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Confronting the NRA: Knowing Where to Start

December 14, 2012. Newtown, Connecticut. Adam Lanza murdered his mother in her bed and then drove her car to the local elementary school, where he embarked on a shooting spree that left 20 first-grade students and 6 educators dead.

In April 2013, the US Senate voted down a proposal to expand background checks to gun shows and online sales. The National Rifle Association, the most powerful gun lobby in the country, spent over $500,000 on advertisements opposing the amendment. Only 4 Republican Senators crossed the aisle to vote for gun reform, while 4 …

Neo-Slavery: Is It The Right Option For You?

Hello, fellow citizens!!

I’m VERY excited to present a special offer. For a limited time only we will have exclusive deals which could create a secure financial future for your entire family. In today’s topsy-turvy world one never knows what lies in hand and how many lie in the bush. It’s a world of fear and insecurity. Each day there is more tragic news, and extremists everywhere are out to get you, as you’ll notice how much scarier the situation with ISIS gets with each passing day, and we wouldn’t at all be overstating the threat, nor did we do anything to bring on …

From Iraq to UK Referendum: Tony Blair’s Toxic Legacy

Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, currently back in Britain, cast a dark shadow over those campaigning to stay in the European Union in the June 23rd referendum. Inflicting himself on the Britain Stronger in Europe group, he spoke at every opportunity – reminding even the most passionate Europhile of the last time he assured “I know I’m right” – Iraq.

If the “Remainers” had an ounce of sense, Blair should have been ditched in a nano-second. He is not “Toxic Tony” for nothing.

However, since the long awaited Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq invasion is to be published just thirteen days after the …

Brexit Wins!

According to EuroNews and France Inter this morning (8 am French time, Friday 24 June), the Brits have voted (roughly 52% – 48%) to leave the EU.  Jubilation!

While the world of finance tears its hair out and, at the same time, is probably colluding to somehow punish “the people” who had the courage to finally say Enough!, Brussels is gathering its “Good little Eichmanns” (h/t to Ward Churchill), otherwise known as its commissioners and heads of state, to come up with some plan to thwart a mass exodus from the cultural and financial prison they so …

Brexit: So What Happens Next?

I had a bad feeling about it. And although we got the desired result against all expectations, the sense of foreboding is still there. Maybe it’s reserved for the actual implementation of Brexit and the possibility – no, probability – that it will be comprehensively fouled up.

All the parties (except UKIP) tried to bludgeon the British public into voting to stay in the EU. None can therefore be trusted to carry out the people’s wish as diligently as one would normally expect. David Cameron is standing down as prime minister but not soon enough. With all this in mind I …

The War on Weed Is Winding Down But Will Monsanto Be the Winner?

The war on cannabis that began in the 1930s seems to be coming to an end. Research shows that this natural plant, rather than posing a deadly danger to health, has a wide range of therapeutic benefits. But skeptics question the sudden push for legalization, which is largely funded by wealthy investors linked to Big Ag and Big Pharma.

In April, Pennsylvania became the 24th state to legalize medical cannabis, a form of the plant popularly known as marijuana. That makes nearly half of US states. A major barrier to broader legalization has been the federal law under which …

Ogaden: Ethiopia’s Hidden Shame

Ethiopia is regularly cited as an African success story by donor nations; the economy is growing they cry, more children are attending school and health care is improving. Well GDP figures and millennium development statistics reveal only a tiny fraction of the corrupt and violent picture.

What development there is depends, the Oakland Institute relate, on “state force and the denial of human and civil rights”; the country remains 173rd out of 187 countries in the UN Human Development Index and around 40% of the population live below the extremely low poverty line of $1.25 a day, – the World …

Your EU vote is crucial because it won’t count

Here is a prediction about the outcome of today’s UK referendum on leaving the European Union. Even in the unlikely event that the remain camp loses, the UK will still not Brexit. Europe’s neoliberal elite will not agree to release its grip on a major western nation. A solution will be found to keep the UK in the union, whatever British voters decide. Which is one very good reason to vote Brexit, as I’ll explain in a minute.

It has been hard to find much commentary, even in the most liberal corners of the corporate media, making a progressive case for exit. Instead Britain …

Circles of War

Peace is an interlude between wars.
— Benito Mussolini

The world is corkscrewing through loops of violence and war; repeating.

In the UK we have to hold up a mirror to ourselves and accept our own culpability in this global horror-show. Britain’s imperialist pursuit of wealth and power has never really stopped, only changed its mask to better hide its behaviour. The present mask was created under the auspices of neoliberal dogma. It is producing terrible repercussions for our future generations.

The UK’s imperialist policy fits snuggly as a small piece within a much grander Western agenda. It has been …

Smartphone Users Are Paying for Their Own Surveillance

Truthout.org: In the movie Sneakers, a motley gang of security experts chase after a little black box that can crack any form of encryption. Though the idea of a digital skeleton key may seem like the stuff of Hollywood thrillers, there are researchers at the University of Michigan who’ve recently created just that. They’ve built a stealthy hardware back door that can be inserted into the blueprints of a computer chip to give intruders complete access to a system after executing an obscure series of commands.

