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The Choice: Traitor to Empire, or Traitor to Mankind

I envy you. You North Americans are very lucky. You are fighting the most important fight of all. You live in the belly of the beast.

— Dr. Ernesto “Che” Guevara

A birth certificate from somewhere between the beast’s belly and its beating heartland condemns me to the dubious distinction of being among the privileged 5% of humans who claim United States Citizenship. A population which demands the right to consume 25% of earth’s resources while billions of our fellow-humans go hungry. A shame it was wasted on me, for I’ve never been one to make my country proud. Basically, I’ve always …

The Next Phase in the War on BDS

Why Israel Detained Omar Barghouti

The Israeli state has violated international law more than any other country, yet has rarely, if ever, been held accountable for crimes and misconduct.

Israel’s successful public relation campaigns through the ever-willing western media partners, coupled with the relentless work and pressure carried out by its powerful backers in Washington DC, London, Paris and elsewhere, has borne stupendous results.

For a while, it seemed that Israel was capable of maintaining its occupation and denying Palestinians their rights indefinitely, while promoting itself as ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’.

Those who dared challenge that skewed paradigm through resistance in Palestine …

Myth of the Political Grey Area

There is no political grey area. There is only feigned pragmatism. Wet noodle-ism.

The grey, the political middle in the American constituency, or what is considered moderate positions, has long been equivocating endorsers of the status quo. In today’s world these are corporate democrats, the Hillary voters who are still buying her shtick, the Republicans who are debating going to the left because Trump is a step too far even though he represents exactly what Republicans have been endorsing for years, and lastly the people still sincerely standing for the national anthem but aware America might just have some problems.

This is …

Canada’s Little Known but Once Flourishing Slave Trade

We love our tales about how “Canada” offered sanctuary to US slaves for decades, but the unabridged version is it sustained African bondage for much longer.

In a recent Rabble.ca story titled “Canada’s earliest immigration policies made it a safe haven for escaped slaves”, Penney Kome ignores the fact that Africans were held in bondage here for 200 years and that the Atlantic provinces had important ties to the Caribbean plantation economies.

According to Kome, Canada’s relationship to slavery consisted of the oft-discussed Underground Railway that brought Africans in bondage north to freedom. But, she ignores the southbound “underground railroad” …

Why This Isn’t the Time for a Public Option or Medicare for Some

This has been a tumultuous week for healthcare reform. First there was the pleasantly quick defeat of the American Health Care Act in the House of Representatives Friday afternoon. Then, that evening, Senator Sanders spoke at a town hall in Vermont with Senator Pat Leahy and Representative Peter Welch where he announced that he would introduce a Medicare for All bill. Medicare for All and Bernie supporters lit up social media with their excitement over the announcement. This should have been great news, but it wasn’t exactly.

Over the weekend, more information was revealed in a series of …

Disaster As Joy: Cyclone Debbie Strikes

If the building starts to break up, protect yourself w[sic] mattresses, rugs etc under strong table or hold onto solid fixture.

— Queensland Ambulance, Twitter, March 28, 2017

Townsville, North Queensland — The eerie sense that something is about to happen, with unsolicited fulsome vicious force was hard to avoid.  There is a pregnant sense in the air, the pre-moisture in the winds that tease the leaves, caress the branches with harshness, the palm leaves bending painfully in worship before a divine storm.

Whilst sultry, the air is dry enough to suggest that the cyclone is short of breath, free of moisture. No …

Letter to the World Anti Doping Agency and International Olympic Committee

Regarding the McLaren Report and the Politicization of Doping in Sports

Russian track and field athletes, plus the entire Paralympics team, were banned from the Rio Games last summer.  This was based on the first McLaren report commissioned by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA).

The second McLaren Report was published in December 2016 and immediately accepted by the western media and political establishment as “proof” of the accusations about institutional corruption and doping conspiracy in Russia.

The following “open letter” is a critical review of the second McLaren Report and accusations of ‘state sponsored doping’  in Russia which have been promoted in the West. 
*****
To: WADA President Sir Craig Reedie

Universal Basic Income: A Fast Track to Precariousness

Would the universal basic income (or universal allowance) be the miracle reform that reduces social inequalities and relieves millions of people from the threat of poverty? Both the right and left find things to like about the idea. Socialist Party candidate Benoît Hamon made the universal basic income a flagship proposal for his program for the upcoming presidential elections. Manuel Valls (ex-Prime Minister) and Marine Le Pen (extreme right and National Front candidate) are also in favor. Surprising? To better understand what the stakes of this apparently progressive proposal …

The Deep State As Fake News

The deceptive nature of the concept of a “deep state”; the state is knowable if enough time is spent studying it; 70 years of fake news; Central Intelligence operates illegally and unaccountably; how the CIA has corrupted the system; egregious crimes committed by Central Intelligence globally; did CIA initiate an intelligence coup against an elected president?; does the President of the United States run the CIA, or does the CIA run the President?; the Phoenix Program as a bureaucratic and structural model for Central Intelligence and Homeland Security; organizational …

Hollywood Screen and TV Writers Call for Strike Vote

On March 24, after two weeks of frustrating contract talks, negotiators for the WGA (Writers Guild of America) notified the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) that, because the talks were stalled, they had no choice but to ask their 12,000 members to give them strike authorization.  It was a bold move.

As sparklingly glamorous and self-absorbed as Hollywood’s entertainment business is, when it comes to contract negotiations between the AMPTP and the WGA (or the DGA or SAG-AFTRA), they’re depressingly similar to those between, say, a group of pipefitters and welders and the IAM (International Association of Machinists).

