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Freedom to Unveil

Muslim Women and the Hijab

The BBC News recently reported that Kubra Khademi, an Afghani female artist, wore unusual armor called “iron underwear” on the streets of Kabul’s western district during her performance to highlight the sexual harassment faced by women.  Within minutes she was forced back into her car by an infuriated mob of men. She says she has since gone into hiding because she receives constant death threats.

Kubra says Afghan women are suffering in silence. Her decision to wear her unusual self-tailored iron underwear and walk the streets of one of the most conservative countries, was considered improper and against Afghans’ Islamic values. …

Israel Continues to Cripple Gaza with its Sea Blockade

"No humanitarian crisis here" say Netanyahu and Ya'alon

Governments should support brave humanitarian voyagers and back their play in future.

Welcome to the latest chapter in a long tale of unspeakable cruelty.

Israel’s military are once more raiding mercy ships on the high seas in an effort to prevent humanitarian aid reaching the 1.8 million souls in shattered Gaza.

The Jerusalem Post reports that the Swedish boat Marianne with 18 passengers has been “interdicted” by Israeli commandos 85 miles from the Gaza coast and towed to Ashdod. The three other vessels in the flotilla turned back and another big-hearted mission ended “with a whimper”.

Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon called his operation …

In Case You Still Have a Drop of Sympathy Toward JVP

Just read Rabbi Alissa Wise!

The following is a compendium of duplicitous and manipulative Judeo centric statements that illustrate precisely what many of us dread to admit – liberal Jews are not the solution; they are the core of the problem. These quotes are taken from a transcript of Rabbi Alissa Wise’s speech to a Christian Pro Palestinian organisation- Friends of Sabeel, North America Conference in Vancouver, BC, April 2015.

Rabbi Alissa Wise is not a Zionist zealot, she is much worse – a supremacist Jew dressed in dove’s clothing. Rabbi Alissa Wise is also JVP’s Director of Campaigns.

The Holocaust

In order to prepare the …

IMF Denounces “Trickle Down” Policy in Favor of Greater Income Distribution

In what could hopefully lead to a significant change in the nature of Third World development financing, a new research paper from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) admits that the strong pro-capitalist policies at the centre of its development support activities do not work.

Since the 1980s, the IMF has bailed out countries during financial crises. In return, poor countries receiving loans have had to follow strict rules, such as privatizing government resources, deregulating controls to open markets to foreign investment, and restricting what they can spend in areas such as education and health care.

Now the paper, Causes and Consequences of

A Sustainable Earth Depends Upon an Indigenist Future

Long prophesied by native thinkers, Earth is dying. The global ecological system is collapsing under the weight of industrial development. More ecosystems including the atmosphere have been lost and degraded than the biosphere can bear. Concurrently perma-war, injustice, and inequity have hit epidemic proportions and are worsening ecocide and obstructing solutions.

While social movements of many types work on these issues, the forces of ecocide are pernicious, resolute, and massive. To date adoption of solutions including smaller families, leaving fossil fuels in the ground, protecting and restoring natural ecosystems, and transitioning our communities to bioregional sustainability have proven orders of …

Puerto Rico’s Economic and Fiscal Crisis: Manufactured by the U.S.

Why Puerto Rico can’t push itself out of the fiscal and economic malaise…

On Tuesday June 23, the Special Decolonization Committee of the United Nations heard 30 petitioners who came to denounce from various perspectives the colonial situation of Puerto Rico. For the 34th time the UN committee approved a resolution requesting that the United States allow Puerto Rico to exercise its right to self-determination and independence. In 1953, the U.S. and colonial administrators lied to the UN in order to get Puerto Rico off the list of territories which still had not achieved self-determination. They told the UN that Puerto Rico in 1952 had drafted a constitution and now was exercising self-determination. …

No “Je Suis Charleston”?

The De-politicization of Black Oppression

Where are the international marches of solidarity with African Americans? The statements from world leaders condemning the terrorist attack and calling on U.S. Authorities to crack down on the white nationalist terror networks developing in the U.S.? Where are the marches in white communities condemning racism and standing with black people?  Why no ‘Je Suis Charleston’?

The fact that these questions are not being raised by most people speaks to the adroit way in which the propagandists of the U.S. state, with the corporate media in lockstep, successfully domesticated and depoliticized the murderous attack in Charleston, South Carolina.

First, President Obama, as …

Media Uncritical of Justifications for Shooting Escaped Convict

After nearly a month on the run after breaking out of a maximum-security prison in Upstate New York, convicted murder David Sweat was shot on Sunday by a New York State trooper and apprehended. Two days earlier fellow convicted murderer and escapee Richard Matt was shot dead by a federal agent nearby. While Governor Andrew Cuomo was quick to label Sergeant Jay Cook, who shot and captured Sweat, a “hero” – a claim that was repeated by CNN, the Daily NewsTime and many other outlets – there was no serious analysis about …

Greece again Can Save the West

Like Marathon, Thermopylae, Plateau, and Mycale roughly 2,500 years ago, Western freedom again depends on Greece. Today Washington and its empire of European vassal states are playing the part of the Persian Empire, and belatedly the Greeks have formed a government, Syriza, that refuses to submit to the Washington Empire.

Few people understand that the fate of Western liberty, what remains of it, is at stake in the conflict, and, indeed, the fate of life on earth. Certainly the German government does not understand. Sigmar Gabriel, a German vice-chancellor, has declared the Greek government to be a threat to the European …

Baskin’s Generous Offer: Making Peace with Israeli Occupation

It would be fair to assume that Gershon Baskin’s recent article in the Jerusalem Post — “Encountering Peace: Obviously no peace now, so what then?” (June 24) – is not a mere intellectual exercise aimed at finding ‘creative’ solutions to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Baskin is a regular contributor to the Jerusalem Post, a right wing newspaper. He is more or less embodied in the Israeli political establishment, otherwise, he would have never been allowed to initiate the “secret back channel for the release (of captured Israeli soldier) Gilad Schalit” as he proudly states in his bio.

