Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Peace Is Not An Option (In A For-Profit World)

Peace Is Not An Option 
(In A For-Profit World)
by C.A. Matthews

I'm fighting a war for peace. --John Lennon

I'm always amazed at how short human memory can be. Dozens of progressive pundits and journalists such as Lee Camp and Jimmy Dore immediately noted the similarities in our pattern of action. Heck, even Tucker Carlson of the Fox News channel and Libertarian-Republican Sen. Rand Paul labeled it as a "false flag" event. When both the left and the right agree on something, you know there's gotta be some truth in it.

Here's the pattern--Step one: Plant a false flag, a fake shocking/horrific image planted into the minds of the American public. The recent go-to false flag seems to be gas/chemical attacks against civilians (particularly children). Step two: Parade this false flag on all mainstream media outlets over and over again, burning the horrible image into said public's mind. Step three: Have the president say the US government is justified in dropping bombs and starting a war against said country for said heinous crime.

Mission accomplished! We are now at war with another country and its allies, and we can drop bomb after bomb, missile after missile, and then add a little drone warfare and/or physical invasion until we get our oil access--I mean, we have saved the innocent gassed civilians (or "incubator babies killed by Saddam Hussein") from their evil, despotic regime.

The name of the country and president can change from the George Bushes in Iraq/Kuwait to Barrack Obama in Afghanistan/Yemen to Donald Trump in Syria. The names of the presidents and countries are immaterial. Our heroes of the American Military Machine are always ready to come to the rescue of "democracy" and install a puppet-dictator government loyal to us "friendly, democracy-loving" Americans. Huzzah!

If both right and left-wing journalists and politicians haven't caught on to this

pattern of false flags, deceit and violence by now, they're probably dumber than a box of rocks, or (much more likely) they're making a mint of money from their Raytheon and Boeing stocks.

While there's no excuse for Trump's latest escapade in Syria, there was no excuse for the Bushes' or Obama's "feed the hungry military-industrial complex" actions, either. It's more of the same, and it's high time We the People spoke up and demanded those in authority put an end to this charade of making unethical excuses to bomb other countries for their resources.

Peace is not seen as an option in our for-profit world. Our nation's soul is bought for with the blood of innocents worldwide as well as the innocence of the American public duped into supporting these immoral excursions. These murderous lies generate trillions of dollars in profits for the robber barons of the International Military-Industrial Complex. Perpetual war makes the capitalistic economy go round and around and around until we're all dizzy from the sheer inhumanity of it all.

Is there anything We the People can do to shut down this all-consuming greed and senseless violence? Perhaps the only thing we can do is to get off the merry-go-round of our capitalist economy and shut it down entirely. We must make warfare unprofitable. 

How? We can use the tried and true methods of the BDS movement--boycott, divest and sanction. For instance, we can divest our savings from banks that deal with arms manufacturers and stop using fossil fuel-powered vehicles. We can ask for sanctions against countries that seem hell-bent on keeping the MIC alive and well, but that would be primarily the USA and its NATO allies. Would We the People be willing to suffer sanctions for the sins of our war-mongering leaders?

Of course, the bomb-building billionaires will find a way to keep their heads above water and their factories pumping out weapons of moderate and mass destruction (that actually exist). The one-percenters will convince their employees that it's the only way for workers to keep a roof over their families' heads and food in their stomachs. Haven't we seen enough of this scare tactic by the NRA? "Making guns creates jobs. More guns equals more wealth for the peasants. Who really cares about gun deaths, especially of the poor, persons of color, or uppity women and children? It's all about the money--uh, we mean freedom and the right to bear arms!"

Short of a massive spiritual revival and a return to clear-headed thinking in this country, the Military-Industrial Complex will continue to manufacture death and insist that it doesn't go stale sitting on a shelf in a warehouse. After all, weapons were meant to be used and not simply stockpiled. Thanks to our paid-off mainstream media outlets, ordinary Americans will continue to fall for false flag ruses to use these instruments of terror against other human beings for the sake of filling the one-percent terrorists' bank accounts with even more blood money.

