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Network 40 Years Later

Capitalism in Retrospect and Prospect and Elite Politics Today

Paddy Chayefsky’s extraordinary movie Network was made 40 years ago in 1976, just as the United States began its long economic descent. It may seem far-fetched to draw inspiration from a movie made about capitalism so long ago and, like any powerful film, some of Chayefsky’s predictions have been realized or even intensified since then, while others have been proven wrong. However, the boldness of the movie is more important than being right in all or even most of its predictions. As one scientist said about Julian Jaynes’ now discredited book, The Origin of Consciousness and the Breakdown of the

Anglo-America: Regression and Reversion in the Modern World

What does it mean when the US and British financial systems launder hundreds of billions of dollars of illicit funds stolen by world leaders while their governments turn a ‘blind eye’, and yet the very same Anglo-American officials investigate, prosecute, fine and arrest officials from rival governments, rival banks and political leaders for corruption?

What does it mean when the US government expands a world-wide network of nuclear missiles on bases stretching from Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, the Gulf States to Japan, surrounding Russia, Iran and China, while the very …

Chile’s Robocops

Robocop is not only a movie. It’s real life in Chile where grown men, disturbingly silly, dress up in armored uniforms, similar to the movie Robocop (Orion Pictures, 1987) bashing peaceful demonstrations of students wearing blue jeans.
A student demonstration in Chile turned violent
Yes, they beat up and intimidate kids, which is a glaring example of a world gone mad! Ruled by horrifying neoliberal principles of financial domination, controlled by elitist, kicking the daylights out of teenagers. The whole affaire is simply one more example of the …

Make serving in War an Option, not an Order

Josef Beno didn’t want to go to war. A Czech, he didn’t want to kill his fellow Slavs, the Russians. A father, he didn’t want to leave his starving family unprotected.

But the year was 1915 and Austria-Hungary was rounding up men and boys to serve in the war. Those who resisted were shot. After hiding for a year, Josef was captured for conscription. He escaped, only to be captured by Russians and marched to Siberia.

As the story goes, troops received injections by needle to make them aggressive. Perhaps it was merely a tale to explain a father’s changed temper, for …

Obama Continues to Ignore Pleas to Free Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Oscar López Rivera

Two and a half months ago, asked by award-winning playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda about imprisoned Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar López Rivera – whose only crime, according to Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, is “conspiracy to free his people from the shackles of imperial justice” – President Barack Obama told the Hamilton creator that he “had [the case] on his desk.” Miranda, whose parents hail from Puerto Rico, used his invitation to the White House to bring up the issue of López Rivera’s continued incarceration, which is of tremendous importance to Puerto Ricans. Both on the island and in …

The British Labour Party must admit its Mistake

The treachery of Tony Blair

It’s always very difficult having to admit you’re wrong, and the more you believe something is right the harder it is accepting it might be wrong. Tom Paine expressed it beautifully a couple of hundred years ago, as he often did: “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom.”

Many people in the Labour Party have this problem – an inability to accept they’re wrong about the so-called “New Labour” years, because electoral …

Silencing America as it prepares for war

Returning to the United States in an election year, I am struck by the silence. I have covered four presidential campaigns, starting with 1968; I was with Robert Kennedy when he was shot and I saw his assassin, preparing to kill him. It was a baptism in the American way, along with the salivating violence of the Chicago police at the Democratic Party’s rigged convention.  The great counter revolution had begun.

The first to be assassinated that year, Martin Luther King, had dared link the suffering of African-Americans and the people of Vietnam. When Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom’s just another word …

The Speech Obama Should Have Given in Hiroshima

Barack Obama became the first U.S. President to visit Hiroshima on Friday, more than seven decades after the U.S. B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped a 10,000-pound atomic bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” on the city whose military value was far less than that of Tampa to the United States. More than 70,000 people were instantly killed, and virtually the entire city was flattened. Many survivors would suffer prolonged and unimaginably painful aftereffects of radiation, which would cost at least 100,000 more people their lives. The effects of radiation would harm people for years and decades after the initial explosion.

Obama stood at …

Blair, not Corbyn, was Dangerous Experiment

By God, how Tony Blair and his ilk have degraded the public discourse. He warns that a Jeremy Corbyn government would be “a very dangerous experiment”.

In fact, it would not be an experiment at all. Ideologically, it would look a lot like the government of, say, Clement Attlee in 1945, which brought us such “dangerous” experiments as the National Health Service. And that, of course, was exactly how the welfare state was portrayed by the Conservatives of the time.

The real experiment was the series of Thatcherite governments the UK has endured since Margaret Thatcher’s election in 1979, including the …

Corporate Chicanery

Open Letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren of MA

Recently, you said, “I will fight my heart out to stop Trump.”

We know you have a big heart.   A very big heart.   Why else would you have been fighting against the Big Banks and Wall Street for so many years?  Why else would you have been such a stalwart fighter regarding bankruptcy laws and consumer protection issues?  Why else have you stood fiercely – over and over – for corporate accountability and transparency?

Right now something is happening in DC that urgently needs your attention.   And it’s not about Trump.

