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WSJ Reports: Bank of North Dakota Outperforms Wall Street

While 49 state treasuries were submerged in red ink after the 2008 financial crash, one state’s bank outperformed all others and actually launched an economy-shifting new industry.  So reports the Wall Street Journal this week, discussing the Bank of North Dakota (BND) and its striking success in the midst of a national financial collapse led by the major banks. Chester Dawson begins his November 16th article:

It is more profitable than Goldman Sachs Group Inc., has a better credit rating than J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and hasn’t seen profit growth drop since 2003. Meet Bank of North Dakota, the U.S.’s

Greenwald Blames the Hostage

Silicon Valley Sells the Illusion of Security

Yesterday the USA Freedom Act was blocked in the Senate as it failed to garner the 60 votes required to move forward. Presumably the bill would have imposed limits on NSA surveillance. Careful scrutiny of the bill’s text, however, reveals yet another mere gesture of reform, one that would codify and entrench existing surveillance capabilities rather than eliminate them.

Glenn Greenwald, commenting from his perch at the Intercept, opined:

All of that illustrates what is, to me, the most important point from all of this: the last place one should look to impose limits on the powers of the

Russia invades Ukraine. Again. And again. And yet again … using Saddam’s WMD

The Anti-Empire Report #134

“Russia reinforced what Western and Ukrainian officials described as a stealth invasion on Wednesday [August 27], sending armored troops across the border as it expanded the conflict to a new section of Ukrainian territory. The latest incursion, which Ukraine’s military said included five armored personnel carriers, was at least the third movement of troops and weapons from Russia across the southeast part of the border this week.”None of the photos accompanying this New York Times story online showed any of these Russian troops or armored vehicles.“The Obama administration,” the story continued, “has asserted over the past week that the Russians …

Colombia’s Labyrinth of Violence

On May 16 of this year, in the rural Colombian town of Jardines de Sucumbíos (In the department of Narino), farmer Leonardo Obando offered the first floor of his home to four guests who had spent the day preparing for the town’s mother’s day festivities. The four men were: Brayan Yatacue Secue, Jose Antonio Acanamejoy, Jose Yinder Esterilla, and 15 year-old Deivi Lopez Ortega, all members of the agricultural union FENSUAGRO.

Around 4am, Obando and his family were awakened by the sound of gunfire as members of the Colombian military forcibly entered the house. Upon being …

Shifting Blame: The Grand FIFA Cover-Up

It [the Garcia report] must be made public. That is the only way FIFA can deal with the complete loss of credibility.

— Reinhard Rauball, President of the German Football League, November 16, 2014

It seemed cheeky of them, but it could not have been any other way. Football’s governing body, FIFA, is a creature that is beyond reform. Solidly entrenched, heavily overgrown, and incapable of brooking an approach that might refresh its functions for the broader goals of football, it resists change with fundamentalist commitment. Every effort that has been made thus far has fallen. …

Keystone XL Pipeline: Down but not Out

On November 18, Senate Democrats derailed Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline plans. For now. Republicans controlling next year’s 114th Congress vowed to continue fighting for passage. It remains to be seen what follows.

Obama is veto-shy. Twice only so far. Compared to GW Bush’s 12. Including pocket vetoes. Clinton’s 37. Reagan’s 78. Dwight Eisenhower’s 181. Truman’s 250. FD Roosevelt’s astonishing 635. Overriding presidential vetoes seldom happens.

Throughout US history, presidents vetoed legislation 2,564 times. Overridden 110 times. Around 4% of the time.

Tuesday’s Senate roll call fell one vote short of passage – 59 to 41. One additional vote approves …

Talk of a Third Intifada: Where to from Here, Palestine?

When a journalist tries to do a historian’s job, the outcome can be quite interesting. Using history as a side note in a brief news report or political analysis oftentimes does more harm than good. Now imagine if that journalist was not dependable to begin with, even more than it being “interesting”, the outcome runs the risk of becoming a mockery.

Consider the selective historical views offered by New York Times writer Thomas Freidman – exposed in the book The Imperial Messenger by Belen Fernandez for his pseudo- intellectual shenanigans, contradictions and constant marketing of the status quo.

In an article …

Chances Are the FBI Has Files on Your Favorite Human Rights Activist

Yale University American historian Beverly Gage was sifting through the US National Archives in the summer of 2014, doing research for a book on J. Edgar Hoover, when she came across a letter historians had been searching for for many a decade. Written from the perspective of an imaginary yet disappointed admirer of Martin Luther King, Jr., the missive encouraged the leading civil rights, anti-war, and socialist activist to kill himself.“There is only one thing left for you to do,” the anonymous author warned, “before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.” “…

How Economic and Social Rights Were Disappeared from the United States

Several years ago the Occupy movement captured the imagination of an American public disillusioned with the country’s socioeconomic system, which had failed to provide them with a standard of living commensurate with wealth of the richest country in the history of the world. Occupy provided a forum for average citizens to express their dissatisfaction with the status quo, and created a framework to view what was happening in society as a class war waged by the 1% against the 99%.

Many economic and social goals were proposed such as a living wage, free higher education, and single-payer health care system, to …

Violence and Resistance in Palestine

An African American Perspective on Israel/Palestine

For the many thousands of tourists who fly into Israel/Palestine every year, landing in the modern Ben-Gurion airport in Tel Aviv marks the beginning of a great adventure in the “holy land.” But for members of the “African Heritage” delegation, flying into Ben-Gurion was fraught with tension and foreboding. Before departing the U.S. on October 27, our delegation rehearsed how we would move and act, role-playing what to say and what to avoid when we would face Israel’s first line of defense – its custom officials at the airport.

