Latest articles


Human Rights Watch FAIL: Uses Photo of American Bombing Destruction To Condemn Assad

Putting its hypocritical and biased nature on full display once again, the alleged human rights organization, Human Rights Watch, was recently caught in an attempt to fabricate “evidence” of Assad’s use of barrel bombs in civilian areas for the purposes of further demonizing the secular Syrian government.

On February 25, HRW posted a photo of a devastated civilian area in Syria with the tagline “Syria dropped barrel bombs despite ban.” The “ban” HRW is referring to is the ban on bombing civilian areas that applies to both sides in Aleppo after the …

The ECB’s Noose Around Greece

How Central Banks Harness Governments

Remember when the infamous Goldman Sachs delivered a thinly-veiled threat to the Greek Parliament in December, warning them to elect a pro-austerity prime minister or risk having central bank liquidity cut off to their banks? (See January 6th post here.) It seems the European Central Bank (headed by Mario Draghi, former managing director of Goldman Sachs International) has now made good on the threat.

The week after the leftwing Syriza candidate Alexis Tsipras was sworn in as prime minister, the ECB announced that it would no longer accept Greek government bonds and government-guaranteed debts as collateral for central bank loans …

Possibility of Escape

That is also us, the possibility of us, if the wonderful accident of our birth had taken place elsewhere: you could be the refugee, I could be the torturer. To face that truth is also our burden. After all, each of us has been the bystander, the reasonable person who just happens not to hear, not to speak, not to see those people, the invisible ones, those who live on the other side of the border.

— Karen Connelly, The Lizard Cage

It was a little over two weeks ago that Marlo entered Atwood Hall, here in Lexington federal prison. Nearly …

Venezuela? Really? Know Your Enemy!

Rage Against the Machine!

Why does the American government continue to ignore the popular plight at home, to decimate the country’s marginalized, to etch away at liberties and withhold them, to amplify its fascism abroad, to hemorrhage public funds for the sake of corporate welfare, and to lay waste to one geopolitically “strategic” land after another?

In 1991, a band of musicians by the name of Rage Against the Machine (RATM) put out their self-titled album. Track six of the album, entitled “Know Your Enemy”, featured a strong message for listeners. Almost twenty-five years ago, in fact, this song lyricized the hypocritical …

Hacking Consciousness

This new Stanford video series investigates consciousness as the source of not only the human mind but also of all energy and matter. Consciousness is seen as the essence of the universe, a unified field which gives rise to and pervades all manifest phenomena. Five scientists from different disciplines describe how we can contact this field and use it to improve our lives. The series, designed by Michael Heinrich, is now available free on YouTube.•

The intellectual background of the series is a fascinating conflict affecting all of us that is now going on in science and philosophy, centering on …

The Exxon Gas Price Spike?

American motorists have recently gone through a bipolar gasoline market. From the heights of a national average gas price of $3.49 per gallon on March 8th of 2014, $2.18, a month ago, to $2.45, today.  But such gyrations don’t reflect the huge difference in prices from state to state, especially in the last few weeks, California bearing the brunt of it.

California on March 8th topped off at $3.43 per gallon, with the national average at $2.45 and Wyoming’s tiny market spending a mere $2.14 a gallon. I believe that this disparity is no accident and primarily relates to price manipulation …

Arizona’s “Ice Cream Man” Governor Freezes Higher Education, Melts State Future

Republican Doug Ducey is Arizona’s 23rd and current governor. The governor is perhaps best known for having been CEO of Cold Stone Creamery until he and his partner sold the ice cream chain in 2007. He also served as the state’s treasurer, and he is Arizona’s first male governor to hold office since Fife Symington in the 1990s. Ducey is once again making the Arizona news thanks to his budget plan. He is also sounding the alarm that Republican politics are purely self-interested, and that they are anachronistic and detrimental to the public interest at best. The governor and the …

The Last Water

The documentary film Blue Gold: World Water Wars (Distributor: Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) 2008) examines the implications of the planet’s dwindling fresh water supply.

Malcolm McDowell narrates the film by starting with a story about Pablo Valencia, who traveled on foot from Mexico to California in 1906, seeking gold. He survived seven days without water, enduring long enough to document his living hell.

Pablo’s story

His saliva thickened, and a permanent lump formed in his throat. His tongue swelled so large that it squeezed out past his jaws, and his swollen throat made it difficult to breath, creating a sense of drowning. Because …

Netanyahu: He Came, He Saw, He Conquered

The Power of Israel over the United States

There have been times when history has played tricks with man and…has magnified the features of essentially small persons into a parody of greatness.

Rabindranath Tagore (on Benito Mussolini)

How is it that the ruler (Benjamin Netanyahu) of a puny country (Israel) of 8.2 million (6.2 million Jews) with the 37th biggest economy (GDP in current prices) in the world dictates war policy and secures the willing submission of the legislature of the largest economy and most powerful military empire in the world?

