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Capitalism and an Increase in the Minimum Wage

Across the United States, the campaign for raising the minimum wage to 15 dollars is gaining momentum. From cities such as traditionally left wing Olympia, Washington, to more moderate Atlanta, Georgia, activists are pushing for better wages- and they’re starting to win the debate.

But will a higher minimum wage really change that much for the average American? It’s unlikely unless the struggle is broadened beyond the scope of the minimum wage in the United States. To explore this further, let’s start with a hypothetical future scenario of the results of the domestic struggle.

Once the groundswell of activism in …

One Billion at COP21

Just imagine the impact, the feeling, the awe-inspiring circumstance of one billion people all standing for the same purpose on the same day. Yes, that is the goal of The Billion People March, coming this December 19th. Don’t miss it.  The world has never ever experienced such a spectacle. One (1) out of every seven (7) people on the face of the planet will attend. History will be made. #BILLIONPEOPLEMARCH.

The story line for that upcoming yet-to-be-famous march is: “We change the course of history.”

It’s all about COP21 (Conference of the Parties 21), the greatly anticipated Paris gathering of the nations, …

No Marx Again!

I note with some disappointment but no real surprise that Edward Martin and Mateo Pimentel, the authors of “Revisiting Marx and Liberalism” have not responded to my article, “No Marx!” which challenged their contention that for Marx, Socialism was the first stage of Communism.

Given that Mr Pimentel is a long-term member of S.P.U.S.A., the Socialist Party U.S.A., it’s no wonder that confusion reigns when it comes to his and his co-author’s view of Marx in respect of a future post-capitalist society.

Mr Pimentel’s Party favours, “a classless socialist society that places people’s lives under their own control… where …

The Sherri Shepherd Case: One More Reason to Ban Commercial Surrogacy

The actress, author, and businesswoman Sherri Shepherd, currently on The View, lost her court battle today over the custody of her surrogate-born son. She and her soon-to-be former husband Lamar Sally, a scriptwriter, had been embroiled in an odd custody and support battle involving a child born to a surrogate they hired.

Shepherd and Sally entered into a 23-page contract with Jessica Bartholomew to serve as a gestational surrogate for them, using a purchased egg. The three faced off in court over the custody and financial responsibility for the baby boy named Lamar Sally Junior.

Unlike other disputed surrogate agreements, this …

Wealth Destruction for the 99.9 Percent

Blaming the 1% for diminished prosperity avoids the real reasons for designed poverty. In round terms, the seven billion souls that populate this planet translate into seventy million to be part of the 1%. Well, that amount is still a very large number to blame for the systemic transfer of riches into the hands of the few. A far more relevant approach is to examine the .001% or around seven million that fall into the mover or shakers of asset and possessions. Before targeting this group of mega wealth, that figure includes a very significant number, who are non players …

Who Are the Starving and Besieged Residents of Yarmouk and Why Are They There?

There are many illusions about what is happening to the Yarmouk district of Damascus and its Palestinian refugee population. The district was originally set aside in 1957 for Palestinian refugees already living there, whom Israel had expelled from their homes in 1948, with periodic additional populations thereafter. Today it is home to around one million Syrians and Palestinians, of whom the Palestinians number roughly 170,000. Palestinians in Syria have all the rights of Syrian citizens except voting, and in Yarmouk their homes are indistinguishable from those of the Syrian residents.

Starting in 2012, armed elements trying to overthrow …

Plan Colombia and Beyond

In conjunction with many geopolitical interests, general stability and prosperity in the Western hemisphere (i.e., the stratification and disparity in wealth) have kept Latin America, in Washington’s eyes, ripe for free trade and economic alignment. There exist unimaginable caches of resources, such as Venezuela’s oil stores, which could foreseeably feed into America’s global capitalist system over the course of its now decline. Hence the free trade agreements and America’s subversive efforts throughout the region. Additionally, the United States floats weak states with military aid when it is advantageous. And, as for nonaligned groups who resist and defend their sovereignty and/or …

Eduardo Galeano, 1940-2015: A Voice, Not An Echo

We are opinionated, yet we cannot offer our opinions. We have a right to the echo, not to the voice, and those who rule praise our talent to repeat parrot fashion. We refuse to accept this mediocrity as our destiny.

— Eduardo Galeano, opening speech at “Chile Creates,” an international meeting in support of Chilean democracy, July 11, 1988

In school, he hated history and was a lousy history student. He wanted to be a soccer player, a saint, and a painter. He abandoned the first two ambitions, and achieved the third only …

The Decline and Fall of the United States

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
— Robert Frost. Fire and Ice

After a speech I gave this past weekend, a young woman asked me whether a failure by the United States to properly surround and intimidate China might result in instability. I explained why I thought the opposite was true. Imagine if China had military bases along the Canadian and Mexican borders with the …

Animal Liberation Follies

Once upon a time—in 1973, to be precise—Peter Singer suggested birth control for free-living animals as part of the “animal liberation” philosophy. Parenthetically at first. Publicly asked whether gazelles should be protected from lions, Singer replied in a letter for the New York Review of Books:

Lions play a role in the ecology of their habitat, and we cannot be sure what the long-term consequences would be if we were to prevent them from killing gazelles. (The way to do this, I suppose, would be by eliminating lions, perhaps by sterilization.) So, in practice, I would definitely say

Paradoxy: Supremacism Combatting Anti-semitism

Never Forget the Nakba, Islamophobia, and Racism meted out to others

Contempt for the Arab population is deeply rooted in Zionist thought.
— Noam Chomsky

Anti-Arab racism is, however, so widespread as to be unnoticeable; it is perhaps the only remaining form of racism to be regarded as legitimate.
— Noam Chomsky

In a Times of Israel piece on the need to fight anti-Semitism a perplexing observation and conclusion was made:

Rabbi Yaacov Monsonego of Toulouse, France, made a quick

Eco-Economics Takes on Neoliberalism

Ever since Milton Friedman, American economist (1912-2006), who considered himself the heir to Adam Smith, used the term neoliberalism in an essay “Neoliberalism and its Prospects” in 1951, the world has tilted in that direction, starting with Chile as the “Chicago Boys” lab experiment under the watchful eye of the infamous dictator General Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte, president from 1974-90. The world has never been the same.

