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“Free Trade”: A Euphemism for “Whatever Powerful Interests Want”

“Free trade” has become a euphemism for “whatever power wants”, no matter how tangentily tied to transfering goods across international borders. In an extreme example, Ottawa recently said its Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Israel trumps Canada’s Food and Drugs Act since accurately labelling two wines might undermine a half-century long, illegal, military occupation.

Of little connection to international trade, the North American Free Trade Agreement – and subsequent FTAs – have granted foreign corporations the ability to bypass domestic courts and sue governments in secret tribunals for pursuing policies that interfere with their profit making. Over 75 cases have …

Response to Nation Article on Single Payer: Improved Medicare for All is the Solution

On August 2, 2017, The Nation published an article by Joshua Holland, “Medicare for All isn’t the Solution for Universal Health Care,” chastising Improved Medicare for All supporters because, in his view, the single payer movement has “failed to grapple with the difficulties of transitioning to a single-payer system.” The article, which doesn’t quote anyone involved in the movement for Improved Medicare for All, begs a response because it shows what liberals opposed to single payer believe. Holland dredges up the same arguments used to keep single payer …

Magic Money Working Magic on 401(k)s

A top policy expert isn’t buying reports of a private-sector retirement “crisis.”  In an article, Andrew Biggs not only rejected the gloom but offered a striking counter-narrative. He cited figures showing that 401(k) defined contribution accounts, while regularly maligned, are doing better by workers than the defined benefit plans they swept aside.

His numbers speak to the power of magic money: savings built up in large part by stock market investments, compounded by decades of tax-sheltered capital gains and dividends. The most fortunate retirees are having their cake and eating it too. They’re taking annual …

The Unsung Summit of Putin and Trump

From Hiroshima To Hamburg.

This week marks the 72nd anniversary of the criminal US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  And as is the case each year, there is much discussion and lamenting over this atrocity, as there well should be.  For the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not necessary for victory; Japan had already sued for peace.  It was the opening salvo, a brutal one, in the first Cold War in which the world was nearly incinerated during the Cuban missile crisis.

This week is also the one month anniversary of the first in-person meeting of Presidents Trump and Putin at Hamburg on July …

On the Beach 2017: The Beckoning of Nuclear War


The US submarine captain says: “We’ve all got to die one day, some sooner and some later. The trouble always has been that you’re never ready, because you don’t know when it’s coming. Well, now we do know and there’s nothing to be done about it.”

He says he will be dead by September. It will take about a week to die, though no one can be sure. Animals live the longest.

The war was over in a month. The United States, Russia and China were the protagonists. It is not …

The Despotic Origins of U.S. Public Secondary Education

This article is part of a project that critically analyzes the historical and present day purposes of U.S. public education. Related articles focus on the history of Common Schools, the undemocratic nature of Local Control and the finacialization of education via Social Impact Bonds and Personalized Learning. The point of this project is to further expose the underlying social control function of U.S. public education and the interests it has consistently served over time, which cannot be extracted from the undemocratic nation-state it was designed – and continually redesigned – to preserve. 
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Stoking nationalism with fears of “Another

Memories of Futility: The Passchendaele Method of War

So fruitless in its results, so depressing in its direction was the 1917 offensive, that ‘Passchendaele’ has come to be synonym for military failure, a name black-bordered in the records of the British Army.

— Basil Liddell Hart, 1934

Rarely does one word trap an image with such nerve tingling fright and awe.  But as an image of slaughter, of men needlessly butchered, lives surrendered over absentee stone hearted generals with an understanding of war lost in the amnesia of small arms fire, spears and straw dress, one suffices.  Passchendaele became the code for blood needlessly spilt; for decisions that should have, in …

With Friends Like These (Who Needs Allies?)

[For Australia] it is one thing to remain a good friend, but too close an embrace will lead Americans and others to resurrect the “deputy sheriff” tag. The Americans have always put their own interests first and will continue to do so; we should follow their good example. American interests will not always be the same as Australian and vice versa. The bottom line, however, is the domestic political one. Australians are afraid of the outside world and convinced of their inability to cope with it. Any Australian government which suggested that we do without a great and powerful friend

The Currency Paradox

Part 1 of a 3 Part Series

How Do You Tackle a Big Idea?

It has long been believed that Capitalism is the last economic system. It has triumphed over its rivals, socialism and communism, and has now come to define modern society. Many believe that the religion of Adam Smith was the culmination of all of our economic experiments. To many, not only is Capitalism the best economic system that humanity has ever devised, it is the best that it will ever devise.

About five years ago, I decided to challenge that premise. An idea had occurred to me which ultimately germinated into a system. For two years, …

From a Sunday to a Monday in August, the Sixth Day

The genesis of the world, the myth of creation speaks of seven days. Six days of divine labour whereon the seventh the lord of the universe rested. No one, not even the angelic general staff of the combined heavenly hosts, could fathom what led the Creator to engage in this feat. But tradition has established that man — here the gendered reference is intended — …

Remembering Fela Anikulapo Kuti: Revolutionary African Musician

Fela Kuti was a revolutionary African musician, the inventor of a genre which he called ‘Afro-Beat’ and the scourge of successive military dictatorships and civilian governments whose misrule of Nigeria has blighted the development of Africa’s most populated country. Fela was an iconoclast who challenged the powerful in society, a rebel whose bohemian lifestyle traversed the boundaries of socially prescribed behaviour as well as a social commentator whose lyrics, often suffused with coruscating barbs and comical vignettes, laid bare the daily tragedy of the lives of the suffering African proletariat. His death twenty years ago was mourned by millions of

