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Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Climate Change

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted into the atmosphere and absorbed by the ocean may be invisible to the naked eye, but it is extraordinarily visible in its effect, as will be chronicled herein, and it shows up in the weirdest places.

Burning oil, gas, and coal spews tons upon tons upon tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, and similar to blowing up a balloon too much, the earth’s atmosphere can only hold so much before bad things start popping.

Are you sitting?

Imagine Baffin Bay in the Arctic Sea in the middle of winter, but ice is not able to thicken and form, like …

Elections 2014: Indian Democracy Fighting for its Life

The most common question being asked about the ongoing Indian elections is: Will Narendra Modi win? This in itself is strange, because India has a parliamentary, not presidential, system, and the usual question asked is: Which party will win? If the focus has shifted to an individual, it is worth asking why.

Modi has been a member from childhood of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which has a large number of affiliated organisations, popularly referred to as the Sangh Parivar (‘Sangh family’), which includes the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Its ideology is Hindu nationalism or “Hindutva”. According to …

Postcard from the End of America: Bensalem

When I told my friend, Anwar, of my plan to traverse Bensalem by foot, he laughed, “You can’t even walk there. There are no sidewalks!” Though this is not quite true, I did find myself mostly schlepping on edges of roads or people’s lawns. To not get splattered by SUVs, sometimes I had to hop puddles or even step in mud. Covering twenty miles over two days, the only other pedestrians I encountered was a Mexican immigrant, a few derelict types, perhaps homeless, and a well-tattooed teen couple with bad skin and wearing black T-shirts. Since I didn’t …

Voter Intimidation and Collective Punishment

Western Democracy at Work in Ukraine

Ukraine is in the throes of an imminent human rights crisis, as the red flags of oppression are visible to all objective observers that care to acknowledge the obvious. The near-death beating of Oleg Tsarev and the intimidation of Mikhail Dobkin, both Eastern Ukrainian presidential candidates, are proof, if any more were even needed, that the upcoming “elections” in Ukraine will be neither honest nor representative of the population at large. On top of that, the Kiev junta’s military operations against the pro-reform activists in the east accentuate the violent oppression that has become characteristic of EuroMaidan and its …

Military Occupation, Apartheid, and Torture

UN Report on Palestine

The outgoing Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard A. Falk, submitted in accordance with Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution 5/1 his last report on the dire conditions under which the Palestinian people have to live. Falk’s final presentation addresses Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the wall in the eyes of the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice, and considers Israel’s policies and practices in Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) in light of the prohibition on segregation and apartheid. It also addresses concern in relation …

Benghazi Mystery Explained!?!

Report from London links CIA Covert Op with Turkey, Syria

Answer offered by Seymour Hersh Gets Little Public Attention

“Benghazi” is one of those knee-jerk labels that right-wing folks slap on a story they don’t actually understand but have determined the “right” answer to anyway. It’s a hot button, not an argument, like the “IRS scandal,” which the right is finally beginning to admit it got wrong because it ignored the law as written. “Fast and Furious” is another of some two dozen, mostly less-well-known right-wing thought substitutes that aren’t supported by persuasive evidence (meanwhile, the scripted herd of Obama-haters pretty much remains silent about …

Profit from Crisis

Why capitalists do not want recovery, and what that means for America

Can it be true that capitalists prefer crisis over growth? On the face of it, the idea sounds silly. According to Economics 101, everyone loves growth, especially capitalists. Profit and growth go hand in hand. When capitalists profit, real investment rises and the economy thrives, and when the economy booms the profits of capitalists soar. Growth is the very lifeline of capitalists.

The Obscenity of War in a World of Need and Suffering

A study by professor Linda J. Blimes of Harvard University concludes that the cost to the US of the Iraq and Afghan wars, taken together, will be between $4 and $6 trillion. This includes long-term medical care and disability compensation for service members, veterans and families, military replenishment and social and economic costs. The cost so far is $2 trillion.

In order to get our head round the colossal figure of $6 trillion, this is equivalent to $75,000 for every household in the US. Deaths of Iraqis and Afghans taken together are estimated from 600,000 to a …

Raghead: Waltz With Bashar (Part IX)




Ralph Nader’s Autopsy of U.S. Democracy

In this era of “embedded” reporters (i.e., they’re in bed with the people whose conduct they’re supposed to be critically evaluating) it’s refreshing to come across a well-read, straight-talking U.S. patriot who refuses to equivocate about the crimes of corporate America and its servants in Washington. In Ralph Nader’s magnificent tome, Told You So: The Big Book of Weekly Columns (Seven Stories Press, 2013), we get none of the sound bites and moral posturing we are used to from pundits and politicians, just honest, hard-hitting analysis about everything that matters most, including a fascinating compendium of …

Past as Prologue: The Archetypal Hannibal Lecter

Homo sapiens and violence

Some 80,000 years ago, an early modern human (EMH) discarded the cracked femur bone of his last meal into the midden (refuse pile) just outside his rock shelter. It joined jawbones, smashed skulls, and other long bones which were pounded “with great force, using stone tools or rocks, apparently to extract the nutritious brain and marrow” states paleoanthropologist Christopher Stringer. The rock shelter had been in regular use for some time, as it was a prime location for both hunting game and for fishing in the nearby Indian Ocean. Protein was thus plentiful, which was well documented in the bones …

