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ISIS as a Mirror

In part, the rapacious ugliness of ISIS is a reflection of the policies which formed it. We flinch at recognizing in ISIS atrocities the embodiment of the cruelty in NATO’s policies, the callousness of Madeleine Albright evaluating the lives of Iraqi children, the swagger and glee of Hilary Clinton at Gaddafi‘s murder, the effects on millions of insisting on regime change in someone else’s country and the Euro-American refusal to accept Syria’s democratically elected president. Assad has been demonized by the corporate/state press and alleged to be responsible for war crimes, as was done to Saddam Hussein, Milosevic, and Gaddafi. …

Roots to Social Democracy/Capitalism, Socialism

Scandinavia on the Skids: The Failure of Social Democracy (Part 2 of a 7 part series on Scandinavia’s “Socialism”)

This series sprang from discussions I’ve had with several people regarding the Danish/Scandinavian model of social democracy, or socialism as Bernie Sanders contends. Some well intentioned persons view the Nordic Model as a solution to greedy capitalism, while others view its role as a seditious savior of exploitative capitalism. Many Cubans I knew when living there (1988-96) and visiting since see the Nordic Model as a way out for their failing revolution, gone the way of a bureaucratic state. Some Spaniards backing Podemos hope to emulate Scandinavia, whose social democracy is also failing, unbeknownst to many foreign admirers.

I have been …

“The New Scum”

Time and Ephelant’s “The New Scum” has been released as the first song from our upcoming album How To Sew Wounds With Words.  The album, itself, will be released on July 26, 2016.

Seth Tobocman, a political comic book artist known for his books such as War in the Neighborhood, World War 3, and Disaster and Resistance made the album cover.  Seth’s latest book “Len, A Lawyer in History” comes out August 2016.

The album is written like a diary entry confronting issues such as creativity, depression, anti-homeless legislation, inequality, …

Post-Brexit Blues as Scotland Threatens to Desert … Again!!

This should be a joyous time for the UK when efforts turn towards throwing off EU bondage and exploring the sunny uplands of free will and expanded world trade. Unfortunately a big, dark storm-cloud looms over the celebrations…. Scotland’s political ‘élite’ are about to piss on us.

People like me were brought up in the belief that anyone threatening the safety or integrity of the realm would be for the chop – quite literally.

So I watch in amazement as Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Strugeon, dishonestly claims time and again that in the recent EU referendum Scots voted for Scotland to stay …

How to win an FBI Primary

As general election polls tighten, with a majority of voters disapproving of the Democratic nominee and believing that she should be criminally indicted, the season of columnists blaming a Democratic loss on Green Party supporters has begun.   But the question this year is clearer than ever: if you’re trying to win, why nominate Hillary Clinton?  Why, when for months Bernie Sanders was running decisively ahead of Hillary in head-to-head polls against Republicans, did an almost unanimous roster of top Democratic legislators, governors, and their compliant media scribes endorse the weaker general election candidate?

The conventional wisdom has said winning meant moving …

Nice Brings to Mind Operation Gladio

Commentators who have learned to distrust official explanations, such as Peter Koenig and Stephen Lendman have raised questions about the Nice attack.

It does seem odd that a lone person driving a large truck can gain access to blocked off areas where French people have assembled to watch the fireworks of Bastille Day. It also seems odd that the event is branded a terrorist one when the alleged perpetrator’s family says that he was not at all religious and had no religious motivation.

We will never know. Once again the alleged perpetrator is dead and conveniently left behind …

Harvard Lawless School and You

Lawlessness, the kind that is considered as factual non-compliance with existing law, is often far more widespread than the studied phenomenon known as compliance.

I am reminded of the long history of this duality by in a 1932 review by Daniel James of The Modern Corporation and Private Property – a famous book by Adolf A Berle, Jr. and Gardiner C. Means that documented the split between ownership (the shareholders) and control (by the corporate executives). He wrote then what is worse now, that “There is a paper government for corporations and there is an actual government. The one is embodied in Constitutional provisions, statutes, charters, by-laws, …

Banning and Banishing: The Nonsense About Muslims

He was the kingpin of the whole affair by suggesting it. In December 2015, the US Republican presumptive nominee for President, Donald Trump, came up with that daft suggestion which seems so utterly devoid of informed meaning.  Ban Muslims from entering the United States and the phenomenon of terrorism would somehow be abated.

His prepared statement was characteristically dramatic in the manner of reality television, envisaging a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

The recent shootings of US police officers, inflicted by disgruntled former black American soldiers, …

The Fix Is In As It Never Has Been Before (sic)

Long-in-the-tooth Aging Hippies, 60-to-70-Somethings Living the Lie About Their Party

I think that it’s morally obscene and spiritually profane to spend $6 billion on an election, $2 billion on a presidential election, and not have any serious discussion—poverty, trade unions being pushed against the wall dealing with stagnating and declining wages when profits are still up and the 1 percent are doing very well, no talk about drones dropping bombs on innocent people. So we end up with such a narrow, truncated political discourse, as the major problems— ecological catastrophe, climate change, global warming. So it’s very sad. I mean, I’m glad there was not a right-wing takeover, but we

Israel seeks to “publicly shame” Human Rights Groups

Newly passed Transparency Law compels rights groups to divulge foreign funding in all official statements

The Israeli government stands accused of waging a campaign of incitement against human rights groups as it tries to hamper efforts by the international community to monitor abuses of Palestinians under occupation.

A so-called Transparency Law, passed by the Israeli parliament last week, compels some two dozen Israeli rights organisations to declare publicly that they receive a majority of their funding from foreign governments.

