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No Mercy in Mexico: the Missing Mexican Opinion

Within twenty-four hours of protestors setting fire to the National Palace door in Mexico City, Mexico, I phoned a close friend. I cannot say much about him other than he is from Mexico City, lives there, and that he works with elected officials who respond directly to the head of state. I asked him what the back story was regarding recent polemics surrounding the protests and missing/murdered 43 students. He told me that nobody knows the official story, but that the popular perception of the tragedy undergirds the current commotion.

Everything allegedly started in Iguala, a town in the State of …

Russell Brand’s Revolution

Part 1: "The Fun Bus"

On October 23, 2013, Russell Brand appeared to crash through the filter system protecting the public from dissident opinion.

His 10-minute interview with Jeremy Paxman on the BBC’s Newsnight programme not only attracted millions of viewers – the YouTube hit-counter stands at 10.6 million – it won considerable praise and support from corporate journalists on Twitter. Brand was arguing for ‘revolution’ and yet was flavour of the month, cool to like. Something didn’t add up.

The hook for the interview was Brand’s guest-editing of New Statesman magazine, promoted by him in a video that featured editor Jason Cowley giggling excitedly …

Israel, a Bulwark Against World War: The Tar Baby and China

The major adversaries of the U.S. Empire are China, Russia and Iran; and this will not change for reasons explained here.  Of the three, China is the greatest threat to U.S. hegemony since its economy has already surpassed that of the U.S. in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) according to the IMF. And military power in the end is a function of economic power, as we have known at least since Thucydides.

The Empire’s answer to China’s rise is the “pivot” to East Asia, the grand design of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, with the assistance of their eager …

Ain’t No Fortunate Son

Veterans Day is a holiday whose current meaning is somewhat different than its creators’ original intentions.  Originally known as Armistice Day and designed to mark the end of the bloodbath known as First World War, Armistice Day became a national holiday in the United States “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.’”  Nowadays, when veterans groups like Veterans for Peace are denied permission to participate in many ceremonies around the United States because of their antiwar philosophy, the day looks much more like a celebration of war.  In addition, many …

The Worm and the Peacock

Evidently the established media is unaware that American democracy is as dead as the proverbial dodo. Political commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, and the rest of the gaggle representing values dear to the beltway, come across (ever more) as mere salespeople…of mighty mouth… purveying myths of American supremacy to a vast public mesmerised-by-their-own-status and faux notion of democracy. Not surprisingly, those dead-wood-people, possessed of the idea that democracy is about organising the world in an American way, show little sympathy for those who resist the imperial behemoth. This unhealthy process is supported by the media in order to reassure us that the phenomenon known as militarism has still got ‘balls’ and America’s alpha-male-style-patriotism is …

U.S. Government Oil Forecasts “Wildly Optimistic”

Shale Revolution a Short-Term Bubble

We would do well to pause, and ponder both the data and implications presented in the Post Carbon Institute’s latest report, released a few days before Halloween, “Drilling Deeper: A Reality Check On U.S. Government Forecasts for a Lasting Tight Oil & Shale Gas Boom”.

The PCI’s new report exposes current oil industry & Energy Department oil production forecasts as wildly exaggerated. Further, it makes a compelling case that production of “U.S. shale gas and tight oil reserves will peak and drop off swiftly, long before officially predicted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.”

The report was written by PCI Fellow …

In Singapore, Afghanistan, and the Arena of Ideas

“You didn’t know about the decision of the Singapore government to join the fight against ISIS?” she asked.

I was catching up with another Singaporean, Lynette (a pseudonym to respect her privacy), who had previously worked in Kabul and who was back in Afghanistan to do a month-long community-based survey with a U.S. university, looking at the impact of disability on Afghan communities.

“Military force is necessary to blunt IS on the ground but missiles and rockets alone cannot and will not bring peace,” said Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam at a recent Singapore Parliamentary session. “…the true fight has to …

Political Bunraku

For those who are not familiar, Bunraku is an old form of Japanese puppet theater, its distinctive characteristic being that the puppeteers are on the stage with their puppets, dressed in black so that the audience can pretend not to see them.

While many old art forms have conventions that are unrealistic by modern standards, there is something particularly unsatisfying about bunraku: you can pretend not to see the puppeteers but you cannot fail to see them.

Bunraku, as it happens, offers a remarkable metaphor for some contemporary operations of American foreign policy. So many times – in Syria, Ukraine, Libya, Venezuela, …

A Nation of Fear

Maintenance workers at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pa., airport shot and killed a bear and her three cubs.

The bears had crawled under a perimeter fence and were just lying around, several hundred yards from a runway. The airport director claimed the bears might have posed a risk to flights. The mother bear weighed less than most pro football linemen. While the airport officials were worrying about what a bear and her cubs might do, they probably should have been worrying why that fence wasn’t secure. If bears could crawl under it, couldn’t drunks or terrorists also get into unauthorized areas of the …

Punishing Protest: The Australian Move on Democracy

The progress has been conspicuous, and while it would be foolish to deem the Australian state a democratic one, its rudimentary Westminster form, as it is, finds itself being whittled away by attempts to hollow out protest – or at the very least the means of protest.

