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The Great Unhinging

The defining economic challenge of our time is secular stagnation. It is the risk of inadequate growth, leading to inadequate potential, leading to inadequate growth.

Lawrence H. Summers, former U. S. Treasury secretary, now teaching at Harvard

Summers uses jargon familiar to those who make financial policy, teach at Harvard, and are in the process of destroying more of the earth and its people for short-term private profits that guarantee long-term public loss.

Did you know that the signs of systemic breakdown we are experiencing were due to “secular stagnation”? You would have if you majored in the theological economics that …

13 Years of Permanent War: Unite Peace and Climate Movements

This month of October presents us with 13 years of permanent war for profit or, as the warmongers call it, the “war against terror”. This “operation” is killing and maiming millions of people especially in the oil rich Middle East. Simultaneously these Juggernaut nations “of the willing” are choking Mother Earth to death—polluting the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil that spawns our food, and eradicating millions of species.

Most people are clearly aware that the main cause of climate change, which is destroying the planet, is human motivated. And many are acting against this. But most environmental …

History of Key Document in IAEA Probe Suggests Israeli Forgery

Washington, October 17, 2014 (IPS) — Western diplomats have reportedly faulted Iran in recent weeks for failing to provide the International Atomic Energy Agency with information on experiments on high explosives intended to produce a nuclear weapon, according to an intelligence document the IAEA is investigating.

But the document not only remains unverified but can only be linked to Iran by a far-fetched official account marked by a series of coincidences related to a foreign scientist that that are highly suspicious.

The original appearance of the document in early 2008, moreover, was not only conveniently timed to support Israel’s attack on a …

The Islamist State: Who Not to Believe

The Anti-Empire Report #133

The Islamist State

You can’t believe a word the United States or its mainstream media say about the current conflict involving The Islamic State (ISIS).

You can’t believe a word France or the United Kingdom say about ISIS.

You can’t believe a word Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, or the United Arab Emirates say about ISIS. Can you say for sure which side of the conflict any of these mideast countries actually finances, arms, or trains, if, in fact, it’s only one side? Why do they allow their angry young men to join Islamic extremists? Why has NATO-member Turkey allowed so many …

California Leads the Way in the “Block the Boat” Movement

A new phase is developing in the US Palestinian solidarity movement: Block the Boat.

In organizing theory, activists often emphasize the importance of formulating what they call an “escalation plan.” When pushing for social change, they explain, it is important that one’s methods of exerting pressure on power slowly grow in strength, not remain stagnant.

Block the Boat is the next step in the escalation plan of US Palestinian solidarity activists. The idea of Block the Boat is quite simple: Hundreds of activists organize a protest in a local dock and prevent Israeli ships from unloading cargo.

The action has its origins in …

American Unawareness

Is America’s folk image of itself derived from a cinematic narrative that defines its national character as one representing a ‘can-do-force’ fostering trade in the world for the common good? To date, American settler culture has tried to mould the rest of the world — unsuccessfully — into this ‘productive’ image of itself via hard power. The more the American Empire Enterprise garrisons the globe with military bases, the more skeptical the world community becomes. The time has come, it seems, for the spirit and energy of the American people to address itself more diplomatically to the world community. The task of creating a whole new soft power for the purpose of defining …

The Absurd Illusions of a Shining City on a Hill

The average natural born citizen in any country is continuously indoctrinated into the national culture starting about the time they begin understanding the meaning of words. There’s one country in particular where reality is staring the public in the face, but the truth has been grossly distorted for decades by government, and mass media, bias and propaganda. If the citizens would suddenly see the truth, instead of what they’ve been conditioned to believe, they would find themselves in a strange and bizarre foreign land that’s contrary in many ways to their personal beliefs regarding home. For those who experience this …

A Sordid Mix of Murder and Racism

In 1771 in the North Carolina colony, Justice Martin Howard condemned a grand jury that refused to consider a murder charge after a white man was accused of the murder of his African slave. Apparently, the grand jury did not consider the killing by a white man of a Negro slave to be murder.  In 2012, the murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman followed by Zimmerman’s subsequent acquittal of the crime took much of white United States by surprise.  These Americans had convinced themselves that Black men were treated the same as every other resident of the United States …

A Caliph in a Wilderness of Mirrors

I’m aiming at you, lover
Cause killing you is killing myself

— Orson Welles (director), The Lady from Shanghai, 1947

He’s invincible. He beheads. He smuggles. He conquers. He’s the ultimate jack-of-all-trades. No Tomahawk or Hellfire can touch him. He always gets what he wants; in Kobani; in Anbar province; with the House of Saud (which he wants to replace) trying to make Putin (who he wants to behead) suffer because of low oil prices.

If this was a remake of Orson Welles’s noir classic The Lady from Shanghai, in the mirror sequence the lawyer (American?) and the femme fatale (Shi’ite?) …

The Rule for Respectable Commentary

There is a simple rule that is followed scrupulously by U.S. commentators of every stripe on world affairs and war – with a very few notable exceptions, Paul Craig Roberts and Pepe Escobar among them.

This rule allows strong criticism of the U.S. But major official adversaries of the U.S., Iran, Russia and China, must never, ever be presented as better than the US in any significant way. The US may be depicted as equally bad (or better) than these enemies, but never worse.

