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Outrageous Attempt at Killing the Deal with Iran

Internal elite power games in Washington are now putting Middle Eastern and global stability and peace at stake.

Here is the latest attempt at killing a deal with Iran that, to the sensitive reader with a minimum of knowledge of foreign policy and of the Iranian civilization, is little but one long argument for warfare on Iran in nobody’s interest – certainly also not in the interest of the citizens of Israel.

Is it just because it is summer time that intellectuals, media commentators and diplomats as well as friends and allies of the US conveniently have generally …

Facebook Goes beyond Facial Recognition to Track You

Nowhere to hide

RINF — Terrifying new research shows Facebook’s ambitions to track users has gone far beyond the company’s ‘old’ technology that recognises users faces, which in itself poses a dizzying array of privacy concerns.

The new development, dubbed Pose Invariant PErson Recognition (PIPER), gathers information about your clothing, hairstyles and body shapes and currently holds a 83% accuracy rate, already incredibly high and is expected to increase even further.

Yann LeCun, head of artificial intelligence at Facebook explained how it works:

There are a lot of cues we use. People have characteristic aspects, even if you look at them from the back.

“King Obama,” His Royal Court, and the TPP

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – a global corporate noose around U.S. local, state, and national sovereignty – narrowly passed a major procedural hurdle in the Congress by gaining “fast track” status. This term “fast track” is a euphemism for your members of Congress – senators and representatives – handcuffing themselves, so as to prevent any amendments or adequate debate before the final vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership – another euphemism that is used to avoid the word “treaty,” which would require ratification by two-thirds of the Senate. This anti-democratic process is being pushed by “King Obama” and his royal court.

Make …

Fifteen Most Outrageous Responses by Police after Killing Unarmed People

Police kill a lot of unarmed people.  So far in 2015, as many as 100 unarmed people have been killed by police.  Here are fifteen of the most outrageous reasons given by police to justify killing unarmed people in the last twelve months.

First, a bit of background.  So far in 2015, there have been around 400 fatal police shootings already; one in six of those killings, 16 percent, were of unarmed people, 49 had no weapon at all and 13 had toys, according to the Washington Post.  Of the police killings this year less than 1 percent

Israel’s Arab Citizens Fight for a Roof Over their Heads

Official "Judaisation" policy blamed for severe housing crisis as anger mounts over family made homeless twice in two months

The start of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan has been bitter for Tareq Khatib.

The Israeli authorities razed his home for the second time in two months last week. Now under house arrest, he is confined to a friend’s home and separated from his wife and children.

His lawyer has warned that he should expect a bill from the state for hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover the costs of the demolitions and security operations.

Fingering prayer beads, the 48-year-old father of five looked disconsolate, his hopelessness compounded by fatigue from the afternoon heat and a long day without food …

Praise for the Least Popular Guy in Washington

“I am the least popular guy in Washington.” Thus spoke Rand Paul at a stopover rally in Massachusetts on his way to New Hampshire on June 7. Who can doubt that claim after the events of the last few weeks.

When you have Barack Obama, John McCain, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell all arrayed against you, you are bound to get the award for least popular guy in Empire’s capital city. An accolade of this magnitude also means that you must be doing something right. And that something right was Paul’s filibuster against the PATRIOT Act in the Senate in defiance …

Will Turkey’s Election Give Peace a Chance in Syria?

The June 7 parliamentary election in Turkey could have a huge impact on the conflict in Syria. The invincible image of President Erdogan has been cracked.  There is a real chance that the election might lead to substantive change in Turkish foreign policy promoting the war in Syria.

Even though Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) won the most votes, they lost their majority in parliament and must now find a coalition partner. Turkey’s new parliament was seated for the first time on Tuesday June 23. Now begins the political bargaining and negotiations to form a governing coalition.  Depending on the …

American Defense Secretary Ashton Carter: Physicist for War and Profit

Most Americans apply a yardstick to America’s actions which is very different than the yardstick they apply to Russia’s actions. Whenever their bias in favor of their own nation gets into conflict with the truth, the odds are that the bias will prevail. As a result of this they are not capable of seeing current events in their historical perspective…In Washington, wisdom has no chance to prevail at this point…If we intend to drop bombs on Russia in case of war, and expect Russia to drop bombs on us…then our threat to drop bombs on Russia is tantamount to murder

The “B” Vocabulary: The Western Left and Its Sterile “Field of Ideas”

Over the year, I realized that the term ‘left’ is not exclusive to a political ideology, but a mode of thinking championed mostly by self-tailored ‘leftist’ western intellectuals. I grew to dislike it with intensity.

But that has not always been the case.

My father was a communist, or so he called himself. He read the translated work of great communist and socialist thinkers, and passed on to me his own reading of what a socialist utopia could possibly be like. Living in a squalid refugee camp in Gaza, locked in by a heavily militarized sea to the west, and various Israeli …

Resistance in Honduras Alive and Jumping

June 28 will mark 6 years since the U.S.-backed military coup in Honduras took the people’s government away from them. Thousands of people are still in the streets every week demanding that the wrongful president step down.”Whoever’s not jumping supports the coup!” is the shout as a sea of people leaps repeatedly into the air. The makers of an amazing new film called Resistencia: The Fight for the Aguan Valley, will be allowing anyone to view it online for free for two weeks. I recommend you do so.

Honduras has …

Marching Against Austerity: London, June 20, 2015

It was to be expected, and nothing more clearly illustrated the gap between the uncaring rich and the 99 per cent.

