Canadians have learned a lot from our city-cousins to the south. For example, one of the biggies of American jurisprudence is known as copping a plea, a godsend among bored judges, disgruntled jurors and prosecutors late for a pro bono dinner date. Simply stated, worlds are won and lives transformed by the simple expedient of admitting to a misdemeanor in order to walk from a felony. Not that the Yanks invented it — the Borgias and other historical Vatican heads of state have been making zillions out of this dodge since a clerical comedy team held a roast for Joan …
Capitalism, as a socio-economic system, has lifted the standard of living for untold millions of people all across the globe. It is the nuts and bolts of successful enterprise, bringing in its wake a middle class that enjoys a way of life that prior generations of parents and grandparents never realized, an automated lifestyle filled with gadgets and devices that bring comfort to everyday life like washing machines, automobiles, televisions, cell phones, refrigerators, and life-saving medical developments. And, just to think, who in 1912 would have predicted a person could walk out of their house in New York City in …
When you survey the wreckage of the American imperium, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed by darkness of the times, submerged in the remorseless riptide of blood and official violence. But even facing methods of torture and imprisonment that would unnerve an inmate of Guatanamo, Lilburne never surrendered to defeatism. His writing remains infused with radical purpose, a radiant call from across the centuries for collective resistance
— Jeffrey St. Clair, “Intolerable Opinions in an Age of Shock and Awe,” 20 March 2004
Nine years ago, Jeffrey St. Clair drew a graphic if horrific picture of John Lilburne’s years as a Leveler …
Nothing frightens fascism and its older brother imperialism more than real people and their honest stories.
It is because ordinary stories of ordinary people are so genuine and so accurately reflect authentic human fears, desires and dreams that the ideologues and propagandists of the Western regime, which is supported by unnatural hyper-pseudo-reality, feel, for their survival, that it is essential to annihilate those stories, to wipe them from the surface of earth, even to erase them from our memories.
Real human feelings get in the way; they still resist, block the path to the total commercialization of life and the full implementation …
Yesterday, a media outlet contacted us to be on a show about how Occupy had “fizzled coming into this year’s May 1”. The media keeps looking for encampments or last year’s protests and is missing how popular resistance is growing and demonstrating all over the country.
Allison Kilkenny, the movement writer for the Nation, got it right when she wrote, …
“Now it’s dark.”
– Frank, the villain (played by Dennis Hopper) of David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, 1986
“I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna get my kicks before this whole shit-house goes up in flames.”
– Jim Morrison (played by Val Kilmar) in Oliver Stone’s The Doors, 1991
“Submitted for your approval…”
– Rod Serling (played yourself), Where-ever You Are, Now
The evidence for human extinction by 2030 is overwhelming.1
“Every bit of news about the industrial economy — shockingly to neoclassical economists — is dire and growing worse,” writes Guy McPherson, in Walking Away …
You Don’t Need No Stinking Job for a College Degree
Oh, no, what’s the axiom? When you are pissed off, and then dash off an email quickly, WAIT before hitting “send.” Cogitate, ruminate, pontificate, throw some runes, look for a sign in the contrails, and drink plenty of Yerbe Mate.
Then, open up that email (never ever write it in the Outlook box – do it on word processing program), re-read, and, ahh, then, you will discover the evil and missteps in your logic and emotion, and, alas, the one-time pushback note will then be quickly deleted with the press of a …
There’s a reason why so many industrial and manufacturing companies resort to almost any means (some of them not entirely legal) to dissuade employees from joining a labor union. Besides having to offer higher wages and improved benefits (and giving employees a voice in how they’re treated by management), they are required to provide a safe work environment. The union’s on-site safety committee will insist on it.
While no company wants to see its employees maimed or killed, it goes without saying that every company is interested in saving money. And with the bottom-line being what it’s all about, companies are …
I am not here to take marching orders from union bosses. I represent taxpayers and frankly taxpayers expect us to keep costs under control so that we can keep taxes down. It is for those taxpayers that we work. Not union bosses.
– Conservative Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Poilievre, May 1, 2013
Why do the most right-wing politicians and corporate news outlets always use the term “union boss”?
Because the worst thing they can think of is to say the leader of a labour organization acts like a capitalist? Or the capitalist’s lackey?
Perhaps the irony of insulting a democratically elected representative of workers by …
You made fun of me when I suggested that President Barack Obama would nominate a confessed bank scammer, a loan-sharking mortgage predator, to his cabinet. But thar she blows!
