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Vermont Governor Blows Smoke With Legal Marijuana Veto

“Libertarian” Phil Scott enforces nanny state values — wtf?

Vermont, of all places, offers the latest example of how marijuana makes people crazy, the people in this case being the Republican governor and most of the Republican Party. For all the “Reefer Madness” propaganda from governments over the past century, the real madness comes from opponents of marijuana, not its users or proponents.

Vermont governor Phil Scott waited until the last possible moment on May 24 to issue his veto of the  24-page bill (Senate bill S.22) passed by both houses of the legislature (Senate 20-9, House 79-66): An Act Relating to Eliminating Penalties for Possession

That Cancer, Humankind!

On May 27, 2017, I spent some time with my copy of the late (1927-2015) Eli Sagan’s At the Dawn of Tyranny: The Origins of Individualism, Political Oppression, and the State (1985), and this morning (perhaps because of having done so) felt a need to spend some time with my copy of the late (1929-2007) David Maybury-Lewis’s Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World (1992)—and did so.  After spending about an hour with Millennium, I turned to CBS Sunday Morning, and quickly perceived the accuracy of the “BS” in “CBS”!

For what I was seeing, and …

Barging Through NATO: Donald Trump in Europe

From his big white bird did the President descend upon his dreading European hosts, looking much like natives waiting to be slaughtered or ravished.  As Donald Trump pushed his way through NATO members (the Montenegrin prime minister, for one, felt his forceful shove), representatives shot glances of discomfort and bemusement. In a refreshing blast of brutishness, the Ugly American, made flesh in the incarnation of Trump, was explaining, even hectoring Washington’s allies.

The central irritation was one about, as it always tends to be, money.  In the rueful words of Karen Attiah’s penned piece for the Washington Post, “Trump was …

Theresa May’s Frankenstein

The Manchester bomber, Salman Abedi, and his father traveled to Libya in 2011 to fight against the Gaddafi government with the approval of the British security establishment. British Prime Minister Theresa May was at that time Interior Minister with direct responsibility for MI5 and the rest of the UK’s internal security apparatus. Abedi’s father, who has since been arrested along with a younger son in connection with the attack, was one of a large group of Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) members who had been allowed to settle in the UK.

There are a couple of articles on the Moon

Manchester Bombing: Message Still Not Understood

The Manchester atrocity certainly succeeded in derailing the General Election campaign here in the UK. It has now resumed with the focus on homeland security and a lot of fresh babble about the ‘war on terror’, much to the frustration of party strategists who planned to preach Brexit… Brexit… Brexit.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn seized the moment to say that our military interventions in the Middle East threaten safety at home. Theresa May and her Tory team, in denial as ever, have been trying to slap him down.

The link is obvious. So when did all the aggravation start? Probably 1917 with …

Thursday marks the First Test of Donald Trump’s “Utimate Deal”

A decision by Donald Trump this Thursday could prove fateful for the immediate future of Jerusalem, the wider Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the region.

He must decide whether to renew a presidential waiver, signed by his predecessor, Barack Obama, that expires on June 1. The six-month waiver delays implementing a law passed by Congress in 1995 that requires the US to recognise occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate its embassy there from Tel Aviv.

It is a law every president for the past 22 years has baulked at. It would pre-empt the Oslo accords and negate Washington’s assumed role as “honest …

Snowbirds: Part of Canada’s Massive Military Cultural Outreach

Canada’s massive military cultural outreach effort suffered a blow last week. The Snowbirds aerobatic team was forced to cancel a half-dozen scheduled appearances because they require “additional practice and training.”

Each year the famed Snowbirds participate in some 60 air shows across North America. Over the years they’ve flown more than 2500 shows and cultural events such as Canada Day celebrations. As many as six million people watch Snowbird planes fly annually. Additionally, the military’s demonstration team has been celebrated in books and on Canada Post stamps.

Eighty Canadian Force’s (CF) personnel work full-time with the …

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Liberals: One Good Lob of the Molotov

In B. Traven’s novel, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1927):

“All right,” Curtin shouted back. “If you are the police, where are your badges? Let’s see them.”

“Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and chinga tu madre!”

The line was popularized by John Huston’s 1948 film adaptation of the novel, which was altered from its content in the novel to meet the Motion Picture Production Code regulations severely limiting profanity in film. In one scene, a Mexican bandit leader

GIs Who Invaded Vietnam, Iraq, etc. Are Criminal Under International Law and US Army’s Own Law


Memorial Day will someday mean a double mourning, a mourning for the violent deaths suffered by millions of American military and a much more agonizing mourning for the deaths, maiming, destruction and suffering these Americans in uniform brought to millions of innocent men, women and children by committing crimes against humanity in their own beloved countries for the lies of their government and media.

Regarding any order to invade and/or kill in another country: “An order which is unlawful not only does not need to be obeyed but obeying such …

The Merry Life of Dragnet Surveillance

In the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013, a grudging acceptance was made by the Obama administration that something had to be done about a roguish surveillance complex unhinged from its foundations.  The National Security Agency had overstretched its powers, to the point where it was not only conducting its standard mischief against foreign targets, but against US citizens roped into the exercise.

The NSA has been in the news again, this time with the reversal by a US appeals court of a lower tribunal’s decision that the Wikimedia Foundation has standing to object to the Upstream program in court.

The …

Truth Trumps Falsehood

“Truth has come and falsehood has vanished away. Surely! Falsehood is ever bound to vanish.”

