1960s Assassinations and the Deep State

On November 22, 1963, I sat in my 9th Grade classroom in Jefferson Davis Junior High School in Hampton, Virginia, when the school Principal announced over the public address system that President John Fitzgerald Kennedy had been murdered in Dallas, Texas. Classes were let out and we all went home to the weekend that no one alive at the time will ever forget.

I was too young to understand the forces that were at play that resulted in the murder of President Kennedy. Just a little more than a year before, those of us sitting in those seats had confronted our imminent death, as the Cuban Missile Crisis played itself out internationally, while we who lived in the cross hairs in the largest concentration of military facilities in eastern North America went home from school to a blood red sunset that we knew for certain was to be our last.

Since 1962, an entire old growth forest of technical reports and popular books have been written about that day, the days before it, the days that followed and the effect of that one event on the history of the United States and the world. The technical details are myriad, hard to understand, poorly explained. Government officials immediately declared Lee Harvey Oswald as the “lone assassin,” before the dust had settled at Dealy Plaza, before any semblance of due process was even attempted. Jack Ruby’s bullet forever ended the opportunity for an open trial to discover the how and why of this terrible tragedy.

The killings continued. Malcom X was murdered in 1965. Then, in quick succession in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. and John’s brother Robert Kennedy were brutally murdered by so-called “lone assassins.” In 1969, Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were shot repeatedly by 14 Chicago police officers as they lay sleeping in their apartment.

The world seemed tipped over into madness.

Decades have gone by, my knowledge and perceptions of government and politics, industry and economics have increased and deepened. I now know there was indeed a connection among those horrible events of the 60s that transformed John Kennedy’s vision of a world of peace into the permanent war footing of the military/corporate oligarchy that rules the United States today and exports violence and economic oppression throughout the world.

What did John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Malcom X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Fred Hampton and Mark Clark  have in common that made them all the targets of assassins within an astonishingly short period of six years? What was happening in the United States that triggered these insane killings, that forestalled any meaningful investigation and revelation of their geneses?

What these men had in common was their unwavering resistance to the growing power of the United States military (the Pentagon) and its corporate contractors, the illegal and immoral invasion and occupation of Vietnam, the burgeoning domestic security establishment (CIA, FBI, NSA, military intelligence), worldwide organized crime and the increasing influence of these forces in United States politics.

What happened to United States government policy after these men were murdered?

The United States government turned away from President Kennedy’s moves to pull out of Vietnam and work toward general disarmament in cooperation with Cuba and the Soviet Union. The Johnson administration accelerated the invasion and occupation of Vietnam and the expanded Pentagon budget. Pentagon contractors gained a windfall in government contracts for the manufacture of military equipment and supplies. The CIA and organized crime gained access to Southeast Asian drug sources and used them to fund further covert activities in other countries.

When the United States military was defeated in 1975 and forced to flee Vietnam, the “War on Drugs” replaced the War against Communism. At the same time the CIA and organized crime were actively engaged in building up illicit drug availability in the United States, as a source of continuing funding for covert CIA activities and for the pacification (a military term) of poor urban minorities.

The security establishment treated the United States internally as it had treated foreign governments that were uncooperative to United States “interests,” through  manipulation, disruption and destabilization of the opposition. The CIA used assassination, disinformation and cover stories; the FBI used COINTEL-PRO programs, as well as outright murder, to disrupt and marginalize opposition members and groups who became “too effective.”

Cui bono? Just look at the world of January 20, 2016 compared to the world of November 21, 1963. In 1963, the Kennedy administration presided over a culture of optimism and hope for a future free from war, from the drain of military spending on social support for those most in need. United States science stood on the threshold of space, boldly going where none had gone before. Though still in struggle, human rights were at the forefront, with African Americans and Native Americans awakening to the possibility of a future of political and economic equality after centuries of oppression. The world was bright with promise.

Today, in 2016, social support systems and public infrastructure are crumbling as United States imperialism increasingly draws public money into the black hole of the Pentagon. The CIA has become a rogue agency, engaged in uncontrolled kidnapping, torture and assassinations. Local and state police forces are increasingly militarized and turned against the people, treating the very citizens they are dedicated to protect as guilty before proven innocent. A police culture of oppression and defensiveness has replaced the friendly policeman on the community corner. Fears of Global Warming have replaced concerns for conservation of critical habitat, as environments around us decline and degrade.

I live in a much poorer world today than I did in the 9th Grade. Quality of life for many has declined, not improved. A tiny minority are unfathomably rich and powerful while a growing majority sink into poverty and despair. This is not the world we dreamed of while listening to President Kennedy’s speeches.

Cui bono? and cui amittit? Who is in control now? Who benefits from the world the way it is today? Who loses and why and how?

How did those in control of the events of the 1960s effect our lives today? Who are the heirs of power today?

Most importantly, what can we do about it now?

Reducing the Titanic Passenger List

Population growth and per capita resource consumption are the twin swords of human impact on the natural world.

