The classic Marxist concept of class struggle elucidates the millennia-long battle between the owners and controllers of the means of production, whether that be agricultural, trading, manufacturing, or finance, and everyone else.
Under the capitalism of Marx’ time, the bulk of “everyone else” consisted of the manufacturing working class and related occupations, such as the miners and the railroad workers. In our era things have gotten rather more complex.
First of all, in the developed capitalist countries fewer and fewer people are engaged directly in manufacturing, more and more in “white collar” positions directly and indirectly supporting the manufacturing sector, and in small business. Second of all, while there is a definable owning/controlling class, it is much less publicly apparent than it used to be and many non-owner/controllers have the appearance of “ownership’ and an interest in it through the securities markets. Third of all, in the United States to the greatest extent, but in most of the other developed countries to some extent as well, the owners/controllers have created a very effective propaganda machine designed to suppress traditional working class consciousness. For example, when President-elect Obama refers to the “middle class” what he is really talking about is what used to be called the “working class,” but the capitalist media have made sure that that term is passé.
Thomas Paine's Corner has moved to http://thomaspainescorner.wordpress.com/
"Officials told the BBC that the drone ... hit the house of a pro-government tribal leader, killing him and four members of his family, including a five-year-old child."
(Deadly missiles strike Pakistan)
On 23 January 2009, missiles fired from suspected US drones killed at least 15 people inside Pakistan
"Locals also said that three children lost their lives."
(President Obama 'orders Pakistan drone attacks')
Obama's new foreign policy team prepares escalated bloodletting in Afghanistan and Pakistan
In a series of meetings and public appearances Wednesday and Thursday, and with the first military strikes of his administration, President Barack Obama has given a clear signal that he plans intensified bloodshed in Afghanistan and Pakistan as the US escalates its military intervention in Central and South Asia.
Missiles fired from unmanned Predator drones struck two targets inside Pakistan Friday morning, killing at least 18 people. As is always the case with such exercises in remote-controlled murder, US officials claimed they were targeting Al Qaeda, although even US media accounts admitted that the majority of those killed were local residents.
more -Patrick Martin at wsws.org
Israeli War Criminal Tzipi Livni Arrest Warrant
Arrest Warrant issued for War Criminal Ehud Barak
Anyone who has information about the suspects when they are outside of the Israeli borders, report immediately to:
Fax +31 70 515 8 555
more - Greg Bacon
The Macroprosopus and the Spinal Meningitis
Let’s move out of the realm of analogy and look at some simple facts. The world of banks and corporations are the enemy of the residents of the Macroprosopus. These centers have hijacked the information highways. By false presentation they have deceived the residents into making war on each other and on themselves. If the residents stop contributing to the banking and corporate centers these centers will lose the power to operate and the meningitis will no longer have the food necessary to sustain itself in its efforts to destroy itself.
It is the nature of evil to destroy itself. Evil, regardless of it’s perceptions to the contrary, is insane. It believes it is doing one thing while it is really doing something else. It’s fine and dandy for evil to destroy itself and the sooner the better. However, those who support and defend these efforts are destroying themselves as well. Sooner or later, those deceived by evil must cease in their support or admit to themselves that they are evil too. Sooner or later they won’t have to worry about getting this because it’s going to be shown to them loud and clear.
more - Les Visible
Mary Shelley's Worst Nightmare
The very word 'Frankenstein' has come to mean 'monsters of our own creation' but more generally, monsters beyond our control. 'Frankenstein' has come to symbolize the Faustian bargain made by man with his own technology.
more - Len Hart
Schedule the Accident Reconstruction Team for the Intersection of Tel Aviv and Reality Boulevard
Of course Israel didn't crush Hamas. Israel needs Hamas in the same way bush needed bin Laden: to justify their insatiable thirst for blood. Hamas is the whipping boy. Thus, Israel failed to achieve it's fake goals, though it has achieved the real goal: to create a humanitarian crisis to crush the Palestinians, to ensure the whipping boy lives to fight another day, and to embroil the international community physically in Gaza, thereby greasing the skids for WW III, which Israel delusionally believes will solve their problems once and for all by leaving them in a position of unquestioned domination.
