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Tom Regan: The Life of the Animal Rights Party

I first met animal rights philosopher Tom Regan in April of 1985 after he’d given a rousing speech in Philadelphia condemning the University of Pennsylvania’s baboon head-bashing experiments. (This was the infamous Thomas Gennarelli lab which the Animal Liberation Front exposed by breaking in and taking tapes the researchers made of themselves.) Tom was walking across the commons area and I asked him to sign a copy of his book All That Dwell Therein: Essays on Animal Rights and Environmental Ethics. The pictures below are of that day.

Amerexit: A Plan for State Sovereignty and an End of Empire

Pollyanna was an underrated and underappreciated, although fictional, genius.  All too often I see my empty glass as unfillable, and envision a brutal death from thirst on the near horizon.  We should all play The Glad Game more often.  Case in point:  Our new U.S. President, the Great Divider.  Never before has this country had a more divisive figure in The White House.  Families and lifelong friendships ripped asunder by Trump’s virulent verbal antics.  Millions of undocumented immigrants (mostly from South of the Border) in imminent danger of deportation, anti-Muslim rhetoric heating up to a rolling boil, and The Police State kicking into high gear.  But it’s always …

Pretentions, Proclamations, and Pipelines

Viewing Trump from Indian Country

As I contemplate the state of the American psyche thirty days into the Donald Trump administration I am amazed at the breath of difference between the divergent camps of supporters and detractors. Watching the growing gulf between left and right over the last few decades I’ve seen any vestige of an American political identity consumed in the twin fires of the liberal and conservative camps. Loyalty to party over country has found its ultimate manifestation in the election of a woefully unqualified reality television star to the highest political office in the western world.

Please, however, do not mistake my astonishment …

The Immigrant Proletariat, the Muslim Ban, and the Capitalist Class

The Trump administration has dug in its heels, declaring that the 90-day (for now) Muslim ban on refugees, from seven predominantly Muslim countries (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia), enshrined in a January 27th executive order, is just “extreme vetting” and that the media is engaging in “false reporting.” In contrast, hundreds of diplomats have criticized the travel ban, top Democrats have criticized the ban while Republicans like Paul Ryan have said it necessary to protect the “homeland.” Also Jewish groups, over six thousand academics, varying UN agencies, and pro-refugee groups have criticized …

The Post-Industrial, Post-Modern Theory of Value and Surplus Value

What Signifies Productive/Unproductive Activity under Neo-Liberal Bourgeois-State-Capitalism & How This is Essentially Bias

The basic principle of the post-industrial, post-modern theory of value and surplus value is that the human species produces surpluses of all types and kinds, regardless of his or her situation and/or social position. As a result, for the post-industrial, post-modern theory of value and surplus value, the human species by definition is constantly immersed in an existential process of value and surplus value production, wherever he or she is stationed in the capitalist socio-economic hierarchy. This is the human species raison d’être and the sum of “matter is the medium by which an insatiable drive for ownership/knowledge housed in …

10 Questions for William Blum

Intro

“God forbid we should not have a Revolution every 20 years,” Jefferson wrote.  “The world belongs to the living,” he believed, and each generation holds the world in “usufruct.”

In the United States in 2017, in this whirling age of instantaneous communication, gratification and frustration, TJ would probably Twitter something like: “Make that every 10 years!”

I first met writer/journalist/historian/thinker/activist William [Bill] Blum 11 years ago, and I interviewed him shortly thereafter.

Plus ca change, plus ca la meme chose my cuz Romain explains.  But, at this intersection of 2017 New World Order Ave. and What Now? Street, we’re likely to see more change

Palestinians face intense online hate from Israelis, say campaigners

Palestinian lawyers call for investigation of police minister as survey shows soaring levels of anti-Arab speech on Hebrew social media

Israel’s 1.7 million Palestinian citizens are facing a tidal wave of incitement and hate speech on social media, including from government ministers, community leaders have warned.

They say the increasingly hostile political climate in Israel is stoking violence from the police and street gangs, and has laid the ground for a recent raft of racist legislative proposals.

The alert comes as a group of Palestinian lawyers demand that Israel’s attorney general investigates Gilad Erdan, the internal security minister, for incitement to racism.

Adalah, a legal group for Israel’s Palestinian minority, highlighted statements from Erdan blaming Palestinian citizens for “arson terrorism” last November after …

Billionaire Betsy DeVos, Big Data, and the Public-Private Planned Economy

If cutting-edge educational technologies can scientifically maximize student learning, then why do so many Silicon Valley bigwigs at Google, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, and Yahoo! send their children to the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, a school which bans computer technology from its classrooms?  If high-tech computerization were such a fundamental enhancement to cognitive development, then why did Steve Jobs withhold iPads and other “screen-time” technologies from his children? Why would these tech gurus not practice for their own sons and daughters what they preach (and bankroll) for the public education system? These incongruences signal red flags that the real …

Castigated by the Southern Poverty Law Center


The “public” that allegedly “protested” against this billboard in Ann Arbor, as reported by the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, were not the only folks watching DYR.

The SPLC has now included DYR on its Hate Map.

Dan McGowan responds:

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) recently criticized Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR) by including it on the so-called Hate Map, purportedly for the high crime of Holocaust denial.

Apparently if the SPLC disagrees with you, it will label you as a racist or a hatemonger. There is no discussion, …

Canada’s Shameful Role in the Overthrow of Ghana’s President Kwame Nkrumah

A half-century and one year ago today Canada helped overthrow a leading pan Africanist president. Ghana’s Canadian-trained army overthrew Kwame Nkrumah, a leader dubbed “Man of the Millennium” in a 2000 poll by BBC listeners in Africa.

