Thursday, September 20, 2012

Yes, I’m Voting Third Party

Yes, I’m Voting Third Party, No I’m Not Wasting My Vote

Yes, I would like to admit that this November, I will be voting third party. However, contrary to what many do or would like to believe, I am not wasting my vote.

When stating that you are going to vote third party, one is usually met with the typical dismissals that “you’re wasting your vote” and “there’s no chance in hell that they will win.” While my party of choice may not win, I realize that there is little difference between either candidate and that both will only make this country worse.

Obama has made a number of policy decisions during his first term that have strengthened the police state, expanded US militarism abroad, and aided the very bankers that have pillaged the country.

Concerning the police state, during his presidency, Obama has created a legal precedent that allows him (and future presidents) to assassinate US citizens as can be seen in the case of Anwar al-Awlaki. While Obama supporters will argue that al-Awlaki was a terrorist, the fact of the matter is that he had never actually committed a terrorist act. ABC News reported that “al-Awlaki was not the trigger-man in any of the 19 terror operations to which he is linked even though he did “[push] the attackers over the violent edge or [personally guided] them through operations.” Even if one may argue that pushing attackers over the edge or guiding them is being an accomplice, it still does not erase the fact that he was, legally speaking, still a US citizen at the time he was killed and that he his Sixth Amendment right was violated as he was not given a fair trial in a court of law.

However, that was only the tip of the iceberg. Last year, Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 which allows for the indefinite detention of US citizens. While the US Supreme Court ruled part of the bill unconstitutional, Obama still ignored the federal ban on indefinite detention. While the a federal judge ruled last week that that part of the NDAA was unconstitutional,  currently, "Judge Raymond Lohier of the Second Circuit granted an emergency stay on Forrest's ruling until September 28, when a three-judge panel will rule on a longer application to stay the ruling." Thus, the question as to whether or not the President has the power to indefinitely detain US citizens is far from over. This year he signed into law HR 347 which, while masqueraded as innocently rewriting a trespass law from 1971, “could be misused as part of a larger move by the Secret Service and others to suppress lawful protest by relegating it to particular locations at a public event.” Thus, under Obama the police state has become all the worse and in this aspect he is worse than even former President Bush.

Militarily, Obama increased the number of US troops in Afghanistan and had a false drawdown in Iraq as while the US military left, US contractors entered the fray. He entered Libya, after ignoring Congress, arguing that because the UN had given the green light, he didn’t need Congress to authorize the invasion of Libya. He also stated that there were no US troops in Libya when that was a complete and total lie. Now, in Syria, Obama is aiding the Syrian rebels, who are mainly composed of Al Qaeda members and foreign fighters whose goal it is to establish an Islamic state.

Economically, Obama has let banks that were involved in the mortgage crisis off the hook. While Obama should be praised for supporting women’s rights and LGBT rights, he has continued the militaristic foreign policy of his predecessor, aided the very banks that played a major role in creating the current financial crisis, and has created a police state on steroids.

Romney is not much better as his foreign policy views differ only slightly from Obama’s. He is actively pushing the US closer to war with Iran and has no problems with being Israel’s lapdog, backing an Israeli attack on Iran. Domestically, Romney supports the rich and corporations even more than Obama does and wants to wage class war on the poor and middle class. Despite his having ‘business’ experience, Romney’s budget plan is an utter joke and goes even farther than Ryan’s budget. He is in favor of keeping the police state apparatus that Bush bought into being and Obama has furthered. Thus, while there are differences between the Obama and Romney, they are quite few and far between.

While many may mock me and others for voting third party, we are not wasting our votes as democracy is about people voting for who they think the best person is to get into office, not who is the slickest PR campaign or who has the richest interest groups backing them. Voting for Obama or Romney and knowing that both of them don’t care about average Americans will only continue pushing the pendulum that is American politics, to either the Republicans or the Democrats, with there being no substantial change in how the system itself works and who it benefits and oppresses.

I don’t know about you, but this November, I’m voting with my conscience. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Interview with James Corbett

Syria, Alternative Media, and the Political Matrix: An Interview with James Corbett

This is a transcript of an email interview I had with James Corbett of Corbett Report. In it, we discuss the ongoing crisis in Syria, the role of the alternative media, and how people can break free from the current system of oppression.

