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Ida on the Anniversary of Rosa

Ida B. Wells, an African-American native of Holly Springs, Mississippi, refused to give up her seat on a train on May 4, 1884, only to be dragged off by white men. Seven full decades prior to that event in Alabama on the Montgomery bus which made Rosa Parks into an icon.

Why have most people heard about Rosa, while many less are blessed with any knowledge whatsoever about Ida?

The answer has to come from the back of the activist bus… or the designated part of the train we’re on; or should I say treadmill? Meaning, most activists are engaged along cookie cutter lines, …

Can the Black Panthers offer Jamaicans Lessons on Checking Police Violence?

Police violence against the working-class

Amnesty International’s recently released report documents the murderous and violent behaviour  of the police within the island’s African working-class communities. Since the arrival of Africans in Jamaica as enslaved workers straight up to the present period of flag (in)dependence, relations between the African labouring classes and the law enforcement entities have almost always been violent, conflictual and deadly.

The behaviour of the police has made it clear to the masses that the …

Trump Picks Ex-Goldman Banker Known as “King of Foreclosures” to Head Treasury

The joke’s on you if you thought Trump was going to do anything less than deregulate Wall Street, says former financial regulator Bill Black.

Kissinger and Brzezinski to be Honoured by Nobel Institute and Oslo University

These two top officials behind major US wars (Iran/Afghanistan and Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos) and regime change (against Allende, Chile) will speak at the first of a new event, The Nobel Peace Prize Forum Oslo, created by the Nobel Institute in Oslo. More here.

The leaders of the two institutions declare that they are proud to have succeeded in getting these two diplomats to Norway – and the media, of course, will be there. The event is sponsored by the California-based company InCircl – a marketing and mobile payment company.

The university rector is dr. med. and participant at Bilderberg world elite …

The Arctic Goes Bonkers

Recent news out of the Arctic is alarming scientists as, for example, the Union of Concerned Scientists discussed further on in this article.  This extreme bad news is far-reaching, out of the ordinary, and chilling to the bone.

Global warming is getting worse and worse by the month and by the year and now, all of a sudden, frighteningly worse yet. Worldwide temperature sets monthly records, but who really cares in the public domain, other than scientists, the Pope, and the parties to COP, the Conference of the Parties, which is the gabfest for climate change. It’s where thousands of climate …

Less Symbolism, More Action: Towards Meaningful Solidarity with Palestine

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign has designated the week, November 25 to December 3, as the ‘biggest-ever campaign’ aimed at boycotting Israeli products and those of companies that contribute to the Israeli military occupation of Palestine.

In a recently issued press release, the civil society-led group highlighted “99 actions that will take place across the world to highlight what they described as “HP companies’ complicity in Israel’s violations of international law and human rights abuses.”

BDS activities are expected to be staged across at least 18 countries, spanning 6 continents.

The sharp increase in the boycott campaign activism is a direct result of …

Trump’s Chao and Iris Chang

Dedicated to the late great Iris Chang

In 2001, Elaine Chao, a Harvard Business School graduate who had served as chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission and assistant secretary of transportation, made history as the first Chinese American to accept a Cabinet position when President George W. Bush named her secretary of labor.

Now she’s Donald Trump’s Transportation Secretary, offering up a profile with many surprises.

Not long before the incomparable Iris Chang committed suicide near my former home rental in Los Gatos, California — a dozen years to this month on November 9th — lonely, and convinced that she was being hounded …

Nothing Important Happened in Syria on Tuesday, Nov. 29

On Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, after more than five years of fighting in Aleppo, Syrian government forces recaptured a major portion of the “rebel” enclave often called “east Aleppo”.

It now should be called “southeast Aleppo”, and soon perhaps just “Aleppo”. Thousands of grateful Syrian civilians ran into the arms of the soldiers, and were provided with food, shelter, transportation, medical services, and other needs.

They recounted horror stories of how the “rebels”, under the leadership of the extremist al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra (AKA Jabhat Fateh al-Sham), …

The Propaganda System in Canada

A review of Yves Engler's latest book, A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War

Propaganda is only as good as the processes through which it is concealed. Traditional examples of propaganda — the cult of personality, the political commissar, and the threat of the work camp (or worse) — were blunt and easy. They reflected a political climate where the threat of violent repression allowed for a less sophisticated regime of mass persuasion.

In current Neoliberal Democracies, propaganda needs to be sophisticated and ingrained. Propaganda, in any nation state, is the “acceptable” narrative of the historical past and the political future. Narratives constructed long ago are reformed and rechurned in an effort to justify policy …

On Peace and Ukraine, Trump, Putin, Gandhi, and …

An Interview with Johan Galtung

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
— from “The Sermon on the Mount”

[Interviewer’s Note: A man who has published more than 150 books and 1500 articles on peace and related issues; the founder of TRANSCEND: A Peace, Development and Environment Network; a man who has worked as a mediator with the U.N. and with various nations in conflict around the world, should need no little introduction… but I will recommend previewing the bio-data at Wikipedia and then beginning to sort through Johan Galtung’s omnibus of articles, plays, books.  Briefly, extracted from Wikipedia, etc.: Born …

The Tweet President

If the emperor wants to communicate with the people, he issues an edict, elegantly worded, drawn up by aides. Trump in contrast tweets even as he processes information. He shares his thoughts with his audience as they enter his mind. First to his Twitter following. Then, seconds later, on CNN and everywhere else. Anyone studying the timeline of tweets can get a good sense of Trump’s daily schedule and speculate on when he grabs pussy or makes time for his daily intelligence briefings.