“We Are Not Beginning a New Cold War, We are Well into It”

Stephen Cohen on Russia-Ukraine Crisis

As negotiations over the crisis in Ukraine begin in Geneva, tension is rising in the Ukrainian east after security forces killed three pro-Russian protesters, wounded 13 and took 63 captive in the city of Mariupol. Ukrainian officials said the pro-Russian separatists had attempted to storm a military base. The killings came just after the unraveling of a Ukrainian operation to retake government buildings from pro-Russian separatists. Earlier today, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the authorities in Kiev of plunging the country into an “abyss” and refused to rule out sending forces into Ukraine. Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has …

Crucify Them! Lessons from Holy Week on Capital Punishment

Standing in a dimly lit Greek Orthodox Church this week with my mother, I was confronted with the icon of Christ crucified. As the life-size cross with a hand painted icon of Christ was solemnly carried by the priest around the Church, I, along with many in the Church, was overcome with grief. The faithful wept for the crucified one who is considered by over a billion humans to be God incarnate.

However, I did not weep for God. I wept for the “others.” The poor, the homeless, the people of color and minorities of all varieties and stripes, Women, …

What Do You Know about NATO’s Expansion? A Quiz

A recent poll conducted by three Ivy League professors found that one in six people in this country could locate Ukraine on a map, and that the greater the person’s geographic ignorance, the greater the support for U.S. military intervention.

One might hope that after ensuing wars based on lies, people might wake up and realize that U.S. military intervention normally produces very unpleasant results for all involved. Still, you have the warmongers, calling for NATO action, catering to their audiences and receiving warm receptions from cable news talking heads.

The latter require–and mercilessly exploit–ignorance, fear, ethnic prejudice, and a weird …

Nato’s Action Plan in Ukraine Is Right out of Dr Strangelove

US pushes to dominate the Eurasian landmass

I watched Dr Strangelove the other day. I have seen it perhaps a dozen times; it makes sense of senseless news. When Major TJ “King” Kong goes “toe to toe with the Rooskies” and flies his rogue B52 nuclear bomber to a target in Russia, it’s left to General “Buck” Turgidson to reassure the president. Strike first, says the general, and “you got no more than 10-20 million killed, tops”. President Merkin Muffley: “I will not go down in history as the greatest mass murderer since Adolf Hitler.” General Turgidson: “Perhaps it might be better, Mr President, if …

One Hundred Years of Solitude: The Death of Magic Realism

It is a sea change, the kind of transformation that the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter said was caused by “gales of creative destruction.” In his model, systems change when new ideas, products, and technologies bring about the destruction of the old.

Amazing, sitting at a Presbyterian Church in downtown Portland, as part of the Linus Pauling Memorial Lectures … “bringing to Oregon’s cultural community the leading-edge thinkers – the scholarly, intellectual explorers. These are the risk takers willing to challenge the currently accepted norms of how we understand ourselves and our role as participants in the universe. The annual series is …

Dear NATO: Are You Lying about Russia or Simply Incompetent?

On 14 April 2014 NATO issued a “fact sheet” titled, “Russia’s Accusations – setting the record straight.” In the course of setting the record straight, the NATO fact sheet made the following false assertion: “Russian officials claim that US and German officials promised in 1990 that NATO would not expand into Eastern and Central Europe, build military infrastructure near Russia’s borders or permanently deploy troops there.”

No such pledge was made, and no evidence to back up Russia’s claims has ever been produced.” (My emphasis.)

We know that this assertion by NATO is false, thanks to a 26 November 2009 article

Deceptive Gyrations: Rebasing the Growth of the Nigerian Economy

Statistics are the magic, and the manna, of the economist. They are less reliable than weather forecasts; the meteorologist has a better chance of forecasting rainfall than an economist of forecasting economic growth. Things get even more testy over the issue of Gross Domestic Product, that great calculator of a nation’s economic output. The proof, in this case, lies outside the pudding, rather than in it.

A suitable illustration of this statistical gazing comes in the form of assessing Nigerian economic performance. For one, the recent rebasing of its performance seemed to take other countries in the …

The Signing of the Palestinian Spring

At the low point of the farcical ‘peace’ process stalemate, President Mahmoud Abbas signed, on Tuesday 1st April 2014, letters of accession to 15 multilateral treaties and conventions, (a right gained following Palestine’s upgrade to Observer State status by the UN General Assembly back in November 2012) in defiance of Israel’s refusal to release 30 pre-Oslo prisoners on 29 March 2014.

Instead, once ratified, Palestinians should look forward to a mass release of political prisoners detained by the Palestinian Authority (PA) headed by the unelected Mahmoud Abbas.

Al Haq estimates that there are 60 political prisoners in PA detention centres where …

The Fall of Our Democracy, Rise of Our Dumbocracy

Americans need to understand that they have lost their country. The rest of the world needs to recognize that Washington is not merely the most complete police state since Stalinism, but also a threat to the entire world. The hubris and arrogance of Washington, combined with Washington’s huge supply of weapons of mass destruction, make Washington the greatest threat that has ever existed to all life on the planet. Washington is the enemy of all humanity.

—Paul Craig Roberts

Roberts’ newest book, How America was Lost (463 pages, from Clarity Press, 2014) is a compendium of 135 columns (bracketed by an …