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Vampire Banks will suck Greece Dry

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis offers a clear explanation of what the euro-elites have been really up to in enforcing endless austerity on Greece.

The popular line that Greeks need to pay the price for their years of profligacy and learn fiscal discipline is, as Varoufakis observes, cover for the euro-elites’ efforts to force European tax-payers to bail out yet again the recklessness of their nation’s banks. That is why the “debt relief” for Greece is helping the banks rather than ordinary Greeks.

After the 2008 financial crash, the banks had to be saved from their reckless lending to individuals through deeply …

Yemen: A Voice in the Wilderness

Yemeni people are not bad people, they are good people.  They want to be respected, they want their sovereignty to be respected.  We did not wage a war, a war was brought upon us.  Our issue was an internal one and it would have been sorted out internally.

— Hanan al-Harazi

Hanan al-Harazi, her mother and her 8 year old daughter fled Yemen 10 days after the first bombs started to tear holes in her beloved country.  Hanan’s daughter had begun to present the early signs of PTSD and for her sanity, the family decided to split itself down the middle, leaving …

Who Is Samuel Wedge?

No court in Canada will ever hear a case against the Crown or the fucking churches about their genocide.

— Samuel Wedge

I was asked to review the novel Samuel Wedge: A Memoir of Necropolis. I read, but don’t usually review novels, but the author’s father told me: “It’s an autobiographical novel.” So I agreed to review it because I consider the subject matter highly important. I already know the story of author Kevin Annett fairly well.

I …

Smarter Foreign Policies or Bigger Blowbacks?

Are Washington’s relentless bombings and military immersions in sectarian battles within Arab and neighboring regions accelerating the spread of terrorist attacks? Yes. The recent rash of terror attacks in Kuwait, Tunisia, Somalia, France, and other countries are tragic examples of the strategic failures of our government and its very heavy reliance on military interventions, including the omnipresent drones that terrorize civilians.

From the first bombings of al-Qaeda’s small band of fighters in the mountains of Afghanistan to the toppling of the Taliban government there by President George Bush in 2001, all Washington’s weaponry, soldiers, and trillions of dollars have accomplished is …

A Reflection on Pope Francis’ Clarion Call to #sharetheplanet

The Catholic Church has embraced a radical position on sharing the world’s resources, one that we would all do well to heed and ponder. But the real significance of Laudato Si’ is its powerful message on the centrality of ending poverty for healing the wider crises of climate change and environmental degradation.

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Since the long-awaited papal encyclical ‘on care for our common home’ was published on the 18th June, progressives and campaigners of all types have enthusiastically hailed Pope Francis’ latest teaching – and for good reason. The diverse causes championed in this compelling 180-page treatise could fill an activist’s …

Pentagon Concludes America Not Safe Unless It Conquers the World

The Pentagon has released its “National Military Strategy of the United States of America 2015,” June 2015.

The document announces a shift in focus from terrorists to “state actors” that “are challenging international norms.” It is important to understand what these words mean. Governments that challenge international norms are sovereign countries that pursue policies independently of Washington’s policies. These “revisionist states” are threats, not because they plan to attack the US, which the Pentagon admits neither Russia nor China intend, but because they are independent. In other words, the norm is dependence on Washington.

Be sure to grasp the point: …

UN Human Rights Committee Pulls Canada’s Mask off

July 7 and 8 in Geneva: Canada’s not in compliance with the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

The Human Rights Committee questioned Canada in twenty different areas concerning the human rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The United Nations Committee members were “alarmed” by a number of basic Indigenous statistics and determined to find out “why” the state does not legislate constitutionally protected aboriginal and treaty rights; “how” the state was going about improving education and health outcomes; “what” targets the state has set for reducing Indigenous poverty; “when” the state would respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action; “who” was being prosecuted and investigated for the widespread violent crimes against Indigenous women and girls; “where” aboriginal …

Guerrilla Warfare Against a Hegemonic Power

The Challenge and Promise of Greece

Banks create money when they make loans. Greece could restore the liquidity desperately needed by its banks and its economy by nationalizing the banks and issuing digital loans backed by government guarantees to its ailing businesses. Greece could provide an inspiring model of sustainable prosperity for the world. But it is being strangled by a hegemonic power in a financial war that is being waged against us all.

On July 4, 2015, one day before the national vote on the austerity demands of Greece’s creditors, it was rumored in the Financial Times that Greek banks were preparing to “bail in” (or …

Those Who Pretend to Sleep

Lately I find that my frustration with the level of idiocy on the part of this planet I call home is so great that writing has become nearly impossible. A recent article by Andrew Vltchek titled “In the USA-I Cannot Write” gave me comfort. I’m not alone. Here in the belly of the beast, among the zombie-fascist, gun-totin’, flag-wavin’ hordes of fellow Americans I spend my days in fearless loathing. Fearless because after living for two-thirds of a century I have little to fear other than a long painful death, being shot full of lead, or a terminal case of …

“Blame it on Gaza” say UK Politicians

It has no nukes, no navy, no airforce, no tanks, no phosphor bombs, no subs, no guided missiles, no exits, nowhere to run its people are terrorised, blockaded and exhausted... their homes are rubble… unemployment is the highest in the world and 73% suffer food insecurity… but suddenly:

Gaza is ‘a recurring threat to peace’!

This blame-it-on-Gaza bombshell came in the middle of a House of Lords debate on the political situation in the Gaza Strip yesterday.

‘Hasbara’ stooges present their propaganda ‘facts’

Lord Davies of Stamford, formerly the MP Quentin Davies, stood up:

My Lords, there are five salient facts that ought to

Is Neoliberalism Finally Running out of Tricks?

