Archive for world news

A great anti-war song – turn it loud!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2013 by jtoddring

When the war drums are pounding, as Gerald Celente and other intelligent observers have been saying for months and years, and only now can the masses begin to hear it; and on the anniversary of that most famous and inspiring speech by Martin Luther King Jr. – who, it should be remembered, had a dream not only of freedom, justice, an end to racism and gross economic inequality, but also, a dream of peace and an end to violence, empire and war – I would like to ask that this song be shared as widely as possible, and played often – and loud.

http://youtu.be/1XYFJUP84lE

War is not the answer. War is a racket, as General Smedley Butler said – the elite profit from it, at the great expense and terrible danger to everyone else. Stop the madness. Stop the war. No war on Syria.

J. Todd Ring, August 28, 2013

The real reasons for threats of war against Syria

Posted in American politics, analysis, Barack Obama, Brzezinski, China, collapse, crisis of democracy, crisis of legitimacy, elite, empire, end-game, fossil fuel, geopolitics, imperialism, nuclear war, nuclear weapons, Obama, oil, peace, policy, political economy, politics, politics of oil, resources, Russia, smedley butler, sovereignty, sustainability, Syria, war, war crimes, war on democracy, War on Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2013 by jtoddring

(that the mass media won’t tell you about)

1. The Middle East holds 60% of the world’s remaining energy reserves: therefore, the entire region is critical to control – for anyone with an empire fetish, that is. And if you’re serious about controlling the Middle Eastern oil reserves, then you must control, not just the oil-rich nations, but also the nations surrounding them.

2. Washington has played the role of “gangster for capitalism” – to use General Smedley Butler’s term – for a very long time. Washington is the hired thug for the global banking and corporate elite – and they want to control the entire Middle East, because oil profits are simply astronomical.

3. The banking and corporate elite who control Washington also love war, since war is also astronomically profitable to them – and they don’t care that it is disastrous to human life, the environment or national economies.

4. The Middle East is the linch-pin to the entire Eurasian continent (as well as a major key to controlling mineral-rich Africa). Eurasia holds the majority of the world’s population and resources. And historically, whoever controls Eurasia, dominates the world. Controlling the Middle East is therefore seen as critical, as the leading geo-strategic planner for the Western power elite, Zbigniew Brzezinski has said explicitly (see, The Grand Chessboard).

5. The US and Europe are in severe and deepening economic crisis, and also, in a severe and growing political crisis, as the people become increasingly frustrated by growing inequality, poverty and insecurity. And as Orwell described so accurately, perpetual war is a way to distract the people from their problems at home, and to deflect anger away from governments and powers at home, onto a vilified “other.” How did the ruling elite control the rabble of Europe in the Middle Ages when famine, hunger and injustice fuelled the fires of discontent? Send them off on a holy war, a crusade, and let them vent their anger at an official “enemy” – any enemy: anybody, anywhere, just so long as the anger is deflected off of us. The same principle applies today.

6. While the Western powers face a growing and profound crisis of legitimacy at home (just as the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc did before its collapse), they – the US and Europe and the Western business elite – are sinking globally, in relative terms, and are losing their global dominance as the rising super-powers of China, India, Russia, Brazil and other BRIC nations continue to gain ground. The Western business elite apparently see the global domination game as a winner-take all scenario, and they are not planning to lose – no matter what the stakes, the cost, the death toll, or the risk to life on earth.

The risks and costs of war against Syria? Extreme.

  1. Great human death toll.
  2. Further moral bankruptcy of the US government and its allies and further erosion of their credibility at home and abroad.
  3. Further squandering of huge sums of money on death and destruction while people go hungry and homeless, and jobs, social programs, economic recovery and environmental programs go begging and get only lip service, hollow rhetoric, empty promises and token gestures for the sake of PR.
  4. Serious risk that war with Syria may lead to the involvement of Russia and/or China – with the very real danger of the outbreak of World War III. Russian and Chinese high officials have said that any violation by the US of any nation’s sovereignty would not be tolerated, and “all options are on the table” – which means nuclear war.

The insanity of further intensification of warfare in the Middle East could not be greater. Stop this madness now. Speak up.

When Washington stops killing innocent men, women, children and civilians with drone strikes in countries around the world, then, perhaps, it may begin to have some moral ground for speaking against another country. It certainly has no right to bomb or attack another country, hypocrisy aside.

Stop the insanity now. No to war with Syria.

J. Todd Ring,
August 28, 2013

Americans Now Primed for WWIII

Posted in American politics, Barack Obama, dollar crisis, end-game, fossil fuel, geopolitics, imperialism, Iran, nuclear, nuclear war, nuclear weapons, Obama, oil, peace, political economy, politics, politics of oil, propaganda, U.S., war with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2013 by jtoddring

(Gallup: Staggering 99 Percent of Americans See Iran’s Nuclear Program as ‘Threat’
Americans See Civilian Program as a Bigger Threat Than North Korea’s Actual Nukes
by Jason Ditz, February 20, 2013)

            “A grim new poll from Gallup shows an overwhelming majority of Americans, indeed 99 percent of them, believe that Iran’s civilian nuclear program is a threat “to the vital interests of the United States.”

            The poll reflects the near complete saturation of American opinion with politicians’ claims of the “threat” posed by Iran’s civilian program, in spite of repeated reports conceding that Iran isn’t presently developing nuclear weapons and that it may indeed never choose to do so.

            This disconnect from reality is underscored when compared with other questions in the same poll, with only 97 percent viewing North Korea’s actual nuclear weapons a threat, despite North Korea itself spending a large amount of time trying to convince people that it is a threat.

            This was the first time Gallup specifically asked about either nation’s nuclear program, and previously had only asked about their respective militaries. Past polls have showed Americans believing Iran to be their “greatest enemy,” though its military was not perceived as an enormous threat in and of itself.

