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Billionaire Betsy DeVos, Big Data, and the Public-Private Planned Economy

If cutting-edge educational technologies can scientifically maximize student learning, then why do so many Silicon Valley bigwigs at Google, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, and Yahoo! send their children to the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, a school which bans computer technology from its classrooms?  If high-tech computerization were such a fundamental enhancement to cognitive development, then why did Steve Jobs withhold iPads and other “screen-time” technologies from his children? Why would these tech gurus not practice for their own sons and daughters what they preach (and bankroll) for the public education system? These incongruences signal red flags that the real …

Castigated by the Southern Poverty Law Center


The “public” that allegedly “protested” against this billboard in Ann Arbor, as reported by the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, were not the only folks watching DYR.

The SPLC has now included DYR on its Hate Map.

Dan McGowan responds:

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) recently criticized Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR) by including it on the so-called Hate Map, purportedly for the high crime of Holocaust denial.

Apparently if the SPLC disagrees with you, it will label you as a racist or a hatemonger. There is no discussion, …

Canada’s Shameful Role in the Overthrow of Ghana’s President Kwame Nkrumah

A half-century and one year ago today Canada helped overthrow a leading pan Africanist president. Ghana’s Canadian-trained army overthrew Kwame Nkrumah, a leader dubbed “Man of the Millennium” in a 2000 poll by BBC listeners in Africa.

Washington, together with London, backed the coup. Lester Pearson’s government also gave its blessing to Nkrumah’s ouster. In The Deceptive Ash: Bilingualism and Canadian Policy in Africa: 1957-1971, John P. Schlegel writes: “the Western orientation and the more liberal approach of the new military government was welcomed by Canada.”

The day Nkrumah was overthrown the Canadian prime minister was asked in the House of Commons …

The Extradition Saga of Kim Dotcom

The hunger with which US officials pursue copyright or general intellectual property violations is insatiably manic. The degree of that hunger is expressed by the now suspended, and most likely defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership, an attempt to further globalise the policing of IP laws in favour of corporate and copyright control.

Then come the vigilantes and those singing different, discordant tunes suggesting another alternative. One such figure was Kim Dotcom, founder of Megaupload and on the US Department of Justice wanted list for some years, along with company co-founders Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato.

His case is doing the …

South Korea’s Artist Blacklist

Question: What do a brilliant feminist novelist, a cutting-edge film director, and a Nobel-nominated poet have in common, in South Korea?

Answer: They are, of course, all world-class artists in their fields. They were also among the almost ten thousand artists revealed to be black-listed by the South Korean Government. A hundred page document originating from the South Korean president’s office, revealed by the Hankook Ilbo, listed these 9473 artists as targets to be surveilled, starved of financial and logistical support. Instructions were given that these artists e “punished” and “intimidated”.

Film director Park Chan Wook is probably …

The Bloodletters

Bloodletting as a medical practice flourished for thousands of years before finally yielding to more “enlightened” medicine except in special circumstances. One of history’s ironies is that America’s first president, George Washington, a bloodthirsty warrior before and during his presidency, died arguably from bloodletters called in to his bedside to let out one-fourth of his blood.

This essay highlights two unparalleled groups of bloodletters in America’s 240 years of history — U.S. presidents and the captains of America’s industries. These two groups are part of the power elite of America’s corpocracy, the incestuous marriage between Government America and Corporate America, with …

Artificial Intelligence: Frankenstein or Capitalist Money Machine

The Financial Times’ Special Report (2/16/2017) published a four-page spread on the ‘use and possible dangers of artificial intelligence (AI)’. Unlike the usual trash journalists who serve as Washington’s megaphones on the editorial pages and political columns, the Special Report is a thoughtful essay that raises many important issues, even as it is fundamentally flawed.

The writer, Richard Walters, cites several major problems accompanying AI from ‘public anxieties, to inequalities and job insecurity’. Walters pleads with those he calls the ‘controllers of autonomous systems’ to heed social …

The Trump-Netanyahu Circus

Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself

The President of the United States can hardly be taken seriously, saying much but doing little. His words, often offensive, carry no substance, and it is impossible to summarize his complex political outlook about important issues.

This is precisely the type of American presidency that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, prefers.

However, Donald Trump is not just a raving man, but a dangerous one as well. His unpredictability must worry Israel, which expects from its American benefactors complete clarity and consistency in terms of its political support.

At the age of 70, Trump is incapable of being the stalwart, pro-Zionist ideologue in a …

Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!

Here it goes again! The same old tired and predictable tune, the same recognizable chorus. Once again the world is told what to think and what to believe. The world is also given both rhythm and leitmotif, so the grotesque and crooked dance could begin.

Who could resist, really? The lyrics of the tune are recited in perfect English, and with that air of moral and cultural superiority, which is supposed to disperse all doubts.

On February 19, 2017, RT published the following:

The Telegraph, as a favored mouthpiece for British intelligence service disinformation, is a part of psychological warfare operation against Russia,

The “Superficial, Arrogant Smugness” of BBC News

Peter Oborne Delivers Some Home Truths on BBC Radio 4 Today

In a recent media alert, we noted the occasional tell-tale signs of uncomfortable truths that slip through cracks in the propaganda façade of BBC News. Very occasionally, the propaganda nature is clearly highlighted and can be enjoyed for its directness and the flustered BBC response it provokes.

