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A Climate for Change, Islam and the Environment

Earth Day arrived and passed with marginal coverage, awareness or acknowledgement this year.  To be fair, it was a heavy news cycle, the passing of music legend and icon Prince a day before, continuing primary election coverage and a host of other local concerns held sway.  Intended to create awareness of and for the environment, considering humanity’s centuries old assault, Earth Day is more relevant now then ever.

Solutions to climate matters are complicated, tainted with partisanship and moreover, difficult, as the impact may not be shared equally throughout the world.  Some nations have taken a leading and prominent role.  Sweden …

A Pen to Battle Fascism

Remembering George Seldes (1890-1995)

Those who cannot see the growth of Fascism or deny its existence are either the many who do not know what fascism really is or the few who prefer euphemism a patriotic American name for a distinctly European product.

These words, penned by journalist George Seldes decades ago, have seemingly been ignored by American readers.

During the course of his life, Seldes repeatedly accused the American Press of “covering itself in filth” when glorifying fascist regimes, no matter how brutal and undemocratic, as long as it was in the name of anti-Communism. Seldes went on to write other journalistic tracts on …

The Eye of the Beholder: There is Never Anything New

A review of John Steppling's new book, Aesthetic Resistance and Dis-Interest

 it is through mimesis, (identification with the mirror image) that one gains a sense of unity, self-containment and mastery over the body. If that was all that there was to it, humanity would be condemned to dwell forever entombed in the hell of mirrors. However, the identification with an Other in the mirror opens out the possibility for symbolic thought.

— John Desmond, author, thinker, who is interested in the history of marketing; construction of knowledge in marketing; consuming culture; morality and marketing; advertising and public policy

The beauty of ideas and words and sculpting frames and philosophical groundings is that …

If You’re a Misanthrope, are You a Misogynist?

Let’s get some terms straightened out. If you’re a misanthrope, you pretty much hate humanity in general. Women, children, men, you despise them all. You can still hate everyone and have exceptions for your own family and puppy dog, but you’re probably more than willing to press the button and vaporize millions. Frankly, you don’t give a shit about anyone other than you and your own.

What’s a misogynist? Misogyny is a sub-category of misanthropy but focuses its hatred on women. In other words, if you’re a misanthrope, you’re pretty much a misogynist as well. But if you’re a misogynist, you …

Did the Arabs Betray Palestine?

A Schism between the Ruling Classes and the Wider Society

At the age of 21, I crossed Gaza into Egypt to pursue a degree in political science. The timing could have not been worse. The Iraq invasion of Kuwait in 1990 had resulted in a US-led international coalition and a major war, which eventually paved the road for the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. I became aware that Palestinians were suddenly ‘hated’ in Egypt because of Yasser Arafat’s stance in support of Iraq at the time. I just did not know the extent of that alleged ‘hate.’

It was in a cheap hotel in Cairo, where I slowly ran out …

US Apocalypse in Mosul in the Guise of Bombing ISIS

The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.
— Albert Camus, 1913-1960

On May 1st, 2003, George W. Bush stood in a dinky little flying suit on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and in a super stage managed appearance told the lie of the century:

Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.

The illegal occupation and decimation of Iraq continued until December 2011. In June 2014 they returned to bomb …

From a Stateless Palestinian Refugee to Signers of the “Leahy letter” in the US Congress

The following letters are from 22-year-old Amena Ashkar and 86-year-old Mariam Fathalla, stateless Palestinians from the refugee camps in Lebanon.  They are addressed to the eleven Congressional signers of the “Leahy letter”, asking secretary of State John Kerry to report on Israeli and Egyptian violations of human rights.  Amena and Mariam personally took the letters on April 26, 2016, to members of the US Congress and their staffers.  In at least one case, this act brought tears to the eyes of a staffer.

April 25, 2016
Hon. [name]
Congressional address
Washington, DC

Dear [title]

Understanding Money and the Economy

Most books about economics are turgid and abstruse, so most people are intimidated and mystified by this crucial topic. Now sociologist Dr. Michael Sosteric (pen name Michael Sharp) has written a helpful guide to it. He has a gift for explaining complex, abstract concepts in simple, easy-to-understand language, and his clear prose is a refreshing antidote to the murk of much economic writing.

Entitled The Rocket Scientists’ Guide to Money and the Economy, the book explains the fundamentals of economics and gives us an historical overview of their development. With the help of a fable and graphics it shows how …

The Classified “28 Pages”: A Diversion from real US-Saudi Issues

The controversy surrounding the infamous “28 pages” on the possible Saudi connection with the terrorists that were excised from the joint Congressional report on the 9/11 attacks is at fever pitch. But that controversy is a distraction from the real problems that Saudi Arabia’s policies pose to the United States and the entire Middle East region.

The political pressure to release the 28 pages has been growing for the past couple of years, with resolutions in both houses of Congress urging the president to declassify the information. But now legislation with bipartisan sponsorship has advanced in Congress that would deprive any foreign …

The Geopolitics of Generosity

On April 16, Ecuador suffered an earthquake registering 7.8 on the Richter scale. One week later, the death toll stood at 656, with more than twelve thousand injuries reported and more than fifty people still missing. Hundreds of aftershocks, some very powerful, continue to shake the country’s northwest coast and cause more damage.