Consider the implications: This kind of low-level attack is extremely difficult to …

The Orlando Response: Heartfelt or Unctuous, Mostly in Denial

The latest mass tragedy has seen the usual shock, sadness and fear expressed by ordinary people, and the usual professional grieving, intellectual hypocrisy and moral disability by most of what passes for American leadership. While various political, professional and identity group spokespeople claim the tragedy as suffered by all but especially their own communities and seek both real and imagined sources of the horror unleashed at Orlando, the so-called war on terror that has murdered millions elsewhere and has repeatedly come home to America in brutal fashion still seems useful only in mostly ignorant rhetoric.

While the new antichrist for …

Movement for Black Lives Yields New Targets of the State

During the height of the Ferguson Rebellion in late summer 2014, youth organizer, Joshua Williams quickly rose to the call of duty. In the aftermath of Officer Darren Wilson’s brutal murder of unarmed Black teenager, Mike Brown, 19-year-old Josh Williams, stepped forward in the most dedicated and courageous way possible – on the front lines.

Joshua Williams at Ferguson protest, 10 Sept 2014.At protests, Williams stood his ground against armed police, national guardsmen, tanks …

Warmongering and Necromancy

The US State Department Dissent on Syria

To get 51 signatures on a dissent channel message is remarkable and suggests a very broad consensus at the working level responsible for implementing policy decisions, that the current [Syria] policy is failing and is destined to keep failing.

— Robert Ford, Detroit News, Jun 18, 2016

The entire messiness of the Syrian conflict should be an object lesson repudiating all alleged moral measures that come before it. Capitals across the Middle East, Eurasia, Europe and the United States have dirtied themselves in the endeavour, claiming to be protecting civilians when they have been merely fronting for various sides in the …

The Meaning of Brexit

The Political is Personal 

Whatever the British people decide about the EU the people who dwell on this island have been pushed to think patriotically and nationalistically. The decision each of us make to vote for ‘remain’ or for ‘leave’ will be based on the realisation that this political decision will have a significant personal impact.

Party Politics is A Severe Form Of Detachment  

Both major parties failed to assess the huge appeal of the ‘call to leave.’ This blindness proves that the estrangement between the British political universe and the public is complete. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Many …

Palestine’s “Prayer for Rain”: How Israel Uses Water as a Weapon of War

Entire communities in the West Bank either have no access to water or have had their water supply reduced almost by half.

This alarming development has been taking place for weeks, since Israel’s national water company, “Mekorot”, decided to cut off – or significantly reduce – its water supply to Jenin, Salfit and many villages around Nablus, among other regions.

Israel has been ‘waging a water war’ against Palestinians, according to Palestinian Authority Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah. The irony is that the water provided by “Mekorot” is actually Palestinian water, usurped from West Bank aquifers. While Israelis, including illegal West Bank …

Representatives of the People or Corporate Profits?

It is official! The vast majority of Senate Republicans may be enemies of the people. Their photos could be posted on post office bulletins boards. Their faces could well be featured in the dossiers of FBI agents as friends of enemy combatants. They could be considered supporters of terrorists and thus on the no-fly list.

They might even be considered traitors. They are truly representatives of the NRA, though most of its five million members support some regulation. Their vote indicates they are not representatives of Americans who oppose free use of guns by terrorists, the mentally ill …

Why God Created the Two-Party System

In the beginning — as you know — God created the heavens and the earth. On the Sixth Day, after creating cattle, creeping things, and the first two people (Genesis 1:26-28), sleepless, fidgeting, and for no particular reason, He created what we call “the Two Party System.”

(In God-language: מערכתדו-מפלגתית.)

Now, why the Two Party System? you ask. As opposed to something else?

As it turns out, that was the very question in the Creator of Everything’s own mind at that very time. You might think He’d have consulted with Adam and Eve, the first two humans He’d made in His own image. …

Texas Monstrosity

Two years ago, on June 23, 2014, Dallas resident Charles Robert Moore drove to his hometown of Grand Saline, Texas and parked his car in a Dollar General parking lot on East Garland Street. He lingered there momentarily and then placed a foam mat on the ground. He knelt down on the mat, poured gasoline over his head and lit a match. He immediately burst into flames.

As Moore stood up and began to scream, two men rushed over and extinguished the blaze. He was transported to Parkland Hospital, but succumbed to his burns later that day.

By all accounts, Charles Robert …

Is a Brexit all that dangerous?

This is getting really frustrating.  We’ve got a “security” agent, employed by a British outfit, shooting up a bar in Florida.  A British MP is murdered by one of her own constituents.  The US teams up with the Middle East’s former masters, the Brits (again), to recolonize that part of the world.  The US teams up with the French in a joint effort to recolonize former French interests in Africa so as to enlist the French in Libya’s destruction, along with other subsidiary projects (TAFTA/TTIP/TISA, Russia sanctions, for example).  The US has somehow strong-armed Germany into doing its economic dirty …

Killer Drugs: Sleep through your Waking Life

Nino Ricci’s latest novel, Sleep, inspired by his own sleep disorder, is really more a fun text book on the latest brain research and the blind use of powerful drugs to alter — and possibly restructure (who knows?) — the brain. It’s like a ‘don’t smoke’ ad that’s actually informative and hilarious, with a classic ‘death of a salesman’ plot moving it along.

The complexity of the brain and the perilousness of the chemical warfare we casually inflict on it is far greater than, say, sending a …