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Where’s the Missing Part, Naomi Klein?

Ask Pope Francis and Mohammed Mesbahi

The latest book by Naomi Klein is essentially a call to share the world’s resources, but its thesis on social transformation is missing a crucial factor: a profound awareness of the reality of hunger and life-threatening deprivation. While Pope Francis’ recent encyclical calls on us to prioritise this global emergency in our efforts to combat global warming, Mohammed Mesbahi proposes a people’s strategy for how we can finally end the moral outrage of extreme poverty amidst plenty.
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Climate change is a historic opportunity to not only heal the environment, but also to roll back the tide of injustice and …

I Think I Know I Mean a Yes

The title for this piece is a line from the lyrics of “Strawberry Fields Forever”, sung for the bemusement and ponderation of future generations by The Beatles, and written by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, John Winston, and Paul James.  Back in ’67 when the song was new and freshly put to vinyl, the lyrics made perfect sense.  Of course, I was smoking a lot of weed in those days.  Socrates is credited with saying that the only thing we can truly know is that we can know nothing.  Enigmatic phrases from many of their songs would indicate that The Beatles concurred.

A quick internet search turned up four distinctly …

Canada’s Role in the “War” on Libya

Defied UN Resolutions 1970 and 1973

Since the start of the Canadian election campaign a series of posts have detailed the Harper Conservatives repeated abuse of power. The Tyee published “Harper, Serial Abuser of Power”, which listed “70 Harper government assaults on democracy and the law.” But the widely disseminated list omitted what may be the Conservatives’ most flagrant – and far-reaching –lawbreaking. In 2011 Ottawa defied UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) 1970 and 1973, which were passed amidst the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi’s four-decade rule in Libya.

In direct contravention of these legally binding resolutions, Canadian troops were on the ground …

Lebanon: Who is Behind the Current Demonstrations?

Beirut is burning; it is hurt, angry and uncertain about its own future.

Ambulances are howling. Hundreds are injured. Rubber bullets are flying and so is live ammunition.

A Revolution? A rebellion?

Who are those men, stripped from their waist up, muscular, throwing stones at the security forces in the center of Beirut? Are they genuine revolutionaries? Are they there in order to reclaim so badly discredited “Arab Spring”?

Or did they come here in a show of force, because the West is paying them? If the Lebanese state collapses, ISIL could move in, and …

The Most Beautiful Women in the World Are Invisible

The first time, ever I saw your face,
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave
to the dark and the endless skies”
— Ewan MacColl

We live in a culture that promotes images of beautiful women everywhere we look.  Turn on the TV and commercials feature super models standing beside products the capitalists want us to buy.  Step outside and you see them on billboards doing same.  Online they lurk at the outer edges of our screen, sirens luring us to purchase sports cars, perfume, or smart phones.

But the attention falls short of …

An Operator’s Guide to Trump’s Racism

Is Donald Trump’s racism bewildering, upsetting, and alarming to you? Having trouble looking at him during television appearances? Do your ears burn from his cacophonous sound bytes?

If so, chances are good that you are not alone.

This brief “operator’s guide” highlights a few parallels between Trump, the 2016 United States presidential hopeful, and other outspoken racist figures of America’s past. Hopefully, this short and largely incomplete survey will elucidate some of the historical underpinnings of Trump’s current bigoted agenda.

Readers will note that, as with many race-related social ills today, Trump’s racist and xenophobic agenda clearly bears much in …

For Canadian Elections, Money Talks

We’ve all heard many times that “money talks” in politics but it was unclear how loudly. Now we know — one billionaire is heard over 50,000 ordinary Canadians.

While about 50,000 people and 175 organizations supported Up for Debate’s call for an election debate focused on women’s issues, it won’t happen because Stephen Harper refused to participate and NDP leader Tom Mulcair is unwilling to appear if the prime minister is not there to bash.

But the same politicians have agreed to a September 28 debate on foreign policy sponsored by an organization named after and financed by one of Canada’s richest …

Purge of Corbyn Voters Unmasks Labour

The British political and media elite have been agreed on one thing this summer: the need to character-assassinate Jeremy Corbyn, the only half-decent politician (make that, human being) running for the Labour leadership.

If Corbyn wins, it would be the first time in living memory that the UK has had a Labour leader who is actually of the left. It is a prospect terrifying our supposedly liberal media, including the BBC and most of the Guardian’s senior staff, from Polly Toynbee to Jonathan Freedland.

Because all indications are that Corbyn will win in a fair fight, the caretaker Labour leadership is trying to stitch up …

Hillary Clinton: “I Will Talk Only to White People …”

Black Lives Matter activists push edges that need pushing

After listening awhile, Hillary Clinton pettishly told a quintet of respectful Black Lives Matter activists that, “Yeah, well, respectfully, if that is your position, then I will talk only to white people about how we are going to deal with a very real problem.” More than being nonsensical, she was actually trying to avoid the reality that white violence against black people is an offense that only white people can stop. And she was also avoiding her own, very real role in promoting federal policies that have made black lives matter …

What? Austerity in Finland?

Last Saturday, August 22, around 10,000 citizens went down to the streets of Helsinki to protest against the governmental austerity measures. Does this come as a surprise if Finland just elected a billionaire businessman as prime minister?

Last Saturday we witnessed one of the biggest demonstrations this country has seen in its very young but (still) strong democracy. Along the way, the crowd stopped and sat for 15 minutes in the street, blocking the traffic. This was not “occupy movement” …

Greek Elections: January and September 2015

From Hope to Fear and Despair

Eight months will have passed since the election of Syriza on January 25 up to the snap elections in September. During that time Syriza’s leaders play-acted their ‘opposition to austerity’ and then knelt down in submission to the ‘Troika’.

