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Human Connectedness and the Disconnected Power Elite of America

I was emotional. They are only fossils, but they have been human beings and very quickly you make a connection with these people who lived and died here 300,000 years ago.

— Dr. Jean-Jacques Hublin, Department of Human Development at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany

Human connectedness, the existence of a positive, physical, visual or mental association between two or more human beings, is like a chain across time. Searching for one’s ancestry through DNA testing, for example, is one way to lengthen the chain. As for Dr. Hublin, a paleontologist and director of the Department of …

Media Bias Just as Threatening as President Trump

Liberals, progressive and Democrats should think critically about the negative impacts of widespread media bias on American democracy.  There simply is no doubt that virtually all mainstream media regularly show their strong bias against president Trump and his administration.  These media have convinced themselves that they are working to save American democracy from an incompetent, corrupt and dangerous president.  And those on the left eat up the negative coverage, which means more money for the anti-Trump networks, newspapers and magazines.  Never mind that he was elected fairly and legally.

It seems that the leftist media would only be happy if Trump …

BREAKING: Charlottesville to Keep Only Non-Racist War Monuments

Under the new policy just announced in Charlottesville, Virginia, the city will be taking down all but the non-racist war monuments and memorials in all of its public spaces.

Three monuments to the Confederate war, fought to maintain slavery — those of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and a generic Confederate soldier — will all be removed under the new guidelines.

In addition a heroic equestrian monument to George Rogers Clark is coming down, as Native American genocide has been ruled racist.

A statue of Lewis and Clark almost made the cut as not being a traditional war monument, but the figure of …

The Burka Comes to Parliament: Pauline Hanson’s Panto

In few environments could this work. A member of Parliament (barely breathing, but still a parliament) running within a Muslim minority country (a small minority, at that) with mocking intent, dons a burka, sits in the stands, and receives appropriate mind bending outrage when she strips it off.

One thing can be said: Australia’s Pauline Hanson of her self-described One Nation Party was, in the basest way, impressive.  She donned the religious garb of a religion she detests, whose injunctions and mores she barely knows how to enunciate.  Her ignorance is profoundly encyclopaedic, and she is proud of it.

Her command of …

When will the United States transcend White Supremacy?

Now that the violence in Charlottesville has forced “white supremacy” into our political vocabulary, let’s ask an uncomfortable question: “When will the United States transcend white supremacy?”

My question isn’t, “What should we do about the overt white supremacists who, emboldened by Trumpism’s success, have pushed their way back into mainstream politics?” I want to go beyond easy targets to ask, “When will U.S. society—not just neo-Nazis and the Klan, but the whole country—reject all aspects of white supremacist ideology and take serious steps toward rectifying the material inequality justified by that ideology?”

The answer is obvious: Never.

There’s no evidence the dominant …

Total Eclipse

The ultimate talisman of the primitive, of what the civilized call the dark ages of prehistory, is the image of tribal people cowering in fear and abasement at a reoccurring and entirely predictable phenomenon of the “clockwork universe,” the eclipse of the sun. Even civilizations with some form of recorded history but limited application of the scientific method are denigrated for their tendency to attribute this phenomenon to a sentient being. Creating a class of priests whose job it was to pretend they were capable of negotiating with the celestial entity generating this mystery was social hucksterism of the worst …

Cozumel, Cancun: The Rights of Nature Plowed Over, Sewage Saturated, Cruise-ship Imploded

Cozumel was derived from the Mayan "Cuzamil" or "Ah Cuzamil Peten" in full, which means the island of swallows (Spanish: Isla de las Golondrinas)

With the power of the telecom thieves and my cellular phone, and, viola, I am conversing via text and downloaded images with my 21 year old daughter on the Island of Cozumel, with her mother, stuck in the maelstrom of tourists and a denuded ecosystem. Yes, I admit, I loved that island, 1979, 1983, 1987 (1989 was the last time I was there), but I knew my very presence, my ecological footprint, the baggage of being an American, a scuba enthusiast, journalist, too, and dive bum, all were part of what was starting to become very out of whack …

The World Remembers 64th Anniversary of the West-Sponsored Coup in Iran

After WWII, the West had one huge ‘problem’ on its hands: all three most populous Muslim countries on Earth – Egypt, Iran and Indonesia – were clearly moving in one similar direction, joining a group of patriotic, peaceful and tolerant nations. They were deeply concerned about the welfare of their citizens, and by no means were they willing to allow foreign colonialist powers to plunder their resources, or enslave their people.

In the 1950’s, the world was rapidly changing, and there was suddenly hope that the countries which were oppressed and pillaged for decades and centuries by first the European and …

Climate Change Demands an End to Excess and Greed

Man-made climate change, and the interconnected environmental catastrophe more broadly constitute the most urgent crisis facing humanity. It has come about as the result of a certain way of life, a materialistic approach to living in which greed and excessive consumption has been championed.

Voracious consumerism and values based on individual material success, competition and division lie at the very heart of the crisis, and if global warming, desertification, pollution, and the destruction of ecological systems are to be arrested, a fundamental change in attitudes and behaviour is needed. Without this, little of substance can be achieved – technological advances, whilst …

Trump is not the problem

Ever since he won the US presidency Donald Trump has attracted an unusually high amount of criticism from the mainstream media. This is extraordinary and quite unprecedented. The US president is normally treated by the press like a messiah, destined to lead mankind into some sort of American paradise. But Trump isn’t treated this way, and I don’t know why. He’s certainly no worse than any who preceded him in the last fifty years or more.