The day after the disaster, aid began arriving from Ecuador’s Latin American neighbors, including Colombia, Peru, Venezuela and Bolivia. Quick responses were crucial, as hundreds of people were still missing, many trapped in crumbling rubble.

Cuba sent 53 medical personnel to help, in addition to the more than two …

Electoral Politics and the Illusion of Control

We have all been told a lie. The lie that says democracy can be maintained only through voting, through purely representative, parliamentarian means. When the founding fathers set up the Constitution and Bill of Rights, they were wary of any truly popular, working and middle class control of the United States. Our government was to be run as a republic, designed by elites, for the elites. Our three branches of government were not simply invented for checks and balances: another reason was to stymie any massively popular mandates that would go against the interests of the oligarchy.

Today, the checks and …

Disenfranchising Large Segments of Americans

Several hundred thousand American citizens won’t be voting in presidential primary elections—and it’s not their fault.

In Pennsylvania, for example, a registered voter who needed an absentee ballot had to submit the request at least one full week before the election, and then return the ballot no less than four days before the election.

But, what if circumstances changed? What if that person became injured or had to leave the state after April 19, but before the election, Tuesday? If it was April 20, you could not receive an absentee ballot. You could still vote in person, but if you couldn’t …

In Israel, an Ugly Tide sweeps over Palestinians

In Israel’s evermore tribal politics, there is no such thing as a “good” Arab – and the worst failing in a Jew is to be unmasked as an “Arab lover”. Or so was the message last week from Isaac Herzog, head of Israel’s so-called peace camp.The shock waves of popular anger at the recent indictment of an Israeli army medic, Elor Azaria, on a charge of “negligent homicide” are being felt across Israel’s political landscape.

Most Israeli Jews bitterly resent the soldier being put on trial, even though Azaria was caught on camera firing a bullet into the head …

The Future of Cuba and U.S. Relations

Washington’s partial rapprochement with Havana, symbolized by President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Cuba, is more advantageous to the United States than the neighboring country it has ostracized, sanctioned and subverted for over five decades.

This is not to say that the small island nation of 11.3 million people has gained nothing from President Obama’s efforts to mitigate over 56 years of Yankee hostility, beginning overtly a year after the 1959 armed revolution that freed Cuba not only from a vicious dictatorship but 467 years of foreign domination — by Spain from 1492, replaced by the U.S. from 1899. It ended …

The Shame of Anzac Day: An Aotearoan Perspective

In Aotearoa (New Zealand) and in Australia we observe Anzac day, commemorating the first landings at Gallipoli in 1915 on April 25. The Dardanelles campaign that followed was eight months of futile slaughter. In the century since the sense of loss and the rightful condemnation of the vicious military folly were always muted and buried under tales of honour and national pride, but now we are forgetting altogether. In our fatuous nationalistic self-love we are telling our children that the war was a noble endeavour.  History is being rewritten in the most offensive and disgusting manner and we need to …

Eating Brains: How the Collective Consciousness is Floating into Miasma

Part 4 of a 5 Part Series

We have to create culture, don’t watch TV, don’t read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you’re worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered, you’re giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is

Brazil cannot be allowed to fall

Send tanks to the streets; park them in front of the Congress, Dilma! Restore order and restore democracy.

Enough weeping! Latin America has wept incessantly, continuously, for years, decades and centuries. Its people robbed of everything since the days of Columbus, since Potosi. Tens of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions have been slaughtered here, in the last five centuries; first by the conquerors, then by their descendants and serfs, and finally by the Empire of Lies as well as the treasonous local ‘elites’.

Enough weeping, comrades! It is time to use force.

Whenever people stood up, whenever true Latin American heroes liberated their lands, by reason or by force, the bloodbath was administered almost immediately, from across the seas, or …

Gagging the Scientists: Britain’s Proposed Rules

Has the British political establishment had an atrophying episode on the science front? Suggestions that this might be the case came last week when there were suggestions that a gag of Britain’s scientists might be in the works. The Cabinet Office had busied itself with proposals in February that, if implemented, would prevent organisations from using tax-payer funds to lobby parliamentarians.

Initially, the ban would have covered academics, effectively eliminating them from the public debates on such matters as transport, genetic modification, stem-cell research, climate change and energy.  It would also effectively siphon and control the award of grant money …

Empire’s Seamless, Pernicious Perfection

Early in 2003, as the Coalition of the Morally Bereft hyped and prepared its invasion, destruction, and pillage of Iraq, Arundhati Roy made a powerful speech at The World Social Forum in Porto Allegre, Brazil.  She suggested that those of us who seek to stop the  cataclysmic policies of Empire might do so “With our art, our music, our stubbornness, our joy, our sheer relentlessness, and our ability to tell our own stories.”  Fast forward thirteen years, and the “Shock and Awe” which still envelops Iraq has proven to be so lucrative to the economies of the U.S.A. and its client states that our (s)elected governmental officials have decided to share it …

The 21st Century Greater Depression

I became interested in the question of how an organization whose business plan is theft can go bankrupt during the Enron debacle. I was well aware that many companies are forced into bankruptcy so that the executives can loot the pension plan and that this has been an accepted business practice for many decades; out of fashion now that there are no pension plans to loot. However, the thefts were made possible by junk bonds that destroyed companies that otherwise were going concerns providing real products and services that had a genuine customer base.  In other words, the executives looted …