A slick maneuver is under-way.  A totally non-germane rider has been attached …

Subjugated Americans with their Minuscule Liberty Quotients Under the Screws of the Corpocracy

Liberty Quotient of the Subjugated

mobocracy (yes, it’s a word)

The word “corpocracy” hasn’t made it yet into the dictionary, unlike the other “cracies,” or into public conversations as far as I know.1 “Cracy” is derived from the Greek “kartia” for power. The corpocracy exemplifies regime power, the getting of more and more of it and the continuous abuse of it in serving its own interests at a terrible cost to public interests and the common good. Power, but a very different kind of power, is also a defining …

Pan-Africanism, Feminism and Finding Missing Pan-Africanist Women

We are commemorating the 58th anniversary of African Liberation Day on May 25. When most of us think of Pan-Africanism and its major icons, women will not instinctively come to mind. Pan-Africanist history and activism might appear as the exclusive domain of African men. However, I am encouraging the readers to embrace the position of the radical hip hop group Public Enemy and “Don’t Believe the Hype” about women not being major contributors to Pan-Africanism. In the Hakim Adi and Sharika Sherwood authored book Pan-African History: Political Figures from Africa and the Diaspora since 1787, forty …

No Social License to Frack in Ryedale

While all attention is focused on how ‘alive our democratic process’ is, with regard to the EU vote, the charade of democracy was played out in full colours with trumpets, tea and cake, at North Yorkshire County Council in Northallerton. The almost festive gathering in the county gardens, of around a thousand people, were there to protest the controversial planning application by Third Energy to ‘frack’ at the village of Kirby Misperton’s, KM8 site.

The arguments against Third Energy’s application to frack in Ryedale are local, national and international. On the local level, residents face large scale industrialization of the countryside. …

Colony Collapse Disorder and Neonicotinoid Insecticides

Last month Maryland’s Senate passed a partial ban on neonicotinoids, also known as neonics, a relatively new type of systemic pesticide which has been used to control sap-feeding insects, such as aphids and grubs.  Three different types of neonicotinoids were previously banned in the EU in 2013 because of the risk they posed to bees after large-scale field trials in Hungary, Germany and the UK have demonstrated a link between neonicotinoids and Colony Collapse Disorder.  The bill proposed in Maryland will still allow farmers to use neonicotinoids on crops but it will ban their use by retail consumers in …

The Crisis of Democracy

This week we look at the current turmoil in South America, where the so-called “pink tide” is beginning to recede in Venezuela and Brazil as the United Snakes seeks to exploit political and economic crises for its geopolitical gain.

For the musical break, we’ve got Calle 13, with La Bala.

Next up, we pay homage to the Oaxaca Commune, ten years later…. and finally we wrap things up with an interview with Cesar Chavez, a teacher from Oaxaca from Section 22 of the CNTE.

These are the tracks we used:

XOC – Super Mario Theme

Blue Cat – …

Missing Pieces of Bin Laden’s Execution Mystery

According to Seymour Hersh, the original plan of the Obama Administration regarding the disclosure of the execution of Osama bin Laden to the press was that he had been killed in a drone strike in the Hindu Kush mountains on the Afghan side of the border. But things didn’t go as planned during the operation as a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound and the whole town now knew that an operation was underway.

Therefore, that original plan was abandoned and the Obama Administration had to go public within hours of the operation with a hurriedly cooked up …

Time to End the “Hasbara”: Palestinian Media and the Search for a Common Story

Merely being in the company of hundreds of Palestinian journalists and other media professionals from all over the world has been an uplifting experience. For many years, Palestinian media has been on the defensive, unable to articulate a coherent message, torn between factions and desperately trying to fend off the Israeli media campaign, along with its falsifications and unending propaganda or ‘hasbara’.

It is still too early to claim any kind of paradigm shift, but the second Tawasol Conference in Istanbul, which took place May 18 to 19, served as an opportunity to consider the vastly changing media landscape, and …

Migration as Reparations

On May 12, Reuters revealed that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is poised to undertake a 30-day “surge” in deportations. The label for the operation suggests a military-like endeavor—the stated goal of which is to arrest and deport hundreds of single adults, mothers, and children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras who arrived after January 1, 2014, have been ordered to leave the country, yet remain in the United States without authorization. According to Reuters, it will constitute “the largest deportation sweep targeting immigrant families by the administration of President Barack Obama this year.”

Reports of the looming surge …

Black Lives, Black Youth and the Reemergence of Malcolm X

Below is a slightly modified talk that I gave at the 2016 Left Forum, Saturday May 21st, 2016 at John Jay College in Manhattan, NY. The Left Forum is a yearly assembly of progressive forces from social democrats to revolutionary Pan-Africanists. Organizers requested insight on current developments of the Black Freedom Struggle. This is my response.

Thursday, May 19th was the 91st revolutionary birthday of Brother Minister, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Brother Malcolm X).  He was born May 19th 1925, brutally assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom on February 21st, 1965.  And it would be just like Malcolm to request upon us …

Is the UK’s Iraq Inquiry Set to “savage” Tony Blair?

Part 1 of a 2 Part Series

In spite of all the scepticism regarding the long delayed UK Iraq Inquiry into the illegal invasion of Iraq, with predictions (including by myself) that it would be a “whitewash” of the enormity of the lies which led to the near destruction of Iraq, to the presence of ISIS and to probably over a million deaths, The Sunday Times (May 22nd, 2016) is predicting an “absolutely brutal” verdict on those involved. The paper claims that former Prime Minister Tony Blair, his then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, Sir Richard Dearlove, former Head of British Secret Intelligence (MI6) are among those who …