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When will the Lights go out in Venezuela?

My friend Jose tells me that the electrical outages haven’t so far had too great an impact on him and his family in Merida, Venezuela. I’d asked if the food in his refrigerator spoiled more quickly and he laughed. “Well, you know the ‘fridge stays cold for a while without electricity,” he said. “And besides, these days, there’s very little in the fridge.” He’d just come from spending eleven hours in a line: from 3 a.m. until 2 p.m., to get just two bags of flour, the first he’d had in some two weeks. Food was clearly a bigger concern …

Star Trek and the End of Occupation

Part 2

See Part 1.

Back in the 1960s, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry depicted a 23rd century future where the bridge of an Earth spaceship had an African, an East Asian, a Slav, Anglos, and a half human/half Vulcan crew exploring the galaxy together in — for the most part — respectful harmony. In the 1980s, Roddenberry was behind the series Star Trek: The Next Star Generation. The spaceship Enterprise again had a diverse crew. By the 1990s, TV executives felt comfortable enough to allow a Black captain on the Star Trek: Deep Space 9 series and a female captain …

Paris is Burning!

This week we take a look at the multiple converging flashpoints of resistance in France, which have combined into a popular movement that has inspired over a million peeps to take to the streets in a massive expression of collective rage.

On the music break, we have French antifa hip hop group Sang Mêlé, with Le Bal Des Insurgé.es.

From there we move onto a take-down of “the Donald”, and try to answer the question of why his angry message is resonating with millions of Americans. We finish things up with an interview with Crimethinc operative …

No Lawyers, No Jail

Judge Demands Constitution Be Respected in Louisiana Public Defender Catastrophe

New Orleans Criminal Court Judge Arthur Hunter, a former police officer, ruled that seven people awaiting trial in jail without adequate legal defense must be released.  The law is clear. The US Supreme Court, in their 1963 case Gideon v Wainwright, ruled that everyone who is accused of a crime has a Constitutional right to a lawyer at the state’s expense if they cannot afford one. However, Louisiana, in the middle of big budget problems, has been disregarding the constitutional right of thousands of people facing trial in its most recent statewide public defender meltdown. Judge Hunter ruled …

The Panama Papers: Oozing Slime

The Panama Papers, a one-year investigation by over 100 reporters worldwide (The International Consortium of Investigative Journalism) of offshore money hiding/laundering/taxation avoidance, is a cause célèbre of underhandedness seldom, if ever, revealed to the world’s public. It is comparable to lifting a rotting log in the woods and finding an active nest of millipedes, red worms, and cockroaches scampering about to escape the bright sunlight. They can’t stand the sunlight because darkness is their life.

It’s the biggest leak in history, dwarfing the data released by the Wikileaks organization in 2010. For context, if the amount of data released by Wikileaks

Poverty, Isolation, Removal: Asylum in the UK

Migration is a major political and social issue throughout Europe; in the UK it is a highly emotive matter, distorted by the rabid right wing media and irresponsible politicians.

The numbers of asylum seekers (people fleeing conflict and persecution of one kind or another) arriving in the UK are small, tiny in fact – in 2014, according to UNHCR, a total of 31,400 people applied for asylum in Britain, compared to Turkey – 87,800, Sweden – 75,100, and Italy – 63,700. At the end of 2014,UNHCR relates, “refugees, pending asylum cases and stateless persons made up just 0.24% of …

Lebanon: Now It Is Being Forced To Collapse

Lebanon cannot stand on its feet, anymore. It is overwhelmed, frightened and broke.

It stands on the frontline, facing the ISIS in the east and north, a hostile Israel in the south and the deep blue sea to the west. 1.5 million (mostly Syrian) refugees are dispersed all over its tiny territory. Its economy is collapsing and infrastructure crumbling. The ISIS is right at the border with Syria, literally next door, or even with one foot inside Lebanon, periodically invading, and setting up countless “dormant cells” in all Lebanese cities and all over its countryside. Hezbollah is fighting the ISIS, but …

Fallujah’s Residents Starving, Murdered, Besieged by US Backed Government Forces and ISIS

It is hard to imagine that anything worse could befall Fallujah after the war crimes and criminal assaults by the US military in 2004. At the time, one correspondent wrote:

There has been nothing like the attack on Fallujah since the Nazi invasion and occupation of much of the European continent – the shelling and bombing of Warsaw in September 1939, the terror bombing of Rotterdam in May 1940.

Seventy percent of houses and shops were reported destroyed, with those still standing damaged. Iraqi doctor, Ali Fadhil, described a city:

… completely devastated, destruction everywhere. It looked like a city of ghosts.

Terror Bombing in Brussels and Paris

Europe’s Islamist Legionnaires Come Home to Fight

The terror bombings in Paris and Brussels have raised a cacophony of voices, ranging from state officials, Prime Ministers and Presidents, to academics, journalists and media consultants. Tons of ink and print have focused on the psychology, networks and operations of the alleged perpetrators – radicalized young Muslim citizens of the EU.

Few have examined the long-term, large-scale policies of the EU, US, and NATO, which have been associated with the development and growth of the worldwide terror networks. This essay will discuss the historical links between …

The Panama Papers Barely Scratches the Surface of UK Complicity in a Global Scandal

The recent revelation resulting from the Panama Papers is nothing new.  It just helps to highlight the sheer scale of criminality being perpetrated by those wealthy enough to benefit. What we are witnessing from a tiny island, nestled neatly between North and South America, is a glimpse of a global money laundering fest on a truly oceanic scale.