            The poll will likely be a complicating matter for the P5+1 talks with Iran later this month, as Iran is hoping to negotiate a solution which will end international military threats against it, but the popular sentiment seems to be clearly averse to Iran keeping its civilian program.”

This is extremely dangerous. War with Iran would mean WWIII – as the world’s leading trend analyst, Gerald Celente has made clear – since China and Russia have an economic and military alliance with Iran, and both are, of course, nuclear super-powers. Russia and China have been conducting joint military defense operations with Iran for some time now. China in particular is dependent upon Iran’s oil, and is highly protective of Iran. Both Chinese and Russian top officials, including the Russian president, have said that they would not tolerate an invasion or attack on Iran: and all options are on the table – just as Obama has said – including nuclear weapons.

Following a massive build up of US naval forces in the region, Russia has now executed its largest naval deployment in decades, and has centred it in the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean, within striking distance of most US bases and US naval ships in the Middle East. All of this is extremely foreboding – and insanely reckless and Strangelovian on the part of the aggressors who are threatening war: the Washington and Wall Street elites, and their crony allies.

See Gerald Celente, Noam Chomsky, Max Keiser, Global Research and Michel Chossudovsky for more on the issue. Only global warming and Fukushima-type nuclear disasters present as great a danger as nuclear war – although nuclear war would be slightly quicker in making the earth uninhabitable for humans – and war with Iran presents the highest risk of starting a global nuclear holocaust. Preventing war with Iran is therefore the highest priority of any issue at present, along with the fight to halt global warming, and efforts to rapidly shift away from nuclear power. Nothing compares in magnitude to these three giant threats to human safety and survival.

War with Iran must be prevented at all costs. They have no nuclear weapons program, as intelligence sources confirm, but like the lies about weapons of mass destruction that led the American people to support war on Iraq, lies may work again. And the propaganda machine is gearing up – and more disturbingly, it is winning.

As Chomsky has said, if we want nuclear non-proliferation in the region, we should make it a nuclear weapons free zone, as most nations in the region want. The problem is, the nation in the region with nuclear weapons – Israel – doesn’t want a nuclear weapons-free zone, and neither does its close ally and dominant benefactor, the United States. Attempts to create a nuclear weapons-free zone in the region have been blocked repeatedly by Washington and Israel. This is the problem. Washington has no interest in nuclear non-proliferation. If it did, it would commence disarmament itself, and also stop blocking the establishment of nuclear weapons-free zones.

Washington wants global hegemony, as it has proven for a very long time, over and over again. Now, the Washington political elite, and the financial elite and military-industrial-security complex, which together control Washington, are risking global thermo-nuclear war, for the sake of dollar hegemony, further astronomical profits, and the propping up of the Western corporate empire. This is beyond mad.

The risk is as extreme as it gets. War with Iran risks the entire northern hemisphere of the globe becoming uninhabitable for the next 100,000 years. And war could erupt literally any day now. The forces are all in place, and the war drums are beating.

Speak up now, or prepare to move to somewhere a lot closer to the South Pole.

JTR,
February 21, 2013

Go Back To Sleep America, At Your Own Peril

Posted in activism, alternative, alternatives, American politics, analysis, banks, Barack Obama, civil liberties, class, consciousness, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporatism, corporatocracy, crisis of democracy, democracy, Democrat, democratic deficit, ecological crisis, ecology, economy, election, elite, empire, empowerment, environment, fascism, fascist, Feudalism, freedom, geopolitics, globalism, globalization, health, health care, human rights, imperialism, Iran, jobs, liberal, must-read, NDAA, neo-feudalism, Obama, oil, Patriot Act, peace, peak oil, people's movements, police state, policy, political economy, politics, psychology, quotes, Republican, Republican Party, sustainability, the world's other superpower, truth, U.S., war, war crimes, war on democracy, wellness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2012 by jtoddring

I never reprint other people’s writings, no matter how good – but I will make an exception for this. This article is a true must-read. Please, take the time to read it. Then act.

Good morning America. It’s time for a new day.

Kudos and warm thanks to Jill Dalton at recoveringarmybrat. I will definitely read your book, Is It Fascism Yet?

Sincerely,

Todd

Go Back To Sleep America.

BBC speechless as trader tells truth: “Collapse is coming… and Goldman Sachs rules the world”

Posted in alternative, alternatives, analysis, banks, class, collapse, crash, currency, dollar crisis, economics, economy, elite, empire, empowerment, Feudalism, globalism, globalization, must-read, political economy, resources with tags , , , , , , on November 3, 2011 by jtoddring

Move your money now – put it into gold, silver, and if you can, more importantly, a piece of land that can feed your family, tools for self-reliance such as solar and wind energy, seeds and garden tools, a trailer, teepee, yurt or cottage, in case you have to fall back on these.  Equally, or more important: build relationships of solidarity and mutual aid with neighbours, friends, family and community members so you can help one another through any possible hard times ahead.

Forget the U.S. dollar, by the way. It may hold up and even rally after the Euro falls, but the U.S. dollar is definitely going to collapse, for a number of major reasons, and when it does, it will take down the world’s economy, as it is the reserve currency of the world, held by all of the central banks. U.S. Treasury bonds will be worthless when the U.S. Treasury officially becomes insolvent, which it will. The only safe currencies now – or investments or savings – are gold and silver. But even gold and silver cannot feed you if the economic system truly collapses, which it almost certainly will. Real assets, hard assets, like garden space, seeds, tools, home-based renewable energy, knowledge, practical skills, and above all human solidarity, are the safest places to put your confidence and protect your future.

Don’t say you weren’t warned. Take it as you like. Remember, I warned people of a fast-approaching economic meltdown in 2007, one year before it happened, when virtually everyone was saying things are just rosy. I will not enjoy being right again. I would rather be wrong, but I don’t think that will be the case, and in any event, prudence is best.