The contrast between January and now is dramatic: Syriza’s leader, Prime Minister Alexi Tsipras, aroused joy and great hope among the Greek voters with his promises to end Greece’s subjugation to the European oligarchs (the “Troika”) but …

Israel Unleashes its Diplomatic Thug on the UN

The appointment by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu of one of his most hawkish and outspoken rivals as Israel’s new ambassador to the United Nations has prompted widespread consternation.

As one Israeli analyst noted last week, Danny Danon’s appointment amounts to a “cruel joke” on the international community. The new envoy “lacks even the slightest level of finesse and subtlety required of a senior diplomat”.

Last year Netanyahu sacked Danon as deputy defence minister, describing him as too “irresponsible” even by the standards of Israel’s usually anarchic politics. Danon had denounced the prime minister for “leftist feebleness” in his handling of Israel’s …

“Bullying”: BBC Political Editor’s Bizarre Term for the Public Resisting the Establishment

The BBC’s Nick Robinson has made a career out of telling the public what leading politicians say and do; sometimes even what they ‘think’. This stenography plays a key role in ‘the mainstream media’, given that a vital part of statecraft is to keep the public suitably cowed and fearful of threats from which governments must protect us. The ‘free press’ requires compliant journalists willing to disseminate elite-friendly messages about global ‘peace’, ‘security’ and ‘prosperity’, uphold Western ideology that ‘we are the good guys’, and not question power deeply, if at all.

But when a senior journalist complains of ‘intimidation and …

Katrina: A 10-Year Review

This week is the 10th anniversary of the destruction of the southeastern gulf coast by Hurricane Katrina.

More than 1,800 people died. There is no estimate for the number of pets and wildlife. Damage was estimated at more than $100 billion.

About 80 percent of New Orleans was flooded. In Mississippi, the water surge flooded as much as 10 miles from the beaches.

The Category 3 storm should not have caused that much damage, but it exposed poorly-designed levees that should have protected New Orleans.

Sanctimonious critics, many of them conservative politicians, claimed that if the residents had evacuated New Orleans like they were …

White Privilege as Jewish Privilege: Shuffling through the Complex

that is . . . Military-Legal-Pharma-Media-Prison-IT-Retail-Medical-Insurance-Banking-HR-Surveillance-Hedge Fund COMPLEX

Ahh, little things count – you know, when those big bad ass union bosses pulling in $150K a year or more, yammer on about $15 an hour minimum wage, but, err, not for unions:

But Rusty Hicks, who heads the county Federation of Labor and helps lead the Raise the Wage coalition, said Tuesday night that companies with workers represented by unions should have leeway to negotiate a wage below that mandated by the law.

“With a collective bargaining agreement, a business owner and the employees negotiate an agreement that works for them both. The agreement allows each party to prioritize what

Turkey’s Insurrection

This week we bring you nihilistic news from the climate front, plus an update on the revolt in Turkey following the suicide bombing of Rojava supporters. Plus a Turkish comrade gives us an in depth look at the political landscape in the region. For background, check out our report on the Rojava revolution.

This week’s playlist:

XOC – Super Mario World – End Credits
Justice – Stress
DJ Angel – Exotic Tiki Music Mix
Boom Bip – Pele
J Dilla – Track 36
Boom Bip – Awaiting an Accident
Jay Lib – Survival

Labour’s Lost Soul: the UK and the Labour Party Leadership Election

I’ve done it, pushed out my boat on to uncharted seas and voted for Jeremy Corbyn to be leader of Britain’s Labour Party.  I thought I should do it before the notorious ‘they’ took away my chance to vote because I wasn’t a genuine Labour supporter.  I support Corbyn because of the policies he wants to push through, policies that used to represent the Labour Party.  It was what was ‘genuine’ about Labour.  But no more.

The media are totally obsessed by Labour’s leadership elections, and all due to the ‘leftwing’ candidate Jeremy Corbyn.  Without him it would have been one …

Ireland: Obesity, the “Western Diet” and the Global Food Challenge

Recent reports have suggested that Ireland is set to become the most obese country in Europe.

Estimates of obesity, projected out to 2030, are part of the World Health Organisation’s Modelling Obesity Project and were presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Prague, Czech Republic during May 2015. The figures for Ireland have huge implications for the seriously financially-squeezed Irish health system:

In terms of obesity alone, the estimates show a big jump for women in the Irish Republic, soaring from 23 per cent to 57 per cent. The proportion of obese Irish men was expected to

Harper’s Government Helping Canadian Mining Companies Plunder Africa’s Resources

Canadian policy in Africa can be summed up in nine words: Do what is good for Canadian-owned mining companies.

Despite rhetoric about aid to the poorest people in the world, the Harper Conservatives have worked assiduously to ensure that Canadian corporations profit from Africa’s vast mineral resources.

Even widespread criticism of their operations has failed to dampen the Conservatives’ support for Canada’s many mining interests in Africa. Canadian mining companies have been accused of bribing officials, evading taxes, dispossessing farmers, displacing communities, employing forced labour, devastating eco-systems and spurring human rights violations.

But, more important than the specific instances of abuse, which I …

Democratizing Finance

With Bitcoin?

On the last 18th of August I attended the Robin Hood pop up lab in Helsinki, Finland. I was expecting one more of those nurturing sessions of saving the world with much love and of course, post-its! No, it was a well-attended session where a real practical approach is being thought out …