When the NDP party triumphed in the Alberta provincial election last week, there were three primary responses: conservatives inside the province declared that they no longer recognized Alberta and were going to move to Saskatchewan, such was their collective shock at the end of a 44-year conservative dynasty; progressives in Alberta and across the country seemed ecstatic by the NDP victory, convinced, apparently, that a progressive government had conquered the conservative heartland of Canada, despite winning only 41% of the popular vote with a moderate election platform; and finally, environmentalists inside Alberta and anti-Keystone XL pipeline liberals in the United …
Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was quick to congratulate Israeli soldiers on their relief efforts in Nepal, where an earthquake late last month claimed many thousands of lives.
“These are the true faces of Israel,” he said of a 260-strong team that arrived to pull survivors from the rubble, treat the injured, help deliver babies, and entertain traumatised children. Israel’s field hospital in Kathmandu was the biggest and best-equipped after India’s, Nepal’s large neighbour.
Similar relief operations by Israel were prominent in Haiti after its 2010 earthquake, in Japan a year later after a quake there, and in 2013 when a typhoon …
Education, jobs, community, self-worth, culture and being-buying-living locally
As always, writing about a middle-sized community in the Pacific Northwest is like peering into the looking glass. All references to the One Percent, de-emphasizing community rights, brain drain and monopolization of all business sectors and privatizing the profits and socializing all the heavy burden and costs to the local community/economy, all of that applies to You Name It, USA!
I truly believe that Spokane is the most compassionate community in America.
— Spokane Mayor David Condon, February 2015
Today, we have the largest gap of income inequality ever seen in this country, with no signs of a reversal happening. We have a
Computers, unlike flesh-and-blood creatures, entirely lack the charms of spontaneity, playfulness, affection, sensuality, passionate attachment, and so forth. Yet recent films, to my continued bafflement, offer bizarre scenarios of “intimate relatedness” between humans and synthetic sentients (for instance, “Her,” “Ex Machina”–and even more sickeningly, the human clones of “Never Let Me Go.”) Two hundred years ago, the 19-year-old Mary Shelley showed more acute insight than today’s technophiles–by conjuring up a startlingly ironic contract between the coldly grandiose Dr. Frankenstein and his suffering and emotionally sensitive “monster.”
Whence this fascination with “artificial intelligence”—(dis)embodied, calculating ratiocinators which are presumed to be somehow superior …
Seymour Hersh has published a long account of the homicide of Osama bin Laden. He concludes that the Obama regime’s account of the killing of bin Laden is a total fabrication except for the fact that bin Laden was killed.
I do not believe Hersh’s story for three reasons. One reason is that bin Laden was suffering from disease that no one can survive for a decade. His death was widely reported in 2001. One reason is that even Hersh’s “true” account of “what really happened” is contradicted by eye witnesses and the initial Pakistani TV interviews of eye witnesses. …
As corruption runs out of control
The Palestinian Embassy in London recently released a statement by President Mahmoud Abbas telling the world ‘It’s Time for Palestine’.
He starts by saying:
The Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom and national independence has reached a decisive moment. The two-state formula is under serious threat, due to systematic Israeli policies and practices that have seriously undermined the solution, threatening to make it impracticable in the very near future.
Abbas reminds us that in 1988, Palestine unilaterally recognized Israel over 78 percent of historic Palestine, in addition to accepting United Nations resolutions as the framework for a peaceful solution to the conflict.
But, he …
Starting on Friday May 8, some German news media have been reporting on the release of previously secret emails from the office of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. These emails make clear that when her underlings have said, ever since 2013, that the U.S. has promised to stop tapping the phones and other communications of Germans and even of the German Chancellor herself, no such promise had actually been received from anyone in the U.S. Administration of President Barack Obama. Instead, this claim from the Chancellor’s office was being made simply in order for her to be able to win …
Recently, the news hit social media that comedian and actor Russell Brand is embracing cryptocurrency. Well known for his political activism, Brand has now teamed up with Max Keiser, host of a popular financial program on RT to help fund his ideas for changing the world. Keiser, together with UK based entrepreneur Jamie Scott, co-founded StartJOIN, a crowdfunding website that combines the platform with its own unique currency called StartCOIN. Calling it a “currency of revolution”, he predicted that “cryptocoins such as Bitcoin or StartCOIN will put all central banks …
Saudi-American rogue state alliance flouts global decency norms
Costa Rica condemns Saudi Arabia’s dropping US-made cluster bombs on Yemen, in defiance of international law, including the Convention on Cluster Munitions that specifically outlaws the development, production, distribution, stockpiling, and use of cluster munitions, including the cluster bombs the Saudis have used since March 26 in their uncontested air attack on Yemen with an estimated 215 jet fighters from nine countries. (The Saudis are also bombing people in Syria and Iraq.)
Human Rights Watch presented evidence of the Saudi cluster-bombing campaign in a widely under-reported analysis presented May 3. The New York Times had …
A Tribute to Michael Blake
Michael Blake died last week.
You probably don’t know the name.
You probably don’t know about his life.
You probably don’t know most of what he wrote. That’s probably because he didn’t write diet and exercise books. Or cookbooks. Or “feel good” books. Or books about celebrities. Or books that advanced junk science or conspiracy theories.