The normally simple act of landing, showing that prized blue book …

Leaving da Camera On: Comix: Raghead the Fiendly Neighborhood Terrorist

Red and Ted Fight Evil
 




 
Bill Purkayastha a dentist and author, has published two books. He is 42, divorced, and lives with three big dogs and a lot of books, especially on military history, science and astronomy, apart from novels – of which many are fantasy, horror and science fiction. He’s a regular contributor to several sites including Subversify Magazine and …

Leaving da Camera On: Comix: La-La Land

 

Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz is a multi-disciplined artist born in Hell’s
Kitchen, NYC. Visually she works primarily in painting and comics art,
and also fronted a couple of local punk bands before gravitating
towards more experimental sonic art. She and her husband,
percussionist Eric Blitz, create soundscapes and noize under the name
Astral …

Sipping Green Tea

With Barack Obama and Xí Jìnpíng

History is “made” when it’s least expected: This past week, as soon as Air Force One touched down at Beijing Capital International Airport — in nothing flat — President Obama sealed a climate initiative between China and the U.S.

By all appearances, it must be good policy with considerable merit, because, quick as a wink, 350.org’s Bill McKibben, and the Executive Director of the Sierra Club, Michael Brune, and Ben Adler of Grist, and Mother Jones all sent congratulatory notices. The consensus amongst pundits on climate change is: “It’s a gamechanger!”

Just like that, even before the dust settled on the …

I Am a Patriot

On Thursday, November 13, I dropped down in my seat at the hearing room of the House Armed Services Committee on the Administration’s Strategy and Military Campaign against ISIL, a little depressed at what was to come. More war, less hope for peace. Just two days earlier, on Veterans Day, I was at the widely advertised and well attended “Concert for Valor” on the National Mall. Veterans Day was previously known as Armistice Day, started after WWI as a day to celebrate an end to war. Now it’s a day to glorify warriors, and I was threatened with arrest for …

RE/MAX Cashes in on Israel’s Illegal Settlements

The Israeli government’s recent announcement that it had authorized the building of another 1,000 settlement homes in East Jerusalem left the US government seeing red, with State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki calling the settlement activity “illegitimate” and “incompatible with the pursuit of peace.” But the announcement must have left the US-based real estate giant RE/MAX “seeing green,” ready to cash in on the sale and rental of more illegal settlement homes.
Look around your neighborhood at homes for sale and you will undoubtedly see RE/MAX’s ubiquitous signs sporting red, white and blue hot air …

Achieving Solidarity

An Open Letter to Naomi Klein

Dear Naomi,

I’ve just read, twice actually, your great new book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. It’s very valuable and a must-read for people who appreciate both the seriousness of the climate crisis and the importance of progressive, justice-based social change. You have clearly worked long, hard and well to put together a comprehensive narrative about the climate issue, its connections to other issues, the state of the movement and the state of the climate denier opposition, the necessity of up-from-below initiatives and alternatives, the importance of solidarity with and support for Indigenous peoples fighting …

Redefining “Imminent”

How the U.S. Department of Justice Makes Murder Respectable, Kills the Innocent and Jails their Defenders

Political language can be used, George Orwell said in 1946, “to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” In order to justify its global assassination program, the Obama administration has had to stretch words beyond their natural breaking points. For instance, any male 14 years or older found dead in a drone strike zone is a “combatant” unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving him innocent. We are also informed that the constitutional guarantee of “due process” does not imply that the government must precede an execution with a trial. …

Kangaroo Court Justice for Hassan Diab

On November 13, 2008, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) unjustly arrested Diab. In connection with a 1980 Paris synagogue bombing. A crime he had nothing to do with. At the time, France’s Le Figaro newspaper cited unnamed 2007 sources. Saying Diab led “the small commando team responsible for the attack…” Despite no verifiable evidence proving it.

In mid-November 2008, L’Express said French police, magistrates and intelligence officers were in Canada.

“(T)ry(ing) to arrange Mr. Diab’s extradition to France. The French warrant *(unjustly) accuse(d) him of making and planting the bomb.”

His lawyer, Rene Duval, said he had no involvement at all. “Most …

Bono’s Jet Almost Down* … Russell Brand’s Addiction, Headline News!

at-will worker societies definitely not sexy tales for Media Magicians … and  the”other fine messes, Ollie, you’ve gotten us into” don’t get copy: tales from a Laurel and Hardy take on the continuing criminal enterprise system that is Capitalism with an Eye to Total Educational Institution Destruction

John Steppling:

Today, mass culture, corporate culture, is enclosed within assumptions about entertainment, and it reflects the values of the corporate ownership class that makes it. It is repetitive, and yet predicated on ideas of novelty and originality. The role of popular culture today, though, has changed in another way. Where once popular forms

Restraining the USA

“Can America Contain China?” it is often asked in the West. But given America’s endless wars and assaults on the developing nations of the world, the question ought to be, “Can China Contain America”? Or at least, can China restrain the U.S. from doing more damage in East Asia and perhaps elsewhere in the developing world?

Last week Obama went to Beijing for the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit as the representative of the West and its centuries old grand project in East Asia. And what has that project been? History tells us that the West with its missionaries and …