As we witness President Trump declaring that Iran is the main source of terrorism in the world while standing in the very Kingdom of Terror right next to Terror’s biggest architects and financiers; the above words of the Quran come to mind.

Anyone who has witnessed the rise of Al-Qaida and ISIS and who has been paying attention with even some modest degree of intelligence and impartiality knows that President Trump is lying.

This presents an opportunity for politicians, social commentators, religious leaders and other people of influence …

The West Spreading New Wave of Feel-Good Movies and False Hopes

Watch blockbuster movies from the “south” and chances are you will start to believe that the world is not really such a desperate place. Perhaps you might even get convinced that under the present imperialist and turbo-capitalist global arrangement things can always get better. If you live in a gutter somewhere in Sub-Continent or Africa, you could simply try hard, you could “believe in yourself and love yourself”, you could “listen to your instincts”, and everything may eventually fall into the right places. You could get acknowledged, rewarded and even catapulted from your misery into some plush pastures that are …

Guardian mourns Corbyn’s Polling Surge

It is quite extraordinary to read today’s coverage in Britain’s supposedly left-liberal newspaper the Guardian. In the “man bites dog” stakes, the day’s biggest story is the astounding turn-around in the polls two weeks before the British general election. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has narrowed the Conservatives’ lead from an unassailable 22 points to 5, according to the latest YouGov survey. It looks possible for the first time, if the trend continues, that Corbyn could even win the popular poll. (Securing a majority of the British parliament’s seats is a different matter, given the UK’s inherently undemocratic electoral system.)

Is the news that the …

Canadian Prime Minister Misleads on Zionism

Canada’s Prime Minister would like us to believe that the ideology that shaped Israel is designed to fight anti-Jewish prejudice. But, even when anti-Semitism was a significant political force in Canada, Zionism largely represented a chauvinistic, colonialist way of thinking.

On Israel Independence Day earlier this month Justin Trudeau delivered a speech by video to a rally in Montréal and published a statement marking the occasion. “Today, while we celebrate Israel’s independence, we also reaffirm our commitment to fight anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism”, declared the PM in a rare reference by a top politician to Israel’s state ideology.

Israel …

Stephen Hawking Needs to Keep Quiet

Back in the 1970s, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist named William Shockley created quite a stir when he suggested that certain races (i.e., black people) were “genetically inferior” to whites and Asians, and that in order for the human race to have any chance of “improving” itself, people with IQs lower than 100 should submit to voluntary sterilization.  Other than that, nothing he said was particularly controversial.

What made Shockley’s pronouncements so outrageous, besides their obvious inflammatory nature, was their provenance.  After all, this wasn’t some hack, ex-Navy science fiction writer like L. Ron Hubbard introducing a new, screwball religion (“Scientology”) to …

Why Would Anyone Vote Conservative in the UK election?

Consistent with 21st century politics the announcement on 18th April of a general election by Prime Minister Theresa May was a cynical move based purely on self-interest. The ‘snap election’ to be held on 8th June contravenes the fixed parliament act of 2011, which introduced fixed term elections (every five years) for the first time.

To the total dismay of many of us, opinion polls have for some time given the Conservative government a commanding lead over Labour. Theresa May and her cohorts want to capitalise on this and build as large a majority as possible in parliament, thereby avoiding the …

Roger Moore in Bondage

You can’t be a real spy and have everybody in the world know who you are and what your drink is. That’s just hysterically funny.
— Roger Moore

What are we to make of Bond, that slightly leering brute who does all for Queen and country, always at the ready with quip, car and gadget?  Certainly, when one of its own, the acting fraternity of which a certain number of Bonds can be counted, passes into the Fleming sunset, a moment of reflection is appropriate.

Roger Moore got to Bond, a role he had for twelve years, after a hiccup which saw Sean …

Veterans On the March: Memorial Day actions in DC

The United States is the most militarized and jingoistic nation on earth. Its foreign policy is guided by imperialist militarism, neoliberal capitalism and racial xenophobia. For more than sixteen years now, three presidential administrations have carried out a so-called “War on Terror” (GWOT), a perpetual state of war that is waged globally, under the depraved reasoning that “the world is a battlefield,” to quote investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill. As demonstrated by the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the GWOT is conducted through conventional warfare. More often, however, it is executed through covert or “dirty” wars, against groups and individuals in …

The May-Trump Guide to War and Terror

Bomb, terrorize and slaughter Middle Eastern majority-Muslim countries for strategic self-interest, but call it humanitarian.
Thereby destroy the state’s security and infrastructure creating the perfect conditions for terror groups to operate.
Arm, train and fund terror groups who are/have the same ideology as those you claim to be fighting against, but call them rebels.
Create 100s of thousands of refugees
Don’t let many/any/ban said refugees from entering despite their situation being caused by the bombs you claimed were humanitarian.
Remain silent on arms sold to the Saudis and their ideological/military proxies – ISIS and Al Qaeda
Fall victim to …

Fear as an Obstacle to Peace: Why Are Israelis Afraid?

Bat-Hen Epstein Elias’s long article on Iranian Jews is interesting. Parts of it, in fact, are heartwarming. Yet, despite the lack of any serious evidence, the story is entirely framed in the language of fear.

Entitled, “All the Jews there live in fear that their telephones are tapped,” the story in Israel Hayom peddles the idea that, although Iranian Jews seem generally content with their lives in Iran as an economically-privileged group, somehow, they are still afraid.

Or, perhaps, Israel needs them to be afraid, despite the fact that the Iranian Jews interviewed in the article expressed little or no fear …