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Agriculture: Trade Wars and Food Wars

Obama and the Multi-Nationals

The concentration and centralization of the agro-business multi-nationals advances with gigantic strides:  Potash Corp and Agrium have combined into a $30 billion monopoly over the world fertilizer market.  Dow Chemical and DuPont combine in a $130 billion dollar deal in the seed and agricultural chemicals sector.  ChemChina prepares to take over Syngenta in a $44 billion acquisition.  Bayer is preparing to buy out Monsanto for $56 billion and further concentrate control over worldwide seed and chemical markets.  A quarter of a trillion dollars worth of mergers and acquisitions is poised to concentrate control of global agriculture prices, profits and markets …

Syria Solidarity Movement Statement on the US Attack against the Syrian Army at Deir ez-Zour

The Syria Solidarity Movement unequivocally condemns and denounces the vicious US bombing attack on the Syrian army defending Deir ez-Zour, and we wish to make the following observations.

The attack killed at least 62 Syrian soldiers and wounded more than 100.  This is larger than the number of casualties inflicted in any US bombing on any terrorist target in Syria since the US announced its “war on ISIS”.
The bombing inflicted no known casualties on ISIS, which the US says was its intended target.
The US has produced no evidence that it notified its Russian counterparts, as required by agreement. …

Never Mention the J-word

... It's not applicable to Palestine

Seems our politicians, on both sides of the Atlantic, are under instructions to drop the J-word from their vocabulary. I mean J-for-Justice, conspicuously missing from any discussion about Middle East peace and, more specifically, an end to the hell in the Holy Land.

Only the other day at Westminster a parliamentary question was put to the Secretary of State for International Development asking what assessment had been made of the effectiveness and value for money of the UK’s aid assistance to the Palestinian Territories.

It was answered by Rory Stewart who repeated the tired mantra: “The UK remains committed in its support …

Assange, Manning and Snowden: Standing up for the Conscience of Truthtellers

Last week, Oliver Stone’s biopic “Snowden” hit the theaters. The film illuminates the life of Edward Snowden between 2004 and 2013, aiming to humanize one of the most wanted men in the world. Just before its release, a public campaign was launched urging President Obama to pardon this renowned NSA whistleblower.

The massive US government persecution of truthtellers over the past years has exiled conscience from civil society, locking it behind bars and driving it into asylum. Yet, despite these attacks, it refuses to die.

From prison where she is serving 35 years, Chelsea Manning is standing up for her …

“Burkini” and French Imperialist Mind

In Europe, oppression is never really called by its true ugly name. It is constantly concealed by lofty slogans such as culture, even tolerance. Repression, discrimination and harassment are administered in order for the ‘entire society to be free’.

Or so at least the official narrative goes.

In France, a recent and ugly row over so-called burkinis, a swimsuit used by many Muslim women all over the world, has demonstrated how little tolerance there really is in today’s Europe for other cultures and for different ways of life.

Recently, France’s highest administrative court has ruled that “burkini bans” being enforced on the country’s …

There is Never a 12th Step in the Program Called Consumerism

Exiting Society Before They Slap You Hard with Retribution for Being Flawed, Human

Sixty days. A year. Five years. A week. A day. An hour. Right now.

That’s the curse of addiction, those needles, inhalants, the entire barbarity of cheap booze shilled by the chosen ones, the money changers, all amortized and bundled debts in trans-capital, sold next to the playground, the trees cut down for billboards pronouncing sexual prowess and football hero-dom with the flick of the Mike’s Hard Cider or a fucking Bud.

“I wake up with a pint of 100 proof vodka, just to take care of the shakes, in one gulp. I carried around half a gallon, and I fucked up …

Loss of Planet Reflectivity an Impending Catastrophe

The planet’s air conditioning system is on the blink, working intermittently, losing its glinting, lustrous white reflectiveness, as it turns deep blue, absorbing 90% of sunlight rather than reflecting it back into outer space. The repercussions of Arctic sea ice loss are immense.

“Our planet has actually changed colour,” Peter Wadhams, A Farewell to Ice (Allen Lane an imprint of Penguin Books, 2016).  Loss of Arctic sea ice has such an overriding powerful impact on the planet, it warrants this 206-page book. “It is Man’s first major achievement in reshaping the face of his planet, and it is of course an …

Libya: David Cameron’s “Iraq”?

Damning Report Shreds Another War Monger

Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron is consistent in just one thing – jumping ship when the going gets tough. He announced his resignation in the immediate wake of the 23rd July referendum in which Britain marginally voted to leave the EU, a referendum which he had fecklessly called to appease right wing “little Englanders”, instead of facing them down.

He lost. The result is looming financial catastrophe and the prospect of unraveling forty-three years of legislations (Britain joined the then European Economic Community on 1st January 1973.) No structure was put in place for a government department to address the …

Turnbull as Fantasist: Selling Australia’s Security and Refugee agenda

Island mentalities do not travel well.  When their sellers hawk the agenda before world forums, these start looking ludicrous. Coming close to this ludicrous display is Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, who has done what other Australian prime ministers have in previous years: sell the great discovery, the great hit of life on how best to protect borders in the face of threats.

No greater hits in the Australian record of cruelty and mania come close than the approach of outsourcing refugee obligations and the conjectures of global terrorism.  The former stance assumes that refugees are disposable on arrival, repellent jumpers …

Trump Is the Symptom, Clinton Is the Disease

Open Letter to My Progressive Pal Who Votes for the Lesser-of-Two-Evils

I asked you who is the lesser evil when even the Washington Post posits Hillary Clinton to the “political right” of Trump on international issues?

