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Journalism and Pornography

Real crime is always organised

When I began reading the work of Douglas Valentine about six years ago, I had not read his books, only the articles that the US online journal Counterpunch had published. In fact, I only began reading Counterpunch because of the accident of having been introduced to the two original editors of what was then only a printed newsletter. Later I was even able to publish a few pieces in that journal before its more famous founding editor’s demise. Why do I preface a book review with such personal observations? To that question I will return later.

After reading numerous articles I …

OECD Opens Investigation into WWF

This Baka girl was tortured by a WWF-funded anti-poaching squad in Cameroon in 2016. She was 10 years old at the time. © Survival International

In an unprecedented move, a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has agreed to investigate a complaint that the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has funded human rights abuses in Cameroon, beginning a process which until now has only been used for multinational businesses.

Survival submitted the complaint in February 2016, citing numerous examples of

The War on Experts: Brexit, Populism and Sir Ivan Rogers’ Resignation

London — Populism has a much needed place in political arrangements, the necessary, disruptive gust that keeps the complacent from losing touch. For one, it often threatens to destroy those arrangements altogether, or at the very least provide a blustery challenge.

This, however, comes with its costs, notably in the modern State.  For one, it promises a mixture of bloodletting and indifference to the technocrats and advisors who claim various skills and expertise.  Killing the priest class, the monopolists on expertise and ritual, leads to blood, confusion, and the need for a good deal of re-ordering.

In the turmoil that is modern …

Archbishop was “Icon of Resistance” to Palestinians

Tributes pour in after the death of Greek Melkite archbishop Hilarion Capucci, 94, who fought for Palestinian rights

A Greek Melkite archbishop, described as an “icon” of the Palestinian liberation struggle, has died in Rome at the age of 94.

Hilarion Capucci, who was appointed the Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem in 1965, was arrested by Israel nine years later and jailed for arms smuggling.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas was among those praising him for “defending the rights of the Palestinian people”.

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), said Capucci was a reminder of an era when priests were actively engaged in political struggles, from opposition to the Vietnam war to leading …

A Blessing in Disguise?

The Trump Presidency May be Better for Palestine

Israel is dizzy. January 20th has been like another Christmas Day and Donald Trump is jolly old Santa Claus bearing gifts. The writing is already on the wall as President-elect Trump has appointed an extremist, David Friedman, as the next US Ambassador to Israel who intends to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and who supports the expansion of illegal colonies that have already sliced up the envisaged Palestinian state into South Africa-like Bantustans.

Thus, it must be odd, if not altogether provocative, to suggest that a Trump presidency could be the coup de grace that …

Guardian “Fake News” Story on Julian Assange “Punishment for his Inconvenient Truth-telling”

Journalist Glenn Greenwald has accused his former employer, the Guardian, of falsifying the words of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a report about the interview he gave to La Repubblica. For more on this, Mark Crispin Miller, professor of media studies at NYU, joins RT America’s Ashlee Banks.

Laurence Fink: The Trillion-Dollar Deadhead

The secret of great fortunes without apparent cause is a crime forgotten, for it was properly done.

— Honoré de Balzac, Le Père Goriot, 1835

Among the current crop of Wall Street financiers, Laurence “Larry” Fink has received the greatest number of awards and plaudits. He is the CEO and Chairman of BlackRock (BR), the world’s largest multinational investment management corporation. By 2016, BR had over $5 trillion dollars under management with over 12,000 employees in 70 offices in 30 countries serving clients in 100 countries.

Fink has dominated Wall …

Let All Opposed to War Praise Trump’s “Treasonous” Tweet

When President Obama expelled Russian diplomats over the hysterical and unproven accusation of “hacking the election” on December 29, Russian President Vladimir Putin refused to be drawn into a petty squabble, saying he would delay any response until Donald Trump assumed office. Instead Putin’s response was to issue an invitation to American diplomats and their families in Moscow to join the official holiday celebrations in the Kremlin.

Then came the shock from President Elect Trump, in the form of a tweet (what else) heard round the world that read: “Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he …

Eternal Hostility: a New Year’s Resolution

This New Year’s Eve, 750 heavy wooden crosses were distributed to a gathering of Chicagoans commemorating the victims of gun violence killed in 2016. Rev. Michael Pfleger and the Faith Community of St. Sabina Parish had issued a call to carry crosses constructed by Greg Zanis. The crosses, uniform in size, presented the name and age and, in many cases, a facial photo of the person killed. Some who carried the crosses were relatives of the people killed. As the group assembled, several sobbed upon finding the crosses that bore the names and photos of their loved ones….

