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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 …

Al-Araqeeb Village: Palestinian Bedouins Refuse to Surrender 116 Times

On August 1, the Palestinian Bedouin village of Al-Araqeeb was destroyed for the 116th time. As soon as Israeli bulldozers finished their ugly deed and soldiers began evacuating the premises, the village resident immediately began rebuilding their homes.

Twenty-two families, or about 101 residents, are estimated to live here. By now, they are all familiar with the painful routine, considering the first round of destruction took place in July 2010.

It means that the village has been destroyed nearly 17 times per year, since then. And every single time, it was rebuilt, only to be destroyed again.

If the repeated destruction of …

The Story of Charlottesville was Written in Blood in the Ukraine

What is the character of racist right-wing politics today? Is it the crazed white supremacist who plows into an anti-fascist demonstration in Charlottesville, VA or can it also be the assurance by Lindsay Graham that an attack against North Korea would result in thousands of lives lost…. but those lives will be “over there”? What about the recent unanimous resolution by both houses of Congress in support of Israel and criticism of the United Nations for its alleged anti-Israeli bias? Would that qualify as racist and right-wing, since it appears that the ongoing suffering of the Palestinians is of no …

Locked and Loaded, War with North Korea Cannot Be Contained but Must Be Prevented

Interview with K.J. Noh

After Donald Trump threatened the Democratic People’s Republic of [North] Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” I spoke to K.J. Noh, a peace activist and scholar on the geopolitics of the Asian continent.

Rehearsing Armageddon

Ann Garrison: North Korea is standing up to the US’s 4800 “locked and loaded” nuclear weapons with an estimated 30 to 60 of its own. Do you think it would still be standing without them?

K.J.Noh: It’s hard to imagine so.

North Korea has been in a defensive crouch since the inception of its state. It has been under risk of nuclear attack almost …

The One True Faith: Atomic Weapons are God’s Gift to the United States of America, Alone

Like obscene profits from great fraud or theft, “wonder weapons” of mass destruction, to which the atomic bomb certainly belongs, have their origins in the inability and unwillingness to accept the equality and dignity of one’s opponents/ competitors (never mind whether one’s cause/product is legitimate).

The ambivalence of the US position during WWII — the discrepancy which became apparent after 1945 between the stated and unstated policies — allowed and even promoted the mythic justification for US atomic bombing.

When I first moved to Germany more than thirty years ago, I was appalled at the insensitivity — to put it mildly — …

Addressing The Big Food/Pharma/Quackery Consortium

Dead, decaying industrial cities, teeming with illicit drugs, prostitution, and desperation.  Condemned, dilapidated factories and foreclosed, rat-infested houses, offering temporary shelter to disposable, hopeless, unwashed minions.  Back alleys where life is cheap.  Where they wouldn’t think twice about cutting your throat for a buck, and leaving your carcass for packs of hungry dogs.  A very dangerous place.

Prison yards, where hope is but a distant memory, and neither innocence nor guilt have meaning.  Where you learn to do as you’re told.  Slave to the guards and gangs.  Thrall to corporations which exploit your labor.  Unwilling bitch to a beastly cellmate, you learn to bend over and take it …

Money Laundering in Chief: Scandal at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia

The Australian banker is a smug species, arguably more than his international peers.  Caught off guard by the financial disasters of the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Australian banking system has become an expression of a classic oligopoly, manipulating prices and squeezing customers.  Such an Australian banker is perky as well, self-assured that any inappropriate — let alone illegal — behaviour might be passed off as an effort to do better, to buck trends, to be audacious.

Over the last few weeks, AUSTRAC has had little time for that audacity.  The financial intelligence agency and regulator had picked up on …

War Not Only Kills People: It’s the Single Biggest Destroyer of the Environment

This is the first of a planned series of articles to be gathered under the umbrella title “War Must and Can Be Ended.” All of the pieces will be based on weekly writing assignments I completed as a participant in a spring, 2017 online study course conducted by World Beyond War, a U.S.-based global activist organization pursuing the ultimate goal of an internationally binding abolition of war.
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Most people in the world will agree that war is a horrible thing. Throughout history, it has not only killed and maimed young men in their prime without regard to the justice …

Hezbollah and Syrian Army Finishing off Terrorists of Al-Nusra

From Lebanon — It came unexpectedly, rapidly and with great force: on 21 July 2016, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Syrian army from their side, in unison, attacked positions of the malevolent terrorist group, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly known as Al-Nusra Front), in the mountainous province of Jroud Arsal in Bekaa Valley, on the border of two countries.

Simultaneously, the Lebanese Army surrounded and hermetically sealed the area around Arsal town, preventing new terrorist forces from entering the battle zone.

More than 150 militants were killed. Two dozen Hezbollah fighters lost their lives. Despite the difficult mountainous terrain, the battle was swift, …