Until We the People make the entire notion of war unprofitable and
unfashionable the fashion of the day will remain camouflage and khaki--or anything that hides blood stains. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a general in the US Army and leader of the Allied Forces in WWII, no less, warned us about the dangers of the military-industrial complex in his farewell address. It's high time we heed his words.
More insights and memes on the US strike on Syria--
Raytheon Stock Skyrockets with Tomahawk Airstrikes:

There's a Good Chance We're Being Lied to About the Chemical Attack in Syria:

From the Associated Press earlier in the year -- US has no evidence of Syrian use of Sarin gas, Mattis says:

Canadian journalist David Doel makes some very strong points on The Rational National--U.S. Makes Outrageous Claims Following Strike on Syria:

7 Questions About the Syria Airstrikes That Aren't Being Asked: https://ourfuture.org/20180416/7-questions-about-the-syria-airstrikes-that-arent-being-asked

Tim Black TV --Trump is Making Money for the Military Industrial Complex

Oil pipelines the world over are a source of conflict. Big Oil wants them, and it's not afraid to gas civilians to get them. Remember Standing Rock?


Trump tweet from August 30, 2013:  "The president must have Congressional approval before attacking Syria--big mistake if he does not!" 

Has the military-industrial complex convinced Trump otherwise and made him change his stance from  five years ago? What did they promise him in return?

"[Assad] may be a tyrant, but he's not an idiot. The US leaving his country is good for him, and a gas attack prevents the US exit," says Steve Cox.  Lee Camp points out the false flag  and the likely cover story mere days before the actual bombing of Syria in the following short video:

"Empathy doesn't pay very well." -- Lee Camp

Straight up facts about the Syria strikes with Lee and journalist Max Blumenthal.

From The Humanist Report-- In spite of what he said in 2013, Trump now says targeting civilians is a good thing:

And now, we take a hard look at the numbers behind our MIC...
Boondoggle and Bloodletting
by Coast Watcher

In November ten years ago the US Navy commissioned what it hoped was the first of fifty-five new Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), shallow-draft vessels specifically designed to fight in coastal waters such as those in the Arabian Gulf. Intended as a versatile all-singing, all-dancing warship, it turned out to be tone deaf with two left feet. Plagued by systemic failures, the program was cut to thirty-two hulls.

Of the eleven ships completed so far, the first four were relegated to undeployable training duties, others as test beds for new weapon systems – which have not made much progress. The whole program also resulted in a hot mess of problems arising from the deployment of personnel. To quote USNI News' Megan Eckstein:

Within each division, the first ship has a more experienced crew that is responsible for training and certifying the rest of the crews, and the other three ships are deployable assets. Due to this model, not only does the deployable ship have to be in the water and ready for operations, but so does the training ship.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) cited the LCS as an example of botched contracting, driving up costs unnecessarily. Shipbuilding politics and the need to protect a diversified industrial shipbuilding base are some of the main arguments as to why the program still exists. At the cost of $220 million each, the LCS has already cost over $2.42 billion. It's no wonder that the LCS class was nicknamed "Little Crappy Ship."

The Navy recently announced it may not deploy any LCS this year, citing "a confluence of maintenance availabilities." Last year they effectively admitted the LCS program is a bust when they issued a requirement for a new guided missile frigate.

So, what else could've been bought with that cash? To renovate or build a new high school averages around $110 million. That's two new or refurbished schools for the cost of just one of the eleven LCS delivered so far. A new hospital costs between $800 million and $1.3 billion. That's two major medical facilities for the equivalent cost of those eleven ships.

Instead of adding more war material to the general bloodletting going on in the Middle East, why doesn't the US government put the money toward building facilities that actually help the citizens it's there to serve? With a military machine already twice the size of all other national military forces in the world, it would hardly weaken the might of the United States to do so.

Related articles:






BIO: Coast Watcher is tallying the numbers, and they're not adding up. Our governments are spending time and wealth on endless wars for oil instead of helping human beings. It's time We the People speak out and stop the insanity. #NoMoreWar #HandsOffSyria

The Revolution Continues has set up an easy way to donate to the cause of keeping it ad-free. Three years without obnoxious ads (that many news sites have to cover costs) has been great, but the editor does have to pay for internet, electricity, etc. Any amount you can donate to keep this progressive site going without those awful ads is appreciated. Thank you.