There are 82 countries listed globally as tax havens or jurisdictions of financial secrecy. Collectively Britain is the number one on the list of offenders, mainly because of its extensive overseas territories such as Jersey, Isle of Man, Gibraltar etc. In reality, though, Britain …

Clash of the Ignobles: The IMF, the European Commission and Greek Debt

The International Monetary Fund has been at odds with other partners in the Greek bailout saga.  Its economists have wondered whether strangling a state with the noose of austerity is a decent way of either eliminating debt, let alone stimulating growth.  Not that the body has gone entirely anti-austerity.

The European Commission, and the European Central Bank, have enjoyed taking the high road on trimming the Greek state while seeking debt repayments.  Their obsession with credit, and their reduction of states and their citizens to bank balances, has betrayed a mania for debt hood over sovereignty.  The point was amply illustrated …

Fight the Esblishment

If you think that the worst thing for the country is electing yet another establishment politician to the presidency, what is your best, most principled action?  By you I mean the millions of Americans who have supported the candidacy of either Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump.  They have enormous potential power.

Skip forward to the general election and imagine that both Sanders and Trump have not made it to the presidential ballot, a very likely scenario.  Clearly, both Trump and Sanders supporters strongly oppose the political establishment.  The status quo of what amounts to more of a plutocracy than a legitimate …

Garda: Canada’s “Blackwater”

Last week students at L’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) disrupted a board meeting after learning administrators planned to sign a $50 million, seven-year, contract with security giant GardaWorld. Protesters are angry the administration has sought to expel student leaders and ramp up security at the politically active campus as they cut programs.

The world’s largest privately held security firm, Garda is open about its need for repressive university, business and political leaders. The Montréal firm’s chief executive, Stephan Cretier, called the 2012 Québec student strike “positive” for business. “Naturally, when there’s unrest somewhere – the Egyptian election or some disruption …

Questions for Hillary Clinton

Trolling the Candidate on the Campaign

Following Bernie Sanders victory in Wisconsin—his seventh out of the last eight primaries and caucuses—Hillary Clinton remains ahead in the (super) delegate count. Her frontrunner status means the news media and citizen journalists ought to pose more questions to her in the coming months.

This is not easy given that Clinton has held very few press conferences during the campaign—it’s been about 120 days since the last one. She avoids the national press, wrote one reporter, out of “personal preference . . . and as a strategic choice.” Some voters might think she has something to hide, or would prefer …

Non-violent BDS Should Be Welcomed Not Condemned

A thousand Israelis and their supporters gathered in Jerusalem’s International Convention Center on March 28 at a conference aimed at combating the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).

The conference was a display of “fear, paranoia, anger and determination,” as described by Antony Loewenstein, and featured top government officials, members of the oppositions and a strange conglomerate of guests, including celebrity has-beens like Roseanne Barr.

Statements made at the conference were predictably frightening and antagonistic – they amounted to nothing more than a display of the language of blood and vengeance that people have grown accustomed to within the Israeli political …

“No Comment” from an Unmarked Desert Grave

Cactus Ed is out there somewhere in the Cabeza Prieta Desert in Pima County, Arizona, his tough old carcass still decaying and decomposing inside that tattered blue sleeping bag.  Becoming fertilizer for cactus and sagebrush, as per his request.  There’s likely not much left by now, other than a calaca covered with wisps of his signature whiskers, still clinging to brittle wrinkled remnants of skin.  A bag of bones, defying the laws of the land with an illegal burial, much as Ed advocated throughout his life, which ended prematurely back in 1989.  Edward Abbey was 62 when he joined the ranks of the deceased.

Three close friends packed Ed in dry ice, put …

Repulsion by Film

Anti-Refugee Propaganda in The Journey

The Danish government is doing it – as are others. The Australian government, however, may count itself as one of the first ones to take the concerted step to repel potential asylum seekers who arrive to Australian shores by boat with threatening films.  There is nothing sophisticated about the script behind such messages. All insist on repulsion.  All, ultimately, insist on the hostile world that awaits those seeking to take to the sea.

The Journey is the most recent instalment in this campaign to use celluloid as a means of dissuasion. Commissioned by the propaganda specialists of the Australian immigration department …

The Powell Manifesto and the Revolution by and for the Rich

We all feel the seemingly oppressive impact of the conservative force that has taken over the United States, but feel hard-pressed to identify where it started and the specific entities responsible. Most of us suspect that it was no accident. We can be most certain that it isn’t.

Most of us attaining maturity in the 1960s remember with some fondness the progressive wave awash in America after World War Two. Prosperity was with us. The middle class was surging. Consumers were spending. Into the 1960s and 1970s, government action on behalf of citizens, consumers and workers seemed irrepressible.

But it swept resentment, …

Six Year Anniversary of WikiLeaks’ Collateral Murder

A Celebration of Free Speech

On April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks published classified military footage of a July 2007 attack by a US Army helicopter gunship in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad. The video titled Collateral Murder depicted the killing of more than a dozen men, including two Reuters staffers. At the time of release, the WikiLeaks website temporarily crashed with a massive influx of visitors, while versions popped up on YouTube, reaching millions.

The importance of The Collateral Murder video has often been talked about from the perspective that it provided visual evidence of unaccounted US military power and brutality. Now, on the …

Flint State of Mind

A new song by Time.  Chris Time Steele made this song called Flint State of Mind in solidarity with the people of Flint and dedicated it to the Flint Democracy Defense League and Water You Fighting For, and all the other groups fighting for justice.