Devon DB: What is your opinion of the ongoing crisis in Syria?

Mr. Corbett: The crisis in Syria can only be understood through the lens of what the mainstream Western media is leaving out of their reporting, namely the ongoing, on-the-record support of outside actors in arming, equipping, and training the so-called "opposition" that is currently waging a ground war against the Syrian government.

This help is coming in the form of equipment and tactical involvement from the US State Department and the CIA, arms and supplies from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, logistical support and operational bases in Turkey, and armed militants associated with Al Qaeda and other Wahabbi Sunni terror organizations from Libya, Iraq, and elsewhere. In this context, the constant demands of Clinton and other Western representatives for Russia to "stop arming Assad" can be seen as the hypocritical and deeply dishonest position that it is.

In fact, the entire conflict can only be understood when it is seen not as the spontaneous outgrowth of a popular internal resistance, as portrayed by the West, but as a foreign-funded and armed terrorist insurgency whose open terror campaign of car bombings, ethnic cleansings and other war crimes are consistently praised as heroic by the new "humanitarian interventionists" of the neoliberal imperialist set. Given what has taken place in Libya in recent days, those gung-ho interventionists who are currently praising the "Syrian freedom fighters" would be well-served to contemplate who it is they are helping to bring to power in Damascus.

Devon DB: Many in the alternative media are focusing on the actions of the rebels, while, some would say, ignoring the actions of the Assad regime. This usually results in one being accused of being a regime supporter. Why do you think that the focus is so much on the rebels rather than on the regime and how would you respond to such accusations as being a regime supporter?

Mr. Corbett: Selling war to the public has always involved portraying the issue as a clear-cut case of black and white, good and evil. Once the issue is framed in that way, anyone who opposes the war can be portrayed as a supporter of evil.  In every instance, the case for peace is effectively taken off the table by arguing that "if you're not for the war, you're supporting X," where X is the boogeyman du jour.

This has transitioned easily from the Bush era "axis of evil" and "war on terror" to the Obama era of "humanitarian intervention." The rhetoric and reasoning are virtually identical, but they have been transposed into a liberal-friendly context. This thinking necessarily begs the question of who gets to decide who to "help" and what groups will take over in the aftermath. I do not support Assad any more than I supported Gaddafi or Assad. But neither do I support Mugabe, or the Al Khalifa dyansty in Bahrain, or the House of Saud, or Netanyahu, or any of the other leaders of repressive regimes. Why is one leader demonized and the other feted? The answer is obvious.

So the question is whether refusing to support the bombing and military invasion of a foreign country is morally equivalent to supporting that government's leader. This comes down to the question of moral responsibility. As a Canadian citizen in Japan I have absolutely no control over what happens in Syria. I do have a say over what the Canadian government does, what actions it takes, and what its military does. When it lends its support to the bombardment of Libya, I become implicated in the deaths of those civilians who were killed in those strikes. So it is up to us to stop the violence, bloodshed and power grabs made by our leaders under the guise of "humanitarian intervention" as it is up to the people of Syria to deal with the Assad government however they can. This is the nature of moral responsibility.

Devon DB: In the alternative media, we have read and heard time again that the situation is Syria could lead to “a World War 3 scenario,” do you actually think that this is possible?

Mr. Corbett: If NATO were to roll into Damascus tomorrow with guns blazing, there would be military repercussions. Russia has face to save in the Syria situation as well as strategic interests to protect in the country, so it would not sit idly by while the country is taken over by a foreign military. This is precisely why there has been no direct military intervention by any outside military, nor is there likely to be barring some international outrage like a false flag event.

More worrying, perhaps, is the relentless, years-long campaign by Israel to drum up support for a military strike on Iran. Such an event is very much on the table, very much a possibility, and would almost inevitably draw Russia, China, and other military powers into armed conflict with the NATO powers, which very well could lead to a third world war scenario.

Devon DB: Switching gears now, how would you define alternative media and what do you think its purpose is?