Living hand to mouth, in debt, beyond our means, and with no real safety net, as most people are now living, is unwise to say the least, and also, in most cases, unnecessary. Do what you can, while you can. As the Italian saying goes, putting your head in the sand will not make the headache go away.

We will get through this hard time, but as ever, those who are prepared and have their eyes wide open, are likely to fare better. They will also be in a better position, due to their willingness to face both the pleasant and unpleasant truths directly, to be of help to their families, friends, communities and others. Better to follow the boy scout motto, I think: always be prepared. Or said another way, hope for the best; prepare for the worst.

Be well. This too shall pass.

JTR,
November 3, 2011

BBC speechless as trader tells truth: “Collapse is coming… and Goldman Sachs rules the world”

Why Occupy Wall Street does NOT need the Democratic party

Posted in alternative, alternatives, American politics, analysis, banks, Barack Obama, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, crisis of democracy, democracy, Democrat, democratic deficit, Democratic Party, elite, empire, empowerment, people's movements, political economy, politics, the world's other superpower, war on democracy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2011 by jtoddring

Some people are now calling for Obama and the Democratic Party to get behind (or is that take over or co-opt) the Occupy Wall Street movement; this at best a strategically unwise misdirection of energies, I would argue, and at worst, a dangerously naive idea. The focus on petitioning and lobbying or even emphasizing at all such a party establishment, seems to me both a waste of time and also a very serious danger to the extremely hopeful pro-democracy populist movement that has sprung up around the globe, and which is being called the Occupy Wall Street movement, or the 99% movement. Obama’s campaign contributions from Wall Street this year exceed all Wall Street contributions to all Republican candidates combined. Follow the money. It is time to see through the veil, and time to get money out of politics. Occupy everywhere. The major political parties have failed us. Leadership must now come from the streets – again, as it always has.

It is a wonderful thought, that the Democratic Party machine could be convinced to start siding with the people and disavow it’s long-standing servility toward, and service to the ruling corporate elite and richest 1% that funds them and puts them in office, and stand honestly and sincerely with the Occupy Wall Street movement which is pressing for true democracy and real power to the people; and I can sympathize, but I am extremely sceptical of both major parties now, and highly wary of the present rapidly growing global pro-democracy movement being co-opted by a few lapdogs who will say the right words, then continue to sell us all out to the same corporate elite – after we have acquiesced, out of a naive false hope, and laid down our metaphorical arms and become once again complacent and disenfranchised spectators.

DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN. We are too close to a genuine second wave of democratic revolutions to have some tepid and highly dubious politicians play saviours and messiahs and water down or simply dissolve the peoples’ movement into a charade. Leadership must now come from below – from the streets. The “leaders” of the Democratic Party (sic) have already chosen their path. Their path is not our path. We need a grassroots coalition of the people now, not the attempted resurrection of the long-dead Democratic Party. Vive le revolution! The people will lead themselves!

Sincerely and respectfully,
J. Todd Ring
aka @prajnaseek

> Obama and Wall Street: follow the money | Campaign 2012 http://bit.ly/npS7Gu

Occupy Wall Street: The emerging global pro-democracy movement, where it stands, what it means, and where we go from here

Posted in activism, alternative, alternatives, analysis, civil liberties, class, common ground, consciousness, conservative, conservatives, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, crisis of democracy, currency, democracy, democratic deficit, ecological crisis, ecology, economic collapse, economics, economy, elite, empire, empowerment, end-game, environment, fascism, fascist, Feudalism, freedom, geopolitics, globalism, globalization, human rights, imperialism, inspiration, labour, left, liberal, libertarian, libertarianism, Media, media analysis, money, must-read, oil, peace, people's movements, police state, policy, political economy, political theory, politics, politics of oil, psychology, resources, right, right wing, social theory, sociology, sovereignty, sustainability, the right, the world's other superpower, Uncategorized, war, war on democracy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2011 by jtoddring

The Occupy Wall Street movement, which has already become a global grassroots populist pro-democracy movement, if we have eyes to see, has clearly already won a broad and growing base of support. What is needed now, I believe, is to further clarify and crystallize the issues – and I would say that many people now realize that the central issue is the question of whether we live in a plutocracy or a democracy, whether we have rule of the people, by the people, for the people, or rule by the super-rich 1% and the corporate elite. The second urgent task is to further broaden and build the emerging world-wide pro-democracy movement, and create a popular coalition that can reclaim democracy from the ruling corporate masters who are looting and pillaging at will, and who have usurped far too much power, politically, economically, and in the media. To this second aim, this brief reflection is geared. Unite the people now.

The Occupy Wall Street movement, or more accurately, the fast-growing global pro-democracy movement, has broad support from progressives, the left and labour, considerable support from students, youth, the environmental and peace movements and the liberal centre, and also, although it may be surprising to some, considerable support from the grassroots right.

What many do not understand is that the grassroots right is increasingly wary of and outraged by the same ruling corporate elite that the left has fought against for generations. A growing number of people who consider themselves conservatives are now highly aware that big business and the super-rich have taken over the political process as well as the economy and the media. They are not happy about this fact, to say the least.

There is common ground here, between left and right, liberal, conservative and progressive, and we should not be fooled by the corporate-dominated and corporate-owned media who always want to spin and sow division among the people. The power-hungry have always known that divide and conquer is the best and first line of defence of their vested interests and imperial powers. We should not be surprised when the corporate-run media both inflames and also inflates and exaggerates the divisions which do exist, and severely downplays the common ground that could unite the people. When the people unite, democracy will rule, and the ruling elite will be deposed from power – the elite know this very well, and therefore do everything they can to sow division and discord among the people. Do not let them win!