In future, they will have to divulge such funding – mostly from individual European states or the European Union – every time they appear in the media, issue publicity material, make statements online, and deal with …

Open Convention

Having candidates for president, whom a majority of the voters apparently reject, demeans faith in democracy, reduces confidence in the political system, and shatters trust in the major Political Parties. In the upcoming presidential election, no matter who wins the public loses. What can be done to repair the damage?

A practical solution for re-invigorating a moribund Democratic Party and renewing faith in a broken political system is to have Hillary Clinton release her delegates and open the convention floor. It is mainly the political capital, invested in her for many years by close associates, that steered Secretary of State Clinton …

Thoughts on Money and Debt as Seen from Main Street

We suspected it was a scam all along.  The whole money and debt thing.  I mean, how much sense does it make for any government to hand over money creation to a group of private individuals who then lend it back to their own government and earn interest (in other words, do nothing other than collect a kind of rent) on something that, more or less, doesn’t even exist?  Dire Straits got it right about the “Money for nothin’ ” thing.

Ellen Brown’s recent piece on DissidentVoice throws around some pretty impressive figures:  500 trillion …

The Dictatorship of the Lawyers

Let’s start with some stats. The District of Columbia has the densest concentration of lawyers in the world. If you factor in the fact that 88% of lawyers are white and 60% of the capital’s population are minorities, you end up with some really mind warping numbers.

The population of the District is 672,000 (2015 census) and the number of households is slightly over 250,000. With 52,000 lawyers running around – it means that you can find a lawyer by randomly knocking on five doors. If you happen to be looking for a lawyer in Georgetown, a couple of knocks …

The Protocols of the Private Zone

BREXIT might be what one-hand-clapping sounds like. It might also be the reappearance of concerns relating to, “where have all the flowers gone”, where have all the manufacturing jobs disappeared to, where has all the untaxed wealth stashed itself, where have regulations protecting public interest gone to, or, a falling out of love with the Brussels techno-oligarchs and their boots-on-the-ground Mighty Mouse NATO Military. Most of all, it’s likely to be the sound of suffering humanity scraping itself off the canvas after its initial stoush with the counterrevolutionary protocols of neoconservative privatisation. But best of all, it is a public …

Scandinavia on the Skids: The Failure of Social Democracy

Denmark: SOS Save Our Sovereignty (Part 1 of a 7 Part Series on Scandinavia's "Socialism")

I first met Denmark’s last truly Social Democratic Prime Minister, Anker Joergensen, in his state office, unannounced, in late 1980.

Grethe and I had just been married. We had met the year before in Los Angeles where I had been a “participatory journalist”, and activist for social/racial/gender equality and against the Vietnam War. I wanted to start a new life with Grethe in her peaceful, social democratic land.

I took odd jobs and did freelance writing for some Danish media, and for progressive media in the US and England. As such, I often walked from Grethe’s centrally located Copenhagen apartment to Christiansborg. …

Stop Using Millenary Religions as a Scapegoat for the Crimes of Modern Imperialism

But if they incline to peace, you (also) incline to it, and (put your) trust in Allah. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.

— The Noble Qur’an, Al-Anfal, 8.61

Jihad

The most excellent Jihad is that for the conquest of self.

The ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of the martyr.

Sayings of the Prophet

Respected writer William Blum understands US hegemony and imperialism on a global scale. In his important book Rogue State, he provided a comprehensive account of US imperialism around the world.

Recently, Blum wrote a trenchant article that compellingly …

America Wants Those “Pull Ya Up By Your Own Boot Straps” to Hang You With

You do your your time behind bars and enter a panoply of bars and prison time out here in the normal world

To initiate a war of aggression…, said the Nuremberg Tribunal judges in 1946, is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.

Interestingly, working the social worker circuit of assisting the homeless, near homeless, all victims of police brutality, police overreach, judicial overkill, flogged by fines-levies-warrants-garnishments-taxes-fees-debts-interest-PayDay usury, I have to see that Nuremberg Tribunal statement key to what is occurring within the borders of the United States of Assassination.

The gentrification, the displacement, the stop and frisks, the toxins-chemicals-pollutants warfare in …

Boris Johnson and Anti-Diplomacy

British politics has seen it before: a good deal of political bloodletting in a dramatic Cabinet reshuffle. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan did so on July 13, 1962 in what became known as Britain’s own variant of the much cruder and bloodier German event of 1934.

Similarly, the new Prime Minister Theresa May, was intent on going a bit deeper than the surface after coming to power, removing such old Tory hands as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and replacing him with former foreign secretary Philip Hammond. The ideologically charged Michael Gove, who has made his irreparably damaging …

BDS is a War Israel can’t win

Israel's apologists would call the BDS campaign "immoral", but the slander is laughably false.

Israeli think-tank fellow Yossi Klein Halevi, writing recently in the Los Angeles Times, would have American readers believe that the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement is “immoral” and threatens the peace of “the region’s only intact society”, while simultaneously boasting it can’t touch Israel’s health and global economic integration.

Yet his reasoning from “morals” rings hollow, and amounts to little more than the shilling of the professional apologist industry deployed on Israel’s behalf throughout the Western media, in the never-ending defence of the oppressive status quo in Palestine.

Halevi excoriates BDS, disingenuously, for making the Jewish state “the world’s most pressing problem” today, …

Making a Mockery of International Law: The Arbitral Tribunal on the South China Sea Prepares the Way for War

A car is stolen. It’s a car that has been in the family for generations: picnics, road trips, weddings, funerals, accidents. There are pictures, memories, indelible life events. There is a huge robbery of the entire house, in the confusion, mayhem, and distraction, the car also disappears.

A few days later, a neighbor turns up with the car. The neighbor claims it’s their car. They say that they bought it–for a single dollar from someone, a Tomas, a well-known car thief, who is arrested. Alternatively, they say they found it on their property, and that …