Mr. Corbett: There are two types of alternative media. There is the establishment alternative media and the real alternative media. The establishment alternative media is usually funded (at least partially) by the big name foundations and NGOs with ties back to the usual cast of behind-the-scenes oligarchs. They will present differing views from the mainstream media, and often offer more balanced, thoughtful and contextual reports to their audience. When it comes to key paradigmatic issues like the necessity of R2P or the responsibility of Al Qaeda for 9/11, however, they will circle the wagons and defend the system.

The real alternative media is independent and grassroots, and is not funded by the NGOs or foundations. As a citizen journalist movement, it cannot be defined by any particular ideology or viewpoint; it is a representative of the population at large. Given this media landscape, it is tempting to portray the mainstream and establishment alternative media as inherently bad and the real alternative media as inherently good, but this is too simplistic.

The establishment media occasionally does good work and often reports true facts (with heavy amounts of spin and lies by omission). The establishment alternative media contains some of the best critiques of the prevailing mainstream opinion, even if those critiques are careful never to cross certain lines.

The real alternative media is completely unmuzzled, but it is also unfiltered. There will be brilliant examples of truly independent reporting and analysis, and there will be dreadful examples of unreasoned speculation. No one medium is inherently good, and it is up to all of us to do the (sometimes laborious) work of piecing together the truth from a myriad of sources, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, good points and blind spots.

Devon DB: What role would you say the Corbett Report plays in the overall alternative media scene?

Mr Corbett: The Corbett Report is nothing more nor less than my own attempt to fill in the context that is being left out of much of the so-called debate in the mainstream and establishment alternative media. Initially spurred on by the dreadful lack of contextualization of the events of 9/11 in the media, I have branched out my own investigation into economic, social, geopolitical, scientific and philosophical matters. Through my tendency to link back all of my factual statements to source documents, I hope to be in the process of creating a resource that will be valuable for those who are seeking to come to a better understanding of the world at large.

Devon DB: Why do you think more and more people seem to be turning to the alternative media?

Mr. Corbett: The internet has surpassed newspapers and is the process of eclipsing television as the main source for news and information for most people. This means necessarily that more people are turning to the types of alternative media outlets that can only be found on the web to keep them informed about the world. There are a number of technological and social factors that are playing into this transformation, but the number one issue has to be the public's growing awareness of the information controls that exist in the traditional media. With the internet, people are suddenly able to become their own editors, deciding what stories are important, what sources are reliable, and what pieces of information are worth pursuing.

Why would anyone relinquish the power that comes from this very liberating experience of the world of information back into the hands of a few corporations run by the same few rich, well-connected men who have a vested interest in keeping the current order the way it is? And now that social media and blogging are making the tools for creating media platforms accessible by nearly everyone on the planet, the very idea that "news" is something that is organized by some centralized company in New York or London or Tokyo is being overthrown. The end of the old media paradigm is already here, the newspaper, magazine and tv companies just don't know it yet.

Devon DB: In your podcasts and radio shows, you have used the term “global enslavement grid” or variations of it. What exactly do you mean by that term?

Mr Corbett: The global enslavement grid is an interlocking system of economic, social, political and psychological controls that have been put in place to direct society toward a planned future global government structure. Although it has existed in some form or other for centuries (and, presumably, millennia), its modern form can be traced back to the British eugenicists of the late 19th century and the Fabian socialists of the early 20th century. One can trace a line stretching from Francis Galton to Paul Ehrlich, going through such figures as H.G. Wells, Julian Huxley, Walter Lippmann, B.F. Skinner and Bertrand Russell, amongst others, who were all obsessed with the problem of how to create a well-ordered society through scientific methods. To one extent or another, they all wrestled with the question of society and how it is to be governed, as well as the possibility of using scientific methods to control the lower strata of society for the benefit of a ruling elite.

We see this coming to fruition in the creation of the modern surveillance society, where the centuries-old idea of the panopticon is being implemented at a societal level, and in the modern environmental movement, which has produced in many the conviction that humanity itself is a cancer and that the control (and eventual eradication) of humans is in itself a good thing. The history of the development of this enslavement grid and the ways that it operates is too large to encapsulate in short form like this, and it's difficult to do justice to an idea this expansive in so few words. Articulating the enslavement grid has been one of the primary goals of my website, which has so far produced thousands of hours of media and will hopefully be able to produce many thousands more, exploring this idea and its development, as well as fruitful forms of resistance for those who are opposed to this agenda.