The Foundation of Structural-Anarchism and Structural-Anarchism Economics

[This is a response to supporters of the Socialist Party of Great Britain, who have discussed my recent article in Dissident Voice titled: “A Structural-Anarchism Critique of Automation in relation to Artificially Fabricated Price, Value and Wage”.  These supporters discussed the article on the Socialist Party of Great Britain’s forum whereupon Structural-Anarchism Economics was more or less linked in a few specific instances to the currency crank economists, who believe that value can be manifested out of thin-air by the central banks, etc. Consequently, this is a rebuttal of this accusation in an effort to illustrate that structural-anarchism

Empire’s Day of Reckoning

Dawn. Another day amidst the crumbling walls of Empire. Mired in the middle of its Misinformation Machine. Sharing fouled air with mindless, misguided, huddled masses. Electronically hypnotized zombies, grossly overfed on dead flesh and chemicals, arteries clogged, welcome mats for every known disease. Bodies pierced in each available spot, covered head to toe with inky, ill-conceived epidermal etchings, bizarre, flowing rainbow locks, fluorescent-painted lips and nails, sewn-on eyebrows, glazed, hopeless, expressionless, but highly decorated young faces, facing meaningless futures.

Pawn shops, porn shops, gun shops. Temporary solace from creeping moral and financial decay. Big box stores and shopping malls, once prosperous, …

Netanyahu Alarms Umm al-Fahm with Talk of Population Swap

After al-Aqsa attack, Israeli PM backs controversial transfer plan of far-right defence minister, Avigdor Lieberman

Israel’s crackdown on access to the al-Aqsa mosque compound after two Israeli policemen were killed there last month provoked an eruption of fury among Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem and rocked Israel’s relations with the Arab world.

Three weeks on, the metal detectors and security cameras have gone and – for now, at least – Jerusalem is calmer.

But the shock waves are still reverberating, and being felt most keenly far away in northern Israel, in the town of Umm al-Fahm. The three young men who carried out the shootings were from the town’s large Jabareen clan. They were killed on the spot …

Climate Change: The Catastrophic Impact on Developing Countries

The Paris Agreement on climate change, signed in November 2016, was the first time all the world’s nations (except Nicaragua and Syria) signed up to reduce emissions and cap man-made global warming.

Amongst a number of positive pledges made by governments a key agreement was the goal to limit the increase in the average global temperature to well below 2°C (above pre-industrial levels) and to aim for 1.5°C. The probability is that neither of these goals will be met; in fact, a recent study conducted by the University of Washington, estimates there is a mere 5% chance of meeting the …

Rationalism and Nuclear Lunancy

The rhetoric surrounding North Korea's military deterrence

The Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea is ramping up its nuclear deterrence, and this is causing consternation and wild proclamations from western officials and corporate media. What is particularly galling for the United States side is that North Korea appears to have achieved the capability of hitting the US mainland with ICBMs.

However, is the US not capable of hitting North Korea from wherever? So why does a rival created by the US ((At the end of World War II, the Korean People’s Republic arose and the first cabinet …

How War Became a Lucrative, Global Industry

I cannot recommend the new documentary Shadow World highly enough. It packs an enormous punch in 90 mins, providing a devastating account of the arms industry and its success in capturing the US and UK political systems.

The military-industrial complex has created a global war machine that needs endless feeding. Wars are no longer there to be won, but to be drawn out indefinitely, enriching a tiny elite with gargantuan and ever-expanding profits.

Shadow World starts by examining the rise half a century ago of a new-breed of free-market politician, of the likes of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, who …

Christians can forget “Shallow Diplomacy” in the Religious War on Churches in the Holy Land

A month ago, after reading a desperate cry for help from the National Coalition of Christian Organisations in Palestine (NCCOP) addressed to the World Council of Churches, I emailed eight churches in my locality asking whether that heart-rending appeal had trickled down to them at parish level.

If not, I hoped to find out where the break in communications occurred, as this wasn’t the first time churches in the Holy Land had sought support from Western Christendom. Previous appeals were largely ignored and left to civil society for action.

Now, say the Palestinians, the situation is “beyond urgent”. So had the NCCOP’s …

Power to the People: Why Palestinian Victory in Jerusalem is a Pivotal Moment

Neither Fatah nor Hamas have been of much relevance to the mass protests staged around Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem. Neither have American pressure, half-hearted European ‘concern about the situation’ or cliché Arab declarations made one iota of difference. United Nations officials warned of the grim scenarios of escalation, but their statements were mere words.

The spontaneous mass movement in Jerusalem, which eventually defeated Israeli plans to change the status of Al-Aqsa was purely a people’s movement. Despite the hefty price of several dead and hundreds wounded, it challenged both the Israeli government and the quisling Palestinian leadership.

Israel shut …

Canada: Supporting Barrick Gold’s Exploitation of Mineral Resources in Tanzania

Will the Canadian government continue to support Barrick Gold’s exploitation of mineral resources in Tanzania no matter what abuses the company commits?

Would the Trudeau government stop backing the Toronto-based firm if it bilked the impoverished nation out of $10 billion? Or, what if one thousand people were raped and seriously injured by Barrick security? Would Ottawa withdraw its support if one hundred Tanzanians were killed at its mines?

Barrick’s African subsidiary, Acacia Mining, is embroiled in a major political conflict in the east African nation. With growing evidence of its failure to pay royalties and tax, Acacia has been condemned