You can donate via Paypal at http://paypal.me/camatthews

Power to the people and not the military-industrial complex!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

As The World Burns

As the world burns, the ghosts of what many hoped was our long dead past rear their ugly heads again. Coast Watcher gives us a historical comparison between a past and current regime that will turn your blood cold.

The Ghosts of Himmler and Heydrich
by Coast Watcher

Recently the Department of Homeland Security created a job posting seeking a contractor for a media monitoring services project. The job briefing entails the creation of a searchable database capable of handling the details of 290,000-plus news sources from all over the world. It would cover “traditional news sources as well as social media, identify any and all media coverage related to the Department of Homeland Security or a particular event.” 

Also: “Services shall provide media comparison tools, design and rebranding tools, communication tools, and the ability to identify top media influencers.” The database will also be capable of instantly translating media from 100 languages, including Chinese and Russian, into English. It should also be able to analyze the coverage’s “sentiment” and “momentum.”

The news spread and an immediate alarm went out among journalists, bloggers and media influencers. Any government monitoring of media, in whatever form it takes, hints that the ground is being prepared for a major crackdown on dissension. President Trump is notorious for being at loggerheads with the mainstream media. In one of his usual Twitter-fits of rhetoric, he once labeled journalists as the “enemy of the people.”

Some of the reactions to this revelation:

Maybe the Trump Homeland "Security" forces would like dissidents to wear monitoring bracelets and submit themselves for tattoos, too. ~ Dr. DaShanne Stokes
I have friends who have been prohibited from leaving their countries, exiled from their countries with their citizenship stripped, detained and questioned by authorities, tortured, and/or imprisoned for years because of their social media commentary. This is dangerous. ~ Leah McElrath

Needless to say the Establishment fired back with its usual tactic of denigrating and belittling opposition:

(Those suspicious of its purpose are) tin foil hat wearing, black helicopter conspiracy theorists. ~ Homeland Security press secretary Tyler Houlton
Houlton did not respond to queries as to what the agency intends to do with the information, but I think we can guess. Once again we can take a lesson from history, in particular the crushing of dissent in Nazi Germany.

Even before the Nazi government took power in 1933, the party was at work against those it deemed its enemies. Heinrich Himmler was appointed Reichsführer-SS and put in charge of security for the party and gathering intelligence against the Nazi Party’s prime rivals, the Bolshevist Movement and Social-Democrats. Himmler initiated a card index system to track and correlate the information gathered, a task later taken on by former German naval officer Reinhardt Heydrich who expanded the system.

The index was not intended purely for intelligence and the browbeating or blackmailing of opponents. It was directed toward the Nazi goal of Machtergreifung, the seizure of total power within the state. The indexes were used to draw up lists of the most dangerous enemies, differentiating between those who would be dealt with for good by imprisonment or execution after the assumption of power and those who could be frightened off, either into silence or exile.

History shows how the indexes came to be used. Information is power and the Nazi administration wielded it with ruthless efficiency. The SS was its

tool. It was answerable only to Hitler. Trump's stated aim to set up an intelligence service answerable only to him has obvious parallels for those with an eye to history.

Most people today will shrug and say the government of the United States has systematically gathered information about those who might harm it since the beginning of the Cold War. The FBI is rumored to have established a similar system of media watching during the 1960s comparable to the one begun by Homeland Security today. 

To those who say this gathering of information isn't harmful, I say don’t be so sure. With the power of the Internet, we’re seeing information gathering methods Himmler and Heydrich couldn’t have dreamed of in their wildest fantasies, but of which their ghosts would approve of wholeheartedly. 

Do we really want to return to an era where a dictatorial and genocidal regime can use technology to shut down opposition and dissent? Will there be anyone left who cares about our freedom of speech if the means to carry it out are all but eliminated?


Himmler – Peter Padfield, MJF Books, New York.