Devon DB: How do you think people can unplug from this matrix that has been created by the elites and is fed to us on a daily basis?

Mr. Corbett: The most important thing people can do (and what I have come to believe is the only thing that people can do) is to realize that the power to change society truly rests with you. We tend to shunt off the big questions about "how to change the world" to the political arena, where we can support this or that political movement or put our hopes in this or that political candidate. This is part of the global enslavement grid itself. By constantly focusing on what is outside of us and waiting for a savior to come and put society back in order, we are ceding our power over our own lives to the very corporate-military-banking-governmental superstructure that is creating the global dictatorship that we are seeking to resist. Worse yet, we continue to support that very structure in the most straightforward way possible: by buying their products, shopping at their stores, banking at their banks, and voting for their politicians. How can we possibly presume to have any effect on changing the current course of society when we are still supporting the very corporations, businesses, governments and institutions that are behind it with our time, money, and energy on a day to day basis?

The only solution is to begin to create the alternative society that we want to live in. That means beginning the long, hard process of decoupling ourselves from the corporate/retail/banking system that we are born into and transitioning into a local, independent economy that bypasses that corporate structure altogether. There are thousands of ways to do this: growing your own food, buying what you need at local markets and independent retailers, participating in local alternative currency systems, supporting independent alternative media and detaching ourselves from the technology that is increasingly embedding us in this matrix. It is not an easy process, and in all likelihood it is a generational project. But it will not begin unless we take those first steps.

Devon DB is a 20 year old independent writer and researcher. He is studying political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He can be contacted at devondb[at]mail[dot]com.

James Corbett is an independent journalist who has been living and working in Japan since 2004. He has been writing and producing The Corbett Report, an online multi-media news and information source, since 2007.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

On Intellectualism

On Intellectuals and Their Duties in the 21st Century

“It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose lies.”
~Noam Chomsky [1]

Intellectuals have always played a major role in society, from the philosophers of old such Plato and Aristotle, who articulated thoughts about government, science, and biology, to modern intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky and Cornel West, who go about speaking truth to power and working toward informing and empowering average people. Yet the role of the intellectual has changed over time, and thus the time has arisen to reexamine and redefine the duties and responsibilities of the intellectual for this new century.

Before going into what the duties of intellectuals are, one must first define what an intellectual is. The tem intellectual can be defined as “a person who primarily uses intelligence in either a professional or an individual capacity.”[2] This application of intelligence can be for almost anything, but it is more popularly viewed as applying intelligence to social, economic, and political issues. Furthermore, the intellectual goes beyond focusing on newsworthy items and goes into the realm of theory, from thinking and formulating theory to articulating as to how that theory would potentially work in reality.

Currently, it seems that intellectuals are split into three camps: public, private, and dual intellectuals.

The public intellectual is usually a university professor who goes about researching, writing, and sharing their ideas in the public sphere via books, conferences, and being guests on radio and television shows. While this may seem to be a positive occurrence, much of this information remains in the realm of academia or academia-related areas with little of it becoming truly disseminated to the mainstream public. The books may be published and the conferences occur, but the only people who know about them are mainly people who are either in that field professionally or already have an interest in that area of study. Of the little information that does get disseminated on a mass scale, it is mainly done by well-known intellectuals such as Chris Hedges. Thus, there is currently a problem concerning public intellectuals where the information isn’t truly getting out to the people at large and because of this the majority of people are unaware of what new theories or discoveries are occurring and thus more vulnerable to misinformation and less likely to become active and involved in the current economic, social, or political situation.

The private intellectual is one who uses their intellect for the benefit of private groups, foundations, or individuals. One such example is Martin L. Leibowitz, the managing director of the Rockefeller Foundation. Leibowitz uses his intellect for the betterment of the Foundation by managing its assets and investments in order to make the most profit, thus allowing the Foundation to continue its work.