At 7 billion and counting, Homo sapiens has drastically overshot the carrying capacity of the Earth, even in areas where per capita resource consumption is low. There is no place on Earth that has not felt the destructive impact of human activity. Where humans live in poverty, the land is stripped bare for fuel and food. Where humans live in profligate excess, the map of destruction extends world-wide, feeding never-ending demands for more and more of more and more.

Ironically, population is the one factor that humans can most easily control. If there is one common thread that anthropologists have discovered in human societies throughout the world, it is that family size and reproduction rates are a function of local economy, social position of women and availability of food. When social conditions create a stable environment for families, increased social status and autonomy for women and access to sufficient food and energy, birth rates decline, since large families are not seen as necessary for survival.

However, even in developed countries, social conditions can increase birth rates, despite better conditions for women, where economic incentives exist for large families, where religions discourage effective birth control and family planning, and where social values favor families over non-breeders. Developed countries also have the highest rates of resource consumption, providing double edges for the twin swords of human destruction.

To further enhance population growth, the medical intervention industry has fostered the attitude that all humans born must live to maturity, regardless of congenital medical conditions complicating their lives and the society in which they live. 

Those who in the recent past would have died in infancy, childhood or early adulthood now live to become reproducing adults, thus passing on their genetic diseases to future generations, and increasing population by lowering death rates.

The result is that we have allowed human population to outstrip resource supplies necessary for all life on the planet, and we have further magnified the problem with a corporate capitalist economy that produces material goods for profit at a rate far greater than that required for human use. We have created human societies that consume resources hundreds of times faster than they are naturally replenished, and we produce wastes hundreds of times faster than natural processes can assimilate them. 

It doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out that this is a formula for environmental disaster, coming soon to an ecosystem near each and every one of us.

Coming Next: Consuming ourselves to death.

Radical Environmentalists

We environmentalists have rarely been highly regarded by mainstream America, especially by those who profess to mold public opinion and political discourse. We get in the way of “progress,” whatever that is, and complicate and delay development projects with inconvenient discoveries of endangered species, critical habitats and other impediments to the free flow of commerce. When we can’t be ignored, we are vilified, excoriated and otherwise marginalized, accused of heinous tonsorial practices, dumpster diving and offensive body odor. 

Lately, over the past five years or so, opponents of environmentalism have stepped up the ante at the table of public opinion. There is now an orchestrated effort to discredit environmentalists and environmentalism by calling us “radical environmentalists” and associating this appellation with “ecoterrorism.”
The right-wing, free-market, property rights web sites and blogs are replete with articles about radical environmentalism. Many such authors speak of environmentalism in religious terms, branding us as irrational religious believers, fundamentalist proponents of animal rights, vegetarianism and deep misanthropism. Most decry the Deep Ecology perspective that humans are but one species among many and, as such, have no inherent right to habitat and natural resources at the expense of other species.
It doesn’t do us or the biosphere any good to back away from Deep Ecology and claim that our environmentalism is for human benefit, as most of the Big Green organizations now claim. We seek to preserve wilderness not for future generations but for itself, for habitat preservation and protection of maximum biodiversity. This benefits the human species only as it benefits all species on Earth.
Economic arguments in defense of environmentalism have become tainted with the specter of socialism and Marxism, discredited by the collapse of the Soviet Union and further sullied by the inept bungling of latter-day socialists. Still, much of the cause of our modern environmental ills lie at the feet of our dominant economic system. Regardless of how individuals act within any economic system, it is the means and the mode of production that provide the incentives and limits to individual economic activity.
In any sense of the overused words, capitalism is unsustainable, because it is based on the private ownership of finite natural resources, which are the natural legacy of all life, not just those whose position in human society give them preferred access to those resources. It is capitalism that is threatened by environmentalism and it is capitalism that is fighting back to preserve its preferred way of life.
Simply put, there are too many human beings on this planet, consuming too many resources, individually and collectively, in a political and economic system that rewards production and consumption. Our societies do not embrace protection of non-human habitat in their social organizations. Local and regional governments do not have departments that are tasked with speaking for habitat and biodiversity preservation as a factor in community planning. In human societies, community is defined only in human terms.
It is up to us as environmentalists to speak for non-human species that have no voice in human society. It is not our job to collaborate in the development of critical habitat for the web of life, nor to apologize for our world view that embraces and defends non-human life.
If that is radical, then so be it. Let’s wear our “Radical” badges proudly and defend our “Radical” position at every opportunity. 

Energy Trumps Economy

In this article: The Future of Capitalism – Profits and Growth George Mobus describes, in systems language, why continued growth is impossible in a world of finite resources, that is, our world.

It seems logical and self-evident, but in a world dominated by the totalitarian philosophy of capitalism, that logic gets washed away in a barrage of propaganda, advertising and sleight of mouth. Consumerism is the norm, the expected reality. Any attempt to point out the illogic of unlimited consumerism is met with disbelief and open hostility.

One would think that Peak Oil and Climate Change (aka, Global Warming) would bring a note of reality to popular awareness. But the Capitalism propaganda machine is incredibly efficient at gobbling up realities and shitting false promises. Peak Oil is discredited with promises of Tar Sands, Oil Shale and deep ocean oil discoveries, ignoring the rapidly increasing energy costs of these marginal sources. The realities of climate change are obfuscated with the imposition quasi-scientific governmental organizations such as the IPCC, who fix the data around politically determined policy.