Homeland Security To Compile A Database of Journalists, Bloggers And Influencers:

BIO: Coast Watcher says some days can't tell if he's reading a history text or the morning headlines. Those who don't remember and learn from history are doomed to repeat it--especially the worst bits. His motto: Stay awake and keep learning!

More on the propaganda machine of the Mainstream Media (warning-- contains strong language):

 The Revolution Continues has set up an easy way to donate to the cause of keeping it ad-free. Three years without obnoxious ads (that many other sites have to cover costs) has been great, but the editor does have to pay for Internet, electricity, etc. Any amount you can donate to keep this progressive site going without those awful ads is appreciated. Thank you.

You can donate via Paypal at http://paypal.me/camatthews

Power to the people and not the corporations!


From the Color of Change:
By now, you’ve probably seen the video of dozens of local news anchors around the country reciting in unison a script parroting Trump’s war on the media, warning about “fake news.”1 The script is the brainchild of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, an ultra-conservative media corporation that owns almost 200 television stations that reach 40% of the U.S. population. 
If Trump’s FCC approves their plan to buy the Tribune Media Company, Sinclair will be able to pump their right-wing propaganda to over 72% of U.S. homes.2

Sinclair Broadcast Group has often been compared to Fox News, but Sinclair is much more dangerous. Unlike Fox News, where some people know the content is biased, Sinclair is forcing trusted local anchors to parrot Fox-type content that undermines trust in the rest of the media and promotes damaging stereotypes. And with 3 out of 4 U.S. adults regularly consuming local news, millions of people are unknowingly peppered with pro-Trump propaganda.3 But, just like Fox News, Sinclair Broadcast is vulnerable to pressure from their core advertisers. As we’ve done so many times in the past - like with Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly - we can hold advertisers accountable for funding Sinclair’s pro-Trump propaganda.

While Sinclair claims they’re focused on “fair and objective reporting," their close relationship to the Trump administration, and unquestioning repetition of Trump talking points proves this to be false.4 According to Senior Advisor (and Trump son-in-law) Jared Kushner, Sinclair media outlets were given increased access to the Trump presidential campaign in exchange for Sinclair stations broadcasting Trump interviews without critical commentary.5 Boris Epshteyn, a former high-level member of the Trump administration who wrote the infamous Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that failed to mention Jewish people who died in the Holocaust, was hired by Sinclair shortly after his departure from the White House and is now their Chief Political Analyst.6 His “Bottom Line with Boris” segments are “must runs” and required to be aired on Sinclair stations 9 times per week.7 Epshteyn’s commentary is often nothing more than just a parroting of White House talking points, including harmful rhetoric that minimized the level of hatred and violence committed by white supremacists in Charlottesville last summer.8
The Sinclair threat goes beyond spreading pro-Trump propaganda. When news outlets lack accountability, they let down Black people with racially biased coverage and damaging stereotypes. We know from our report “A Dangerous Distortion of Our Families: Representations of Families, by Race, in News and Opinion Media,” that Black families are erroneously over-represented as lacking stability and more likely to be on welfare.9 These harmful depictions of Black families in the news media influence perceptions of Black communities and can dictate policy. Inaccurate and damaging portrayals of Black families gives false support to Trump administration policies that actively oppress Black people and communities such as increased policing in schools and communities, further demonizing of Black immigrants, and more cuts to social safety net programs.

Tell advertisers to stop supporting the spread of pro-Trump propaganda. 

Local news stations are often seen as neutral reporters, but the reality is that they are owned and run by major corporations like Sinclair Broadcast Group. Sinclair shouldn’t get to exploit our trust in local journalists and use that trust to promote propaganda from an illegitimate presidential administration. Even though Sinclair is a major media company, they rely on local advertisers for much of their revenue. Because of the intimate connection local advertisers have with their communities, our voices are much more likely to be heard by them. And we’ve already seen this in action with Democratic Congressional candidate Amy McGrath removing her ads from all Sinclair owned TV stations in her district.10
In an election year, political ads like the ones Amy McGrath pulled will be crucial to Sinclair’s bottom line. If we put pressure on other local candidates and corporate advertisers we can create a mass exodus of Sinclair advertisers and force them to abandon Trump’s propaganda.