Dual intellectuals are members of the intelligentsia that have one foot in both worlds, occupying the space of a public intellectual and also being or having been a private intellectual. Arguably the most prominent dual intellectual in American politics today is Zbigniew Brzezinski. While he has been a professor at Harvard and Columbia and is currently employed by John H. Hopkins University, Brzezinski was also the co-founder of the Trilateral Commission, which concerns itself with increased cooperation among the United States, Europe, and Japan. Intellectuals such as these are arguably the most powerful as not only do they have the connections and power that comes from being in the private sector, but they also have major sway over the collective consciousness of a society. Dual intellectuals can make their ideas public, put them out into the mainstream society, and because they also have a background as a public intellectual, the public is much more willing to trust them as they see such people as experts.

There are further differences between intellectuals when one breaks them down into their relationship with the current political, economic, and social system. There are three types: loyalist, reformist, and radical.

Loyalist intellectuals are those who uphold and are in favor of perpetuating the current structures. Intellectuals such as these are often deeply embedded within the system and hold government posts or are in think tanks that are quite instrumental in forming policies, such as the Council on Foreign Relations and its relation with the US State Department. Once again, an example of a mainstream loyalist intellectual would be Zbigniew Brzezinski. He has a history of favoring the current global political and economic system, atop which the United States is perched, and wanting to preserve that system for as a long as possible. Intellectuals such as these are highly touted in their societies and may command great influence and respect among the society at large and are used by elites to formulate policies that continue the present state of affairs.

Reformist intellectuals support the overall system but would prefer to see certain reforms to the current system as to promote certain values of equality, justice, and human rights. University professors appear to make up a large percentage of reformist intellectuals. Reformist intellectuals are used by the elites to produce new generations of intellectuals that support the status quo and can be co-opted by elites to promote policies that are favorable to them.

Radical intellectuals find fault with the system and criticize it, often offering alternatives that would break down the current structure. Intellectuals of this type tend to be the most useful in terms of going beyond what is spoon-fed to the public by elite-owned media that ignore, distort, and in many cases outright lie about ongoing situations, both domestic and international, and getting to the heart of the matter by telling what the true reasons policies are chosen and exactly whose interests are served. Radical intellectuals are often among those few intellectuals that have a moral conscience and believe in wholly changing the system if not uprooting and replacing it entirely. While most radical intellectuals are in the fringes, some have gained mainstream attention such as Cornel West and Chris Hedges.

While there are three main sets of ideological stances in relation to the current societal structure, there is a subset of intellectuals in the radical circle: underground radicals. These are intellectuals that are radicals (sometimes even more so than the mainstream radicals), but have had little mainstream  fame. There are many current-day examples of these intellectuals such as Andrew Gavin Marshall and Allison Kilkenny. Underground radicals often harbor views that are outside the mainstream political system and have no trust whatsoever within the political elite to change society for the better. Such intellectuals are greatly needed as they are often independent voices, not tied to any organization or entity that would censor them and thus they are more likely to be committed to the truth.

While there are different types of intellectuals, they all have the same types of duties.

The intellectual first and foremost has a duty to themselves to be honest in their research and work, honesty being objectivity and avoiding distortion of facts. Objectivity plays a major role If one is going to espouse policy ideas that are contrary to the actual reality of the situation, no one is helped as the policy will be incorrect and potentially make a situation even worse. This is not to say that intellectuals cannot have any political or ideological leanings, but rather when conducting research or proposing policy, one should keep such things separate.

Empowering ordinary people should be the overall goal of the intellectual. On the local level, intellectuals should work with community organizations with the goal of addressing the problems of the community in a constructive manner. If it requires working with the state, so be it, but one must be aware that the problems that are in a town are best known and felt by those who reside within it, thus working with the local populace and local organizations should be at the center of any plan to quell problems within a community.

On the national level, the intellectual class should work much more to put its research and findings out to the general public, as this increase in information access may allow the general public to become aware of political theory and policy and will allow them to make more informed political decisions. The empowerment of people has a different role in the economic and sociological spheres. The economist should aid in the creation of policies that create economic wealth for the nation, but not at the expense of the many to the benefit of the few. Depending on the situation as well, the economist should also push for policies that would free the nation from dependence on external sources of income such as the IMF or the World Bank and rather support policies of internal economic development which will enrich the nation in the long-term. The sociologist should work to dispel myths and stereotypes of minority races/ethnicities and work to understand different cultures.