Such was the occasion last Friday (February 17) when the BBC’s Justin Webb interviewed political journalist Peter Oborne live on BBC Radio 4 Today. It is fair to say Webb wasn’t expecting what happened. His attempts to hide his discomfort by repeatedly laughing can be heard in this …

Eleven Examples of Resistance to Government Raids

Resistance to unjust government action is the duty of all people who care about human rights.

As Dr. King reminded us in his letter from a Birmingham jail, “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”

It is now clear that Latinos and Muslims are Trump’s first target for government actions.  The orders just released put ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and US Customs and Border Protection on steroids.  These new policies also will have a devastating impact on LGBTQ, as well as Black and Muslim communities.

Here are eleven recent examples of how …

America’s Cultural Autism

It appears that America has little awareness of the value of awareness since fake news and fake values arrived to take possession of the body politic. Solipsism appears to lurk behind a modus operandi of tough talking American empire-speak when it addresses its ire to other centres of power daring to challenge its hegemonic brand of self-centred conceits, now spreading across the globe.

President Trump visited the Boeing hangar in South Carolina 16 February, hours after it was reported he was considering using the National Guard to round up undocumented migrants and had this to say: “We are going to build …

Elor Azaria Sentence: “No justice for Palestinians”

Human rights groups and Palestinian leaders have condemned what they called the “extremely lenient” punishment of Elor Azaria, the Israeli army medic who was filmed executing a severely wounded Palestinian in Hebron last year.

On Tuesday, a military tribunal sentenced the soldier to 18 months in jail and a demotion, nearly a year after he shot a bullet from close range into the head of 21-year-old Abdel al-Fattah al-Sharif.

There has rarely been a trial in Israel where the judges have been under such relentless – and mostly hostile – scrutiny. That appeared to be reflected in their sentencing, more than a …

Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism

Transcending the Masters' Tools

Fifty-two years-ago on February 21st, the world lost the great anti-colonial fighter, Malcolm X. Around the world, millions pause on this anniversary and take note of the life and contribution of Brother Malcolm. Two years ago, I keynoted a lecture on the legacy of Malcolm X at the American University in Beirut, Lebanon. While I had long been aware of the veneration that Malcolm inspired in various parts of the world, I was still struck by the love and appreciation that so many have for Malcolm beyond activists in the black world.

There are a number of reasons that might explain …

The “White Helmets” Go to Hollywood

The Netflix movie The White Helmets may win an Oscar in the “short documentary” category at the Academy Awards on Sunday February 26.  It will not be a surprise, despite the fact that the group is a fraud and the movie is a contrived infomercial.

The White Helmets are a “feel good” story like a Disney hero movie: 90% myth and fabrication. Most of what is claimed about the Syrian rescue group is untrue. They are not primarily Syrian; the group was initiated by British military contractor James LeMesurier and …

Assessing Media Bias

Can you trust any media outlet to tell the truth about foreign affairs? Or are they all part of some propaganda system? Perhaps the best we can do to understand what’s really happening in the world is read/listen/watch a variety of sources, but assume they are all biased in one way or another?

These questions came to mind after a recent Montréal event about Syria.

In a La Presse article, international affairs reporter Agnès Gruda essentially dismissed a presentation by a freelance journalist who has covered the war in Syria by writing: “for who does Eva Bartlett really work? During …

Restricting People’s Use of Their Courts

In not so merry old medieval England, wrongful injuries between people either were suffered in silence or provoked revenge. Cooler heads began to prevail and courts of law were opened so such disputes over compensation and other remedies could be adjudicated under trial by jury.

Taken across the Atlantic to the colonies, this system – called tort law or the law of wrongful injuries – evolved steadily to open the courtroom door until the nineteen seventies. It was then that the insurance industry and other corporate lobbies began pushing one restriction after another through state legislatures– not restrictions on corporations’ rights …

President’s Quest for Détente with Russia Continues Despite Fierce Opposition

President Trump rose from the ashes of Mike Flynn at his press conference last Thursday. In a bravura performance, defiant and funny at times, the President took on the corporate media en masse.

It is a performance that should not be missed. You can savor both video and transcript at your leisure here.

The press

Trump: “Unfortunately, much of the media in Washington, D.C., along with New York, Los Angeles in particular, speaks not for the people, but for the special interests and for those profiting off a very, very obviously broken system. The press has become so dishonest that if we …

Trump’s Clarifying Moment for Israel and Palestinians

For 15 years, the Middle East “peace process” initiated by the Oslo accords has been on life support. Last week, United States president Donald Trump pulled the plug, whether he understood it or not.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu could barely stifle a smile as Mr Trump demoted the two-state solution from holy grail. Instead, he said of resolving the conflict: “I am looking at two states or one state … I can live with either one.”

Given the huge asymmetry of power, Israel now has a free hand to entrench its existing apartheid version of the one-state solution – Greater Israel …

America First


Nothing in Trump’s campaign resonated with the American heartland quite like “America First”. But Trump wasn’t the first. Remember Charles Lindbergh? He put “America First” and paid the price.

Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR) also wasn’t first but neither were we last. The first DYR “America First” billboard went up in Detroit in November 2015.  It didn’t last long but such is Jewish power.

It re-appeared on February 6 this year near Ann Arbor, Michigan but, just one week later, DYR received a call from Adams Outdoor Advertising General Manager Mike …