Latest articles


Has the BDS Movement been hijacked by Liberal Zionists?

Palestinian civil society thinks that calling for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS) represents a creative breakthrough to shake off the burden of Israel’s occupation regime in historic Palestine. Historically, resistance to Zionist intrusion into Palestine can be traced back to the mid-1920s. So far, however, all strategies have failed both before and after the establishment of the State of Israel.
The British colonial Mandate regime subdued the Arab revolt of 1936-1939 and killed its leader Izz ad-Din al-Qassam. In his memory, the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas established in 1991 the “Al-Qassam Brigades” tasked to resist further Israeli land theft and …

Eco-Terror and the War on Terrier

Johnny Depp’s Dogs and Barnaby Joyce

It’s time that Pistol and Boo buggered back to the United States.

— Barnaby Joyce, Australian agriculture minister, ABC, May 14, 2015

One should be able to make light of it, though anything involving introduced species, pet sympathy and a community watery-eyed at thoughts they might be affected is bound to bring frowns and scowls. Attitudes to the environment in Australia tend to vary between loathing and anthropomorphic bliss.  Rarely does a sensible mind get a word in.

Animal slaughter is sanctioned by scientific-agricultural establishments, armed to the teeth with lethal viruses.  Elaborate techniques of killing the Indian Myna bird, to take but …

Secrecy and Democracy Are Incompatible

It is obvious, almost by definition, that excessive governmental secrecy and true democracy are incompatible. If the people of a country have no idea what their government is doing, they cannot possibly have the influence on decisions that the word “democracy” implies.

Dark government

Governmental secrecy is not something new. Secret diplomacy contributed to the outbreak of World War I, and the secret Sykes-Picot agreement later contributed to the bitterness of conflicts in the Middle East. However, in recent years, governmental secrecy has grown enormously.

The revelations of Edward Snowden and others have shown that the number of people involved in secret operations …

Teachers’ Day in Mexico City Brings an Army of Police into the Streets

Letter from Mexico: Part Three

Last Friday afternoon in Mexico City, I was waiting for a friend, a dedicated human and civil rights activist for many years in Mexico. He was going to tell me about his work on an initiative recently launched to call for a citizen’s convention to draft a new constitution for Mexico. This initiative, the “Constituyente Ciudadana Popular,” is spearheaded by Bishop of Saltillo Raul Vera, a leader of the Mexican Catholic Church.

Vera was assistant to the well-known Bishop of Chiapas Samuel Ruiz, an uncompromising advocate for Indigenous rights. During and after the Zapatista uprising in 1994, Ruiz denounced military …

The Chancellor’s G7 Climate Agenda

The G-7 annual summit is scheduled this June 7th-8th to be held at Schloss Elmau in Upper Bavaria.

“The Chancellor would like to use the G7 summit to push ahead with two UN projects: firstly, a worldwide climate agreement and secondly an agenda for sustainable development.”

Fortunately, President Obama is representing the United States. Imagine how the sparks would fly if one of the current Republican presidential candidates attended, not that Obama has been great shakes on the climate issue. In fact, early on he missed a golden opportunity to …

Policing USA: Mostly Bad Apples Murdering Us

Too many nightmares covering cops starting 40 years ago, nothing changes, just the hardware!

What does it mean to protect? To incarcerate? To uphold the law? What does it mean to strap on a gun and badge and go sadistically and forcefully into the night looking for stray people to shoot like rats?

What’s it like to be part of some paramilitary force and let the vengeance of the thin blue line overwhelm an entire city block with bombs and dead bodies ripped from the child’s bed?

What is it to be Janet Reno and firebomb a compound of religious nuts? To be that punk deputy who shoots a Seattle Pike Place woodcarver because he comes …

FERC Showing Cracks: It’s Time to Act

If someone is upset with fracking, they should probably talk to the states.

— Norman Bay, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), May 14, 2015

Why protest? Why demonstrate? Why nonviolent direct action? Part of the reason is to put pressure on those in power to smoke them out, to get them to say things publicly they might otherwise not say, to expose the truth about how and why things are working the way they are.

FERC has more to do with fracking than any other federal agency, and much more than any one state. They approve interstate pipelines to carry …

Gyrocopter Pilot Who Flew for Reform Might Land in Prison

Doug Hughes, a mailman from Florida who recently made headline news for flying his gyrocopter onto the West Lawn at the U.S. Capitol Building, will be in Washington DC for his first court hearing on May 21. Hughes has been charged with operating an unregistered aircraft and violating national airspace, which can potentially land him up to four years in prison, plus fines. I had the chance to interview him about his cause of getting money out of politics.

Medea Benjamin: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Doug Hughes: I’m a mailman in Riverview, FL, near Tampa. I’m 61 years …

Paul Hobbs’ Herbicide Spraying Upsets Parents and Neighbors

Health Concerns an Issue

Apple Blossom School has a nice ring to it, as does the Orchard View School at its side. The nearby Tree House Hollow pre-school, with children as young as two and three years old, continues this agrarian theme. These names evoke a pleasant scene of trees with students, teachers, and staff relaxing outside during recesses, as in old-fashioned one-room schools.