Washington, together with London, backed the coup. Lester Pearson’s government also gave its blessing to Nkrumah’s ouster. In The Deceptive Ash: Bilingualism and Canadian Policy in Africa: 1957-1971, John P. Schlegel writes: “the Western orientation and the more liberal approach of the new military government was welcomed by Canada.”

The day Nkrumah was overthrown the Canadian prime minister was asked in the House of Commons …

The Extradition Saga of Kim Dotcom

The hunger with which US officials pursue copyright or general intellectual property violations is insatiably manic. The degree of that hunger is expressed by the now suspended, and most likely defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership, an attempt to further globalise the policing of IP laws in favour of corporate and copyright control.

Then come the vigilantes and those singing different, discordant tunes suggesting another alternative. One such figure was Kim Dotcom, founder of Megaupload and on the US Department of Justice wanted list for some years, along with company co-founders Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato.

His case is doing the …

South Korea’s Artist Blacklist

Question: What do a brilliant feminist novelist, a cutting-edge film director, and a Nobel-nominated poet have in common, in South Korea?

Answer: They are, of course, all world-class artists in their fields. They were also among the almost ten thousand artists revealed to be black-listed by the South Korean Government. A hundred page document originating from the South Korean president’s office, revealed by the Hankook Ilbo, listed these 9473 artists as targets to be surveilled, starved of financial and logistical support. Instructions were given that these artists e “punished” and “intimidated”.

Film director Park Chan Wook is probably …

The Bloodletters

Bloodletting as a medical practice flourished for thousands of years before finally yielding to more “enlightened” medicine except in special circumstances. One of history’s ironies is that America’s first president, George Washington, a bloodthirsty warrior before and during his presidency, died arguably from bloodletters called in to his bedside to let out one-fourth of his blood.

This essay highlights two unparalleled groups of bloodletters in America’s 240 years of history — U.S. presidents and the captains of America’s industries. These two groups are part of the power elite of America’s corpocracy, the incestuous marriage between Government America and Corporate America, with …

Artificial Intelligence: Frankenstein or Capitalist Money Machine

The Financial Times’ Special Report (2/16/2017) published a four-page spread on the ‘use and possible dangers of artificial intelligence (AI)’. Unlike the usual trash journalists who serve as Washington’s megaphones on the editorial pages and political columns, the Special Report is a thoughtful essay that raises many important issues, even as it is fundamentally flawed.

The writer, Richard Walters, cites several major problems accompanying AI from ‘public anxieties, to inequalities and job insecurity’. Walters pleads with those he calls the ‘controllers of autonomous systems’ to heed social …

The Trump-Netanyahu Circus

Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself

The President of the United States can hardly be taken seriously, saying much but doing little. His words, often offensive, carry no substance, and it is impossible to summarize his complex political outlook about important issues.

This is precisely the type of American presidency that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, prefers.

However, Donald Trump is not just a raving man, but a dangerous one as well. His unpredictability must worry Israel, which expects from its American benefactors complete clarity and consistency in terms of its political support.

At the age of 70, Trump is incapable of being the stalwart, pro-Zionist ideologue in a …

Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!

Here it goes again! The same old tired and predictable tune, the same recognizable chorus. Once again the world is told what to think and what to believe. The world is also given both rhythm and leitmotif, so the grotesque and crooked dance could begin.

Who could resist, really? The lyrics of the tune are recited in perfect English, and with that air of moral and cultural superiority, which is supposed to disperse all doubts.

On February 19, 2017, RT published the following:

The Telegraph, as a favored mouthpiece for British intelligence service disinformation, is a part of psychological warfare operation against Russia,

The “Superficial, Arrogant Smugness” of BBC News

Peter Oborne Delivers Some Home Truths on BBC Radio 4 Today

In a recent media alert, we noted the occasional tell-tale signs of uncomfortable truths that slip through cracks in the propaganda façade of BBC News. Very occasionally, the propaganda nature is clearly highlighted and can be enjoyed for its directness and the flustered BBC response it provokes.

Such was the occasion last Friday (February 17) when the BBC’s Justin Webb interviewed political journalist Peter Oborne live on BBC Radio 4 Today. It is fair to say Webb wasn’t expecting what happened. His attempts to hide his discomfort by repeatedly laughing can be heard in this …

Eleven Examples of Resistance to Government Raids

Resistance to unjust government action is the duty of all people who care about human rights.

As Dr. King reminded us in his letter from a Birmingham jail, “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”

It is now clear that Latinos and Muslims are Trump’s first target for government actions.  The orders just released put ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and US Customs and Border Protection on steroids.  These new policies also will have a devastating impact on LGBTQ, as well as Black and Muslim communities.

Here are eleven recent examples of how …

America’s Cultural Autism

It appears that America has little awareness of the value of awareness since fake news and fake values arrived to take possession of the body politic. Solipsism appears to lurk behind a modus operandi of tough talking American empire-speak when it addresses its ire to other centres of power daring to challenge its hegemonic brand of self-centred conceits, now spreading across the globe.

President Trump visited the Boeing hangar in South Carolina 16 February, hours after it was reported he was considering using the National Guard to round up undocumented migrants and had this to say: “We are going to build …

Elor Azaria Sentence: “No justice for Palestinians”

Human rights groups and Palestinian leaders have condemned what they called the “extremely lenient” punishment of Elor Azaria, the Israeli army medic who was filmed executing a severely wounded Palestinian in Hebron last year.

On Tuesday, a military tribunal sentenced the soldier to 18 months in jail and a demotion, nearly a year after he shot a bullet from close range into the head of 21-year-old Abdel al-Fattah al-Sharif.

There has rarely been a trial in Israel where the judges have been under such relentless – and mostly hostile – scrutiny. That appeared to be reflected in their sentencing, more than a …