Today, Obama has named Penny Pritzker Secretary of Commerce. As the President says, It’s a milestone: the first female fraudster to hold that post. No longer will criminal bankers have to lobby the administration – because now they’ll have one of their own in the Cabinet. ((The following is taken from the Chapter, “Penny’s from Heaven?” you’ll find in my bestseller, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits. [Get a copy, I’ll …
Uri Avnery considers the honesty of US-Israeli intentions in peace negotiations. Is there a way beyond US and Israeli rejectionism of peace?
As every story is a meandering road, each road is also a story, or, more accurately, an infinity of stories. An abandoned trail that leads from nowhere to nowhere, with no wayfarers, only a rare roadrunner, snake or javelina, would still be an endless source of human-interest tales, or, more likely, tails. Haven’t you heard of the ancient saying, “Even the fool is wise after the Interstate,” especially if he drives off its exits often? Though a stuttering man of few sentences, terrible eyesight and beer fizzled memory, I have managed to drag back a sackful of observations from my …
Katie Miranda’s mirror on the media coverage of terrorism.
This past week of economic news reveals both the ruthlessness of big finance capitalism on people and the planet and that people are working for alternative, more just and sustainable, solutions.
At the top of the list is more research on austerity. The Reinhart and Rogoff study relied on by advocates of austerity was proven to be false, so now we know that austerity does not work in practice or in theory. Furthermore, new research shows something even worse – austerity is killing people in the US and Europe. For example, HIV/AIDS has increased by 200% in Greece …
In the United Kingdom, profiteering water companies are raising charges in excess of inflation at a time when they are already recording high rates of profit, claiming that their profits are down because so many customers can’t pay their bills. I am not the first to point out that raising the cost of water seems an odd way to deal with the fact that people can’t afford to pay for it at the existing price, reminiscent of the old debtors’ prisons where they’d lock you away for not paying your debts, thereby making it impossible for you to earn the …
When you have a chance, could you please make a list of 20 or 30 book titles that you loved as a 12/13 year old that I can use for young Gustav? Would be GREAT and I’d really appreciated it! I can’t think of a better person to look to for some guidance on this.
Well, I didn’t start reading seriously until I was fifteen. The titles I read beginning at 15 would probably not be of much interest to him, unless he wants to read Blake, Nietzsche and Shelley. Then again, why not?
On the other hand, …
During his talk sponsored by the New American Foundation in March 2008, author Parag Khanna addressed the rising challenges facing the US’s global hegemony. According to Khanna, China and the European Union are the new contenders with the battlefield being a global ‘geopolitical marketplace.’
Aside from Khanna’s insight, one statement particularly puzzled me greatly. “Why am I talking about Europe, China, and the United States? What about Russia, what about India, what about Islam ..what about all those other powers?” Initially, I thought it must have been an error. The speaker must surely realize that Islam is a religion, not a …
Preface — The beauty of the Internet, this blog, are the syntactical/synopitcal/ snynaptic connections made out there in digital cloud land. Alas, Marlin contacted me after the column went up: Pushed Out — How Economic Woes of 80 Percent are Blips.
Here, the quick exchange –
I feel your pain. Your experience sounds like mine in a lot of ways.
I too worked for SEIU, which for me, as a progressive but who had never belonged to a union, was disappointing. I think Andy Stern was a corporate plant sent to destroy the movement.
What was your experience with
A common argument, albeit without any basis in morality, against redressing injustices is that they belong to the past. Hence, African Americans have never been indemnified for the slavery their descendants suffered, and the White slave-owning descendants continue, in many cases, to prosper based in large part on the largess extracted from unpaid past labor. Furthermore, if people can stop bending themselves around the obvious and straight on acknowledge the genocide against the Original Peoples of the western hemisphere, they still likeliest will evade the killing and dispossession and justify the status quo because what happened was in the past.
Ilan Pappe is an important voice. One of those courageous historians, brave enough to open the Pandora box of 1948. Back in the 1990s Pappe, amongst a few other Israeli post-Zionists, reminded Israelis of their original sin — the orchestrated, racially-driven ethnic cleansing of the indigenous people of Palestine – the Nakba.
But like many historians, Pappe, though familiar with the facts of history, seems either unable to grasp, or reluctant to address, the ideological and cultural meaning of those facts.
In his recent article, ”When Israeli Denial of Palestinian Existence Becomes Genocidal,” Pappe attempts to explain the ongoing Israeli dismissal of the Palestinian …