*

At the level of the grassroots, many people are fiscal conservatives, and many fiscal conservatives realize that spending $1.5 trillion a year on imperial wars, the military-industrial complex and CIA black ops – and this is the figure that has been acknowledged by the U.S. government, by the way – is completely unsustainable, and is in fact, economic suicide. While there are major differences of opinion and views between right and left, there is also strong common ground – common ground that is routinely overlooked, and that is vital that we acknowledge and come to realize. Many fiscal conservatives realize that the vast sums spent on war and empire are leading to a collapse of the currency and a bankrupting of the nation. Many also realize that it is the vested interests of the corporate elite – the big oil companies and military-industrial contractors, for example – that drive the wars and the imperial hubris and sheer insanity.

The grassroots right and conservatives are not as out to lunch as most liberals, progressives and people on the left tend to believe. Neither right nor left has a monopoly on truth, on intelligence, or on moral high ground. The sooner we realize that none of us are infallible, that we can learn from one another, and most importantly, that we have a strong basis of unity in common ground, the better.

If the left and progressives and liberals can get over their long-standing self-righteousness and presumed superior moral high ground and intelligence, they will find that they have allies in surprising places. If the right will overcome their habitual paranoia and rabid, overly zealous partisan hatred and hostility toward the left, and realize that the vast majority of people on the left today are neither Stalinists nor statist authoritarians, they too will realize that they have allies in surprising places. We need to realize this now: there is common ground; and unless we find it, we are all in for a very dark time ahead. Divided we will fall – make no mistake about it.

The right and the left may forever disagree, and disagree strongly, on many major issues; but when it comes to the core issues, the most central and fundamental of issues, most people on both right and left are in favour of constitutional democracy, limited powers of the state, civil liberties, freedom and authentic democracy, and are opposed to any form of elite rule. This fact, and this common ground, is critically important for us all to realize now.

*

On another line, many on the grassroots right and many who would call themselves conservatives, are libertarians. Traditionally, libertarianism has been a term that has been co-opted by the libertarian right. The libertarian right has traditionally been wary – rightly so – of excessive powers of the state; and it has also traditionally been laissez-faire, or willfully ignorant, as to the dangers of excessive powers in the economic realm. But this has been changing over the past two to three decades, and libertarians that were or are conservatives or rightist, have begun to realize what Thomas Jefferson knew very well two hundred years ago: excessive concentrations of either economic or political powers will result in tyranny.

A growing number of libertarians are now highly aware that in order to preserve constitutional democracy, civil liberties and freedom, the corporate elite must be pushed back, and firmly reigned in. Again, there is a good deal of common ground here between conservatives, liberals, progressives, right and left now, at least at the level of the grassroots.

Of course most politicians are partisan zealots: they have to uphold the charade that they represent widely differing views between widely differing political parties, and to mask the fact that both of the major political parties in the U.S., and most of the major political parties around the world, are bought and paid for by the same ruling corporate elite.  As George Carlin put it, “The politicians are there to give you the illusion that you have a choice. You don’t have a choice – you have owners. They own you. It’s a big club folks – and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the club. And by the way, it’s the same club they use to beat you over the head with every god-damn day, telling you what to think, what to believe.”

We are presented with a false set of choices, and asked to choose between corporate lap dogs A, B, or C. More and more, the people are aware that this is no choice at all, and that the entire system is failing us, and has been co-opted, high-jacked, by the same 1% who control and dominate the global economy and the major media, and are pillaging the earth and the people.

It is time for the people to fully see through the smoke screen, to recognize that the central question at hand is whether we have a plutocracy in which the richest 1% rule over the rest, or whether we have government of the people, by the people, for the people, and to reclaim our democracy, our lives, our world and our future.

*

Environmentalists are coming to realize that there will be no serious action to protect our environment or save our collective asses until and unless we depose the ruling corporate powers from their dominance over the political process, the economy and the media – that is, until we the people take the power back and reclaim our democracy and our future.

The progressives and the left generally realize that there will be no justice and no authentic democracy until and unless the people reclaim their power, take back their democracy, and push the corporate elite to the side, reigning them in and allowing decisions to be made, as they should and must, by the people, and not by the super-rich.

The labour movement is coming to realize that perpetual rear-guard action is necessary, but entirely insufficient to create a just and equitable society – that the goals of jobs, decent working conditions and pay, and a decent life for all, are impossible to attain until and unless the people reclaim their power and their democracy from the corporate elite who have usurped these.

The peace movement is beginning to realize that imperial warfare will never end until the military-industrial complex and the big oil companies, and more broadly, the reigning corporate elite, are deposed from power, and the people reclaim their democracy.

The traditionally wishy-washy and banal centre is coming to realize that the middle class dream of a peaceful, reasonably just, free and democratic society in which they and their children can do well and prosper, is a dream that is systematically being destroyed, that the middle class is being eviscerated and is falling into the underclass, and that these goals and values briefly exposited above are by now an impossibility until and unless the people say no to the corporate giants and the financial elite who have overstepped their bounds and come to dominate the entire political process, the economy and the planet. The habitually somnambulent and deferential centre is beginning to awaken.

This is already a broad coalition of interests, people and movements, and it will be even broader when the grassroots left, right and centre realize that they have a common foe: and that is the super-rich 1% and the corporate elite who are destroying democracy, civil liberties, constitutional rights and freedoms, waging unending, murderous and economically bankrupting imperial wars, and endangering all our lives and futures by continuing to disregard the environment in the pursuit of short-term profits and rape and pillage economics.

On the right, there may be 10-20% of the population that is authoritarian and quasi- if not wholly fascist. On the left, there may be 10-20% that is naively, cynically or stubbornly elitist and authoritarian. The 60-80% of the people who are in between these two extremes of right and left prefer and strongly are in favour of constitutional democracy and the rule by the people – and opposed to rule by any kind of elite. This is the majority which we must now unite, and this majority which supports constitutional democracy and is opposed to any form of elite rule, spans both the left and right, liberals, conservatives and progressives. We can and must unite the majority now, and reclaim our democracy from the plutocrats and the – frankly speaking, and to put it plainly – crypto-fascists.

