fruit.
(8 comments) SHARE This landslide took the kind of extra measure that women and "minorities" (this refers to lack of voting rights, not skin color), and people who are both women and in a minority, along with the rest of us who have to work for a less-than-living wage, have to bring to work with them day after day, all their lives.
(5 comments) SHARE On Obama's first day, the CIA and the Pentagon are still fastened like sucking lampreys to our wounded flanks. Hundreds of festering, fermenting time-bomb disasters are becoming new markets all over the world. If we want substantive change, we are each going to have to put something at stake, and face the music. I'm going to have to recognize and own up to the Dick Cheney in me, and that ain't a pretty thought.
(2 comments) SHARE At least maybe now the most powerful nation on Earth (if we are to be believed, which is a question) will stop trying to kill off three quarters of humanity, and start working on a solution to global warming that's a little more likely and a lot more sane than that scheme.
(1 comments) SHARE Community doesn't ask whether you like it or not. All it takes is a few of us hanging onto a piece of flotsam, and now that's all of us: because that's who is on the losing team if we lose. Maybe your end has some nicely carved wood or soft upholstery. Precious metals don't float. It won't matter who was President when the storm came ashore.
(2 comments) SHARE Up in the great Polling Place in the Sky, cherubim and seraphim are flitting to and fro, unfazed by the seething demons sent to "watch," delivering supplications from below, angels tallying the results: "3 million more for permanent lung damage," and "43 more for full recovery." Nobody prays for another person's death. Do they?
(2 comments) SHARE In the Attention Age, this is what we mean by stupid catch-phrases like "moving forward". As if we had a choice about that. There are now "gyres" in the Pacific Ocean, rotating with new currents driven by greenhouse gases, barnacle-encrusted acres of wasted phrases, like "moving-forward" and "this-moment".
(2 comments) SHARE Has a conspiracy theory ever been involved in the bust? Insiders and professionals, somebody with direct knowledge, blows the whistle, or makes a mistake, or there's some kind of audit, and the whole thing falls apart. I can't recall any popular theories ever leading to such an outcome.
SHARE And first thing that appears in any worldview worthy of the name is the incontrovertible fact that it is Reality, the only reality possible, out there where rocks are hard and water is wet. Of course, a worldview would say that...
(4 comments) SHARE Eventually I found a setting that made my computer read to me. Not only that, it reads in a voice that sounds just like an Australian woman in her twenties. I picked that one because it was the least creepy. I can imagine being read to by Courtney Barnett, who should never have to pay taxes. Suddenly, drowsing along to Courtney's nuanced reading of a draft of my next book, I heard her take a breath!
SHARE I think it might finally be getting to me. But you can't look away from this kind of horror. Tell you what: I'm just gonna rant for a minute. I'm just tired of trying to make sense.
(1 comments) SHARE According to the Kubler-Ross stages of grieving (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance), I'd say we're just about in the "bargaining" phase of grief. Pretty quick, except that the denial phase is hard to measure, being, well, denial and all. It's starting to look like that took a little longer than it took me to be old enough to qualify for the next round of vaccinations. About a hundred and forty years before.
(2 comments) SHARE Ever point your smartphone at your laptop zoom-to-zoom? Like two mirrors?
(7 comments) SHARE Explaining events is only possible in a scenario, in a frame of reference. A context in which explanations, which are stories, can make sense. Otherwise, as is often the case lately, everybody will use the same language to mean completely different things, in their own private Idaho.
(1 comments) SHARE This is in response to the response to the article by Moon of Alabama, and the long string of commentary from a mixture of worldviews, most of which seemed not to recognize that their world differed in any particulars from the others. I was going to make a couple of remarks and move on. But a lot of smart people seem to place very different emphasis on some pertinent central facts of the case.
SHARE This neat summation seems quite clear. But it remains safely within the box it is attempting to think outside of. All we can do in here, is move the pieces around according to the prevailing logic.
(8 comments) SHARE And you say he's just one man? You think he's somebody's puppet? That the Mysterious Ones Who Control Everything anointed him to lull us back to sleep again?
(2 comments) SHARE Art and literature people want to enjoy is displayed to non-subscribers heavily interlarded with ads, many of which are frankly disgusting. These attention-parasites are annoying and distracting, and that is their sole purpose. Nice article. Shame if it got buried in ads that make people think of erectile dysfunction. The old name for this form of business is "protection racket."
SHARE The FBI released a dire report on white supremacist "militias" just as the President was speaking directly from the "debate" to one of the most notoriously violent of these fringe groups, clearly, as they have now confirmed, telling them to "get ready for a war." Did the President mean it? The violent wackos say so, so what's the difference?
(1 comments) SHARE We began consuming the world in just the last few moments. Starting about the time History began, When we started writing.
SHARE Then it began to dawn that the whole myth about how insurors were taking "risks" was shot to hell. The only risk involved had always been the only risk involved, except that now the rubes could see it: the only risk the insurance companies ever had taken was the risk that somebody would actually qualify for the payments to which their policies entitled them, Now everybody has a fatal pre-existing condition...
SHARE If there is a solution to the problem of peace in the Middle East, it certainly is not to be found where anyone in power is looking.
(5 comments) SHARE Mr. Obama is about to take the Oath of Office in about half an hour as I write. I took the day off, and I got a big box of kleenex. I'm all set to hear this man articulate a vision that everyone I know shares and has cherished in the long, cold dark since the assassinations of the sixties. Call me a sentimental old softy. But then go out and grab hold of the vision and work like you've never worked before.
SHARE What we need are centrally-located, climate-controlled facilities with pleasant common spaces, good plumbing, and other basic amenities, so that American families down on their luck, robbed of everything by the Cheney/Bush gang of bandits, will have someplace to live out the indeterminate sentence imposed on them by the people supposedly elected to prevent just such an eventuality.
SHARE I actually thought Bush was going to cry, right there at the last Press Conference today.
SHARE USAID spins liabilities into assets again, as the administration eats its young, tossing depleted agencies at the pursuing mob... do flimsier flimflams and smellier red herrings portend a last desperate all-or-nothing attempt to rule the world?
(1 comments) SHARE If, like me, you believe that our system is properly named Economic Feudalism, then yes, it will certainly work - for the holders of the fiefdom in trouble just now. And from their point of view, the fact that so many millions of people have been bumped off the drastically shortened "middle class" shelf and relegated to a lifetime of serfdom is all good.
(1 comments) SHARE Exploring the relationship between Capitalism and Democracy
(2 comments) SHARE As Cheney writes a letter to the Editor about "the Real Presidential Record," U.S. is poised for a spectacular nuclear attack on Iran. What will stop this?
(1 comments) SHARE Header: Now that Greg Palast has overturned the rock under which the Administration's payoff to the subprime swindlers was supposed to stay hidden, I feel vindicated in my skepticism about Eliot Spitzer's public take-down. This may well be the creepiest story in a year that is shaping up as the mother of all creepy years in American politics.