Latest articles

Fukushima Flunks Decontamination

Japan’s Abe administration is pushing very hard to decontaminate land, roads, and buildings throughout Fukushima Prefecture, 105 cities, towns, and villages. Thousands of workers collect toxic material into enormous black one-ton bags, thereby accumulating gigantic geometric structures of bags throughout the landscape, looking evermore like the foreground of iconic ancient temples.

Here’s the big push: PM Abe committed to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which shall be a crowning achievement in the face of the Fukushima disaster. Hence, all stops are pulled to repopulate Fukushima Prefecture, especially with Olympic events held within Fukushima, where foodstuff will originate for Olympic attendees.

The Abe government …

Bernie comes to Vallejo

Vallejo is geographically close but economically far from more affluent San Francisco Bay Area cities to the south.  In 2008 the city of Vallejo filed for bankruptcy.  Yesterday, May 18, the Bernie Sanders campaign came to Vallejo.

The gathering was held in a huge grassy area alongside the water estuary.  The area was enclosed with security fencing so that audience members all had to pass through metal detectors. One and half hours before Sanders’ speech, the line to go through the security screening was half a mile long.  Yet spirits were high with a buzz in the air.

The audience of 8 …

Venezuela’s Crisis From Up Close

An open letter from Lisa Sullivan

Dear Friends,

Greetings from the state of Aragua in Venezuela where we are concluding a small US delegation focused on grassroots solutions to the massive food crisis here.

I am reaching out to you to share my grave concerns about what is happening here in Venezuela, my home for over three decades where I worked for 21 years as a Maryknoll Catholic lay missioner, then as Latin America Coordinator for the School of the Americas Watch.

It is out of concern for the most vulnerable sectors in Venezuela, such as my neighbors, that I break my silence to write. As I watch their …

Love Your Leader

Part 3 of a 3 Part Series

People call Kim III “The Marshal” and express towards him, as for his father and grandfather, the emotions usually reserved for a deity. This is shocking for us, but not unusual in Asia. Before 1945, the neighbouring Japanese, people of great culture and refinement, worshipped their Emperor as the Supreme Deity, and even now some of them continue to venerate him as a Shinto god. The Japanese ruled over Korea for 40 years, and during that time, they implanted some ideas, notably that of a Divine Ruler.

N Korea has little to do with Marxism, or with Socialism as the Westerners …

The Vote Bremain Camp goes into Hysterical Hyper Drive

As the Western Elites interfere in the Brexit Referendum

The last fortnight has seen the gloves come off as the Bremain camp engages in increasingly desperate scaremongering. Vote Bremain headed by that doyen of anti-corruption David Cameron is frightened by the stubborn insistence of millions of British people to reject the EU on June 23.

Polls reveal how Vote Bremain and Vote Brexit are neck and neck despite the avalanche of fear warmongering propaganda directed at the British public by Prime Minster Cameron and his big business supporters.

Brexit raises chances of war in Europe

In the last week Cameron, that compassionate dove who ordered the humanitarian bombing of Libya that turned …

China Closes the Innovation Gap

Surges To World’s Second in High Quality Science.

The headline reads, “The Rapid Rise of a Research Nation:  China’s economic boom is mirrored by its similarly meteoric rise in high quality science.”  This was not a headline in People’s Daily or China Daily but in the most prestigious of Western scientific publications, Nature.

The 38 pages, which follow that headline in a special Supplement to the journal Nature, tell us that China is now second in the world in high quality science publications and growing fast.  This certainly contradicts the Western, dare I say racist, stereotype of the hardworking, but unimaginative, Asian drudge, dutifully churning out mounds of low …

Can the Greens Deliver at Last?

Natalie Bennett recently announced she will not be standing for re-election as leader of Britain’s Green Party. I’m pleased about that. She should have gone a year ago after the Greens’ dismal performance in the general election.

Of all the main political parties the Green Party is the biggest disappointment: it has so much potential, but delivers so little, a true paper tiger. Only the Greens have a set of policies which, if put into practice, would help to terminate the destruction of our planet that’s currently underway, and end Britain’s economic and social race to the bottom. What they do …

Slouching Toward Washington

The corrupt, interminable 2016 presidential primary process has revealed terrible flaws in United States democracy. The biggest takeaway is that our two-party monopoly system is outmoded and inadequate to represent our diverse U.S. population. We need a fresh start, with more — and more open — parties, more closely resembling other western democracies. Too many Americans are now excluded for various reasons, with no say in their own governance.

It is clear that our two major parties are actually four. The Trump faction of Republicans, the latest incarnation of the Know Nothings, is the feral flowering of inchoate frustration. In Paddy …

Exiled on Main Street: Urban Utopian Insurrection

The dynamics of capitalism is postponement of enjoyment to the constantly postponed future.

— Norman O. Brown, Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytical Meaning of History, 1959

Is There No Alternative? Thinking Outside the Ballot Box

Are we happy yet?  Where is the democracy we were promised? Where is the hope and change we were promised? How can we transform society when we are discovering, to our dismay, that we’re doing everything wrong? What means can people use to rid themselves of abusive governments controlled by a wealthy elite serving only themselves to the detriment of the many and the teetering ecosystem? What …

Feet on the Ground

Part 2 of a 3 Part Series

DPR Korea is thoroughly demonised. It is supposed to be the poorest country (Wikipedia); hell on earth, its national airline “the world’s worst”, its cities shambles. The demonisers did a good service for N Korea as my expectations were so low that I immensely enjoyed every minute and every meal. Actually Air Koryo, the native airline, is not too bad and comparable to provincial airlines of its neighbours Russia and China.