The international law canon on this is clear enough, but in a global system still policed by states suspicious of how far such laws go, they sound like noble words across empty spaces.  Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 makes the point that people do have a right to freedom …

Darknet Sweep Casts Doubt on Tor

Tor Will Be Defeated Again, and Again, and Again

When news broke of Silk Road 2.0’s seizure by law enforcement a lot of people probably wrote it off as an isolated incident. Silk Road 2.0 was the successor to the original Silk Road web site and like its predecessor it was an underground bazaar for narcotics, fueled by more than $8 million in Bitcoin transactions and operated as a hidden service on the Tor anonymity network.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Blake Benthall, the alleged 26-year-old operator of Silk Road 2.0, law enforcement officers caught their suspect using old fashioned police work. Specifically they sent …

The Vicious Politico-Religious Sunni-Shi’ite Civil War Ignited by the US in Iraq and Syria

[There] is a memo [at the Pentagon] that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.

— General Wesley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO (1997-2000), (March 2, 2007)

I don’t want to just end the [Iraq] war, but I want to end the mind-set that got us into war in the first place.

— Presidential candidate Barack Obama, (January 31, 2008)

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

— Abraham Lincoln (1809—1865), 16th President of

A Path out of the Straitjacket of the Political Duopoly

In perhaps the best mainstream report during the election season, the typically firmly D.C.-based Steve Inskeep went knocking on doors in Colorado and came across a woman, Ili Bennett, who told him she’s felt some excitement from both Elizabeth Warren — and in the past, the Tea Party.

Said Inskeep: “I think you’ve hit on something insightful here. And I want you to help me with this a little bit because the Tea Party, those are some very conservative people — Elizabeth Warren, very liberal person. But they both represent deep unhappiness with the way things are. And …

Unionizing Solidarity with Palestine

“We, representatives of Palestinian civil society, call upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel.” This call for solidarity was issued in July 2005 by hundreds of Palestinian organizations, including all major trade unions. Systematic land confiscation, mass incarceration, house demolition, and routine attacks that leave hundreds of civilians dead have become part and parcel of daily life in Israel-occupied Palestine. The US-sponsored “peace talks” merely readjusted Israel’s occupation strategy: instead of deploying its army inside Palestinian cities and towns, Israel now surrounds …

Israeli Cease Fire Violations and Media Propaganda

The Israeli conquest of Palestine has always been a difficult issue for Western mainstream media to cover. The difficulty lies not in the task of reporting the facts on the ground and transmitting an accurate depiction of them to the public, but in refraining from doing so.

The journalistic mission, to provide citizens with factual information that enables them to be informed participants in democratic decision making, conflicts with the corporate mission, to maximize profits and influence.

The role of U.S. mass media — and Western media in general — as a tool for disseminating propaganda was first argued by Edward Herman …

Corporate-World-Fascism

The Rule of Lawlessness and Jungle Law

Instinct for survival is genetically coded in our DNA, and it’s likely few, if any of us, would be here without it. Until the advent of agriculture some 12,000 years ago, humans were foraging and scavenging hunters while population growth, was and still is, automatically limited by the amount of resources in any geographic area. This inevitably brought competition between ancient clans and tribes as populations grew. The competitive spirit is no doubt tied to our survival instincts which seek advantages for continuing our bloodline into the future. As the population grew in ancient times, it would have been natural …

Pro-Pot, Pro-Same Sex Unions Pass — State of Disunion Reverberates its Death Knell

Democrats cry in their civet-defecated coffee beans while prostitution ring of Republicans drink more swill . . . .while the elite and chosen few and masses of non-profit types let the drones and IT and shyster armies roll

Two-third’s of electorate stay home or are being worked to death and have no time for 4 Billion $ Prostitution Ring

Oh, no, the piece of work Obama, his turn coat democrats, unwilling to tell bumbling media “things” called journalists who they voted for during the presidential elections. Imagine, democrats who were Obama delegates fearing their own shadows in their legislative elections. Won’t tell …

Calm down, Greg

A typically excellent piece by Greg Palast recently exposed some more about the now almost routine cynicism of the US government. His article revealed how a piece of software is being used to carry out a huge purge of mainly non-white people from the US electoral role – apparently most non-white people in the US usually vote Democrat. Then just yesterday we learn that in the US mid-term elections the Republicans won control of Congress.

Greg Palast wrote with his usual mix of biting sarcasm and pent-up rage. Obviously the point he made is pretty important; but by the time …

The Soft-power of Hong Kong Protesters

Freedoms not enjoyed by Americans, Brits, Canadians, and Australians

In a recent international human rights forum at Oslo where Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning and other jailed Occupy Wall Street protesters such as Cecily McMillan were not invited,  a BBC report (21 Oct 2014) revealed that, “it is an open secret at this meeting that plans were hatched for the demonstrations (in Hong Kong) nearly two years ago, perhaps more than 1,000 of them have been given specific training to help make the campaign as effective as possible.”  The forum is filled exclusively by well funded non-western “dissidents” demonstrating no interest in echoing …

Locomotive Time Bomb

This week, we look at the fierce militant protests against Columbus Day by the indigenous Mapuche nation in so called Chile. Also the uncompromising resistance of Normalista students who have nearly brought the Mexican government to its knees, as they demand the safe return of their 43 kidnapped comrades. In Kobane we learn how an anarchist inspired Kurdish liberation movement has kicked out ISIS out of their liberated zone, and it was done with the efforts of the women’s brigade of the YPJ. On the music break Philippino MC Bambu with Rocky Rivera with their working class anthem, “Rent Money.” …