Neoliberalism, the privatization and commoditization of everything that moves, has experienced a great run over the past three decades, jump-started in the 1980s by PM Thatcher and President Reagan, christened in 1951 by Milton Friedman.

Decidedly, “austerity of governmental social programs” is the kissing cousin to “privatization of public assets” as part and parcel of neoliberal principles; for example, Troika (European Central Bank, European Commission, and International Monetary Fund) and austerity “the dismantling and privatization of public health and education systems” (Pablo Iglesias).

Throughout Europe, Troika’s influence, or “neoliberalism on steroids,” has been hand-feeding kernels of dissent to popular uprisings. The imposition …

Divide and Conquer or Divide and Decline?

We have a place, an everyday stake in American culture. Being immersed, we fail to notice what forces feed our culture and how those forces are directed. It just is. That culture is the sum total of ways of living and thinking built up by groups controlling its transmission over time and over generations.

Who has that control and what are they doing with it?

We know the results, the division we feel, the inequality we experience. We see it in our society, in our government. Nothing gets done. Our country seems like a ship that we don’t control. In truth, …

Daesh, The Revolutionary Neoliberal Party and the British Falsehood Corporation

‘It’s A Distortion That The BBC Wants To Be Fair’

Lord Hall, the director general of the BBC, is to be questioned by MPs over his refusal to refer to Islamic State using the term ‘Daesh’ (an Arabic abbreviation that means ‘one who crushes something underfoot’ and ‘one who sows discord’) because it is pejorative and therefore biased. Controversial British prime minister David Cameron had sent a request to the BBC supported in a letter signed by 120 MPs from across the spectrum – Labour, Tory and SNP. Independent journalist Jonathan Cook comments:

So let us agree that

Is War Ever an Answer?

Presidential candidates would do well to consider criteria in potential conflict

It’s swell that presidential candidates assert they wouldn’t have invaded Iraq had they been president in 2003 with the information they have now. But candidates should display not only hindsight but foresight: How will they react to future unverified information about foreign threats? Why would war even be an option?

It’s hard to imagine, much less recall, a war that satisfies traditional or updated requirements of a “Just War”. Many consider the phrase an oxymoron. Yet if war is not just, how can it advance humankind?

One traditional Just War requirement is noble intention. But it’s easy to hide behind one noble …

Rewriting Democracy: Scotland’s Movement towards Independence with a National Yes Registry

Many people thought (and hoped) that Scotland voting No in its Independence Referendum last year had laid that idea to rest.  Far from it.  Campaigning for the referendum had created a vibrant and politically engaged conversation, one that is still going on – and growing.  People started talking about the next referendum and they had no doubt it would happen.  It became known as IndyRef 2 and the only question was not ‘if’ but ‘when’.

Despite the UK government’s insistence that it didn’t want the United Kingdom to break apart, the nasty insults and bullying of Scotland by their Better

Why Greece will have to Exit the Eurozone

I’m no economist but I have been wondering how Syriza plans to bypass German-imposed austerity as long as it sticks with the euro. Depressed economies recover by devaluing their currency so that they can become more competitive. But Greece is currently tied to the euro, which means it cannot devalue and must continue to compete, despite its deathbed economy, against far larger and stronger economies like Germany’s.

To use a football analogy, the current scenario is as plausible as expecting Greece to score a draw against Germany in the European Cup when it is allowed to field only two players and no goalie. There is …

If Daesh, why not Zionist Occupation Forces?

There’s something truly disturbing about the fact that British prime minister David Cameron’s efforts to decide how the media refer to Islamic State are being taken seriously. So seriously, in fact, that 120 MPs have backed the idea that the BBC should not use the name Islamic State and refer to the group by the Arabic acronym “Daesh” instead. Cameron’s argument is that Islamic State is neither Islamic nor a state.

The coverage has implied that the BBC is taking a brave editorial stand and refusing to kowtow to Cameron’s diktat. But there are already signs that the BBC may capitulate.  In a statement, the BBC said: “We call the group by the name it uses itself, …

Between Berlin and a Hard Place: Greece and the German Strategy to Dominate Europe

“They just wanted to take a bat to them,” said former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, referring to the attitude of European leaders towards debt-laden Greece in February of 2010, three months before the country’s first bailout. Mr. Geithner, Treasury Secretary from 2009 until 2013, was attending a meeting of the finance ministers and central bankers of the Group of Seven (G7) nations: the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada.
Germany and the Troika: (left to right) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, …

I Was a Teenage Unlobbyist

An Interview with Norman Ball

The recent TPP fracas has people wondering aloud about the lobbying function in America with an intensity reminiscent of the days of Jack Abramoff. Alas, lobbying does not yield itself to a neat, singular description.

For instance last year, Tim LaPira, a political scientist from James Madison University suggested that the $3.3 billion spent on lobbying in 2012 was actually closer to $7 billion due to the massive number of unregistered lobbyists. Further, unregistered lobbyists have rarely, if ever, been pursued by the Office of Congressional Ethics or the Department of Justice.

Between 1995 and 2010, only three lawsuits filed …

Going Nuclear, Staying Nuclear: Brazil and South Africa

Although nuclear proliferation in “developing” states has long been an international concern, evidence revealed through statistical tests does not support claims that nations develop civilian nuclear power in order to supplement the development of nuclear weapons programs. Nevertheless, it is true that states with civilian nuclear programs might have an easier time with the manufacture of nuclear bombs than states without them (see Goldemberg,”Nuclear Energy in Developing Countries”.) For instance, the development of nuclear energy helped lead to nuclear proliferation in apartheid South Africa (see van Wyk, “Apartheid’s Atomic Bomb: Cold War Perspectives”). Such was not the case, however, with …