The Reality Principle -Episode 19

“The Mythology of Democracy” with Sen. Mike Gravel

RPLogoThis week, Eric sits down with former presidential candidate and senator from Alaska, Mike Gravel. He and Eric discuss the life and legacy of Hugo Chavez as well as the difficult times ahead for Venezuela. Sen. Gravel discusses his experiences in Congress and his first-hand understanding of the interaction of political and corporate power. Additionally, Mike explains how his presidential campaign in 2008 gave him a unique insight into the total lack of character and integrity of President Obama, as well as the degree to which political discourse in the United States has degenerated into unabashed warmongering. Sen. Gravel also discusses the need to transform the political institutions of the US, remaking the representative republic into a more direct democracy. Eric and Mike critically examine the theory behind this model and they destroy the mythology that the United States is a "democracy".

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Empire, Power, and People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 21

What is Anarchism?

EPP
Anarchism is often thought of as synonymous with "chaos" and "disorder," which is a far cry from its original philosophy and actions. As one of the first anarchist philosophers articulated, "Anarchy is Order."

Articulating a philosophy and envisioning a society free of hierarchical organization and domination, anarchy has set itself against all established and institutional forms of power and structure. Various strands of anarchistic thought can be found through human history, dating to ancient Chinese Taoists, in ancient Greece, and through the peasant rebellions of the Middle Ages, but it was not until the late 18th and early 19th centuries that anarchism came to be defined as a distinct ideology and the word began to be used. Emerging organically in different places at different times, anarchy represents a reaction against all forms of repression and domination. It has strong rootss in Jewish emigration following the anti-Semitic pogroms of Czarist Russia, and was a major factor during the Russian Revolution. The greatest example of an anarchistic success and failure was during the Spanish Revolution and Civil War in the 1930s, when a massive anarchist movement threatened the very survival of the state, leading to foreign interventions on the part of the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, and the Western liberal democratic states, all of which battled against and ultimately destroyed the most powerful movement in Spain, the anarchists.

This strain of thought is re-emerging today, in different contexts and with different tactics and ideas, but it is again making itself a force to be reckoned with.

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Soothing the Beast: Saturday Night BFP-Jamiol Music, Episode 9

Leonard Cohen

Soothing the Best

The 9th BFP/Jamiol music pick is Canadian singer-song writer, musician, poet and novelist Leonard Cohen. This pick is especially for the one or two Cohen fans that might be in our audience. Cohen did this song as part of his PBS special Leonard Cohen Live in London. So everyone, kick back and enjoy with those fans Leonard Cohen's live 2008 performance of "Democracy" at London's 02 Arena. [Read more...]

Liberty, Anarchy, Property, Democracy & Power

It Must be Freedom for All, or Freedom for None

By Andrew Gavin Marshall

chainI have had a number of debates and discussions recently, largely through various social media networks and similar avenues, on some issues that are of major concern to those who seek to confront the challenges of the present and construct a better path for the future. So I thought I would take this opportunity, with ideas fresh in my mind, to simply share some thoughts on these subjects and issues. There is also relevance between these thoughts and The People’s Book Project, for it is the research for the book which has shaped the conclusions and/or directions of these ideas, and which will be supported with historical facts throughout the book(s).

As the title indicates, the subject of this article is: Liberty, Anarchy, Property, Democracy and Power. What are these concepts? What are their historical and present manifestations? How do they interact, inter-twine, counteract, or confront each other? Is it possible to ground these concepts in a wider understanding? [Read more...]

The American Empire in Latin America

“Democracy” is a Threat to “National Security”

By Andrew Gavin Marshall

GrandArea

A cohesive American imperial strategy to manage the “Grand Area” of Latin America in the post-War period was established by the newly formed Eisenhower administration in the National Security Council’s draft paper, “U.S. Policy With Respect to Latin America,” in January of 1953. In March, a final draft was submitted as NSC 144, a report on “United States Objectives and Courses of Action With Respect to Latin America.” As the strategy document was produced through the NSC, the highest policy-planning body in the American government, it necessarily involved the participation of high-level officials from the Departments of State, Defense, Treasury, the C.I.A., the Mutual Security Agency, and the Office of Defense Mobilization.[1]

Issued on March 18, 1953, the “Statement of Policy by the National Security Council” outlined the primary threat posed to American interests in Latin America:

There is a trend in Latin America toward nationalistic regimes maintained in large part by appeals to the masses of the population. Concurrently, there is an increasing popular demand for immediate improvement in the low living standards of the masses, with the result that most Latin American governments are under intense domestic political pressures to increase production and to diversify their economies… [Thus, a] realistic and constructive approach to this need which recognizes the importance of bettering conditions for the general population, is essential to arrest the drift in the area toward radical and nationalistic regimes. The growth of nationalism is facilitated by historic anti-U.S. prejudices and exploited by Communists [emphasis added].[2] [Read more...]

Let It Cut Both Ways: US Foreign Aid & State Sponsored Terrorism

Material Support to Dictators Who Inflict Terror

courtIn June 2010 our rights and liberties suffered a major setback. The United States Supreme Court upheld the broad application of a federal law making it a crime to provide "material support" to designated "foreign terrorist organizations" (FTOs). Under this law individuals face up to 15 years in prison for providing "material support" to FTOs, even if their work is intended to promote peaceful, lawful objectives. "Material support" is defined to include any "service," "training," "expert advice or assistance" or "personnel." This setback should cut both ways, that is, if we had a bit more application of justice and a tad less of hypocrisy, and of course, far more straight forward information delivery. What do I mean by having this setback cut both ways? Terrorism is not limited to individual(s), groups, organizations; it includes nation states. A bunch of ego-driven scholars or a few anal-retentive political analysts may want to split hairs as to whether or not ‘state sponsored terrorism’ constitutes terrorism, but hey, since 2002 their elected presidents have been accusing nations of being terrorists or axis of evil, and for this, for now, I am going to go with that.

