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Coming Soon: No More Coming in Second and Winning the Presidency

In the history of the United States, four presidential candidates who came in second in the popular vote were “elected” president (John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, and George W. Bush in 2000). This inversion of democratic elections was due to the fifty states’ winner-take-all laws and the absurdity of the Electoral College. To political observers in other democratic countries, the U.S. is the laughing stock for their failure to change this system that rejects the popular will.

Change is in the wind. A remarkable civic movement is taking on this overlooked issue. …

Fast-tracking TiSA: Stealth Block to Monetary Reform

It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.

— Attributed to Henry Ford

In March 2014, the Bank of England let the cat out of the bag: money is just an IOU, and the banks are rolling in it. So wrote David Graeber in The Guardian the same month, referring to a BOE paper called “Money Creation in the Modern Economy.” The paper stated outright that most common assumptions of how banking works are simply wrong. …

Cuomo’s Takeover of New York Horse Racing

American Pharoah last week cruised to a five-length victory in the Belmont Stakes and became the first thoroughbred to claim horse racing’s Triple Crown in 37 years. The publicity and excitement of finally having a 12th Triple Crown winner should be a much needed boon to a sport that long ago lost its iconic place in American culture. In New York, where American Pharoah’s victory took place, Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken advantage of the moribund status of the horse racing industry to unilaterally take over the state’s thoroughbred circuit to create a gift for wealthy corporations and donors.

The …

Hands

The journalist interviewed an ancient miner, a man who was used as a tool in the depths of the darkness of mines his entire life. The color of his skin, the sound of his breath, the sadness in his eyes — these human characteristics were the characteristics of the mine itself, as if the inhumanity of the mine had overcome the humanity of the person.

They sat, the journalist and the miner, at a simple wooden table in simple wooden chairs. The soft light of the evening sun showed through the glass of the kitchen window onto his hands, battered hands …

Western-backed Terrorism in the Congo

In 2009, after years of bloody insurrection in Congo, General Laurent Nkunda was ‘arrested’ with great fanfare in Rwanda. Wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity, not a word about his situation has been reported for years. Are the regimes in Rwanda and Uganda using Laurent Nkunda and comrades in a new thrust to destabilize eastern Congo? The perpetual aggressors in this long, bloody saga of despair and death served on millions of innocent people in central Africa, Rwanda and Uganda protect the interests and insure the profits of their U.S., Canadian, European and Israeli patrons. …

Driver-less Vehicles Have a Huge Downside

Many people are excited about the prospect of having a self-driven car. They envision sitting comfortably in the vehicle, reading their paper, or catching up on work.

Experts are telling us that there will be millions of fewer road deaths and, once the technology is developed, probably big financial savings.

At first glance, it sounds great, and after a long period of adjustment, it no doubt will mean big gains for us all.

But for several years there will be a huge downside. Businesses are licking their chops, looking forward to having fleets of self-driven vehicles. Millions of truckers will lose their jobs.

I …

Rebuilding the Black Woman

Guardians of Our Souls

Kara Walker’s sculpture, “A Subtlety,” is a launch point. It is an image that has provided the impetus for an exploration of our subconscious mind’s primary motif – an artistic requiem of glory lost.

This article will begin to scratch the surface regarding the significance of the image of the Black Woman. It is a reflection upon the restoration of the Black-woman archetype and her/its importance to humanity.

Kara WalkerOne look upon Kara Walker’s work opens up the vastness of …

The Last Jeb Killed for Slavery, The Last Bush Killed for Oil

Presidential elections should be limited to as short a time period as possible and are generally the biggest drain and distraction going. I have two excuses for looking into Jeb Bush. One is that I’ve been collecting the evidence that Hillary cannot be a lesser evil than any living human, and campaigning for No More Bushes or Clintons. The other is that I only read Jeb Bush: Outed because I’ve long liked the author, Stephen Goldstein.

People such as Molly Ivins and James Moore gave the U.S. lots of warning, from the wisdom of Texans, before the …

The Fox and the Henhouse

An article on page 6 of The Times on 6th June 2015 appeared under the following title: Cameron to rally G7 leaders in global fight against corruption“.

The article opens with a reference to a recent scandal about corruption in how world football is managed, and then continues:

Mr Cameron flies to Germany for the two-day annual meeting [of the G7] determined to use the Fifa scandal to highlight the fight against corruption.

In particular, he will press other leaders to link aid to the poorest countries to cleaning up corruption, with a pledge to start with a review of Britain’s own development

US imperialism’s Stamp is All over Chaos around the World

At the Left Forum, Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST) took part in a debate with other socialist organizations on the character anti-imperialist struggle must take in this period. This debate is central to the overall struggle for liberation in a period where imperialism’s destruction is more than evident throughout the planet. FIST remains firm in asserting that the primary role of revolutionaries in the US is to defend and fight for the self-determination of oppressed nations. Too often, what passes as the left in the US makes the grave mistake of siding with white supremacy by disregarding facts and parroting imperialism’s racist war …

The Rise of “Criminal Capitalism”

Pillage and Class Polarization

About 75% of US employees work 40 hours or longer, the second longest among all OECD countries, exceeded only by Poland and tied with South Korea. In contrast, only 10% of Danish workers, 15% of Norwegian, 30% of French, 43% of UK and 50% of German workers work 40 or more hours. With the longest work day, US workers score lower on the ‘living well’ scale than most western European workers. Moreover, despite those long workdays US employees receive the shortest paid holidays or vacation time (one to two weeks compared to …

The Case Against Re-Banning Torture Yet Again, Again

Senator McCain and friends have a new push on to once again ban torture (except for exceptions in the Army Field Manual) that is being presented as an effort to preempt future Republican presidents’ torturing. This reinforces two false beliefs. One is that torture is not ongoing today under President Peace Prize. The other is that torture wasn’t banned before George W. Bush was ever selected by the Supreme Court.

