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Criminalising Refugees

The Disgrace of Britain’s Immigration Detention Centres

Fleeing war, persecution and acute poverty, men, women and children have been arriving in Britain for generations. They come in search of peace: for work or education, and to build a decent life in a country were the rule of law is observed and human rights are respected.

Currently the largest numbers, according to Mary Bosworth, (author of Inside Immigration Detention), arrive from the sub-continent: India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. They also come from Nigeria and Jamaica, and from current and recent war zones: Syria, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. Many of those making the hazardous journey have been the victim of …

War Department Retroperistalsis

An antiemetic might possibly help with this little recurring problem I have.  As the years roll by, the sessions seem to be getting much more severe and frequent.  It doesn’t take much to kick it off.  A bumper sticker with some patriotic phrase like “Proud Grandparents of a U.S. Marine”, “God Bless our Snipers” (really!), or simply “Freedom isn’t Free”.  A Norman Rockwell-esque moment where an elderly veteran sporting a V.F.W. cap is vigorously shaking the hand of a uniformed pimple-faced adolescent, fresh out of boot camp, exchanging thank you’s for their service. President Obama gushing about American exceptionalism and how the U.S.A. has the finest fighting force in the history of mankind, …

Palestine’s Crisis of Leadership: Did Abbas Destroy Palestinian Democracy?

The crisis of leadership throughout Palestinian history did not start with Mahmoud Abbas and will, regrettably, be unlikely to end with his departure.  Although Abbas has, perhaps, done more damage to the credibility of the Palestinian leadership than any other leader in the past, he is also a by-product of a process of political fraud that started much earlier than his expired Presidency.

Abbas’ unforeseen announcement on August 27 that he, along with a few others, will resign from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee and his call for an emergency session of the Palestine National Council (PNC) is …

Quantitative Easing for People

The UK Labour Frontrunner’s Controversial Proposal

British MP Jeremy Corbyn has proposed a “People’s QE” that has critics crying hyperinflation and supporters saying it’s about time.

Dark horse candidate Jeremy Corbyn, who is currently leading in the polls for UK Labour Party leadership, has included in his platform “quantitative easing for people.” He said in a July 22nd presentation:

The ‘rebalancing’ I have talked about here today means rebalancing away from finance towards the high-growth, sustainable sectors of the future. How do we do this? One option would be for the Bank of England to be given a new mandate to upgrade our economy to invest in new

Letter from President Obama to President Xi on the 70th Anniversary of the End of WWII

An Anonymous Senior Official at the White House provided the following confidential letter to us.

Dear President Xi,

On September 3, your country is hosting a commemoration of the end of World War II on the 70th Anniversary of the day recognized as its termination in the Asia-Pacific.  You have invited both me and President Abe of Japan.  We both have chosen to refuse – just as we refused to attend the earlier commemoration of the defeat of Fascism in Moscow last Spring.

As you very well know, Jinping, if I may use your given name, this makes the United States look pretty mean spirited.  And to put it plainly, your cooking up these events with Vlad …

The World is Waiting for Your Action

I’d love to change the world,
But I don’t know what to do,
So I’ll leave it up to you.
— Alvin Lee and Ten Years After, I’d Love to Change the World, (From Space in Time album, 1971)

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why am I here, what is my purpose?”

The Great Masters of the East, Buddhist monks who devoted their lives to long meditations through which they claim to have discovered the secrets to our existence, believed they knew the answer:  that we are here to make a better world.

In the eighth and final week of my basic meditation course I …

US and Saudi Arabia War Crimes Keep Killing Yemenis

Is there anyone who believes that Yemeni Lives Matter?

Saudi ground forces invaded Yemen for the first time in this war on August 27. Officially, the Saudi government characterizes the invasion as an incursion that will be limited and temporary. The Saudi government made similar representations about their terror-bombing of Yemen that began March 26 and has continued on a near-daily basis to the present.

Other foreign troops have invaded southern Yemen in support of the ousted Yemeni government.

At the same time as the Saudi invasion, the ousted Yemeni government, now talking tough from the safety of Riyadh, the Saudi capital, says …

Elections in Morocco and the Boycott Option

On September 4th Morocco will hold municipal elections, after having postponed them as a response to the political parties’ demand, and due to tremendous reluctance among citizens to register as voters. As elections approach, Moroccan society has been divided into two major groups. One that advocates participation in the elections, and another group that is in favor of boycotting the elections. As always in Morocco during the lead-up to elections, debate has been rampant on Facebook and on other social media.

Generally speaking, elections are of great significance in any democratic country. Democracy is premised on all people having the same …

Military Training as Foreign Influence

Canadian Behind-the-Scenes Imperialism

Unlike the US or France, Canada is not a leading military force in Africa. But Ottawa exerts influence through a variety of means including training initiatives.

