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Support for Universal Human Rights Is an Absolute

A recent headline stated: “NDP Cautiously Differentiates Itself from Tories and Grits on Palestinian Human Rights.” The article made it seem as if there were a beacon of hope within the right-wing political scene of federal Canadian politics. The NDP (New Democratic Party) poses as a left-of-center party but its support for militarism, its staunch support of the racist regime in Israel, and its adherence to the capitalist system belie any pretense at left-wing politics.

An election is upcoming, and the article finds that NDP leader “Thomas Mulcair and [MP] Paul Dewar have taken positions on human rights for …

Who Will Rule the Webbing of the World?

E.L. Doctorow, one of our important left novelists—and for a long time one of my favorite American authors—died this past week. He was 84.

Over the course of his career, Doctorow accomplished a rare feat, not only weaving pronounced radical and historical themes into innovative contemporary fiction, but managing to win both popular success and mainstream critical accolades in the process.

Doctorow published twelve novels, including Book of Daniel (1971), the widely acclaimed Ragtime (1975), World’s Fair (1985), and the best-selling Billy Bathgate (1989), in addition to several books of short stories and essays. More recently Doctorow produced City of God (2000), …

Possible Future Shifts in Public Policy

Ten Questions for Lee Drutman

New America Senior Fellow Lee Drutman’s new book The Business of America Is Lobbying: How Corporations Became Politicized and Politics Became More Corporate deprives the reader of ready characterizations. It also robs us of the illicit fun of kneejerk demonization. Instead of shifty-eyed politicians huddled in the shadows with Gucci Gulch lobbyists, we’re presented with a faceless and highly competitive industry employing, “…several thousand individuals across almost 2,000 different lobbying firms, all of whose livelihoods depend on them retaining existing clients and/or acquiring new ones.” How drab. How familiar. Sounds like pharmaceuticals. Or telecommunication. Sounds like …

Britain’s Labour Party: Elect Jeremy Corbyn as Leader and Win the Next Election

What is it with Britain’s Labour Party? There is a surge in party membership, and this is a worry for the men in suits in the Westminster bubble! Why? People, particularly the young, are energized by the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn becoming its leader.  Here is a man of principle who believes in what he says, not encumbered by spin and focus groups that have been the obsession of the Labour Party for so long.

It has lacked courage, continuously looking over its shoulder afraid of what the press might say, or whether this or that is a Tory trick to …

Wireless Carjacking: The Chrysler Recall

Caught with their proverbial pants down, Fiat Chrysler executives have issued a voluntary recall of a good 1.4 million cars for the vulnerabilities of its installed internet system. Last Tuesday, Wired burst the bubble of confidence by showing how hackers could take control of a Jeep Cherokee via its internet-connected entertainment system. “Hackers remotely kill a Jeep on the highway – with me in it,” wrote correspondent Andy Greenberg.

Channelling, without attribution, Hunter S. Thompson’s drug seizure “somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert” in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971), Greenberg relates how …

Intellectual Disjuncture

“British Columbia,” a province wrought through the genocide of First Nations and theft of their territory has been beset with several forest fires this summer that has at times choked urban centers with ash and particulate.

Christy Clark, the premier of British Columbia, has blamed climate change for the …

Aleppo: A City Ravaged by “Islamic State” and Imperialism

This is an authentic report from an Aleppo resident whose identity is protected for their own security.  They are living through the daily hardships of life in an externally created war zone.  Water and electricity shortages, NATO and US backed terrorists embedded in multiple areas of the city creating random buffer zones where the risk of being sniped or shelled is a daily occurrence. I have retained as much as possible of the original report with minimal editing as its important to maintain the narrative as it is, raw and heartfelt, from someone who sees this ravaged city as home….

America’s Inherent Resolve to Destroy

We should expect conflicts in which adversaries, because of cultural affinities different from our own, will resort to forms and levels of violence shocking to our sensibilities.

— Department of Defense, 1999, with thanks to William Blum

One quote has reverberated throughout the United States decades of decimations of the lands of others. Journalist Peter Arnett, reporting from Vietnam, in a piece published on 7 July 1968, quoted an American officer saying of the provincial capital Bến Tre: “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.” He was referring to the decision to bomb and shell the town …

Flags, Statues, and Apologies

What is the value of an apology? Can repentance come via symbolic gestures? As you sit upon this land taken by coercion and force from Native Nations and worked by the labor of enslaved Africans do you feel a pang of guilt? Is it enough guilt to inspire genuine contrition, or is your hope that the symbolism of a lowered flag can manufacture an emotional sense of sacrifice? In our age of reality television where appearance trumps all and we tend to frame issues and foster solutions that are filled with empty rhetoric can we find real, lasting solutions?

Israel Sees Nazism in Mirror it Mistakes for Window

Israel is trying to expel the population of a village for the crime of not being Jewish, the same crime for which Israel bombs the people of Gaza for a month or so every few years and blockades them in between these bursts of violence.

Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee declares that making peace with Iran amounts to marching Israelis “to the door of the oven.”

Guess which of the two stories will get more coverage!

A crime of over 70 years ago, part of a war that in my unscientific estimate forms the single most common theme of U.S. historical …

Greece and the European Union

The Greek people’s efforts to end the economic depression, recover their sovereignty and reverse the regressive socio-economic policies, which have drastically reduced living standards, have been thrice denied.