Empathy: What Our Dysfunctional World Needs

Our species is capable of great compassion, kindness and tolerance; it is also capable of cruelty, selfishness and hate. Which of these characteristics dominate depends on another characteristic, namely empathy, defined as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another”. This sharing of feeling could so easily be switched off if the “other” happens to have a different colour, religion or culture.

It is argued that empathy cannot be taught but could happen through our positive non-judgemental interaction with others. We need to listen and to imagine what …

The Absolutely Essential Distinction: Wars of Aggression are Not Equivalent to Wars of Self-defense


War is an abomination. War is anathema. However, not all forms of war are the same. To understand war, and to assign culpability with clear conscience for the war and its outcomes, it is absolutely critical to differentiate between waging wars of aggression and wars of self-defense. One form of warfare, self-defense, is brought about by the imposition of the other form, war of aggression. Hence, any artificial equivalency is unacceptable between the two forms of war or between/among the warring parties.

Yet, to pay attention …

The Holocaust Industry in Canada

Is a school lesson plan widely used across Canada aimed at fighting racism like its promoters say or is it also a clever cover for defending Jewish/white supremacy in the Middle East?

A recent 12-page Canadian Jewish News insert about Elizabeth and Tony Comper raises the issue. According to the supplement, in 2005 the Bank of Montreal head and his wife Elizabeth started Fighting Anti-Semitism Together (FAST), a coalition of non-Jewish business leaders and prominent individuals. FAST sponsored a lesson plan for Grades 6 to 8 called “Choose Your Voice: Antisemitism in Canada”. Over 2.4 million students in 19,000 schools have …

Stand with Standing Rock, Free Leonard Peltier

I write to urge you to consider executive clemency for Leonard Peltier. You have appreciated, more than any President in recent memory, the tumultuous history of Native American tribes, and the tragic events derived from that history. Mr. Peltier has been in prison for 41 years, for a tragic event that took place during troubled times. He is in ill health; requires urgent, specialized medical treatment; and just lost his youngest son. Continued incarceration serves no purpose.

— Dave Archambault, Tribal Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, in December 23

Taiwan: Ignorance, Danger of War and a High School Nazi Parade

At the end of December 2016, both Taiwan and the world were shaken to the core, when images appeared in the local press and online, depicting students parading in Nazi uniforms proudly raising their hands in salute, an act banned in most countries of the world.  Mail Online reported:

A school in Taiwan has been condemned after students waved Nazi flags and shouted ‘Sieg Heil’ as teachers stood by saluting them. The images were taken at Hsinchu Kuang Fu High School in Western Taiwan where a history teacher can be seen dressed as Adolf Hitler.

Some students were photographed inside a makeshift cardboard …

Emancipation Rebellion Heirs: Don’t Grin and Bear Jamaica’s Oppression!

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

— Frederick Douglass, abolitionist, feminist and political figure

On 27 December 1831, the enslaved Africans in western Jamaica confirmed that slavery is a very violent system of domination and the possibility …

Why Ecuador is Choosing to Sabotage its Top Universities

On December 13 Ecuador’s National Assembly passed a law compromising the independence of its public universities. The mandate, in this small country, where everything is personal, is aimed specifically at the two institutions of higher learning that offer only post-graduate degrees: Andina University and the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, aka FLACSO.

The new law relieves those universities of critical financial decisions, ceding that power to the National Secretariat of Higher Education, Science and Technology. Instead of university faculty and administrators choosing how best to allocate funds for research …

The Information War on Syria and Beyond

The U.S. establishment is not happy. They are not content with largely dominating media narratives on Syria and other critical foreign policy issues; they want total dominance.

Thus we now have the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act signed into law on December 24 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017. The bill will mandate the U.S.Secretary of State to collaborate with the Secretary of Defense, Director of National Intelligence and other federal agencies to “create a Global Engagement Center to fight against propaganda from foreign governments”.

The bill directs the future Center to be formed …

Socio-Political Analysis of the Racism Charge against Outing of Racism

When one is critical of the human-rights violations of the state of Israel, there follows a vehement charge of “antisemitism”. When one supports institutional measures to counter systemic racism, there follows a charge of “reverse racism”. And when a white person is critical of a black person’s apparent support for systemic racism, there again follows a charge of “racism”.

In all these examples, a charge of racism is levied in response to words used to criticize actual physical racism occurring on a spectrum from outright violations of personal safety to exclusion from status and resources.

The reason that such fallacious responses have …

Proof: “Moderate Rebels” in Syria are Really Jihadists

Ecuador

Ecuador is a song about oppression by a few over the many.  It is based on actual events that involved the destruction of part of the Ecuadorian rain forest as a result of oil drilling over the course of decades.  We hope you enjoy our video and thank you for watching.

— One Earth