Act now. The time is late. And the time has come for a change.

Unite the people. It is time for the people to take back their democracy and to renew the world.

JTR,
October 19, 2011

Occupy Wall St. – Letters to friends and family, and an overview of what is unfolding now

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2011 by jtoddring

What is happening is momentus. It could go wrong, it could fizzle out, or it could be co-opted, but at present, by all I can see, it is hopeful: here are a few letters I sent to friends and family on the subject, that aimed to clarify and also to empower and embolden – peace to all of you reading this, and I send you my love.

As an overview of the phenomenon, and to offer some thoughts to the movement as well, I would say this:

We need to be clear on not only what we’re against, but also what we’re for. We’re opposed to corporate greed, yes. We’re not anti-business, but we’re against the richest 1% dominating the economy, the media and the political process, and basically ruling the world. That is, we’re opposed to corporatism – to corporate rule, plutocracy or rule by the super-rich. We’re passionately in support of democracy, human rights and justice for all. This is not an anti-corporate movement: this is a pro-democracy movement! And it is about time! Let it roll. We need it.

Todd

*

Hi papa,

I hope you’re well. I had to write, `cause the uprising that’s going on is very interesting and very exciting, I think. I’m not sure if you’re following it. I wasn’t at all inititally, but over the past couple of days I’ve read and listened more, and it is momentus, I now think. It’s hard to say that it’s not. It gets dismissive treatment, and moreover, largely silence and a media black-out from the corporate-dominated (via advertising dollar dependency) and corporate-owned media, but that is no surprise.

Anyway, I love you very much, and miss the conversations. (It’s been too long since I’ve been by.) I’ve put up a bunch of “Tweets” on Twitter – which is an excellent news and analysis agreggator if you know how to choose your sources well (I have a few hundred news feeds coming into my Twitter account now) – tweets or posts of articles and videos that have very interesting content on the subject. You can find the feed on my blog if you want. I’d love to hear what you think.

I’m cautiously optomistic. This emerging pro-democracy movement in the U.S., which is rapidly spreading to cities across the U.S. and internationally, could be co-opted or derailed, or simply sputter out, but I think it has the potential to be the beach-head that drives forward a radical renewal of democracy, and a reclaiming of power by the people from the 1% corporate and financial elite who have usurped far too much power and have come to dominate the economy, media, culture and poltical process. (It’s not an anti-business movement – it’s anti-corporatist: meaning, business is fine, but big business should not, and cannot be allowed to rule our society or the world.) I hope this is the thin edge of the wedge to restore power to the people. I believe it very well may be.

As I see it, nothing is going to change for the better, and we will have no future at all, unless we retake power from the corporate elite who have usurped it. The people may be less than fully aware and fully enlightened, but the polls routinely show that what the people want is far better than what we have now. When the people want better than the status quo, on social as well as environmental issues, and by a wide margin, then we have to ask what is in the way – what is obstructing the peoples’ will? The answer of course are the vested interests that Ronald Wright spoke of, who are profiting highly from the present state of affairs, and who do not wish to see a change. The answer then is to restore power to the people, and to wrest power from the financial elite who have taken it without due legitimacy.

This is what is happening now with the Occupy Wall St. movement: it is the beginning of a revolt of the people, whereby the people retake their power and reclaim their democracy and their future. I am hopeful. There is much to be done, and all doors are open. It is up to us.

Comfort the suffering; discomfort the comfortable. Even the table and let us see a new day.

This is building so fast. It’s just three weeks in, and it’s spreading across the U.S. and around the world. The time was ripe; this is a tipping point. This has major potential. Everything is up in the air, everything is possible. It is rapidly becoming an exciting time – it is an exciting time. Shit is happening now. And the revolution will not be televised.

Paltry partisan politics function at such an abysmally lower level than this. This is the beginning of a revolution.

Love,
T

P.S.: The essay that I have attached has not been read by anyone. It was written September 14, three days before the Wall St. occupation, which I had not heard about until some days later. I hope you enjoy it.

Post, post-scrpit:

“Ideas that can be easily assimilated meet with responsiveness. Ideas that force us to re-think our views of the world tend to meet with hostility.”  (James Gleick) Although the present popular uprising which is demanding a renewal of democracy is in accord with the sentiment and views of the great majority of the people, the power elite, along with the timid, the fence-sitters and the infantile who long for a parental figure in government and society, and the stubbornly partisan loyalist zealots and ideologues, will rally in joint force with a hostility which has yet to be seen in its fullness. Be ready for it. We cannot expect this to be a peaceful transition to a genuine government “of the people, by the people, for the people” – the power elite and their loyal servants will defend the existing regime and order ferociously. We should be prepared. “Biting Through” is the I Ching hexagram which comes to mind: this is where we stand now. A beginning has been made. The future is up to us, as always.

Some people react with fury when their world view is challenged. We should not be surprised. It is a clinging to ideology, and to the illusion of security and comfort. Even when the ground is being swept out from underneath them, even when their future is clearly at risk, even when things are so undeniably going wrong, there are those who will rally to the defence of the dying – and killing – existing order. Many simply do not want to be bothered with having to think or make decisions, and wish desperately for someone to think and decide for them, and to take their power from them, as Dostoyevsky and Huxley, among others, described. Others react with rabid rage when their priviledge and power is threatened, being unafraid to take power, and rather, are eager for it. Likewise, we should not be surprised, nor dismayed, nor disuaded from our goal.