The intelligentsia must also combat old and outdated ideologies that hold people back. The current societal structure of the United States is such where it favors heterosexual gender-conforming upper-class white men. This system ostracizes and ignores those who do not fit into that narrow framework. Intellectually, the conversation is twisted and distorted with outright fabrications and myths continuing about Native Americans, blacks, and other minorities while white men are upheld as essentially the creators of modern society and other thinkers, activists, and the like that rebelled against the system are either ignored entirely or viciously distorted. Thus, it is up for the intellectuals to work with other organized groups to combat not only the historical distortions and omissions in the general historical narrative, but also the very system itself that favors one group of people over another.

The intellectual has a duty to the youth, specifically to the students in the classroom. Professors must go beyond the dull repetitiveness of the classroom, from having students memorize facts and figures, to doing serious critical analysis and having them apply the skills they are learning to current, real-world problems. Intellectuals should be willing and ready to go off the set curriculum and tell students about the true history of their area of study; they should willingly reveal such important and relevant information such as that the educational system itself comes from a drive by the elites for social control [3] that is still being used today.[4] Revealing the true nature of the study will allow students to be even more critical in their thinking of current problems in the field and will be more inclined to speak truth to power as they know the underpinnings of the current social structure and how it has and continues to effect the lives of ordinary people.

 Intellectuals need to allow themselves to be challenged by students and ordinary people. Currently, there is so much trust in the intellectual elite that any ordinary person who challenges them is dismissed as a fool and uninformed. Such thinking leads to the public trusting rather unscrupulous people such as dual loyalist intellectual Henry Kissinger, a wanted war criminal.[5] Allowing intellectuals to be challenged will create an opportunity that will allow people to be exposed to those who have differing opinions and alternative viewpoints. It can foster discussion among individuals and allow people to learn from one another and in this vain of expanding knowledge and being open-minded, intellectuals should welcome challenges and critiques of their work from alternative viewpoints.

Intellectuals should be willing to aid in peaceful revolutionary political activity that advocates the transformation of the current social, economic, and political structures as to break down oppression and work towards true freedom and equality for all peoples, no matter race, sex, gender identity, socio-economic background, sexual orientation or any other form of oppression that holds people back. Yet they must be careful in involving themselves in revolutions as they must be conscious of what they are doing as to ensure that they do not lead the revolution. The revolution cannot be led by the intellectual class, they can only guide it. Only the people can lead the revolution. However, this is not simply on the national level. We are living in a globalized society where revolutions against established elites have occurred all over the world [6] and grass-roots organizations have sprung up all over the world and are working together. A global revolution is occurring and, just as the protest groups are organizing and working together (to differing extents and success to be sure), intellectuals from all over the world should organize and work to think, research, and articulate a new system in which the current institutions of power and control are abolished and new systems that do not seek to dominate and oppress come into being.

The intellectual class has the responsibility to stand up for the people and against the systems of oppression for in doing this not only do they free others, but they also free themselves and allow the creation of a new world in which all peoples can be truly free. It is either that or aiding in the continuation of a system that oppresses, exploits, and controls the very many for the benefit of the very few. That is the choice intellectuals face in today’s world. Let us hope they make the right decision.


1: Noam Chomsky, “The Responsibility of Intellectuals,” Noam Chomsky, February 23, 1967 (
2: Wikipedia, Intellectual,
3: Andrew Gavin Marshall, “The Purpose of Education: Social Uplift or Social Control?” Andrew Gavin Marshall, April 8, 2012 (
4: James F. Tracy, “The Technocratization of Public Education,” Global Research, June 14, 2012 (
5: Christopher Reilly, “Henry Kissinger, Wanted Man,” Counterpunch, April 28, 2002 (
6: Andrew Gavin Marshall, “Welcome to the World Revolution in the Global Age of Rage,” Andrew Gavin Marshall, July 30, 2012 (

Devon DB is a 20 year old independent writer and researcher. He is studying political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He can be contacted at devondb[at]mail[dot]com.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Revolutionary Journal

I have started a podcast called Revolutionary Journal. Below This is the first episode of the podcast. This  will be a weekly podcast released on Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday. I am currently unable to give a precise day as I am quite busy. The website for the podcast can be seen here.


Devon DB- Global Research

Devon DB-

Devon DB- Foreign Policy Journal

Devon DB- What About Peace?

Email- Revolutionary Journal