Is he chagrined by the wanted posters detailing his war crimes? Certainly not. And are the Israeli people listening to the howls of protest from the international community? No. They're not done. They are not repentant. In fact, they don't care what anyone thinks. This is only about them, you see? They are the only people who matter. They twist everything around to serve their perpetual victimhood narrative, facts be damned. Thus, the Israelis seem more and more incapable -- not just unwilling but literally unable, due to apparent group psychosis -- of controlling themselves. That leaves the rest of the world in the position of controlling Israel.
more - A. Peasant at Twelfth Bough
How to Spot a Hate Crime Hoax
La Voz de Mexcrement, as a public service, is making the following information on how to spot an antisemitic hate crime hoax in view of the incident that occurred at the Claremont Colleges on March 9, 2004. In this incident, one of a growing number, Professor Kerri Dunn staged a hate crime hoax by graffiting "Kike Whore" and a swastika on her own car as well as slashing her tires after she delivered a speech on hate on the campus of Claremont-McKenna College.
The information below was collected from the book Crying Wolf: Hate Crime Hoaxes in America written by Laird Wilcox.
***********Obama is no ordinary choice for these turbulent years ahead. The elites found in him a cold, cruel, and hard hearted man, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, needed to implement their takeover and it will begin soon. Mr. Obama and the new government regime will do the biding of their masters which will be to manage as receivers of the bankrupt corporate USA. They will execute the terms necessary to bring the bankruptcy to complete foreclosure. We were living in the last days of our Democracy. That time is coming to an end; democracy has accomplished that which was conspired. Democracy was the spending vehicle that drove us into incomprehensible debt. Time has come for the next New Deal and Obama will be the pitch man. I always said that Communism is foreclosure where all assets are ceased by the State. The State is the bank’s management team controlling the foreclosed assets. You being a US person or US resident have been used for collateral for all corporate US debt. You will become human resource controlled by the State. As Alexander Solzhenitsyn said and I paraphrase, “by the time the west realizes what has happened it will be too late.”
The seeds of corruption took strong root through the use of private bank charters and grew into the passage of the greatest crime of modern time. This crime was the enactment of the very privately owned Federal Reserve Act of 1913.
more - Paul Cappadona
Headline: 'Lebanon benefits from trade', Intro: 'Poor Israel'
In a news report titled “Lebanon army gets boost from Russian jets,” you’d probably expect the opening paragraph to begin and maintain a focus on, say, the Lebanese army and Russian jets.
But then, you probably didn’t bargain for The Associated Press.
Slightly delivering on what the headline promised, the January 21 report opens as an Israeli foreign-policy strategist might begin a lecture:
With Israel in a fragile cease-fire with Hamas in Gaza to the south, the army of this tiny country bordering Israel’s north is for the first time getting some serious military muscle, including its first fighter jets in decades.
The influx of hardware begins with Russia, which is trying to increase its influence again in the Mideast.
Moscow’s decision last month to provide Lebanon with 10 MiG-29 fighter jets comes at a sensitive time, with Israel just out of its second major armed confrontation in two years against neighboring militant groups. 
Entity count (in the order they appear): Paragraph 1 - Israel, Hamas, Gaza, this tiny country, Israel’s north; Paragraph 2 - Russia, Mideast; Paragraph 3 - Moscow’s decision, Lebanon, Israel, militant groups.
That aside, the above analysis seems reasonable. The “militant” modifier is always troublesome (e.g, armed-to-the-teeth Israelis may have to be quite militant themselves, as they invade Gaza, demolishing homes and orchards while battling those ”militant groups”). But the “influence” part is fair: maybe Russia needs trade and wants political or militaristic “influence.” After all, Russia is a warfare state, just like Israel and the rest. And the Lebanese-Russian deal might just be a major strategic concern for Israel. So, ultimately, it’s fine that the editor wants to provide some corollary context along those lines.
The question is this: why do it all in the first three paragraphs, to the exclusion of the subject in the headline? There is the whole rest of the report for that type of editorializing.
I see people struggling to make ends meet, to upgrade, to modernize, to get with it, to pay their mortgage and to put their kids through college; feeling squeezed and trapped and trying to protect what little life they believe to be in control of. They try to avoid discomfort for it may shine a light on the negative aspects of life.
Some would say that we are led by some of a faulty ‘moral compass’, I view it more as ’sociological engineering’. Where the idea of freedom has been implanted using keywords such as ‘crime’, ‘punishment’, ‘accountable’ and justice to make the rest ‘tow-the-line’; while using others like ’success’, ‘intelligence’, ‘happiness’ and ‘love’ to convey the standard to avoid the first. Mix it all together with basic survival instinct and competition, et voila; ‘it’s every man for himself’.
more - Sylvain Lamoureux via CJO's Avenger 212
North Toward Home
HOPKINS VILLAGE, BELIZE -- I watched Obama's inaugural speech over a plate of rice, beans and tortillas eaten with my fingers, in a thatch roofed joint in Belize. Which is organic and ethnic as hell, but I'd be the first to admit that a bucket of hot wings and a cold sixer would have been far preferable to this slob. And right along with the Garifunas, Mestizos and Creoles there watching Obama, I had my choked up moments. After all, I'm still an American -- albeit a reluctant one, and (despite the opinions of a couple of ex-wives) a human being.