The goal is the healing of this world, which requires, first and foremost, the reclaiming of democracy by the people. It shall be done. And it is in progress. The people have more courage, more heart, more intelligence, and more basic decency and common sense than is commonly ascribed to them. If we are to create a better world, it will be with the rising and the uniting and the solidarity of the people, and in no other way. The people are uniting and arising now. We should stand with democracy, and with the people. I trust you will. I have no choice.

******

(new letter, online friend)

I rly don’t know you well at all, and you barely know me, but I saw your disposition and views to some degree online, and you seem a good-hearted and intelligent person, so I am writing you now with a thought; a thought which would not be wasted on the selfish, the greedy or the paralytically closed-minded. Occupy Wall St.: the movement is on!

As far as I can see, this is a nascient pro-democracy movement for the Western world. Get behind it. Let me know your thoughts: I’d love to hear them. I’m just pumping the insurrection that is happening now, and that is MUCH needed. Take care, and talk to me anytime. Would love to know what you think.

******

Hi Anne. I hope you are well. I am writing because I am an unabashed hopeful, idealistic, and also brutally realistic politico: and shit is happening now. You’re probably following the occupation of Wall St. Here is my succinct view: this is a nascient pro-democracy movement for the Western world, which is much needed – urgently needed. It is nascient, but it is powerful, and gaining steam by the hour. I am unable to contain myself, and have to ask everyone I know to look into it; and if they feel it makes sense to them, to get behind it; or better, to get involved in it. Sorry Anne, I haven’t seen you since jr high, but I still trust in my instincts and my intuition, and you I know have a good and strong heart. Let me know what you think. I just had to put this out there. Forgive me if I’m in the wrong, but it seems to me that it just needs to happen.

******

Hi George. I hope you are well! You should write to me! Would love to hear from you.

I’ve got politics on the brain, as usual, and things are heating up! Holy fuck! Have you been following what is going on with the Wall St. occupation? Damn! I’m not going to write again what I’ve been writing all night: this shit needs and deserves support: this is the birth of a much-needed pro-democracy movement in the Western world. John Lennon would be proud.

Please, don’t be offended that I paste a short letter on the subject that I have now sent to a few people. I love you, frankly, as a human being and as a friend. I just cannot write the same thing to dozens of people. Please read what I have sent here. We need your help. Jump in. Up to you now.

*

Hi Anne. I hope you are well. I am writing because I am an unabashed hopeful, idealistic, and also brutally realistic politico: and shit is happening now. You’re probably following the occupation of Wall St. Here is my succinct view: this is a nascient pro-democracy movement for the Western world, which is much needed – urgently needed. It is nascient, but it is powerful, and gaining steam by the hour. I am unable to contain myself, and have to ask everyone I know to look into it; and if they feel it makes sense to them, to get behind it; or better, to get involved in it. Sorry Anne, I haven’t seen you since jr high, but I still trust in my instincts and my intuition, and you I know have a good and strong heart. Let me know what you think. I just had to put this out there. Forgive me if I’m in the wrong, but it seems to me that it just needs to happen.

*

Get in there George, pls. I respect you, whatever you decide. I am asking you now to jump in. Please do.

*****

Fuck Mike! Do you see what’s going on w occupy Wall St? Holy fucking shit!!! Mass unrest. People are pissed, and rightly so. Beginnings…. Tell me what you think. I think it is the beginning, possibly, of something very good. Argh!! Shit man, take the opening where you find it! This is an opening! Make some positive shit happen! I am rallying all the support I can find for this movement, which I sincerely believe is the beginning of a pro-democracy movement for the Western world. God help us, we need that!!! Get behind it, or in it, or with it – or simply let people know that the corporatocracy is no longer immune from popular revolt!

If you have any doubt as to what I mean, remember who I am: I do not bullshit. This is real. From my best analysis, on the fly, this looks to me like it has major fucking potential. We’ll see what happens when it happens. To me, you have to take the open doors when they open, or cry in vain that you let them close. Better to just jump, and see what happens, I would say. Compassion knows no fear – we should strive to embody that.

Todd

A few articles and videos on the occupation of Wall Street, along with tools and resources and important background information:

#OccupyWallStreet: There’s Something Happening Here, Mr. Jones | techPresident

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Remain Defiant After Brooklyn Bridge Arrests (PHOTOS)

WGA East Endorses Occupy Wall Street Protests (Exclusive) – The Hollywood Reporter

It’s the Inequality, Stupid | Mother Jones

“Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You with the Bill)”

Threat/Promise | Declaration of the Occupation of New York City As…

FreakOutNation » The Marines are coming to #OccupyWallStreet to Protect the Protesters

Nader, Ron Paul, Kucinich Speak to Occupy Wall Street – YouTube

Map: Occupy Wall Street Spreads Nationwide, Major Unions Sign On | Mother Jones

Occupy Wall Street-Inspired Protests Spring Up Around the Country, World – Democracy Now! | Headlines for October 04, 2011

Wall Street protests spread in U.S. and Canada

How to Support #Occupy Wall Street | The Nation

Reclaiming democracy for the common good – and for the survival and future of our children: the political economy of environmental sanity and democratic renewal

Posted in activism, alternative, alternatives, analysis, books, capitalism, collapse, consciousness, conservation, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, crash, debt, deficit, disaster, ecological crisis, ecology, elite, environment, Kropotkin, must-read, policy, political economy, political philosophy, political theory, politics, renewable, resources, social theory, sociology, sustainability, tipping point with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2011 by jtoddring

Yesterday, September 27, the Global Footprint Network declared as Earth Overshoot Day: the day that humans have used up all renewable resources available for the year. Not good. This obviously cannot continue. Limitless growth in material consumption and “production” clearly cannot be sustained on a finite planet. (We can have limitless growth in culture, the arts, science, the mind, spirituality and quality of life, but not in material production and consumption.) We are depleting our collective inheritance: which should rightfully be shared equitably, through democratic popular control of the commons to which we all share usafructory rights – despite our present unjust and unwise socio-economic, legal and cultural norms – as well as used wisely and compassionately, and not squandered. We are rapidly draining nature’s capital, to put it in crass economic terms, which are the only terms most politicians and pundits and corporate elites seem to understand.