In the article, …

Midnight in Brussels: The Austerity Junta and Savaging Greece

Defaults are difficult.  But even more so is austerity.
— Joseph E. Stiglitz and Martin Guzman, Huffington Post, June 30, 2015

British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Denis Healey, spoke about how an attack by his conservative counterpart Geoffrey Howe was akin to “being savaged by a dead sheep”. Unfortunately for Greece, whose government did not repay the 1.6 billion euros to the International Monetary Fund owed to it at the appointed hour, such savaging has gone beyond deceased sheep.

Richard Quest on CNN was his characteristic self, howling in Athens about the passage of time and the unprecedented nature of a developed state …

Greek Referendum on IMF Ultimatum

This is a test. Will the internationalist banksters force extraction of their ill-gotten interest payments to bail out their reckless derivative trades gone wrong, or will a sovereign country abandon the chains of financial elite coercion and renounce their IMF and ECB debt? Make no mistake about it, Greece has lived high on the hog for decades and has serious internal problems. There is no free ride. However, the pain from the coming default is necessary to shed the yoke of a failed European Union construct.

So when “Greece Invokes Nuclear Option: Tsipras Calls For Referendum” ordinary peoples in every …

With Another Approach, We Would Have a Deal with Iran Today

There could have been a deal with Iran today – to the benefit of everybody – if the nuclear issue had been approached in a fair, principled and visionary manner from Day One.

If there will be no deal later, one of the most important possible agreements in contemporary international history will have been lost, the risk of war will increase and the Iranians will suffer. And the United States and the EU (here France and Germany) will move further down in terms of relative global power and up in terms of self-isolation.

On the day of no deal, perhaps the Five …

Report from the Pvt. Manning Contingent at SF Pride, June 2015

Sunday, June 28th started out cloudy, as one might expect in San Francisco, but the sun eventually came out, making it a good day for the Gay Pride event — and a good day to honor Whistleblower Chelsea Manning.  There was to be a parade, and one of the units would be the Pvt. Manning Contingent.

The meet up place was near the Embarcadero BART station, a couple blocks south of Market Street.  I got there at about noon.  Several dozen people were there for our contingent, more coming.  There was a pile of signs, and several banners, the one …

The Hijacking of the Marianne by “The Pirates of the Mediterranean”

Piracy:  The practice of attacking and robbing ships at sea.
— Oxford English Dictionary

The “international community” is, it would seem, remarkably selective over piracy.

Concern over Somali pirates was such that foreign Navies were sent to protect shipping in international waters. In one incident three alleged pirates were killed and a Somali teenager spirited away to the US to be tried, whilst eleven others were sent for trial in Kenya.

However, in the early hours of the morning (local time) of June 29th, three Israeli Navy ships intercepted and hijacked a Swedish flagged ship, the Marianne av Göteborg on route to Gaza …

A Greek Tragedy That Can Only Be Ended by Greece Leaving the Euro

Have the people of Greece been singled out for particularly harsh punishment by its international creditors for daring to elect Syriza? Are they being used as a warning to other countries not to emulate Greece? The economic argument for demanding more cuts and austerity no longer makes any sense.

Austerity has caused Greek GDP to shrink by 25%, with unemployment now standing at 26%, youth unemployment at 50%. The human misery behind these statistics has seen the suicide rate increase by 35.5%. Greece is now a country where 49% of the population relies on the pension of an elderly …

Church-run Schools in Israel Face “Death Sentence”

Israel is seeking to bring dozens of church-run schools under government control, a move that community leaders have warned will curb the last vestiges of educational freedom for the country’s large Palestinian minority.

Most of the 47 schools, which are among the highest-achieving in Israel, were established by Christian orders more than 100 years ago, before Israel’s creation in 1948.

Today, they are among the few independent schools catering to Israel’s community of 1.5 million Palestinian citizens, who make up one-fifth of the population. The schools are attended by about 33,000 children – some 5 percent of the Palestinian school-age population – …

Crony Capitalists Decide TPP Terms

Paul Samuelson, serving as advisor to Presidents Kennedy and LBJ, was the first American to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. He said the ultimate goal of economic science is to improve the living conditions of people in their everyday life. That goal should be an easy one to put into practice in a modern economy, but it is immediately beset with problems in the twenty-first century.

I’m sure, given a more nation-centric era, Samuelson envisioned the context of his goal to be national in scope. But currently, how would you separate the national versus the global, considering …

Before the Dawn

Each year, throughout the Muslim world, believers participate in the month-long Ramadan fast. Here in Kabul, where I’m a guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, our household awakens at 2:15 a.m. to prepare a simple meal before the fast begins at about 3:00 a.m.  I like the easy companionship we feel, seated on the floor, sharing our food.  Friday, the day off, is household clean-up day, and it seemed a bit odd, to be sweeping and washing floors in the pre-dawn hours, but we tended to various tasks and then caught a nap before heading over to meet the early bird …

“It’s Not Polite to Say Nigger in Public….”

Racism, we are not cured of it. And, and, and it’s not just a matter of, uh, it not being polite to say nigger in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don’t, overnight, completely erase everything that happened two to three hundred years prior.

— President Obama, June 22, on Marc Maron podcast

This piece will end with a brief personal experience I had recently, an experience that illuminates what the President is saying and raises the question …