It isn’t easy criticising the US government – not because there isn’t much to criticise, but because it’s a fairly scary business: it wields awesome …

The Zionist Exception to the March for Racial Justice

The March for Racial Justice is committed to standing for racial justice with allies from across all races, ethnicities, and communities.

— Statement of the March for Racial Justice regarding Yom Kippur

The March for Racial Justice correctly acknowledged its oversight in scheduling the march on Yom Kippur.  It is an important oversight and an equally important apology, reaffirming the principles of the march.

But how serious are the organizers about those principles? Are they truly ready to denounce all racism everywhere?  How do they feel about racists participating in the march, supposedly in solidarity, but actually forcing the march to compromise its …

What is Capitalism?

I recently had an exchange that got me questioning the nature of Capitalism. What I’ve come to understand in my exploration of the topic is that it is not particularly well defined. I honestly think that’s by design; many of the behaviors that we attribute to natural cooperative exchange between entities is often claimed as Capitalist.

In my discourse, I was confronted with this definition of Capitalism. To paraphrase:

Capitalism = the natural right of ownership of that which is produced by a person by that person as well as the natural right to engage in the free exchange with others of …

Correcting Eva Golinger on Venezuela

As the class struggle heated up in Venezuela this year, fueled by interventionist threats by the pro-US Organization of American States (OAS) bloc, many former supporters of the Bolivarian revolution have remained sitting on the fence. Fed up with these fair-weather friends and their critiques which recycle corporate news propaganda, some defenders of Venezuela such as Shamus Cooke,  Greg Wilpert, Maria Paez Victor, have come with articles clarifying the stakes and calling the so-called “left” to account.

Among the disaffected is Venezuelan-American lawyer Eva Golinger, the author of The Chávez Code: Cracking US Intervention in Venezuela and self-described …

The Karma of Terror

“As ye sow, so shall ye reap”

We have been here quite often recently. Screaming headlines, non-stop coverage in the mainstream corporate-government media which Paul Craig Roberts so aptly dubbed the “presstitutes”. Hours and hours of analysis of the event, at some point lots of information about the dead victims, endless soul-searching and a desperate spate of interviews with “experts” about how to fight this growing horror. This is not supposed to happen in The West. It is boring everyday stuff when it happens in the Middle East, Africa or Asia, but when it hits Barcelona or some other part of the empire’s heartland, the presstitutes go …

America Asleep

The summer of 1919, called “The Red Summer” by James Weldon Johnson, ushered in the greatest period of interracial violence the nation had ever witnessed. During that summer there were twenty-six race riots in such cities as Chicago, Illinois; Washington, D.C.; Elaine, Arkansas; Charleston, South Carolina; Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee; Longview, Texas; and Omaha, Nebraska. More than one hundred Blacks were killed in these riots, and thousands were wounded and left homeless. The seven most serious race riots were those which occurred in Wilmington, N. C. (1898), Atlanta, Ga. (1906), Springfield, Ill. (1908), East St. Louis) Ill. (1917), Chicago, Ill.

A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

The liberal/progressive/left are enjoying their drunkfest of denunciation. I can’t say I have ever witnessed anything like it. These are the people who sat on their hands for 16 years while Washington destroyed in whole or part seven countries. Not being satisfied with this level of warmongering and crimes against humanity, Washington orchestrated a conflict situation with Russia. Americans elected a president who said he would defuse this dangerous conflict, and the liberal/progressive/left turned on him. In contrast, one person is killed after the hated Charlottesville protest event was over, and there is endless absurd outrage against the president of …

Breaking the Steer

The vast majority of human beings are pretty intelligent. A tiny percentage are noticeably slower than others, and an even tinier percentage are considerably brighter than others, but the vast majority of us are about the same, intelligence-wise. So the reason that most people don’t understand how the world really works has very little to do with intelligence; it has everything to do with two well-established and powerful institutions: education, and the mainstream media.

Public education has never even pretended to teach people how their world really works. Whilst it’s quite good at explaining some of the parts of the whole, …

Encountering the Berkeley Strangler in a Dark Alley

On the night of June 20th I came home from a Berkeley City Council meeting feeling like I’d met the Berkeley Strangler in a dark alley; later I saw this photo in the SF BayView newspaper:
(Credit:) SF BayView newspaper
You can see three of us holding a banner “Stop Urban Shield.”  To the left of me is a woman named Bridget, on my right (though not shown in the photo) was Russell Bates, a Navy veteran.  The large cop in front of me is Brian Mathis, one …

NDP Leadership Candidate Jagmeet Singh’s Trip to Israel

Like bears attracted to spawning salmon, politicians seek out power. The former needs to build stores of fat to survive the winter, while the latter must attract the resources and support necessary for successful electoral campaigns. Given the survival imperative, neither bear nor politician should be criticized too harshly for what comes naturally. But, the two best ways to judge politicians are by taking a look at whom they choose to gather resources from and what they are prepared to do to get them.

At worst politicians pander to society’s wealthiest and reactionary social forces, further solidifying their grip on the …

Our Fight Against Fascism

When editor-in-chief of the Atlantic Jeffrey Goldberg asserts that “the struggle in Charlottesville is a struggle within our own civilization, within Trump’s own civilization,” and that in the wake of such events “an American president should speak up directly on behalf of the American creed, on behalf of Americans who reject tribalism and seek pluralism, on behalf of the idea that blood-and-soil nationalism is antithetical to the American idea itself,” who, exactly, can place his logic?

It reads nicely, and it seems a conscionable thought to have after a woman dies fighting Nazis on American soil. But, really, what history books …