Local news stations should not be propaganda hubs. Tell advertisers to cut ties with Sinclair Broadcast Group.
Until justice is real, 

--Arisha, Rashad, Brandi, Jade, Johnny, Future, Corina, Chad, Mary, Angela, Saréya, Eesha, and the rest of the Color Of Change team


  1. "How America's Largest Local TV Owner Turned Its News Anchors Into Soldiers In Trump's War On The Media", The Concourse, 31 March 2018 https://act.colorofchange.org/go/33245?t=9&akid=10462%2E3399430%2E3_7Ck0
  2. "Tribune Media shareholders vote in favor of merger with Sinclair Broadcast Group", LA Times, 19 October 2017 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/33246?t=11&akid=10462%2E3399430%2E3_7Ck0
  3. "How Americans Get TV News At Home", Pew Research Center Journalism and Media, 11 October 2013 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/4644?t=13&akid=10462%2E3399430%2E3_7Ck0
  4. "Sinclair defends itself over uproar after local news anchors read anti-'false news' screed", USA Today, 2 April 2018 https://act.colorofchange.org/go/33247?t=15&akid=10462%2E3399430%2E3_7Ck0
  5. "Kushner: We struck deal with Sinclair for straighter coverage", Politico, 16 December 2016 https://act.colorofchange.org/go/33248?t=17&akid=10462%2E3399430%2E3_7Ck0
  6. "White House aide Epshteyn wrote controversial Holocaust memorial statement", Politico, 30 January 2017 https://act.colorofchange.org/go/33249?t=19&akid=10462%2E3399430%2E3_7Ck0
  7. "Sinclair increases 'must-run' Boris Epshteyn segments", Politico, 10 July 2017 https://act.colorofchange.org/go/33250?t=21&akid=10462%2E3399430%2E3_7Ck0
  8. "This is the pro-Trump propaganda being quietly broadcast on local stations across the country", ThinkProgress, 12 October 2017 https://act.colorofchange.org/go/33251?t=23&akid=10462%2E3399430%2E3_7Ck0
  9. "A Dangerous Distortion of Our Families: Representations of Families, by Race, in News and Media, Dr. Travis L. Dixon, December 2017 https://act.colorofchange.org/go/33252?t=25&akid=10462%2E3399430%2E3_7Ck0
  10. "Amy McGrath pulls ad from Sinclair-owned TV station in Lexington for 'fake news' message", Courier Journal, 3 April 2018 https://act.colorofchange.org/go/33253?t=27&akid=10462%2E3399430%2E3_7Ck0

Stop corporations from choking our oceans and waterways with single-use plastics!
What if I told you that every minute of every day, the equivalent of one garbage truck load of plastic is dumped into the sea? I imagine you’d be pretty shocked. Well, from straws to soda rings, our oceans are filling up like a landfill — and fast. We’re witnessing how these plastics choke or entangle species like seabirds, turtles, and whales, get into the food chain, and kill marine life. This has got to stop.

We can no longer tolerate this cycle of destruction for so-called "convenience.” You’ve already taken the first step C.A.. You signed our petition demanding that the CEOs of seven of the largest producers of single-use plastics come up with better designs and methods for the delivery of goods, and I thank you for that! But there is so much more to be done.

We need your help to get as many other people as possible to sign the petition as well. Would you please recruit at least seven friends or family members to add their voice to those who have already spoken up? It’s as easy as sharing this link.

You can help us achieve one million signatures by Earth Day, April 22. All of these actions will call for an end to corporate plastic pollution by convincing executives at Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, McDonald's, and others to replace their single-use plastic packaging.

The more people who join the campaign, the more likely we are to succeed.
Here's how you can spread the word:
For too long, corporations have been telling us that the responsibility for dealing with their waste lies solely with us, the consumers.

But what would happen if millions of us speak out? We could change that story!

That’s why we are building an international movement of people demanding that corporations take responsibility for the problem they’ve created by moving away from throwaway plastic.

I believe that 2018 is the year that things begin to change. I promise you, it’s the beginning of the end of single-use plastics.

Greenpeace has always been a people-powered organization. When enough of us join together, there’s nothing we can’t do.