First, the denial came as tragedy: When the Greek majority elected Syriza to government and their debts increased, the economy plunged further into depression and unemployment and poverty soared. The Greek people voted for Syriza believing its promises of ‘a new course’. Immediately following their victory, Syriza reneged on their promise to restore sovereignty – and end the subjugation …

UN Reports Blasts Canada’s Human Rights Record on Violence against Indigenous Women

Aboriginal Legal Service of Toronto’s Christa Big Canoe explains why government policies are leaving Indigenous women four times more likely to be murdered than non-indigenous women and what can be done about it.

What’s Wrong with Our Monetary System and How to Fix It

Something’s profoundly wrong with our global financial system. Pope Francis is only the latest to raise the alarm: “Human beings and nature must not be at the service of money. Let us say no to an economy of exclusion and inequality, where money rules, rather than service. That economy kills. That economy excludes. That economy destroys Mother Earth.”

What the Pope calls “an economy of exclusion and inequality, where money rules” is widely evident. What is not so clear is how we got into this situation, and what to do about it.

Most people take our monetary system for granted, and are …

Hey, I Have an Idea Where They Can Stick the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia campaigned on green energy (and I hear some people may have believed him, though I haven’t met one) and then immediately backed the proposed construction of a giant fracked-gas pipeline through the mountains and farms of Virginia to carry fossil fuels from West Virginia to North Carolina.

Dominion Virginia Power paid $1.3 million this year in legal bribes to candidates’ election campaigns, more than anyone else in Virginia except the two Parties. Every single bill Dominion opposed in the legislature died. Dominion, according to the dictionary, is “the power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign …

Demystifying U.S. Capitalism and the Political Reality behind Economic Disparity

The not so mysterious capitalist economy

A capitalist economy is thought to be somewhat mysterious with different theories as to how it actually works, while it’s often stated no one really understands because of its “complexity”. The complexity issue, or excuse, is what we hear while economists and politicians continue the game of charades by not defining America’s political economic reality for what it is. The real economy itself is not complicated, but what makes it seem complicated are the laws in place along with various invisible “products” and practices which are designed to extract wealth from the real economy.

Defining the

Greek Austerity and its Resemblance to African Debt Peonage

On July 16 this year protests erupted outside Greek parliament as lawmakers were approving further harsh austerity plan in exchange for a third European bailout. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras won by 229 votes to 64 while 32 members of his own Syriza party voted against the measures, including his ex-finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.

The vote took place after a fiery debate when Tsipras energetically defended his stand under threat of resignation.

The parliamentary approval came despite the fact that, on 5 July 2015, people rejected the reforms in a referendum. They said ‘No’ (Oxi) to retirement age increases, tax hikes, cuts …

“Fluffy” Mundell flees the Food Bank

Shameless Government minister hightails it from an angry crowd protesting against the 'hurt and misery' of savage cuts that are pushing millions into poverty and hunger.

It was not your usual celebration to mark the launch of a new venture. While Secretary of State for Scotland David ‘Fluffy’ Mundell was opening a food bank upstairs from a baker’s in Dumfries town centre, noisy demonstrators gathered in the street outside demanding he came down to explain himself. But ‘Fluffy’ chose to treat his constituents with contempt and slink out the back door under police protection and into a waiting car.
Photo by Stuart Littlewood
I was witnessing another extraordinary moment in the Tories’ suicide mission in Scotland. Mundell, …

Being Kanaka Maoli

The Hawaiian language is simple yet complex.  Originally an unwritten language, it was translated and put to letters by the early Christian missionary intruders about 200 years ago.  The alphabet was only one of a basketful of gifts which arrived with the first Bible-thumpers.  Those presents included a myriad of mainland diseases, a dress code, The Bible itself, and the wonders of capitalism.  Only a dozen letters were necessary.  All the vowels plus h,k,l,m,n,p, & w.  Vowel-intensive.  Many words have multiple and diverse meanings.

“Kanaka maoli” is a good example.  To those who consider themselves to be native Hawaiians it means:  Full-blooded Hawaiian person.  But kanaka maoli …

Pentagon Funds Cutting Edge Aquatic Terrain System (ATS)

Pilot Program will Begin in US Pacific Command

In an exclusive interview with General Joseph Dunford, likely to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 1 October 2015, he discussed the Pentagon’s newest and boldest program: The Aquatic Terrain System (ATS).

Look. With a successful ATS we could joint-operate with Black Sea Sprat and F-&^% with Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. But first we have to understand the way they operate and what they want in return for working with us. It’s a plus-plus situation. That same logic applies wherever there is water. Did you know that 70 percent of the Earth is water? I’m going to push

Turning Back Boats, Refugees and the Australian Labor Party

The End of Difference

Much writing has been spent on the wonders of how the supposedly progressive side of politics has bedded down all too intimately with the conservative, Right side of the aisle. The conservatives – or let us call them reactionary Tories – have been insinuating themselves into the party manifestos of the left for years.

It was Britain’s Tony Blair who demonstrated how Margaret Thatcher’s hemlock had become his blood. Under the slogan of “modernisation” and various workshopped banalities, New Labour moved into the highest form of technocracy imaginable. The technocrat, by definition, prides pragmatic resolution over …