Today, neoliberalism reigns supreme across the oceans, whereby control of economic principles shifts from the public sector to the private sector with limited governmental interference, the less the better, open markets, free trade …

Why Cuba Won’t Extradite Assata Shakur

As negotiations continue between the governments of the United States and Cuba over the normalization of relations, the U.S. State Department has claimed Cuba is willing to discuss the extradition of political refugee Assata Shakur. While it may seem that Cuba would gladly make such a seemingly minor concession in return for the promise of normalized relations, this would greatly underestimate the Cuban government’s commitment to upholding its principles. Shakur need not worry that Cuba will cave for expediency’s sake and send her back to the country she escaped from after being harassed and persecuted for years.

According to 

The Anthrax Coverup Exposed

Graeme MacQueen’s 2014 book, The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case for a Domestic Conspiracy, has been vindicated by the head of the FBI’s Anthrax Investigation.

Four and one-half months ago I posted a review of MacQueen’s book.  The hired government apologists, the despicable presstitute media, and the usual gullible patriots greeted the book with screams of “conspiracy theory.” In fact, MacQueen’s book was a carefully researched project that established that there indeed was a conspiracy–a conspiracy inside the government.

MacQueen’s conclusion stands vindicated by Richard Lambert, the agent in charge of the FBI anthrax investigation who has turned whistleblower. …

Drowning in a Sea of Words

Words, words, words—talk, talk, talk.  It is as if techno-urbanized humanity, “living” within a consensually shared delusional-system, actually believes that experience must be verbalized and analyzed in order to be real.  Every day, our ears/eyes (if not brain) are assaulted by the interminable stream of “news”—an incident-packed “tale told by an idiot [NPR?],” to quote Macbeth, “signifying–nothing.”  Newspaper and TV commentators opinionate constantly, adding to this garrulous cacophony: a sewer (not tower) of Babble.  Most of this relentless barrage is what Aristotle called “base rhetoric”: the clever, if insidious, arts of “persuasion”–in order to manipulate and control (i.e., constant marketing …

Climate Change Politics in Australia

The Lomborg Factor

Eager to cut, savage and wind back constructive projects in the realm of medicine, science and education, Australia’s government has made its latest head-shaking announcement on budgetary issues. The veteran climate change sceptic Bjørn Lomborg is going to become the recipient of $4 million in Australian tax payers’ money. According to a spokesman for education minister, Christopher Pyne, the government was going to be providing the money over four years to “bring the Copenhagen Consensus methodology to Australia” houses at newly established centre at the University of Western Australia.

While Pyne and company have given the impression that university staff …

Victory in Vietnam!

History and Reflections

Forty years ago on April 30, 1975, the Vietnamese people, led by their Communist Party, were finally victorious in the long just struggle for national independence and unification against the United States and its puppet regime in Saigon.

America experienced an earthshaking lesson in Vietnam — “Stop your unjust wars of aggression!” —but Washington learned nothing from its humiliating defeat except to shift its battlefields of choice from Southeast Asia to Southwest Asia (i.e., the Middle East).

The U.S. went on to fight in Iraq three times and impose long sanctions in 25 continuous years; in Afghanistan the Pentagon has …

Norman Bay, Tough Guy

From the time I walked yesterday into the FERC building—that’s the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the most powerful and dangerous federal agency most people have never heard of—things felt and looked different.

First were the cops. There are always FERC security personnel at the front entrance, but it seemed like there were twice as many yesterday as I’d ever seen before in past visits. In addition, and ominously, there were also a couple of Department of Homeland Security/Federal Protective Services police prominently stationed where they could not be missed.

Then there was the atmosphere in the auditorium where the five FERC Commissioners …

For the Conference on the Israel Lobby: Press Blackout at the Press Club

Following the heavy coverage of AIPAC’s (the virulently pro-Israeli government lobby) multi-day annual Washington convention in March, the mainstream media might have been interested for once in covering alternative viewpoints like those discussed at the April 10th conference “The Israel Lobby: Is it Good for the US? Is it Good for Israel?” Fairness and balance in reporting should produce at least some coverage of such an event.

Organized by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, which was launched about thirty years ago by a British Army Officer who served in World War II and two retired U.S. Ambassadors to countries …

Maybe Iran Will Answer The Question Millions Have

Which Nuclear Powers May Fear the Most

Amid the hullabaloo of the news about Iran’s agreeing not to make weapons from its nuclear capacity in exchange for the West’s lifting economic sanctions, none of those cheering—or raging—about this “historic understanding,” as President Obama put it to his email list, bothered to raise a long-standing and important question obvious to most of us since the Fukushima meltdown began in 2011. And millions since the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown.

The question wasn’t why participants and pundits were calling the Lausanne agreement a “framework” for a June 30 meeting instead of a permanent arrangement with the content’s technical points ironed out.

Nor …