Last December, Senator Ron Wyden had a petition up at MoveOn.org that read “Right now, torture is banned because of President Obama’s executive order. It’s time for Congress to …

Will Surging “Sharing Economy” Drive Bottom-up Disruptions?

The explosion in ever-widening collaborative transactions hardly lacks for catchy names. Are these radical, co-operative platforms captured as the “Sharing Economy,” “Collaborative Consumption,” even collaborative capitalism? Or, recalling perennial venture-capital roots, perhaps “Network Orchestration”? Whatever the imprint, dramatic breakthroughs in peer-to-peer exchanges are booming, posing large-scale challenges to top-down, over-determined corporatism. Not so much to private property, as every shareable “asset” has an owner, with rare exceptions when users co-own (now that’s bottom-up).  Overall, we’re talking new livelihoods and looming horizons, especially with compelling pathways towards sharing general productivity across a far more equitable commons.

Barely out of the starting gate, …

Debt, Default, and Economic Sanctions in Eastern Europe

Interview with Michael Hudson

Michael Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and author of The Bubble and Beyond (2012), Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (1968 & 2003), Trade, Development and Foreign Debt (1992 & 2009) and of The Myth of Aid (1971).

*****

The Saker: We hear that the Ukraine will have to declare a default, but that it will probably be a “technical” default as opposed to an official one. Some say that the decision of …

The Illegality of NATO

Violation of the UN Charter and the Nuremberg Principles

In recent years, participation in NATO has made European countries accomplices in US efforts to achieve global hegemony by means of military force, in violation of international law, and especially in violation of the UN Charter, the Nuremberg Principles.

Former UN Assistant Secretary General Hans Christof von Sponeck used the following words to express his opinion that NATO now violates the UN Charter and international law: “In the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty, the Charter of the United Nations was declared to be NATO’s legally binding framework. However, the United-Nations monopoly of the use …

What This World Needs is Some Really Honest Journalists

Writing about and reporting the Middle East is not an easy task, especially during these years of turmoil and upheaval. But I cannot remember another time in recent history we needed journalists to shine, to challenge conventional wisdom, to think in terms of contexts, motives, alliances, not ideological, political or financial interests.

From the start, when addressing the issue of the Middle East, the actual entity of “Middle East” is itself highly questionable. It is arbitrary, and can only be understood within proximity to some other entity, Europe, which colonial endeavors imposed such classifications on the rest of the word. …

Commencement Graduation and Employment Prospects

Is it worth going to college to secure viable employment? Once, the future looked bright, for students earning a university degree and selecting from various offers from employers. Today the mere notion that such a question can and should be asked illustrates that the American economy has greatly transitioned into a very insecure and tenuous career opportunity society. When the lack of employment realities drives job seekers to leave the search for rewarding positions that offer a chance for a path to attaining middle class aspirations, the entire labor equation needs to be rethought.

Putting forth the optimistic viewpoint that …

USA Police State Celebrated as Defense of Freedom

USA Freedom Act replaces USA Patriot Act, sort of, and so?

0ne needs a wicked sense of humor these days to fully appreciate the present moment in American history, as a supposedly free country debates which police state practices to adopt, while ignoring any thought that maybe the United States should not be a police state at all.

For a brief shining moment early on June 1, parts of the USA Patriot Act expired and, miraculously, the republic remained standing. Now the lapsed portions of the USA Patriot Act have been replaced by the USA Freedom Act, and officials from President Obama on down are saying things like “…

Drilling and Nuclear Power in the Arctic

In the farthest regions of the north, the Russians have already drilled, but the Americans are coming. Shell makes preparation to drill.  So it is, the most distant Northern Hemisphere will never be the same.

Not only that, but astonishingly, Russia is doubling down on its risky energy play with grandiose plans to power Arctic drill rigs with floating nuclear reactors. Indeed, the oil thirsty Russians plan to mass-produce floating nuclear reactors once their original model proves itself. Imagine that, an Arctic Sea filled with floating nuclear reactors used to power oil exploration drill rigs. Well now, what to say, other …

Are We Being Driven Like Cattle?

As we stand in line for security checks at airports, we may have the distinct feeling that we are being herded like cattle. Air travel has changed, and has become much less pleasant, since the fear of terrorism replaced the fear of communism as the excuse that governments give for diverting colossal sums of money from desperately needed social goals to the bottomless pit of war. Innocent grandmothers, and their grandchildren, are required to remove their shoes and belts. Everyone is treated like a criminal. It is a humiliating experience. We may well feel like dumb driven cattle; and the …