We are racing towards ecological bankruptcy at an ever-accelerating rate, and will see our children live as beggars in an ocean of toxic waste if we don’t change our course, and fast. Of course, most people – aside from the business and political elite – understand this by now. But awareness is not enough. It is high time for much more serious action.

Addressing the present and rapidly escalating environmental crisis which humanity undeniably faces will require more of us than a simple act of recycling or “buying green.” It will require, above all, a restoration and a renewal of democracy – a reclaiming of democracy from the ruling and highly pathological corporate elite.

You don’t have to be anti-business to be opposed to corporate rule, by the way: to be opposed to rule by corporate elites is simply to favour democracy; and frankly, to call it as it is: to oppose fascism. Corporatism, as Mussolini himself defined, is the merger of business with the state. Anyone who values freedom or democracy must therefore oppose corporatism: which is the unchecked power of business elites, and an empire of corporate dominance over all aspects of society, including the economy, politics, culture and the media. To be anti-corporatist is not to be anti-business: it is simply to understand that any form of unchecked power invariably leads to tyranny and the destruction of freedom; and therefore, to be opposed to such unchecked powers by any kind of elite.

You don’t have to be anti-business to oppose the take-over of democratic government by business elites – you simply have to be sane. You can be pro-business and anti-corporatist: and anyone who truly values democracy must, of logical and practical necessity, be anti-corporatist, regardless of their views on business. I am belabouring the point because the corporate-owned and dominated media repeatedly portray any kind of critique of unchecked corporate powers as leftist lunacy. Here is breaking news for anyone who still buys into this red-scare propaganda that lingers from the McCarthy era, like a can of rotting tuna stinking up the entire house and driving the people to nausea and revulsion: people on the right and the left and in the centre politically are, by an overwhelming majority, in favour of constitutional democracy, and opposed to any kind of dominance over the democratic political process by any kind of elite, including the now globally dominant business elite.

Where once we had to wrest power from the church and the aristocracy who were overstepping their bounds, in order to secure democracy, human rights and freedom, we now must wrest power from an unwieldy and overbearing, frankly tyrannical and self-serving business elite – and everybody who is in the least way sane and rational, and who hasn’t been living under a rock for the past fifty years, knows it.

Support for constitutional democracy and checks on corporate power, and the resultant or concomitant opposition to corporate rule, now cuts across the political spectrum. The people are no longer fooled by the red-scare tactics, nor by the broader corporate spin which seeks to mask the obvious: the emperor has no clothes, and everybody knows it – corporations have usurped democratic political powers, and are far over-stepping their proper bounds. Conservatives, liberals and progressives alike now understand this, and know this quite viscerally – and are rightly concerned and rapidly running out of patience in the face of an intolerable situation of corporate oligarchy that seeks limitless powers for itself, while undermining every human value and endangering our very survival on this earth.

The reality, which virtually everyone knows, is that the democratic governments of the world are now in hoc, in debt, in dependency and in servitude to a globally dominant international business elite; and virtually all of the major political parties are now the servile lackeys to the ruling corporate empire. Meanwhile, the people increasingly see through this whole pathetic charade, and are becoming quite fed up with it.

You don’t have to lean toward the left politically to be opposed to corporate rule: and at the level of the grassroots, people from the right and the left, conservatives, liberals and progressives, are now beyond wary of unchecked corporate powers – and wish to see democracy reclaimed by the people. What is needed now is a coalition of all those who favour democracy over corporate empire and corporate rule. This is beginning to emerge, and none too soon.

The suicidal kleptocracy of our presently reigning global order of neo-feudal corporatism must end – and now, before we extinguish ourselves from this small and beautiful, fragile, little blue planet. Democracy must be restored: and with power returned to the people, where it rightfully belongs, the commons can once again be protected and shared, wisely and judiciously, for the benefit of all.

If we wish for survival, for a future worth living, or for any future for our children and the children of the earth, then it is absolutely necessary that democracy be reclaimed by the people. This is the most urgent necessity of the time. If Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington or Voltaire were alive today, they most assuredly would be urging it. We should heed their call, the call of their distant but ever-near voices of reason and common sense, and reclaim our power. Restore democracy now. Bring the power back to the people, and let us begin again.

Let it begin. The great turning is here. A new renaissance is being born. Let us work together to bring about a better future and a better world for all. The power is in our hands. We must simply own it, and acknowledge that it is ours.

We have run out of time for idle chit-chat, partisan zealotry and pleasant euphemisms, for polite evasiveness and meek avoidance of the realities that we face. Let us now renew and reclaim our democracy: and we shall in the process, and by this means only, renew and reclaim the commons, for the common good of all. It is this, or it is a dark age ahead – make no mistake. Make your choice wisely. Our future, and our children’s future, depend upon the choices we make now.

Be bold I say, and let us reclaim our future, and the future of humanity – if not for ourselves, then most certainly and assuredly, for the sake of the children of this earth. Their lives and their future cannot be written off, even if we are willing to write off our own. Act now.

“The other superpower” is beginning to stir: humanity is beginning to awake. And nothing, no reactionary force, can stop the rising tide of an awakened humanity. The future is in our hands. I urge all of us now to embrace that power, and to act together to reclaim our future and our world, by first reclaiming our democracy and our power.

Unite now, and let us restore democracy to its proper place – in the hands of the people. Our future and our children’s future hangs in the balance. Let us not hesitate now – we cannot afford to do so. Let us begin, or begin again with renewed energy and a deepened commitment: for we shall succeed, and humanity shall have a new day.