On the day when many thousands of people from across Britain poured into London (and elsewhere) to demonstrate against the Tory government’s austerity measures, high society poured out of London to attend the last day of racing at one of the main events of the summer season for the privileged – Royal Ascot.  While coaches, buses, cars and trains decanted protestors, Waterloo Station was awash with top hats and posh frocks waiting to board the Ascot train….

To America

Let the dialogue be raised, that so horrendous a crime may have had some purpose other than the hellish intent of its alleged perpetrator. Let it further be said that if the families of those killed at AME Church in Charlston, SC can say they have forgiven the murderer, then let us learn from their good example that hate and violence have no place in our society.  Even hate of or violence toward the murderer himself. The cry for the death penalty, in respect for those who died and what they stood for, should cease and be dismissed as an …

Dr. Josh Park’s Courage at Fukushima

Disasters have an uncanny way of bringing out the best in humanity. In the aftermath of tragedy, compassion, understanding, compatibility, accommodation, and accord usually lead the way forward. That’s when remarkable people stand out in the face of adversity. Therefore, it is extraordinarily unfortunate that Japan’s government choses to dishonor its own citizenry as well as its lost heroes like Dr. Josh Park in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

In the aftermath of Japan’s worst tragedy since WWII, the government of Japan enacted The Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets, Act No. 108 promulgated on December 13, …

Fifty-One Days of Israeli Terror in Gaza

Through the Eyes of a Father of Five

We prepare the suhoor. We all sit around five dishes: white cheese, hummus, orange jam, yellow cheese, and olives. Darkness eats with us. Fear and anxiety eat with us. The unknown eats with us. The F16 eats with us. The drone, and its operator somewhere out in Israel, eat with us.

I read The Drone Eats With Me: Diaries from a City Under Fire by Atef Abu Saif in almost one sitting — resenting that I had to break to cook and eat dinner. These beautifully written searing diaries recounting each of the horrific 51 days of Israel’s monstrous war …

The Confederate Flag is Bad for Business

The call to take down the South Carolina capitol’s Confederate flag by the governor, Nikki Haley, has been met with a lot of praise for her political courage from the “left” and the right. But this praise is at best premature. All indications are that the act was a craven genuflection to corporate interests and her own political ambition, and not an act of conscience.

Let’s look at the chain of events leading up to Haley’s announcement.

On Wednesday, June 17, 2015, a white supremacist named Dylann Roof murdered nine black people in the Mother Emmanuel Church in …

Republican Death Panels

The poor are usually out of earshot and positioned out of sight in our bunker-like society; in other words, not on our immediate radar. It seems to be “shock and awe” or celebrity gazing. The former is reserved for things like mass killings or overblown pandemics. The latter is daily splashed on all news outlets: check-stand displays of yellow rags, magazine covers, billboards, TV news, and internet ads that overshadow, intercept, and sometimes annoyingly drive out, all your targeted interfaces.

We have been mentally conditioned to treat the less privileged with neglect, to disregard their struggles, even to demonize them. The …

The Shameful Tragedy of Tariq Aziz

A Metaphor for the “New Iraq”

As with everything to do with “The New Iraq”, the death, on June 5th, 2015, of the country’s former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Tariq Aziz, 79, was announced with a lie.

The Deputy Governor of Nasiriya, Adel Aldikhaly, stated that he had died of a heart attack after “a long term incurable disease.”

Mr Aziz had been transferred from Baghdad’s Khadamiyah prison to Nasiriya’s jail three hundred kilometres south – notorious for appalling conditions at best and torture at worst – a year ago. The reason for his move is so far unknown. It might be surmised as just another …

Right-wing Radicalization, Militarization, and the Boomerang Effect

Throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia, right-wing governments have increasingly adopted extremist socio-economic policies, slashing social expenditures, labor and welfare legislation, while increasing corporate subsidies and reducing taxes for the elite.
           
The right-wing has launched increasingly reckless military interventions via-invasions, proxy wars and massive weapon build-ups on the frontiers of Russia, China and Iran, while engaging in military provocations.
           
In this essay we will outline the scope and depth of right-wing extremism on a global scale, analyze its consequences and then evaluate the successes or failures of the ‘hard right’. In discussing the rise of hard-right socio-economic regimes and …

“Sentence First, Verdict Afterwards”

The Alice in Wonderland World of Fast-tracked Secret Trade Agreements

“Let the jury consider their verdict,” the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

“No, no!” said the Queen. “Sentence first–verdict afterwards.”

“Stuff and nonsense!” said Alice loudly. “The idea of having the sentence first!”

“Hold your tongue!” said the Queen, turning purple.

“I won’t!” said Alice.

“Off with her head!” the Queen shouted at the top of her voice.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

Fast-track authority is being sought in the Senate this week for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), along with the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) and any other such trade agreements coming down the pike in the next six years. The …

The Radical Reconfiguration of Southern European Politics

The Rise of the Non Leftist Left

Over the past decade fundamental changes have taken place in Southern Europe, which have broken with previous political alignments, resulting in the virtual disappearance of traditional leftist ’parties, the decline of trade unions and the emergence of ‘middle class radicalism’.

New political movements, purportedly on the Left, no longer are based on class conscious workers nor are they embedded in the class struggle. Likewise on the right, greater attention is paid to escalating the repressive capacity of the state instead of state intervention in pursuit of economic …