Evening Blues Preview 2-18-15
This evening's music features Chicago bluesman and slide guitar wizard Tampa Red.
Here are a few stories from tonight's post:
Folks here might want to click the link and read the full article:
The announcement by the Obama administration that it will seek congressional authorization to expand the war on ISIS in Syria and possibly send more heavy weapons to its client government in Ukraine did not generate the kind of muscular opposition and sense of urgency that one would expect from the anti-interventionist liberals and significant sectors of what use to be the anti-imperialist and anti-war left.
Outside of a few articles written by some of us confined to the marginalized and shrinking left, the reports that the administration was considering both of these courses of action were met with passing indifference. It is as if the capitalist oligarchy’s strategy of permanent war has been accepted as a fait-accompi by the general public and even significant numbers of the left.
The fact that the U.S. President could launch military attacks in Syria, supposedly a sovereign state and member of the United Nations, for six months without any legal justification and not face fierce criticism in the U.S. and internationally demonstrates the embrace of lawlessness that characterizes the current epoch of Western imperialist domination.
And the acquiescence of much of the left in the U.S. and Europe on the issue of Syria and the U.S. supported coup in Ukraine reveals the moderating and accommodating forces within the faux left that attempts to bully and intimidate anti-imperialist critics. ...
However, the current ideological environment did not evolve by accident or by the particular confluence of historical events. The disappearance of anti-imperialism among the cosmopolitan left in the U.S. and Western Europe is reflective of a monumental ideological accomplishment by the propagandists of empire. The professional propagandists of empire and Western dominance were able to adroitly “introject” into the center of the radical world-view and consciousness a liberal ideological framework that privileged “anti-authoritarianism" over "anti-imperialism."
The political consequence of this shift in consciousness has been disastrous for oppositional left politics throughout the West but particularly in the U.S. As the U.S. increasingly turned to lawless violence to advance its interests over the last seven years of the presidency of Barack Obama, “leftists” in the U.S. objectively aligned themselves with the US/EU/NATO axis of domination through their silence or outright support in the name of opposing authoritarian regimes.
Given the stellar US record of vetting "moderates," I can't even begin to imagine what could possibly go wrong with this scheme:
While the US plans to create a massive new “moderate rebel force” to fight against both ISIS and the Syrian government have been in place for awhile, the level to which they’ll go to prop up those rebels seems to be growing dramatically.
The latest half-baked scheme, reported by the Wall Street Journal, is to give this yet-to-be-created rebel faction the ability to directly call in US airstrikes against targets of their choosing.
The US intends to provide every cell of 4-6 rebel fighters with a pickup truck that will include a mounted machine gun and a GPS system within, through which they can radio in targets to be attacked by US warplanes.
Public schools are outperforming charter schools in Minnesota, in some cases "dramatically," according to a new analysis by the state's Star-Tribune newspaper.
In addition, many charter schools fail to adequately support minority students, close examination of the data revealed.
Journalist Kim McGuire looked at 128 of the state's 157 charter schools and found "that the gulf between the academic success of its white and minority students widened at nearly two-thirds of those schools last year. Slightly more than half of charter schools students were proficient in reading, dramatically worse than traditional public schools, where 72 percent were proficient."
Between 2011 and 2014, McGuire reported, 20 charter schools failed to meet the state’s expectations for academic growth each year, "signaling that some of Minnesota’s most vulnerable students had stagnated academically."
Charlene Briner, the Minnesota Department of Education’s chief of staff, told the newspaper that she was troubled by the information, "which runs counter to 'the public narrative' that charter schools are generally superior to public schools."
Canadian environmental organizations could pose a potential threat to national security and are attempting to make the fossil fuel industry look bad.
Such was the assessment of what the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) referred to as the "anti-petroleum movement" in a document dated Jan. 24, 2014, and titled Critical Infrastructure Intelligence Assessment.
The existence of the document, obtained by Greenpeace, was revealed by the Globe and Mail on Tuesday and by French language newspaper LaPresse last week. Common Dreams saw a copy of the document Tuesday. ...
The RCMP document says there is a "small but violent-prone faction" of environmental groups, and that criminal actions that target the nation's fossil fuel industry, including the tar sands industry, "represent a credible threat to the health and safety of the workers, the general public, the activists, the natural environment and the facility's operations."
As Keith Stewart, climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada, writes at his organization's blog, "the RCMP document treats climate change as a hoax perpetrated by environmentalists."