The winding rural Watetrough Road in the countryside around small town Sebastopol in Sonoma County, Northern California, leads to these rural schools, which have over 500 students. Sebastopol was known for decades as the home of the tasty Gravenstein apple. YUM! …

Obama Gave Up on Ukraine

Press Simply Ignored It

On Tuesday, May 12, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was asked at a press conference in Sochi Russia, to respond to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s recent statements promising renewed war against Donbass, which were made first on April 30, “The war will end when Ukraine regains Donbass and Crimea,” and which were repeated on May 11th, by his saying, “I have no doubt, we will free the [Donetsk] Airport, because it is our land.” In other words, Poroshenko had repeatedly made clear that he plans a third invasion of Donbass, and, ultimately, also to invade and retake Crimea. (The …

Gandhi as an Economist

If humans are to achieve a stable society in the distant future, it will be necessary for them to become modest in their economic behavior and peaceful in their politics. For both modesty and peace, Gandhi is useful as a source of ideas.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in 1869 in Porbandar, India. His family belonged to the Hindu caste of shopkeepers. (In Gujarati “Gandhi” means “grocer”.) However, the family had risen in status, and Gandhi’s father, grandfather, and uncle had all served as prime ministers of small principalities in western India.

In 1888, Gandhi sailed for England, where he spent three …

The Fetishization of Revenge

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has just been sentenced to death by a federal jury for his role in the Boston Marathon bombings. The sentence has been met with a lot of discomfort in Boston and the surrounding environs. Massachusetts is predisposed to rejecting capital punishment as a general rule. Even in this case, where the terror and horror hit so close to home, the people of Massachusetts are leery of the death penalty.

And for good reason.

The application of the death penalty in the United States is rife with racism, false guilt, and corruption. The nation is slowly …

Freddie Gray and the Legacy of Ronald Reagan

It’s tempting to look at Baltimore and think that this is an urban event, impacting the lives and futures of relatively few who are relatively insignificant. It’s convenient to think of a ‘riot’ as breakdown of civil society, but civil society broke down long ago. The streets of Baltimore are the parallel to Reagan’s fantasy view of America. They reflect a reality that in spite of the effort to hide and marginalize it won’t go away. It proves that no matter how much we try to argue otherwise, our collective fate must honor all those who are part of it, …

Sen. Sessions Takes A Bold Step: Tells The Truth About TPP

Other Elected Officials Should Do the Same

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is one of the few members of Congress who has taken the time to jump through the hoops and read the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But, he has gone a step farther than other members – he told members of Congress what he read. He told the truth about what the TPP says and why Congress should oppose it in a five page letter to his colleagues.

Sessions’ action flies in the face of the threats made by the US Trade Representative to prosecute elected officials who tell people what is in the trade agreement. Others should follow …

“Win-Lose” is “Lose-Lose” in the 21st Century

Obama on the TPP: Beckoning Us to the Graveyard

We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy and we should do it today while our economy is in a position of global strength. If we don’t write the rules for trade around the world, guess what, China will. And they’ll write those rules in a way that gives Chinese workers and Chinese businesses the upper hand.

— Barack Obama on the Trans-Pacific Partnership in a Speech at Nike Factory in Oregon, May 8, 2015

Those very few words of Obama’s, his most widely circulated PR effort to garner support for the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) …

Re-enactment of Murderous Israeli Siege on Christian Holy Site

A play that re-tells one of the most shameful episodes in the continuing Israeli occupation of Palestine had its premiere this week at The Lowry in Salford, Manchester. It is called The Siege.

The Freedom Theatre company, which produced the play, had traced exiled Palestinian resisters scattered across Europe and collected their accounts of that infamous event.

An internal memo from Lowry’s management warned staff about the ‘sensitive’ nature of the performance. “As with any work relating to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, The Siege is likely to attract comment and emotion for both sides of the debate.

“Our decision to …

If “Too-Big-to-Fail’’ Means “Too-Big-to-Jail” It Should Mean “Too-Big-to-Be”

The US needs the Iceland option

In a couple of days, the so-called US Justice Department will be announcing an “agreement” reached with five large banks, including two of the largest in the US — JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup, the holding companies for Chase and Citibank — under which these banks or bank holding companies will plead guilty to felonies involving the manipulation of international currency markets.

This is not really a plea deal, or what in the lingo of criminals is called “copping a plea.” It’s a negotiation in which the nation’s top law-enforcement organization — the one that just sentenced a teenager to death …

Talking about the Jewish Solidarity Spin

A Talk by Gilad Atzmon. Los Angeles May 10th, Levantine Cultural Center.

Says Atzmon, “[T]his is pretty much a summary of my argument against Jewish power and the corrosive impact of Jewish left. If you are interested in my work or even oppose everything I do, I urge you to watch (or read) this talk.”

Created by Fritz Heede.

Racism Directed at the Oval Office

American history is replete with acrimony born of political opposition and its emotional heat. Racism has been a weapon, but never such a searing whip of bias and disrespect.

Now deep in the seventh year of the Obama presidency, Michelle Obama is reflecting on her family’s experiences as the first black family to inhabit the White House as First Family. It is instructional for all of us who mostly focus on the racism witnessed across our land – of late, young unarmed black men being shot dead — perhaps not focusing on the continual racist treatment of the first family.

At the …

Is US Firepower Needed in the Middle East?

Push as Diplomacy

Because the western mass media is so overwhelmingly slanted to corporate and state interests, the need for principled and independent news and information that can reach the masses is vital. Because TRNN presents itself as independent news, and because the vast bulk of its reporting and backgrounders are very good, it is important that it be held to the highest standard. There are, however, odd instances when I find its reporting to be less than solid ((Kim Petersen, “Independent …