And you responded: “So I guess I should vote for Trump?”

Gimme Shelter: Fleeing Trump to the Democrat’s Big Tent

You are right that there are differences between the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. No one recognizes that better than the ruling elites who are tripping over each other to join the Clinton bandwagon.

Mainstream Republicans, such as Romney and the Bush bunch, are gravitating in droves to the better Republican who happens to be a nominal Democrat. …

Living at the Mercy of the North Wind

They say that home is where the heart is. If this is so, my heart must be of the restless variety, for I’ve changed the location of home some forty plus times during my adult life. Apparently I’m not finished yet.

It’s September, and Mohave Desert heat is still intense here in Laughlin, Nevada. But lately, in the glow of predawn, I detect the faint howl of the north wind. Much like Vianne Rocher, the enigmatic chocolatier in the 2000 movie Chocolat, I’m feeling the irresistible urge to move on once more. Like Vianne, I’m an athiest, a free spirit, and …

Central Bank Digital Currencies: A Revolution in Banking?

Several central banks, including the Bank of England, the People’s Bank of China, the Bank of Canada and the Federal Reserve, are exploring the concept of issuing their own digital currencies, using the blockchain technology developed for Bitcoin. Skeptical commentators suspect that their primary goal is to eliminate cash, setting us up for negative interest rates (we pay the bank to hold our deposits rather than the reverse).

But Ben Broadbent, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, puts a more positive spin on it. He says Central Bank Digital Currencies could supplant the money now created by private banks …

In a World breaking Monthly Temperature Records, advertising Cars should be Criminal

A Metro should never be wrapped in car ads.

On Monday the whole front of Montréal’s Metro paper promoted Kia. All of page two and the back of a paper targeted at the city’s transit riders also promoted an unhealthy, lethal, inefficient and utterly unsustainable mode of transportation.

Incredibly, public transit systems regularly glorify the private automobile. Car ads are not uncommon on buses or in metros. During a trip to Philadelphia a few years ago, the great hall at the city’s beautiful old train station was covered with a 50 ft x 30 ft car ad. It seemed more than a …

What is Mutual Aid?

In a world ruled by ceaseless capitalist competition, where people are pitted to work against each other, anarchists offer a different vision: Mutual Aid.

Australia’s Global ‘Exit’: Tribalism and International Institutions

Australian values and way of life are also at risk from insidious institutions such as the unelected swill that is the United Nations.

— Senator Roberts, One Nation Party, September 14, 2016.

It all begins with a promise. A promise, less for a better future than a reclaimed past. Reclamation of the familiar, in fact, being the fundamental idea. “As a servant to the people of Queensland and Australia, I’m here to discuss with the chamber and the Australian people how we will rebuild our great nation.” These words from the inaugural speech of One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts set the trend in …

“Romanticism and War”: Contextualising a Theory of Interpretation

Jacques Pauwels: The Great Class War 1914 - 1918

In 2014 I reviewed what was promoted as a significant revision in the interpretation of what in Britain and continental Europe is called “The Great War” and since 1945 has been popularly called the “First World War”. The revisionary aspect was the author’s contention — expressed in his title The Sleepwalkers — that the cause of the great slaughter between 1914 and 1918 was far less the intentions of the belligerents than their general incapacity to grasp the full consequences of their actions. The argument is …

Both Ms. Clinton and I got burned out: for very different reasons

Yesterday I watched Ms. Clinton on the television screen, stumbling towards her van, after attending a ceremony at the WTC in New York City. She had to be grabbed by both arms by her aids, and then literally pulled into the vehicle.

Embarrassing? Not really. People get exhausted; they get sick and sometimes they can even hardly remain standing on their feet. When they stumble, when they fall, their close ones should offer them support and help, immediately.

Several days earlier I met my German translator in Heidelberg, and he showed me an introduction to a book he was working on, a …

The Climate Religion

Primordial religions have always been about avoiding the calamities of climate: drought, fire, disease, war… But religion has also always been more that an individual alleviation of insecurity and guilt. It has been a stabilizing force of society’s dominance hierarchies.

Monarchs have always had symbiotic relations with organized religion, and that is no accident. Rulers gain perceived legitimacy, while the church-maintenance class gains high relative social status and privilege. In recent history, one might even argue that the downfall of the USSR was facilitated by a suppressed church.

Clearly, if a system can combine individual-identity-creating beliefs with the impression that the state …

The Corporation versus Nature, First Nation, and Local People

Saying No to Corporations

We should be able to say ‘no.’ And our ‘no’ should be heard.

— Joe Pierre of the Ktunaxa Nation speaking regarding any development in Qat’muk, Ktunaxa territory

Bullfrog Films has just released Jumbo Wild: “a gripping, hour-long documentary that tells the true story of the decades-long battle” over Qat’muk (as it is called by the Ktunaxa people), aka Jumbo Valley. Qat’muk lies in a rugged wilderness valley among the Purcell Mountains near the headwaters of the N’ch-iwana (Columbia River) and is the home of the Grizzly Bear Spirit. It is located in a province colonially designated “British Columbia”; the nearest …

Sports Media for Social Change

People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don’t know is what what they do does.

― Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason

After Colin Kaepernick’s courageous national anthem protest caught the attention of the controversy-seeking corporate sports media, an exciting phenomenon has quickly emerged. Sports media is going through a transformation. The pundits and athletes, mostly African Americans, for now, are discussing police brutality against minorities, militarism, and other socio-political issues. They are talking about inequality in America, need for compassion, and calling for …