The …

A Record-Setting Climate Going Bonkers

Never before in the history of the human species has climate set so many spine-chilling new records as last year, 2016. That dire assessment comes via analysis of the World Meteorological Organization’s (“WMO”) annual report dated March 21, 2017, prompting a thought: Does a wildly out of control climate threaten lifestyle and/or life as we know it?

The answer is a resounding yes it does! It’s just a matter of time.

Still, nobody knows for certain, meaning 100%, whether an out of control climate is truly life-threatening or not (it is a new experience, so nobody knows what to expect), but on …

The Demon Drink and Cricket Sponsorship

A strong tone of temperance has characterised discussions about Australian cricket of late. The tone got somewhat more excited with the announcement that Cricket Australia, after two decades, would end its relationship with Carlton and United Breweries, producer of Victoria Bitter.

A veritable whoop of delight could be noted through medical and activist circles: a chance to get a new sponsor, perhaps?  An opportunity to get on the puritan water wagon?  The Royal Australasian College of Physicians president Catherine Yelland was one of the gloomier preachers insisting that Cricket Australia do right by health and morality.  “It is well and …

Immigration: No Easy Answers

The cross border flood of millions of immigrants provokes profound political divisions, violence and the rise of mass movements challenging the unity of the European Union (EU) and the survival of the dominant political parties in the US and Europe.

Both the progressive pro-immigrant and right-wing anti-immigration parties and movements propose easy answers and attack their adversaries with political invective.

Both left and right engage in a losing war, based on historical omissions, abstract and muddle-headed assumptions and …

The West is becoming Irrelevant: The World is Laughing

I was recently told by an Asian friend of mine who is working in Paris:

Lately I stopped following almost all that is happening politically in the United States, in the UK and even here in France. It all feels suddenly so irrelevant, a waste of time.

Statements like this would be unimaginable only one decade ago. In the past, what came from Washington and (to a smaller extent) from London was monitored with great attentiveness and fear all over the world.

But all of a sudden, things have begun to change, rapidly. Despite the extremely violent nature of the Western-designed-and-manufactured global regime, …

“Decolonizing the Mind”: Using Hollywood Celebrities to Validate Islam

When Terry Holdbrooks Jr., converted to Islam in 2003, he was inundated with death threats and labeled a ‘race traitor.’

If a religious conversion ever deserves to be admired, Holdbrooks’ conversion does, and not because Islam has ‘won’ yet another convert, but because the new convert was assigned the very rule of subjugating his Muslim prisoners.

Yes, Terry Holdbrooks was a US army employee entrusted with guarding Guantanamo detainees.

The Muslim prisoners in Guantanamo, held for years and tortured without due process and in violation of the most basic tenants of human rights and international law, mostly subsisted on faith.

I had …

China’s Great Leap Forward: Western Frogs Croak Dismay

Introduction

From their dismal swamps, US academic and financial journal editorialists, the mass media and contemporary ‘Asia experts’, Western progressive and conservative politicians croak in unison about China’s environmental and impending collapse.

They have variably proclaimed (1) China’s economy is in decline; (2) the debt is overwhelming; a Chinese real estate bubble is ready to burst; (3) the country is rife with corruption and poisoned with pollution; and (4) Chinese workers are staging paralyzing strikes and protests amid growing repression – the result of exploitation and sharp class inequality. The financial frogs croak about China as an imminent military threat to the …

Peter Tosh’s Resistance against Racism, Apartheid and Settler-Colonialism

March 21 was the 57th anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre that was carried out by the South African apartheid regime against protesting Africans in 1960. This protest was organized by the liberation organization, the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC). It targeted the pass law of the settler-colonial regime that regulated the movement and residential pattern of the indigenous Africans. International opinion was so outraged by the murderous behaviour of the apartheid system that the United Nations’ General Assembly was inspired to declare March 21 the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD).

Whenever we …

Trudeau’s Oil Views Spur African Famine

Today the lives of over 10 million people in the Horn of Africa are at risk due to a drought at least partly caused by climate change. A study by Britain’s Met Office concluded that human-induced climate disturbances sparked a famine in Somalia in 2011 in which over 50,000 died. For its part, the Climate Vulnerability Monitor estimated in 2012 that climate change was responsible for some 400,000 deaths per year, a number expected to hit one million by 2030.

To mitigate this downward spiral radical action is needed. Instead, here is what Justin Trudeau told oil …

The Conspiracy Against President Trump

March 20, 2017: Listening today to the broadcast of testimony by FBI Director Comey and National Security Agency Director Admiral Michael Rogers before the House Intelligence Committee (an oxymoron) made it clear that the Democrats, Comey, and Rogers intend conflict with Russia.

The Republicans, for the most part, were interested to know how security leaks targeted at Trump Republicans came from meetings at which only the CIA Director, NSA Director, and FBI director were present. Of course, they did not get an answer, which shows how powerless congressional oversight committees are. Comey repeatedly said that he could not tell the committee …

The Adventures of a Peace Corps Volunteer in India Fifty Years Ago

Review of David Macaray's book, How to Win Friends and Avoid Sacred Cows: Weird Adventures in India Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims - When the Peace Corps was New

Every Peace Corps Volunteer has a near-death story. For David Macaray, supplementing his diet of curry and rice with a ball of opium did the trick.

But not to worry. Had he died, he wrote, “Our mothers and fathers would have received the obligatory telegram from the State Department: ‘Dear Parent: [stop] Your son ate opium, passed out, and set house on fire. [stop] He is deceased. [stop] Details to follow.”

Fifty years later, one wonders if Macaray, in a fit of nostalgia, ingested a bit of opium while organizing this sometimes heartbreaking but mostly hilarious book. Because it’s not really a …