Pyongyang airport is eerie if anything. It is big, modern, advanced, marble-floored, immaculately clean; our old reliable TU-154 looked like a rusty bus on its perfect tarmac. Its many immigration booths …

The Triumph of Establishment Politics

The High Court and Senate Voting Reform

How to find the voice of a people?  Electoral systems are the stuff of political nightmare and experiment, all attempting the same goal: how best to capture an appropriately, accurate choice.  Australia’s preferential election system is regarded as better than most, envied for its attempt to prevent the premature exhaustion of votes and avoid the misrepresentative nature of “first past the post” polling.

The Australian Senate has been a curious beast in this regard, abandoning first past the post voting in 1919 and introducing the concept of grouped candidates in 1922. But it was 1983 which saw the introduction of a …

Smashing the Fortress

This week, we take a look at the tens of thousands of migrants tapped in limbo in Europe, facing down the prospect of being deported back to the war zones they’ve just escaped.

For the musical break, we’ve got The Haymarket Squares, with Let’s Start a Riot.

We wrap things up with a look at the highly charged level of racial tensions in the United Snakes, and an interview with Paul, an organizer with All Out Atlanta, who helped coordinate a convergence of anti-racists to shut down the Klan …

Canada’s Holocaust Industry

How can you tell when “remembering” horrible events is being twisted to defend the status quo and support the powerful against the weak? When a sports network airs a Nazi Holocaust themed show.

Last week TSN ran a six-minute video feature about Hank Rosenbaum, a Polish Jew whose life was turned upside down when German troops invaded 77 years ago. The sports angle for TSN’s “Yom HaShoah, the international day of remembrance for the more than 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust during WW II” commemoration, was that Rosenbaum became a hockey fan when he arrived …

Clinton and Trump

Nuclearized or Lobotomized?

Over half the US electorate views the two leading candidates for the 2016 Presidential elections with horror and disdain.

In contrast, the entire corporate mass media, here and abroad, repeat outrageous virtuous claims on behalf of Hillary Clinton and visceral denunciations of Donald Trump.

Media pundits, financial, academic and corporate elites describe the prospects of her presidency as one of responsibility, national security, business prosperity and political normalcy.

Roots of the Conflict: Palestine’s Nakba in the Larger Arab “Catastrophe”

On May 15th of every year, over the past 68 years, Palestinians have commemorated their collective exile from Palestine. The ethnic cleansing of Palestine to make room for a ‘Jewish homeland’ came at a price of unrelenting violence and perpetual suffering. Palestinians refer to that enduring experience as ‘Nakba’, or ‘Catastrophe’.

However, the ‘Nakba’ is not merely a Palestinian experience; it is also an Arab wound that never ceases from bleeding.

The Arab ‘Nakba’ was namely the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which divided much of the Arab world between competing Western powers. A year later, Palestine was removed from the Arab equation altogether and …

Anatomy of a Propaganda Blitz: “Hitlergate”

Part 2 of a 2 Part Series

The recent furore surrounding a supposed ‘Labour antisemitism crisis’ is a classic propaganda blitz of the kind described in Part 1 of this alert.

Dramatic New Evidence

As with so many propaganda blitzes, intense media coverage was triggered by ‘dramatic new evidence’; namely, the discovery of a graphic posted by Naz Shah two years ago, before she became a Labour MP. The graphic shows a map of the United States with Israel superimposed in the middle, suggesting that a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict would be to relocate Israel to the US.

Shah’s post was highlighted by right-wing political …

Fake Right-wing Outrage ignores the Real

Right-wingers have adopted the outrage-machine over the last several decades, with the unceasing intention of dominating the media and influencing public opinion with a right-wing bias. The highly-funded choral and print network they have built is impressive and relentless at the same time. Almost all are petty, embellished or fabricated, but many imagined.

The really outrageous – most causing or involving death or injury — seem to be presented perfunctorily, fitted with “corporate lenses,” or consigned to more obscure treatment, even by mainstream media. Here is a small sample:

Considered cowardly by many, George Zimmerman re-listed for auction his gun. …

Kim’s Double-Breasted Jacket

Part 1 of a 3 Part Series

Author’s Note:  I returned just now from North Korea. Here is the first part of my report from this unusual land.
A colossal mass demonstration, well choreographed to the level of ballet but with tens of thousands of participants in the centre of Pyongyang, completed and sealed an important and unusual political event in this remote and isolated land of North Korea – the Party Congress. The demo has been followed by a show, so big that it could not be staged anywhere else. Magnificent fireworks, twenty thousand men and women dancing with torches in the darkness of Pyongyang …

Canada’s Saudi Arms Sales: “Don’t Be a Sucker!”

The sale of weaponized Light Armoured Vehicles (LAVs) to Saudi Arabia has raised a heated debate in Canada, pitting so-called realists against people who expect trade to be conducted according to a minimum set of moral values. Outgoing Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s swan song was the $15-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, which Harper boasted would provide 3,000 jobs.

A poll by Nanos Research showed that 60% of Canadians feel it is important to ensure arms go only to countries “that respect human rights” vs providing jobs to a few Canadians. The same poll showed that 86% hold a negative …

The Sun Never Sets but the Mote Remains in the Emperor’s Eye

Post-colonial empires are complex organizations. They are organized on a multi-tiered basis, ranging from relative autonomous national and regional allies to subservient vassal states, with variations in between.

In the contemporary period, the idea of empire does not operate as a stable global structure, though it may aspire and strive for such. While the US is the major imperial power, it does not dominate some leading global political-economic and military powers, like Russia and China.

Imperial …