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The Olympics as a Tool of the New Cold War

The 6th Fundamental Principle of Olympism (non-discrimination of any kind, including nationality and political opinion) seems to be forgotten long ago.  In ancient Greece the competition of best athletes was able to halt a war and serve as a bridge of understanding between two recent foes.  But in the twentieth century the Olympics have become a political weapon.  Back in 1980 the US and its allies boycotted the games in Moscow as a protest against the Soviet troops that entered Afghanistan at the request of that country’s legitimate government (in contrast, the 1936 Olympics in Nazi

War and Peace: Azerbaijan and Palestine

Part 2

Armenians can only marvel at Zionist chutzpah

Part I considered the remarkable similarities between Armenians and Jews. They both were socialist, then capitalist, adapting as the need arose. Both suffered genocides and achieved independence as fallouts from the upheavals of the 20th century.

Teflon imperialists

Which brings us to their remarkable ‘achievement’: to (almost) single-handedly occupy their neighbour’s territory, against all odds–and hold on to it–against international opinion, Armenia for close to 25 yrs, Israel close to 70 years. Armenia taking …

The Only Way to Challenge ISIS

From Nice to the Middle East

I visited Iraq in 1999. At the time, there were no so-called ‘jihadis’ espousing the principles of ‘jihadism’, whatever the interpretation may be. On the outskirts of Baghdad was a military training camp, not for al-Qaeda, but for Mojahedin-e-Khalq, an Iranian militant exile group that worked, with foreign funding and arms, to overthrow the Iranian Republic.

At the time, the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein used the exiled organization to settle scores with his rivals in Tehran, just as they, too, espoused anti-Iraqi government militias to achieve the exact same purpose.

Iraq was hardly peaceful then. …

Gaza in Context

Depicting Perpetual Crimes committed by Corporate Culture and its Mainstream Media

Russian Novels Combating Global Capitalist Nightmare

Imagine Moscow being taken over by some international corporate cartel. By a monster which has its own factories and office buildings, security services, private prisons, re-education (‘training’) centers, and its obedient mass media outlets. Imagine that it also has detailed databases on almost everyone who really matters in the capital.

Imagine that human lives suddenly don’t matter. People are only expected to produce and consume; they become fully disposable.

Imagine that the once greatly educated Russia with its legendary artists and philosophers is gradually getting reduced to an unimaginably primitive level. Suddenly, there is US pop trash flying about everywhere, and the …

Staring Down the Precipice: An Interview with Richard Oxman

Richard Oxman is an educator living in Santa Cruz, California. After talking both on the phone and by email with him the past few months, he has already become a dear friend to me. As someone interested in revolutionary politics, peace, and in providing a livable world for our children, I grew more and more interested as he began to share his plan for social change in his home state, which he calls Transforming our State of California (TOSCA). The following are excerpts from our ongoing (never-ending!) conversations.

William Hawes: Hey Richard, can you start by telling us a little bit …

Erdoğan, the Coup, and the United States

The Gülen Factor

Engaged in his dirty spate of housecleaning under the auspices of protecting the constitution and the Turkish state, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continues to insist on one vital scalp in his enterprise.

Thus far, the cleric Fethullah Gülen has eluded Ankara from his abode in Pennsylvania. From his base, something of a global network has been constructed, one discernable through foundations and an assortment of endeavours pursued under the guise of a faith movement. These do not attest to the spirit of a pacifist warrior, averse to revolution. They suggest influence, and the markings of power.

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 …