I would like to end this conversation, which I hope will be only the beginning of an ongoing conversation, and more importantly, the basis of strong, bold and dedicated collective action, with one of my favourite quotations, which seems ever-fitting – and especially so now:

“There is more day yet to dawn.
The sun is but a morning star.”
– Henry David Thoreau

And a second, which is equally powerful, equally apt, and equally appropriate to our time:

“It is within our power now to begin the world anew.”
– Thomas Paine

And one last quote: one that is oft-used, and yet profoundly underappreciated – and also extremely relevant to our time and to the task at hand:

“We must all hang together, or assuredly, we shall all hang separately….
United we stand, divided we fall.”
– Benjamin Franklin

As Arundhati Roy so eloquently and beautifully put it, another world is not only possible: she is already being born. Go now – reflect, read, ponder and discuss: then let us act together to bring in a new day and a new dawn for humanity and this earth. I urge you, act now. It is not too late, and what we do or fail to do now, will decide our future, and the future of humanity.

Above all, unite the people to reclaim their democracy. This is the most pivotal and most urgent of tasks at hand. Unite now, and let democracy reign!

The people will reclaim their power. It has already begun. The writing is on the wall. The corporate empire – the last of a series of empires that have risen and fallen through the past five thousand years of history, the clay feet that David spoke of – is teetering and about to fall. It is a wounded and dying, and still yet a dangerous beast, to be sure, but this latest of empires is now crumbling – even while it flails madly in its death throes to preserve its life and maintain its power, and flaunts its power with brazen disregard and sheer contempt for humanity, democracy and life on earth. Its legitimacy is destroyed, by its own acts of malfeasance and abuse of power; and it is only a matter of time before its final demise. The people should see and clearly recognize the opportunity, and reclaim their power and their democracy now.

Rise now and unite. It is time for the full flowering of democracy, and the healing of this fair earth and all our communities. Unite! And let us take back our democracy, for the benefit of all, and for the future of all life on earth, including our own children, and our children’s children. Act now. The time has come for a new dawn.

JTR,
September 28, 2011

(My apologies for the Surf-Canyon highlighted link on the word “clothes” – a shopping link, no doubt, and I certainly did not put that in there: another example – a mildly annoying one this time, unlike the subject of the survival of humanity – of corporate overshoot, and the over-stepping of proper bounds. Time to whack them on the nose with a rolled up newspaper, and push them back. Enough is enough – in so many regards.)

See Daly and Cobb, For the Common Good, as a prime example of economics that are not insane.

See also:

The Corporation – Joel Bakan (Canadian constitutional lawyer)

Power To the People (In Suits) – Paul Bigioni on Z Net

A Brief History of Progress – Ronald Wright

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed – Jared Diamond

The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies – Richard Heinberg

Power Down – Richard Heinberg

Mutual Aid – Peter Kropotkin

The Ecology of Freedom – Murray Bookchin

World As Lover, World As Self – Joanna Macy

Walden – Henry David Thoreau

The Poverty of Affluence – Paul Watchel

Small Is Beautiful- E. F. Schumacher

Year 501 – Noam Chomsky

Necessary Illusions – Noam Chomsky

Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein

The End of America – Naomi Wolf

Escape From Freedom – Erich Fromm

The Power Elite – C. Wright Mills

Global Showdown – Maude Barlow

On Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau

The Discourse on Voluntary Servitude – Etienne De La Boittee

The Great Turning – David C. Korten

Power to the People (In Suits) How a whole new kind of business lobby is a threat to democracy by Paul Bigioni

Fears of a corporate police state – David Sirota – Salon.com

Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail? | Rolling Stone Politics

Three Things That Must Happen for Us to Rise Up and Defeat the Corporatocracy | Truthout

Big Ideas That Changed The World : DemocracyTony Benn

Talk – David Korten – The Great Turning – YouTube

Joanna Macy on The Great Turning – YouTube

The Corporation (complete, chapters 1 to 23) – YouTube

Life and Debt [HQ Full Movie] – YouTube

The Yes Men – Trailer – YouTube

The Secret Government: The Constitution In Crisis (1 of 9) – YouTube

The Shock Doctrine (2009) — Naomi Klein – YouTube – full length film

“The End of America” Full Length HQ Film – YouTube

Jared DiamondCollapse! part 1 – YouTube

Amazon.com: The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power (9780743247443): Joel Bakan: Books

The Corporation Film: About the Book

Orwell Rolls in his Grave (Full 3HR Documentary) – YouTube
Manufacturing Consent – Noam Chomsky and the Mass Media – 1/17 – YouTube
Confronting the Empire, by Noam Chomsky (Talk delivered at the III World Social Forum)
The Take – Trailer – YouTube
The Take (La Toma) English subtitles (1/9) – YouTube
The Project Gutenberg eBook – On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, by Henry David Thoreau

#Science Earth’s Annual Resources Used Up Today, Group Says bit.ly/n8flsq

Amazon.com: For The Common Good: Redirecting the Economy toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future (9780807047057): Herman E. Daly, John B. Cobb Jr.: Books

 

Videos to Rock Your World

Posted in video with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2008 by jtoddring

Announcing Channel Prajnaseek: dedicated to the pursuit of truth.

Prajna is a Sanskrit word meaning knowledge or truth. Prajnaseek is the committment to truth: seeking truth, speaking truth, especially speaking truth to power, and about power.

Here you will find over 300 videos in an archive that will inform, elucidate, inspire and empower. Enjoy.

YouTube – Prajnaseek’s Channel

Channel Prajnaseek: A Selection of Incisive Videos

For more videos bookmark this:

Videos to Rock Your World << Writings of J. Todd Ring

J. Todd Ring,

aka Prajnaseek

May 2, 2008

Writings of J. Todd Ring
(For those of you reading this on Blogger,

please see the new site at WordPress!)

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