At about 7:00 his morning Trump suddenly tweets out that nobody should burn the American flag, and that …

Globalization and Free-Market Capitalism Are Tearing Our Societies Apart

Globalisation and free-market capitalism are the dominant systems influencing the lives of billions in our dysfunctional world. These doctrines are pushed by corporations powerful enough to dictate to politicians their demands and not the other way round. Moreover, democracy is bent, distorted and subverted to serve the insatiable greed of the very few at the expense of the rest of humanity and our fragile planet. So what is this globalisation as it is advocated and practised by the powerful? Noam Chomsky captures its essence thus:

The term “globalization” has been appropriated by the powerful to refer to a specific

The Post-Industrial, Post-Modern Theory of Value and Surplus Value

(How the Abandonment of the Gold Standard led to The Abandonment of the Modern Labor Theory of Value)

The theory of conceptual-commodity-value-management is a theory, which descends right down to the depths and to the core of post-industrial post-modern bourgeois-state-capitalism; i.e., its bourgeois economy and its bourgeois financial institutions. So much so that today, the theory of conceptual-commodity-value-management is foundational, to such a radical extent, that it is the logic by which the central banks of the world’s global financial superpowers function and operate.

Initially based on the gold standard, the bourgeois economy and the central banks buttressed their financial transactions via gold, meaning that all monetary transactions within a nation and/or within international markets would be insured and …

The New York Times’ Biased Obituary of Fidel Castro

After Fidel Castro passed away Friday night at 90 years old, the obituaries written about him in the American press typified the U.S. government propaganda used for decades to demonize Castro and obscure the tremendous social and humanitarian advances that the Cuban Revolution was able to achieve in the face of unrelenting interference, subversion and destabilization. None were more over-the-top in their bias than the obituary in the New York Times.

A mere 54 words, the lede paragraph contains an astonishing amount of misinformation and innuendo:

“Fidel Castro, the fiery apostle of revolution who brought the Cold War to the

Capitalist Hospitals in the Empire

My Six-Day Nightmare At Kaiser

Nurse Ratched Revisited

I awoke in the dark, alone, in pain and frightened. I pushed the call button for the nurse and waited for him to come. Ten minutes seemed like an hour. The pain from my incisions after lung cancer surgery was taking my breath away. When the nurse didn’t come right away I struggled to get out of bed, as the pain was so intense I thought I would vomit. I had no idea my bed had an alarm on it and the alarm started going off – sound and lights. I made my way into the bathroom and …

Why are There Coats of Arms for Nobles and Nothing for Us?

Punditry by Other Means

It all may have started with the idea of the long arm of the lawmaker employing minions to implement order to discipline groups into respecting leadership that could enforce strong ties to a narrative that served a ruling elite. Yes, the monologue that was, and the dialogue that wasn’t produced strange outcomes that special Tuesday in November. The existing status quo came a cropper when the instincts of a large section of the electorate were employed to buck the system. A campaign meant to deliver the subalterns and the ‘deplorables’ a fait accompli of sorts, was undone when the instincts …

Twelve Ideas Post-Election from Front Line Organizers

When you find yourself in a suddenly darkened room, what do you do?   Some rush blindly to where they think the door might be.  Others stand still, let their eyes get adjusted to the different environment, re-orient themselves, then cautiously and sensitively, move forward.  Some search out people who might be able to show the way.  Post-election, a lot of people are re-assessing and searching for the best way forward.  Here are some ideas on where we should be going and what we should be doing from experienced, thoughtful people who are organizing on the front lines.

One.  You Were Born …

Reflections on Fidel, Cuba, internationalism and Tamils

Fidel Castro, October 12, 1987”. That is what Fidel wrote on my book, Yankee Sandinistas: Interviews with North Americans living and working in the new Nicaragua, after reading it.

In 1980, I fell in love with a Danish woman, Grethe, and moved to her country. On my way to assist the rebellion in El Salvador, in 1987, we traveled to Cuba. This was my first visit to Cuba and my first book had just come out when I met Fidel.

I had given him a copy after he spoke about the legacy of Che Guevara 20 years after his murder in Bolivia. …

The “Worker President” and the Banker Regime

Brazil under Lula DaSilva: 2003-2010

Left-wing academics, writers and journalists have written tendentious articles where they manage to transform reactionary political leaders into working class heroes and present their dreadful policies as progressive advances.

Recently, leftist pundits throughout US and Latin America have plagued the reading public with gross distortions of historical events contributing, in their own way, to the demise of the left and the rise of the right.

The leading international figures in this deceptive left-wing punditry include the famous Noam …

Who is Celebrating the Assassination of the USSR?

Last Friday the Atlantic Council hosted a curious panel in Washington, DC, dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the dissolution of the USSR: three shabby men who personally participated in a notorious, clandestine meeting in the Belavezha forest in Belarus on December 8, 1991 were seated on a stage in the capital of the principal beneficiary of that coup d’état – Boris Yeltsin’s then-Secretary of State Gennady Burbulis; the “founding president” of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk; and the chairman of the Belarusian parliament, Stanislav Shushkevich. They were such a sad spectacle that it is much more interesting to look …