But unlike most of the other villagers present, I also understood that I was watching a $40 million media production in which the highly paid meat puppets at the microphones spoke in a continuous tape loop … lip synching the lyrics of the national sing along, pointing out for the thousandth time that our new president is black, and going into detail about such things as Obama and Biden stepping out of their limos simultaneously. Wow! For the most part it was the Rose Bowl Parade, but with a speech and a dance party replacing the football game.Obama, like any president, was fully aware he had to speak to all the people, not to mention the rest of the world, and his speech was about as good as it gets in that respect, with its necessary crimes of omission, such as mention of our longstanding global criminality both military and financial, and their remedy. But let's face it, the subject of war reparations to Iraqi families is not a good opener for a guy about to pour most a trillion somolians into the pockets of the financial masters of failed American capitalism in order to buy a couple of years of public goodwill, so that he may (hopefully) accomplish something more substantial. For instance, he could provide free bread, water and toilet paper for every homeless street person. Don't laugh. No American is guaranteed even that.
more - Joe Bageant
The Perfect Survival Food
Pinto beans have been a stable food for many southerners for decades. I remember going to my grandmother’s house as a child, the smell of fresh pinto beans and cornbread filled the air. My grandparents where poor as church mice yet pinto beans and cornbread where always on the table no matter their poverty.
Pinto beans kept many families from starving during the depression of the 1930’s. Cornbread and beans were always there regardless of their impoverishment. If you have a supply of pinto beans you’ll never hunger. They are important in the diet, and easy on the budget, allowing the survivor to stock up with hundreds of pounds, with little cash. Many consider the pinto bean to be the perfect survival food.
more - The Survivalist Blog
Firm of Bush's Ex-Treasury Secretary Owns Chrysler
One reason the Bush & Obama Administration's Treasury Department may have been interested in recently bailing out the Big Three automobile corporations with a big corporate welfare grant is that the chairman of the board of the private investment firm that owns Chrysler--Cerberus Capital Management--is John W. Snow.
Coincidentally, between January 2003 and July 2006 Cerberus Capital Management Chairman of the Board Snow was the Bush Administration's Secretary of the Treasury.
If you check out the Ford Foundation website, you’ll notice that sitting on the Ford Foundation board of trustees are Goldman Sachs Senior Director Robert Kaplan, former Carlyle Asset Management Group CEO Afsaneh Beschloss and former Morgan Stanley Senior Advisor Peter Nadosy. Yet the Economic Policy Institute [EPI] has apparently been accepting large amounts of money from the Wall Street-linked Ford Foundation at the same time it claims to be “a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that seeks to broaden the public debate about strategies to achieve a prosperous and fair economy,” on its website.
Billionaire Wall Street Speculator George Soros’s Open Society Institute also has apparently invested a lot of money in the EPI think-tank. According to EPI’s Form 990 filing for 2006, Soros’ Open Society Institute, for example, has contributed over $1 million to the EPI.
more - Bob Feldman
What should you do if you find an Atheist?
This is an actual flier being given out to kids… (or maybe it’s just a joke… in this country? Who knows…)
“Tell a parent or pastor, RIGHT AWAY!” “Atheists… will LASH OUT AT CHILDREN…”
- The symbol for Ecology was created by Euripides; it was a simple circle with a single horizontal line through the middle. In this version of that idea the world is portrayed in two extremes: in the upper portion of the painting the world seems almost idyllic; proportional; and livable with breathing room, clean water, and real possibilities without apparent limits.
- In the lower half, concealed from what we think of as our opportunities; we can see what we have made of that bright vision of that fantasy world above. Pollution, oil pumps, the roots of the world amid the chaos of our failures and the trash we so abundantly produce in mega-volumes. That is what we have allowed 'the developed world' to become: A world composed of "NO" and "DON'T" and "STOP." It is a world without light or grace or freedom of any kind. It is the underbelly of unchecked capitalism as we practice it and as we worship the material- philosophy with an incessant and nearly religious 'consumerism.'
more - Jim Kirwan