The Rule

Major Adversaries: Never better than the U.S.
U.S. (and the rest of West): Never worse than the …

Bashing Obama to Make Way for Hillary

Three years ago, during the height of the Occupy movement, I was ejected from a Congressional hearing for allegedly “assaulting” Leon Panetta, then Secretary of Defense and former Director of the CIA. He was testifying to the House Armed Services Committee about “lessons learned by the Department of Defense over the preceding decade.” I jumped out of my audience seat to tell him that young people were paying the price of those “lessons,” and we were sick of the government funding war instead of education. The baseless assault charges against me were ultimately dropped.
A few years and trillions …

Self-serving Scams as Environmental Solutions

When Republicans come up with environmental solutions, look for their real effectiveness and suspect that politics and greed might be involved. Some Democrats are deceptive too but the GOP functions as a complete tool of vested interests like the Koch brothers who pollute your place, then ignore your space.

Take the case of Republican Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. In 2007, claiming a noble plan, he was a vociferous voice for Ethanol as an alternative fuel for gasoline. The problem was that Ethanol production utilized more resources, used more energy and represented an agenda that a long-term Senator from a corn state …

Challenging Corporate Power in a Not-for-profit World

As businesses increasingly embrace a not-for-profit culture, an end to overconsumption on a finite planet could finally be in sight. But given the huge lobbying power of vested interests, it will remain impossible to create a truly sustainable world until the illegitimate power of corporations is held in check.
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Does changing the way we do business hold the key to creating a world where resources are shared more equitably and consumed within planetary limits? According to Professor Donnie Maclurcan of the Post Growth Institute, the answer is a definitive yes – but only if we can fully embrace a …

The Two-State Solution is Ultimately Doomed to Fail

There can have been few Palestinians whose hearts did not warm at least a little to the news that the British parliament voted overwhelmingly this week to recognise a Palestinian state. After all, it was a British decision to issue the Balfour Declaration – taken almost 100 years ago – that set in motion Israel’s creation and the territorial conflict that has raged ever since.The parliamentary win, as has been widely noted, was symbolic – and in more ways than one. The motion, backed by 274 votes to 12, is not binding.

Like most of the European Union, the UK government …

The Missing Context: “Islamic State” Sectarianism is Not Coincidental

Consider this comical scene described by Peter Van Buren, a former US diplomat, who was deployed to Iraq on a 12-month assignment in 2009-10:

Van Buren led two Department of State teams assigned with the abstract mission of the ‘reconstruction’ of Iraq, which was destroyed in the US-led wars and sanctions. He describes the reconstruction of Iraq as such:“In practice, that meant paying for schools that would never be completed, setting up pastry shops on streets without water or electricity, and conducting endless propaganda events on Washington-generated themes of the week (“small business”, “women’s empowerment”, “democracy building”.)”

As for the comical …

A Communist as a Friend

In one of the blurbs for Ben Kamin’s book, Dangerous Friendship: Stanley Levison, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Kennedy Brothers, Hamilton Sides writes “Kamin continues his keen yet loving exploration into little-known aspects of King’s life and legacy.” While the comment is certainly true, it is important to explain further that similar to his previous books, Ben Kamin provides us with the human stories that surrounded both Martin Luther King’s “life and his legacy.” In addition, Dangerous Friendship is a much more difficult book to construct than the author’s earlier ventures. In this …

Bolivia’s Transformation

The Victory of Evo Morales

It is a sometimes overly rich recipe, starched with violence and populism, but Latin American politics is something to behold. In the Americas, experiments have been run and tried with brutal consequences. Revolutions and counter-revolutions have been plotted and enacted. The good have tended to be a short time in office, while the coup d’état has had something of a long history.

Evo Morales’ victory in the Bolivian elections for a third term with just over 60 per cent of the vote is no minor achievement. Cement magnate Samuel Doria Medina received a paltry 25 per …

On October 15, the United Nations Will Fail Haiti Once Again

On October 15, the United Nations Security Council will meet to “debate” the extension of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) which has acted as an occupying force in the country since the summer of 2004. MINUSTAH was created to put an end to the Multinational Interim Force (primarily made up of U.S., French, Canadian and Chilean troops) which occupied Haiti after an internationally backed coup d’état ousted the democratically elected president Jean Bertrand Aristide and his Fanmi Lavalas party from power on February 29, 2004.

During these ten years, MINUSTAH has compiled a horrific record of human …

The Tragedy of Modern Democracy

I read and heard about Hong Kong’s students putting themselves at risk demonstrating for democracy, and my first instinct was sympathy, sympathy for their passionate idealism, but sympathy in another sense too, for their sad illusions. I ask myself, and it is not a trivial question, what is it exactly that they believe they fight for? Democracy has become such a totemic word, we all are trained to revere it, unquestioningly, almost the way 16th century people were expected to behave in the presence of the Host during Communion. But just where in the West do we see countries who …

Mass Media Blacks out Reports

Of Israeli Crimes; the ICC Charges Kenyatta Instead of Netanyahu; and Operation Protective Edge Is Forgotten

As a consequence of the corporate mass media’s blackout of the news about Israeli crimes against humanity; as a consequence of the International Criminal Court’s cowardly disregard of crimes committed by Israeli leaders while instead charging Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta with crimes against humanity; and as a consequence of the West’s Israeli orchestrated preoccupation with the necessity to wage war against ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) — which came into being with covert encouragement and assistance from the real axis of evil of the U.S., Israel, and Saudi Arabia — Israel’s latest barbaric assault euphemistically codenamed Operation …