For a plastic-free future,
Annie Leonard
Executive Director, Greenpeace USA

P.S. Such a campaign is a massive undertaking, and we’re grateful to have your help. Adding your name to the petition was a vital first step. Now I’m asking you to expand your commitment by recruiting friends and family members to add their names, too. Please share the link far and wide.


Tell Congress: Don't destroy America's largest national forest
The petition to Congress reads:
"The Tongass National Forest in Alaska is our largest national forest, home to some of the oldest trees in the United States, fragile ecosystems and protected species. Do not allow dangerous road building and old growth harvesting in the Tongass."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►

Tell Congress: Don't destroy America's largest national forest
Inside America's largest national forest, the trees are older than the United States itself, dating over 1000 years, but these ancient trees of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska could be all but decimated if Donald Trump, Republicans in Congress and the logging industry get their way.

For years, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski – who some have called the "#1 anti-public land lawmaker" – has been pushing to substantially increase old-growth timber harvesting in much of the Tongass' 17 million acres, which would jeopardize natural habitats, infringe on indigenous rights and put an entire ecosystem at risk.1

Senate Democrats recently defeated a provision snuck into a government funding bill that would have opened up the Tongass for more logging, but Sen. Murkowski is not done fighting for short-term industry profits over the health of Alaska's wilderness.2 We must act now to prevent future attacks on the Tongass and protect this important national forest.

Tell Congress: Don't destroy America's largest national forest. Click here to sign the petition.

Located in the southeast region of Alaska, the Tongass National Forest is a 500-mile archipelago, which encompasses the world's largest temperate rainforest and is "home to five species of Pacific salmon, humpback and orca whales, otters, beavers, Alexander Archipelago wolves, plus some of the largest concentrations of brown bears and bald eagles found in the United States."3 Its old-growth trees store vast amounts of carbon – an estimated 10-12 percent of all of America's national forests – and play a critical role as "Alaska’s first line of climate change defense."4,5 And local indigenous people, including the Tlingit and Haida, have lived in this region for centuries and rely on the forest's healthy natural resources for survival.6

Right now, the Tongass is protected by the "roadless rule," a critical moratorium enacted nearly two decades ago that blocks much-needed road building to access the millions of acres of old growth forests in the Tongass. For years, the logging industry and their Republican backers have attempted to repeal this critical rule but have been stymied in the courts, including by our allies at Earthjustice. Recent efforts could be given new life, especially with public lands foe Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke overseeing national forest regulations.7

It's only a matter of time before Sen. Murkowski and Senate Republicans again sneak poisonous provisions into future spending bills to destroy the Tongass. For years, Sen. Murkowski fought to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for fossil fuel extraction, and she recently succeeded when she snuck an ANWR drilling provision into last year's Trump Tax Scam.8 We can not let Republicans ruin one more fragile ecosystem to benefit another failing extractive industry.

Tell Congress: Don't destroy America's largest national forest. Click the link below to sign the petition:

Thanks for all you do.
Josh Nelson, Co-Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
  1. Jake Bullinger, "Lisa Murkowski, the #1 Anti-Public Land Lawmaker," Outside, Feb. 7, 2018.
  2. Earthjustice, "Earthjustice Statement on FY2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill," March 21, 2018.
  3. Libby Stortz, "Stop attacking the Tongass," Juneau Empire, March 14, 2018.
  4. Dominick A. DellaSala, "The Tongass Rainforest as Alaska’s First Line of Climate Change Defense and Importance to the Paris Climate Change Agreements," Forest Legacies.
  5. Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, "Alaska Indigenous Women to Senator Murkowski: End The Assault On Our Communities and Lands," HuffPost, Jan. 10, 2018.
  6. Krista Langlois, "Thanks to Trump, This Senator Finally Gets Her Chance to Decimate Alaska’s Environmental Protections," Mother Jones, March 11, 2018.
  7. Earthjustice, "Federal Courts Uphold Landmark Federal Forest Protections Again," Sept. 22, 2017.
  8. Graham Lee Brewer, "Alaska is open for drilling," High Country News, Jan. 6, 2018.