State terrorism refers to acts of terrorism conducted by a state against a foreign state or people. It can also refer to widespread acts of violence by a state against its own people. Based on this definition and based on what the puppet court recently ruled on what constitutes ‘material support’ to terrorism, our government, those who have sanctioned US Foreign Aid to dictators inflicting violence against their own people, should be brought to trial. I am talking about Egypt. I am talking about Uzbekistan. I am talking about Jordan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Israel …To be more accurate, I am talking about Billions of dollars being continuously provided to dictators for half a century who in turn are terrorizing their own people. Egypt and where our tax dollars, US Foreign Aid, went is only one example. All you have to do is line check dozens of our foreign aid recipients against their established human rights (terrorism) record. Here are examples:

In September 2008, the U.S. and Jordanian governments reached an agreement whereby the United States will provide a total of $660 million in annual foreign assistance to Jordan over a 5-year period.

Then, check the dictator’s record in Jordan:

Domestic and international NGOs reported cases of arbitrary deprivation of life, torture, poor prison conditions, impunity, arbitrary arrest and denial of due process through administrative detention, prolonged detention, and external interference in judicial decisions. Citizens continued to describe infringements on their privacy rights. Restrictive legislation and regulations limited freedom of speech and press, and government interference in the media and threats of fines and detention led to self-censorship, according to journalists and human rights organizations. The government also continued to restrict freedoms of assembly and association. [Read more...]

US Media & Egypt Coverage: Dodging the Real Issues & Fudging the Real Culprits

$60 Billion US Aid to Egypt=$60 Billion Current Net-worth of Mubarak Family

ProtestWith all eyes and attention on Egypt, the unsavory ‘US Foreign Policy’ has become the topic of choice among the intelligentsia, journalists, and the overly populated US analyst colony. There are scores of analyses out there; thousands of articles, millions of blog threads and unending ‘update’ headlines on TV screens. Yet, at least in ‘popular’ outlets, reality appears to be the missing link. Don’t worry, I am not about to hit you with a long-winded article on Egypt. If you are masochistic enough to actually want my take (pages and pages of  history/analyses) you can revisit a few of our pieces on the topic of nefarious US foreign policy practices here, here and here; timeless and equally applicable to what we are witnessing with Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia today. Instead, I want to share with you a few select points and coverage that got my attention:

Let’s start with the tongue and cheek protest sign in the above picture: “USA Why You Support Dectatour” Of course, these demonstrators, in fact almost the entire population in that part of the world, know the answer to this rhetorical question. I think they are trying to get Americans to ask this question and seek ‘real’ answers, no matter how unsavory, nauseating, awful…You see, this is what the US media is selling the majority as to why we support and maintain (pay for, defend…you name it) corrupt ruthless dictators:

Alliance with new governments to protect U.S. interests: security for Israel, sustainability of world energy supply and the fight against al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

That’s right: the above, instead of: dictators who will purchase our arms from our mega corporations, serve Israel’s interests, give us cheap oil, and become our official or semi-official base (aka: colony), and that at any price (that is, the price to the population and human rights there). Think Saudi Arabia, think Turkmenistan, Think Uzbekistan…Think about all the dictator allies we support, maintain and sustain. While we are at the topic of ‘sustaining,’ let me illustrate what I mean:

The same article source above, Bloomberg, lightly mentions the following:

Egypt is the fourth-largest recipient of U.S. aid, after Afghanistan, Pakistan and Israel, according to the State Department’s 2011 budget, receiving more than $1.5 billion a year.

Another semi alternative publication (alternative in name only) goes only half a step further and actually adds it up, the US taxpayers’ dollars that is:

American support for the Egyptian government -- to the tune of $60 billion in aid over the last 30 years -- garnered virtually no regular attention before the protests began.

But here is one article, written by a true alternative journalist (an independent one), where American taxpayer dollars spent on this Dictatorship ally for the last 30 years come together, and actually add up nicely: [Read more...]

Podcast Show #25

The Boiling Frogs Presents John Young

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John Young provides us with a brief overview of the history, purpose and mission of his well-known website Cryptome.Org. He talks about the recent controversy involving Microsoft Corporation’s attempted legal action against Cryptome, and the temporary shutdown of the site by the ISP Network Solutions. He speaks to the importance of the free flow of information and challenging the governments’ self-serving secrecy as prerequisites for an informed citizenry and a functioning democracy, the importance of whistleblowers and anonymous disclosures, the existence of various trap websites, impostors and false flag operators to manipulate information, trick whistleblowers, and or plant specific propaganda, and more.

John Young John Young is a New York based architect and online archivist who owns and operates Cryptome.Org, a website that functions as a repository for information about freedom of speech, cryptography, spying, and surveillance. In February 2010, the ISP Network Solutions shut down Mr. Young’s website after he posted a document summarizing Microsoft’s dealings with law enforcement agencies. Shortly after initiating legal action to suppress a document on how to subpoena online user data Microsoft withdrew the complaint, and the website was restored.

Here is our guest John Young unplugged!

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