Canadian Forces have trained hundreds of African soldiers at the Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre in Kingston Ontario and Lester B. Pearson Centre in Nova Scotia. Canadian forces have also directed or participated in a slew of officer training initiatives, running courses in Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Mali among other places. In recent years Ottawa has funded and staffed various military training centres across the continent such as the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center …

A Critique of Feminism: A Humanitarian Won’t be Silenced about Sexual and Domestic Violence

I have worked as a professional in the human services and as an advocate of social justice for nearly two decades. I have worked with thousands of children and families in multiple roles including as a mental health counselor, parenting coach, social worker, educator, and mentor. I am also the proud Mom of a 21-year-old son who I adopted from the foster care system when he was 11. Through my extensive research and work with children and families over many years, I have been able to see the threads of how childhood trauma and attachment breaks in each individual family …

Mom, Is it War Yet?

Part 1: The Trojan War

For me 2015 began with a suicide. I was on my way to Berlin with an early train just after midnight on 1 January. About 8 am our connecting train from Hamburg stopped approximately 25 kilometres down the line because someone had apparently gotten up early that morning and travelled to a point in the middle of nowhere to jump in front of it. Since our train was approximately 45 minutes late, this person not only had to contemplate his way to the tracks but wait perhaps impatiently for the wheeled engine of his demise to do its work.

Later, in …

COP21 Caught in a Pressure Cooker

“Paris 2015” designates the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) to be held November 30 to December 11. The participants will be seeking a new international agreement on climate with a goal of holding global warming below 2°C (3.6°F) relative to pre-industrial temps. Can they do it? Yes, but will they?

If history is a guide, the odds are 50/50, maybe 25/75. However, this time history may be a poor guide because the pressure to accomplish an agreement has never been more pronounced, more eagerly sought, or more crucial. …

An Open Letter to Stanley Cohen

Establishment forces are trying to silence Stanley Cohen, a lawyer for those who resist.

*****Stanley,

Hey, so I was on Youtube listening to the unforgettable Amiri Baraka, the late playwright, jazzman, truth teller and mounting flame who never sold out, reciting his great poetic indictment “Somebody Blew Up America” against the backdrop of a plaintive Joycian beat generation sax riff. It’s the poem that got him defrocked as New Jersey’s Poet Laureate not too many years before the light of that noble life left us all the worse for its extinction. “Who, Who, Whoo, Whooooo”!

And then, I thought …

Environmental/Ethical/Spiritual Costs of Northern California’s Wine Industry

I have been contemplating why the growing struggle by rural residents against the expanding, industrial wine industry in Sonoma and Napa counties, Northern California, has touched my heart and soul so deeply.

An email from Sister Julie DeRossi of the Starcross Monastic Community to the Board of Supervisors, which follows at the end of this article, provided insight. It stimulated a consideration of the environmental, ethical, spiritual, and agricultural costs of the invasive wine industry that consumes and spoils our diverse rural land at an increasingly rapid rate.

Nuns, monks, and other religious people have pursued farming as spiritual practice …

Colombia’s Killing Fields

Peace is War

Colombia has received more US military aid — over $6 billion dollars in the past decade — than any country in the Western Hemisphere. For its part, Colombia allowed the Pentagon to build seven military bases, more than all the other countries in the region combined. There are over 2,000 US military officers and private US ‘mercenary’ contractors engaged in military activities in Colombia – more than any other country in Latin America.

During the decade-long (2001-2010) regime of President Alvaro Uribe, (a drug trafficker and death …

Predicting the Next Juvenile Revolution

The establishment, not so very long ago, had a healthy fear of juveniles. In the 1950s:

A thousand conferences, agencies, committees, and newspapers alerted the country [USA] to the danger. Juvenile delinquency was the only rebellion around, and it had to be stopped.
Articles on teenage delinquency gushed forth. Experts labelled it a “national epidemic,” projecting some two and a half million cases. “Unless this cancer is checked early enough,” warned one popular book, 1,000,000 Delinqints (1955), “it can go on spreading and contaminate many good cells in our society….

Although …

Happy Anniversary

I awoke this morning (29 August 2015) about 6 A.M. even though I’d set my alarm for an hour later to take advantage of a restful weekend. As my eyes opened memories flooded in and I could not help being a bit overwhelmed by the thoughts of this same day ten years ago.

On that morning I sat before a television screen at the home of some friends hundreds of miles from my southeast Louisiana home having evacuated two days before. I watched transfixed as a computer generated symbol …

Lo, the Poor Enlightened Billionaire!

Among the hundreds of billionaires and megabillionaires in the U.S., there are more than several enlightened persons upset by the problems our society faces who could make serious improvements possible.

The next step is breaking down a roadblock of sorts. A prominent, very rich businessman summed it up when he said to me: “Ralph, we all know how to make a lot of money but we don’t have a clue as to what to do with it, including me.” It is not as if these super-wealthy are contemplating their navels. Many do give away lots of money but wonder if their …

Asylum Seeker Crisis

People dying in their dozens – whether crammed into a truck or a ship en route to seek safety or better lives is a tragic indictment of Europe’s failures to provide alternative routes. Countries neighboring conflict areas are reaching their maximum capacity to absorb any more refugees. Without legal alternative routes for refugees to enter European countries, people fleeing conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere have taken matters into their own hands.” Those are just excerpts of statements by human rights organizations about the global asylum-seeker crisis. In the face of tragedies in Austria and Libya, questions are …

“Anchor Babies” and Trump’s U.S. Citizenship Claims

Reality Check

Is Donald Trump correct that so called “anchor babies” are not actually entitled to birthright citizenship?