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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 …

The (Socialist) Malala Yousafzai the US Media Doesn’t Quote

Now that Malala Yousafzai has won her hard-earned and well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize, she and her amazing, tragic story is back in the spotlight. Per usual, nevertheless, the corporate media has taken this positive development and exploited it, in the service of US imperialism.

The US corporate media loves talking about the remarkable bravery and strength of Malala and the brutality of the Taliban forces that almost killed her. Such coverage fuels its racist, orientalist, neocolonialist narrative about “backward,” violent, misogynist Muslims and their need for “white saviors,” thereby legitimizing Western imperialist interests in South and West Asia. Malala’s victory …

Which Way will the UK Parliament Jump When it Votes on Palestinian Recognition?

On Monday the House of Commons in London will debate and vote on a parliamentary motion to unilaterally recognise the State of Palestine.

A positive result could have a tremendous influence on the state of play in the Palestinians’ struggle for freedom. Therefore the dark forces of Zionism are marshalling their venomous Friends of Israel and desperately piling on the the pressure to persuade the more feeble-minded MPs to vote against.

For example, The Independent reports that Conservative MP Guto Bebb has laid down a wrecking amendment stating that recognition should only come “on the conclusion of successful peace negotiations between …

Building an Ark: How to Protect Public Revenues from the Next Meltdown

Financial reform didn’t work. The Wall Street banks today are bigger and more opaque than ever and they continue to trade in derivatives in many of the same ways as before the crash –  but on a larger scale and with the same unknown risks.

Concerns are growing that we are heading for another banking crisis, one that could be far worse than in 2008.  But this time, there will be no government bailouts. Instead, per the Dodd-Frank Act, bankrupt banks will be confiscating (or “bailing in”) their customers’ deposits.

That includes local government deposits. The fact that public funds are …

Global Subversion Begets a Question for Ed Snowden

Are Covert Ops Compatible With Democracy?

It’s part of the public record that the NSA has engaged in an industry-wide campaign to weaken cryptographic protocols and insert back doors into hi-tech products sold by U.S. companies. We also know that NSA officials have privately congratulated each other in successfully undermining privacy and security across the Internet. Hence it’s only logical to assume that the NSA’s numerous subversion programs extend into foreign “commercial entities”. Thanks to documents recently disclosed by the Intercept we have unambiguous confirmation.

Hi-tech subversion underscores the fact that the whole tired debate regarding cryptographic keys held in escrow …

Palestinians torn over contact with Israelis

University’s exclusion of journalist Amira Hass raises questions about boycott policy

A Palestinian university’s decision to bar from its campus an Israeli journalist and outspoken critic of the occupation has exposed a growing rift among Palestinian activists about the merits of contact with Jewish Israelis.

Staff at Bir Zeit University, near Ramallah in the West Bank, ordered Amira Hass, a reporter for the Israeli daily Haaretz newspaper, to leave a public conference late last month. She was told it was for her own “safety” in case students protested against her presence.

Hass, who has lived among Palestinians in the occupied territories for many years, is a rare critical voice against the …

Cuban Assistance Programs Disprove the Myth of American Exceptionalism

In the wake of the Ebola outbreak in Africa, President Barack Obama has misrepresented the response of the Empire he leads as another example of American “exceptionalism.” The fantasy that U.S. leaders have drilled into the public is that the United States is the one indispensable nation, and its people are uniquely exceptional, leading the rest of the world in the battle for justice and peace. Obama blusters about the remarkable leadership the United States in providing in its response to the Ebola crisis. Meanwhile Cuba, as usual, has been at the forefront of containing and treating the disease, doing …

A Swift Boat Load of Lies

“Gov. Tom Corbett, who claims he opposes legalization of marijuana, was seen behind a barn smoking weed. Just a-puffin’ and a-grinnin’.”

“Tom Wolfe was speeding and driving drunk through the streets of York. If he can’t obey traffic laws, why would we think he’d obey the Constitution if elected Pennsylvania governor?”

“That commie socialist fascist Kenyan Muslim in the White House brought Ebola into the country to get rid of White opposition.”

The first two campaign ads are completely false. No one—yet—has sent out those messages. The third one, also false, in various forms is now circulating on the Internet and in bars.

It …

Coming and Going of American Supremacy

The international political system changes. Sometimes it changes in accord with hegemonic design. The dynamic history of America’s global development project, and its necessary relationship with sweeping international change, has marked changing global order since the end of World War II. Today, however, there exists the increased reach of multinational corporations, and many transnational actors; they also alter the international political landscape. These entities operate with great autonomy. They work within a largely unregulated, anarchic international space. Their supranational agency (and inter-state context) also lends itself to elements some perceive as threats to “general security.” International economic gangster-ism, and the …

Sanctifying Malala: The Nobel Prize and Moral Alibis

Drones Kill So Malala Can Live.
Sign at a vigil, Pakistan, noted in The Nation, October 10, 2014

There were two recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize this year – the rather less known Kailish Satyarthi and near celebrity cherished Malala Yousafzai. In awarding the prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee deftly ignored the perceived frontrunner, Pope Francis. Il Papa will have to wait his turn.

Those getting it will always be marred by the contradictions any peace prize suggests. The greatest of all remains the fact that the dynamite guru – Alfred Nobel himself – did as much for the cause of war …

Are You Mentally Ill? NAMI Hopes So

One out of four people has a “mental illness.” You hear the statistic all the time. People who were once “nervous” or “high strung” now have “general anxiety disorder.” People who have the “blues” from real life issues like job, relationship and family problems now have “major depressive disorder.” People who are “up and down,” again from real life issues, are now “bipolar.” Adults who can’t focus on the work at hand, either because they didn’t get enough sleep or because the work at hand is boring – hello? — have adult ADHD. All need to be on drugs indefinitely, …

BREAM (Banks Rule Everything Around Me)

Song BREAM (Banks Rule Everything Around Me) from Time and Jason Horodyski’s forthcoming album Lakewalkers produced by German producer A Thousand Vows. Indie rapper Time and folk frontman from Maudlin Magpie Jason Horodyski blend rap and folk taking influences from Tiqqun, Joy Division and Public Enemy.

Artist: Time & Jason Horodyski
Song: BREAM
Produced: A Thousand Vows
Based out of: Denver, CO

Vets Win Expansion of Freedom of Speech and Right to Assemble

Each October 7 for the last three years, the date of the US invasion of Afghanistan, members of Veterans For Peace and their allies have gathered at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Lower Manhattan for a soulful ceremony. Their purpose: to mark another year of a war in Afghanistan and call for peace, to honor all whose lives are destroyed by war and to expand the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble.

This year, they were finally able to do so without facing a small army of police threatening arrest if the ceremony went past the arbitrary 10 pm curfew placed …