Michael Blake fused history and social issues, writing about social justice. Writing books that mattered. Writing screenplays that were never produced and then discarded.
He was born in Fort Bragg, N.C.; his father was in the Army, and later became a telephone executive. But it was his mother, Sally, …
Today is truly a historical day. For the first time ever the West has boycotted the Victory Day Parade in Moscow and, also for the first time ever, Chinese forces have marched on the Beautiful Square (“Red” square is a mistranslation – the “Red Square” ought be called the “Beautiful Square”) with the Russians. This is a profoundly symbolic shift and one which makes perfectly good sense.
For one thing, Russia and China suffered more from WWII than any other country. See for yourself:
Now take a look …
Child Soldier released from jail by Canadian court
The good news is that an appellate judge in Canada has had the courage and good sense to uphold the release from jail on bail of Omar Khadr, a native of Canada who was captured as a child soldier at the age of 15 in Afghanistan by US forces back in 2002 and shipped off to Guantanamo, where he became one of the children held in captivity there illegally.
The bad news is that Khadr, who spent 13 years in captivity, most of them in America’s Guantanamo hellhole, should never have been imprisoned in the first place. Brought along at the …
In this sedition, a round up of global May Day riots, plus a re-cap of the Baltimore insurrection propelled by the police murder of Freddie Gray. To top it off, an double cheeseburger with bacon exclusive interview with Hilda Legadeño, mother of one of the missing Normalista students.
On the music break newcomer MC, Comrade kicks some timely rhymes in the wake of the Baltimore riots.
And here’s the playlist of the beats we used:
“Let No One Forget, Let Nothing Be Forgotten”
V-E Day, or Victory in Europe Day, is celebrated every May 8th in Western Europe and the United States, but is celebrated as Victory Day every May 9th in Russia. Why? Because the Soviet Union’s representative had no authority to sign the German document of surrender at Reims, France, on 7 May 1945, but also because, on 8 May, Soviet forces were still shelling German units in Czechoslovakia that had refused to surrender. Thus, when the surrender ceremony was repeated in Berlin on 8 May, it already was 9 May in the Soviet Union.
Recently, the Ukrainian Prime Minister told German …
There’s much that could be said about the Conservative party’s victory today in Britain’s election. Not least David Cameron has emerged stronger: he now has a small but absolute majority in parliament, compared to his last government, in which he had to share power, a little of it anyway, with his minor coalition partners, the Lib Dems.
According to the rules of the British system, he has won a supposed mandate to carry out all his party’s policies, even though the Tories gained the support of slightly less than 25% of the total electorate, and little more than a …
May 8. Today’s payroll jobs report is more of the same. The Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that 223,000 new jobs were created in April. Let’s accept the claim and see where the jobs are.
Specialty trade contractors are credited with 41,000 jobs equally split between residential and nonresidential. I believe these are home and building repairs and remodeling.
The rest of the jobs, 182,000, are in domestic services.
Despite store closings and weak retail sales, 12,000 people were hired in retail trade.
Despite negative first quarter GDP growth, 62,000 people were hired in professional and business services, 67% of which are in administrative …
My heart bleeds, my soul is sick and my land is broken and dying. How else can I describe how I felt when I learnt that the dis-United Kingdom was back in the greedy and unfeeling grasp of the ‘nasty’ party, the Conservatives. I was not alone.
“I was quite happy this morning – until I saw a newspaper on my way to work… I hope to God my children end up living abroad,” was one acquaintance’s reaction, her face still shocked hours later.
But my heart sings for Scotland, a nation that has shown corrupt Westminster the door, the Scottish National …
Suddenly, the mass media is writing about or televising the conditions in West Baltimore. Conditions that Washington Post columnist, Eugene Robinson, summarized as decades long “suffocating poverty, dysfunction and despair.”
Suddenly, reporters and camera teams are discovering Baltimore’s inner city—crumbling or abandoned housing; mass unemployment; too many merchants gouging the locals (the poor pay more); too many drug dealers; schools, roads and sidewalks in serious disrepair; debris everywhere; lack of municipal services (which are provided to the wealthier areas of the city); and, as always, grinding poverty and its many vicious circle consequences.
Suddenly, media highlights a report by Harvard economists putting …
Oxfam’s recent report, “Wealth: Having It All and Wanting More,” contains shocking figures that the press haven’t sufficiently publicized; so, the findings and the reliability of their sources will be discussed here. The results will then be related to the central political debate now going on in the U.S. Presidential contests for 2016, which is about equality and inequality.
First, the findings:
1. The richest 80 individuals own as much as do all of the poorest half of humanity.
2. During 2009-2014, the wealth of the 80 richest people doubled, yet the wealth of the bottom 50% declined slightly.
Now, the sources:
These data are calculated …
It is wrong to believe that postwar American suburbanization prevailed because the public chose it… Suburbanization prevailed because of the decisions of large operators and powerful economic institutions supported by federal government programmes… ordinary consumers had little real choice in the basic pattern that resulted… Essentially city planners saw the atomic threat as a means to accelerate the trend of suburbanization. Plans to circle American cities with open spaces, highways and circumferential life belts was long overdue…The federal government played a more effective role in reducing urban vulnerability [to atomic attack] in future residential development by working through the Federal