KO in the EU

The troika scored a decisive victory over the Greek—and the global—left

Given Western civilization’s debt to Greek society, you might think haughty Berlin, itself not long removed from the days of marauding hordes descending on urbane Rome from the thicket of the Black Forest, might have it in them to declare a debt jubilee for the long-suffering Greeks. Sorry, say the neoliberal ideologues that peer down from the commanding heights of the world’s second largest economic zone. We forgave 100 billion euros in 2012 and look where it got us: nowhere. Instead, elite northerners sneer pitilessly at the southern Europeans, whose troubles, they say, are self-inflicted, induced by their apathy-infected …

Libya to Italy in Search of Freedom

Desperate People, Hazardous Escapes

Besieged by civil war, poverty and violent repression, huge numbers of people are risking their lives making the hazardous journey from Tripoli or Benghazi across the Mediterranean to Italy. Crammed into unsafe, poorly maintained vessels, thousands of vulnerable men, women and children are leaving their homes in search of peace, freedom and opportunity. They come from countries in turmoil: Syria, Eritrea and Ethiopia, Somalia and Libya among others; they have lost hope of life becoming peaceful and just in their homeland and see no alternative but to pack a bag with their past and set off into the unknown: they …

An Apology for Poverty

News item: California’s Right to Rest Act would give homeless people the right to use public space without discrimination. It also describes the right to rest in public, to protect oneself from the elements in public, to eat in public and to occupy a legally parked car.

*****

I first became aware of the complex of societal problem related to poverty when — one winter in downtown Toronto — I was confronted by a homeless man. In fact, I had to step over …

The Nobel Peace Prize Watch Has Been Launched

On March 3, 2015, The Telegraph and a few other major news surces broke the quite extraordinary story that the chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee – the body that decides who is awarded the Prize – former Norwegian PM Thorbjoern Jagland had been demoted; it’s the first time it has ever happened.

It was during his chairmanship the will of Alfred Nobel was ignored most systematically; e.g., by awarding the world’s allegedly most prestigious prize to President Obama, the EU and Chinese human rights (but pro-war) Liu Xiaobo.

It’s about seven years ago that a small group of Scandinavian scholars …

Palestinian Memory and Hope

They are asking for only $14,000, and their request greatly strengthens recognition of the Palestinian cause. THEY are a group of dedicated activists who are devoting time and energy to create an initial Nakba Museum of Memory and Hope within a building of the Adam’s Morgan neighborhood, Washington, D.C.

Total exposure to a world that is apathetic to the violence committed on the Palestinians will require a huge but not impossible sum from the wealth in the bank accounts of those who sympathize with the Palestinians, which is probably 90 percent of the world’s people. It is time to …

Germany’s Balancing Act

Angela Merkel, Germany’s conservative chancellor, is steering a cautious course between two conflicting pressures. On the one hand she must convince the German people to pay — with their taxes and their lives — for NATO’s Mideast wars. This is no easy task because the sufferings of two world wars have left them with an aversion to military adventures. To motivate them to battle, she and the rest of the establishment are demonizing Muslim fundamentalists as mad-dog murderers who must be stopped before they destroy us. They manipulate German guilt feelings about past atrocities by proclaiming they now have a …

Boomer MRDs Could Bolster Safety Net

You know the safety net is in danger when lawmakers fire away and claim they’re trying to save it. On the first day of the new Congress, the House warned that Social Security benefits might need “saving”. The Congressional Budget Office twice ran the numbers on “saving” Medicare by raising the starting age from 65 to 67. It’s a shame, the story goes, but the money just isn’t there.

It isn’t? The far-sighted authors of the 1974 Employee Retirement Income Security Act might beg to disagree. The bill created tax-deferred retirement savings accounts, a landmark win for workers—and, over the …

The Janusian Class

Before engaging an enemy, it pays to acknowledge both of them.

That [spirit is what the ruling elite] had to roll back, and that they did quite successfully. That rollback was completed by the implosion of the Soviet Union. They sat down and said, ‘Great, now we can do whatever we want.’ [emphasis added]

— Tariq Ali

In Tariq Ali’s latest interview with Chris Hedges, we find the amorphous they flitting from empire to transcendent banking class, then back again. Which …

US and Venezuela: Decades of Defeats and Destabilization

US policy toward Venezuela is a microcosm of its larger strategy toward Latin America. The intent is to reverse the region’s independent foreign policy and to restore US dominance; to curtail the diversification of trading and investment partners and re-center economic relations to the US; to replace regional integration pacts with US centered economic integration schemes; and to privatize firms partly or wholly nationalized.

The resort to military coups in Venezuela is a strategy designed to …

Spreading the Web: The Extent of HSBC’s Tax Evasion Scandal

Like a neutrino bomb on the landscape of banking, regulation and journalism, the HSBC tax evasion story via its Swiss subsidiary keeps spreading with devastating effect – at least for those whose careers concern it.  According to investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed, who managed to get hold of rather golden whistleblower material from Nicholas Wilson, a “conspiracy of silence” has characterised the treatment of HSBC within the regulatory community, law-enforcement authorities and the media generally.

Wilson, a former debt recovery specialist at Weightmans solicitors, revealed to Ahmed how “Britons have been defrauded of a total of one billion pounds worth of …

Netanyahu, the Other Israelis, and Bobby Burns

Apart from inadvertently making the case for equal time by his Israeli pre-election opposition, the spectacle of Benjamin Netanyahu’s wild diatribe at the joint session of Congress amidst the feral cheers of his congressional yahoos will be remembered as a textbook case of propaganda unhinged from reality.

Starting from his preposterous premise that Iran, a poor country of 77 million people with an economy nearly the size of Massachusetts’, is planning a caliphate to conquer the world, Mr. Netanyahu builds his case on belligerent words by Iranian leaders, who believe they are responding to Israeli belligerence backed by its ultra-modern, U.S. …