The public lack of understanding of the science and reality of global and cosmic energy and their effects on energy availability here on Earth, results in a political inability to come to turns with societal profligacy and waste. Mobus points out an important distinction between efficiency and waste. Efficiency is the reduction in the loss of energy in the process of conversion from source to useable work. Waste is the depletion of energy without producing useable work. We can eliminate waste with no effect on our physical environment. Efficiency has a steep diminishing return result: we are rapidly approaching the limits of efficiency in conversion of fossil fuels into useable energy.

Despite their promise, there is a limit to the amount of renewable energy that can be put to use for human consumption. Renewable sources have a much lower ratio of energy return on energy invested (EROEI), meaning we get less energy out of them for the same energy invested in their development. The result is that we are entering into a future with less energy available for human use than we have enjoyed in the past.

The upshot is that we must cut back somewhere, and that somewhere is growth. We no longer have the excess energy availabile to permit continued economic and consumption growth. We have two pathways open to us, one desirable, the other inevitable: a steady state society and economy, or decline and ultimate collapse.

Unless we can somehow take control over the political process and make these economic and physical realities a critical part of the political decision-making process, we will be very soon left with just the one future – economic decline and collapse.

Global Warming and Grasping at Socialist Straws

Anthropogenic Global Warming is being used by the Left as a hammer to bash capitalism in the name of Climate Justice. This is a grave mistake. The assumption is that rich countries have created Global Warming at the expense of poor countries, and, therefore, rich countries should stop Global Warming and recompense the poor countries suffering from its effects.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Climate Change is a natural phenomenon that has occurred since there was atmosphere on the Earth.

Is the average surface temperature increasing? Yes, as it has increased for the past 15,000 years since the beginning of the present interglacial.

How has that warming occurred in the past in the absence of human industrial activity?

Is the increase in average surface temperature of the past 240 years unusual in climatological history? No, not at all.

Most importantly, who benefits from the widespread impression that Global Warming is a threat to humans and human civilization? The Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, capitalists everywhere. “Green” technology is the new glowing hope of capitalism, built on a sham, supported by the IPCC whose head is deeply invested in green technology and carbon trading schemes.

The scientific community faces declines in funding due to the current recession. Grant funds are drying up. Departmental budgets are down. Administrators are demanding that researchers find new sources of grant funds. Who is offering grant funding? Those very same sources seeking to bolster the image of global warming. Researchers are forced to publish in professional journals feeling the pinch of recession. Pressure is brought to bear to encourage “positive” articles on global warming. Researchers must choose between publishing articles acceptable to professional journals or step outside the mainstream “consensus” cohort.

Yet, the science is still there, when it is not withheld from public examination, as is the case with the CRU data. Independent scientists, emeritus faculty and others whose livelihoods do not depend on kow-towing to the capitalist agenda, publish dissenting articles. Meanwhile, global capitalists lap dogs, such as the IPCC, cite such paragons of scientific acumen as Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund (with its capitalist partner Allianz) and dodgy data sources that, on close examination, cannot be verified.

Before we adopt Global Warming as the Socialist Big Stick, we would do well to examine all the research, and listen to the interpretations of all the scientists. Socialism may end up, once again, swinging in the chill winds of history.

An Opportunity for Anarchy

Obama Told Us To Speak Out, But Is He Listening?

“Something fundamental has been altered in American politics. Encouraged by Obama’s message of hope, agitated by darkening economic prospects, many people have thrown off sullen passivity and are trying to reclaim their role as citizens.” William Greider

As faith in the “traditional” government-military-industrial complex wanes in the face of the inevitable collapse of capitalism, citizens are growing restless with continued corruption, bribery, malfeasance and greed. The lapdogs of power attempt to defuse this populist movement, licking the boots of their corporate and government masters, attempting to shore up their crumbling sea walls of advertising.

Populist politics is fraught with opportunity and danger. Awakening the sleeping lion demands the ability to accommodate its teeth and claws. One must be careful to follow through on promises made in the heat of the campaign. Once awakened from a long nap, the lion is hungry.

The people of the United States have seen a vision and they are hungry for its actuality. We’ve always known that unbridled greed (capitalism) is inherently wrong, that we cannot continue to rape the earth without consequences, that economic growth is ultimately unsustainable. This is common sense that we all learned as children.

And now we have a young, dynamic leader and his beautiful young family reminding us that everything we thought we knew was really true, that we do not have to settle for base corruption in government, for a world dominated by greed. We don’t have to give up the natural world of trees, meadows, wild animals and unspoilt nature in order to live a full and meaningful life. Those stupid advertisements everyone loves to hate on TeeVee really are stupid and we really do hate them, because they’re all lies.

Now that we have a president who is willing to speak the truth to the people of the country he proposes to lead, the truth that we all know deep down inside, we are stepping forward and demanding that he hold true to his promises. It is time for our leader to run to catch up, for the people are moving.

This is anarchy: self-rule, rule by the people, democracy taken serious.