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Repulsion by Film

Anti-Refugee Propaganda in The Journey

The Danish government is doing it – as are others. The Australian government, however, may count itself as one of the first ones to take the concerted step to repel potential asylum seekers who arrive to Australian shores by boat with threatening films.  There is nothing sophisticated about the script behind such messages. All insist on repulsion.  All, ultimately, insist on the hostile world that awaits those seeking to take to the sea.

The Journey is the most recent instalment in this campaign to use celluloid as a means of dissuasion. Commissioned by the propaganda specialists of the Australian immigration department …

The Powell Manifesto and the Revolution by and for the Rich

We all feel the seemingly oppressive impact of the conservative force that has taken over the United States, but feel hard-pressed to identify where it started and the specific entities responsible. Most of us suspect that it was no accident. We can be most certain that it isn’t.

Most of us attaining maturity in the 1960s remember with some fondness the progressive wave awash in America after World War Two. Prosperity was with us. The middle class was surging. Consumers were spending. Into the 1960s and 1970s, government action on behalf of citizens, consumers and workers seemed irrepressible.

But it swept resentment, …

Six Year Anniversary of WikiLeaks’ Collateral Murder

A Celebration of Free Speech

On April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks published classified military footage of a July 2007 attack by a US Army helicopter gunship in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad. The video titled Collateral Murder depicted the killing of more than a dozen men, including two Reuters staffers. At the time of release, the WikiLeaks website temporarily crashed with a massive influx of visitors, while versions popped up on YouTube, reaching millions.

The importance of The Collateral Murder video has often been talked about from the perspective that it provided visual evidence of unaccounted US military power and brutality. Now, on the …

Flint State of Mind

A new song by Time.  Chris Time Steele made this song called Flint State of Mind in solidarity with the people of Flint and dedicated it to the Flint Democracy Defense League and Water You Fighting For, and all the other groups fighting for justice.

 

An Urgent Appeal for the People of Fallujah

Struan Stevenson, President of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA), is calling for “urgent action to end callous food and medicine blockade” of the Iraqi city of Fallujah.

Mr. Stevenson was a Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2014 and was President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq from 2009 to 2014. He outlines starkly the ongoing tragedy of the “City of Mosques”, which was seventy percent destroyed by US troops in 2004 with football pitches being turned into cemeteries such was the human carnage wrought by the “liberators.” The suffering, assaults and siege has never …

Misusing Privacy: Mossack Fonseca and the Panama Papers Leak

“Privacy is a fundamental human right that is being eroded more and more in the modern world.  Each person has a right to privacy, whether they are a king or a beggar.”  Few could disagree with the essence of this statement by Panamanian lawyer Ramon Fonseca, one of the founders of Mossack Fonseca, which has made the news in the last few days.

The Panamanian firm is known for one vital speciality: giving advice to an assortment of mainly powerful clients in areas of tax evasion, or minimisation, depending on the moral, and ethical take on the matter.  Evasion tends to …

Katrina, Climate Justice and Fish Dinners: Social Justice Lawyer Colette Pichon Battle

Colette Pichon Battle gave up a great job working as a corporate immigration lawyer in Washington DC to live in a tent in front of her flooded family home 50 miles from downtown New Orleans.  She is now a much honored director of a small but powerful non-profit climate justice human rights firm advocating all along the Gulf Coast.  Why the big change in her life?  Katrina, climate justice and fish dinners.

Bayou Vincent

Pichon Battle’s extensive South Louisiana French Creole Catholic family live in Slidell along Bayou Vincent, which connects directly to Lake PonchartrainFree people of

European Union Throws Greece and Refugees to the Sharks

Hypocrisy, the most protected of vices.
— Moliere (Jean Baptiste Poquelin, 1622-1673.)

On March 18th the twenty-eight European Union leaders reached: “an agreement that has an irreversible momentum”, according to German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

From Monday April 4th, all refugees and economic migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey after March 20th, the majority Syrian and Iraqis fleeing for their lives, risking the perilous sea crossing in which over eight hundred have died, the risk being preferable to the dangers at home, will be returned to Turkey.

In exchange for this disgraceful human-beings-as-chattels deal, Turkey, which already hosts three million fleeing refugees, would see the …

Drone War

What’s another 200 dead? That appears to be the logic behind the Obama administration’s recent drone strike in Yemen from March 22.

The attack came on the heels of a strike the week before in Somalia that killed upwards of 150. Even by the standards of the Obama administration’s drone war, this is a marked escalation.

When the president was asked about the increased body count from the two strikes, he gave a typically political non-answer.  “There has been in the past legitimate criticism that the architecture, the legal architecture around the use of drone strikes or other …

Will Lebanon be “handed over” to the ISIS?

Now that the Syrian armed forces have liberated Palmyra, President al Assad has thanked Vladimir Putin and the Russian people for the substantial support they provided to his country. Side by side, Syria and Russia have been fighting against the ISIS and other terrorist groups operating in the region – mainly the implants from the staunch allies of the West: Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey.

After recent victories in Syria, the myth of invincibility of the terrorism has collapsed, smashed to pieces. It has become clear that if fought honestly and with full determination, even the most fanatical ones can be …

Financial Oversight and Colonialism in Puerto Rico

118 years after U.S. troops landed at Guánica, Puerto Rico, the liberal political site the New Republic asks, “Why Are We Colonizing Puerto Rico?” The occasion for this comically tardy acknowledgment of Puerto Rico’s colonial status is a Republican proposal to deal with the island’s $72 billion debt problem by allowing a cabal of unelected technocrats to carry out austerity measures against the will of the Puerto Rican people. Or, as the bill puts it: “To establish an Oversight Board to assist the Government of Puerto Rico … in managing its public finances.”

The Republican plan most certainly would “spell disaster for …

The Gangrenous Monster Has Eaten Our Hearts

Compliance, Rise of the Punishment Class, Poverty and Foreclosures and Fines Make “them” a lot of money! (Part 3 of 5)

Now, then, in order to understand white supremacy we must dismiss the fallacious notion that white people can give anybody their freedom.

– Stokely Carmichael, “Black Power“, Voices of Democracy, 1966

It’s a living felony, minute by minute, poor person by poor person, convicted “criminal” by convicted criminal.

I am on the front lines, former faculty, teacher, erudite not, but still, teacher of literature, drama, English composition, journalism, writing, poetry, even politics and rhetoric. Adjunct, fired, laid off, vilified because my toes saw no line to step to, cared little for any of the Dean-lets or ADMIN class, and found abhorrent the …

Execution of Palestinian exposes Israel’s Military Culture

It might have been a moment that jolted Israelis to their senses. Instead the video of an Israeli soldier shooting dead a young Palestinian man as he lay wounded and barely able to move has only intensified the tribal war dance of the Israeli public.

Last week, as the soldier was brought before a military court for investigation, hundreds of supporters protested outside. He enjoys vocal support too from half a dozen cabinet ministers, former army generals, rabbis and – according to opinion polls – a significant majority of the Israeli Jewish public.

It is worth reflecting on this generous act of …

Supreme Court Has Ruled: Nobody Has an Earned Right to Social Security Benefits

Most Americans have probably never heard of the 1960 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Flemming v. Nestor.  It is one of several important facts about Social Security that are unknown to the public.  The essence of the ruling is that nobody has an “earned right” to Social Security benefits, no matter how much money they have paid into the program.

The court upheld the denial of benefits to Nestor even though he had contributed to the program for 19 years and was receiving benefits.  In it’s ruling, the Court established the principle that entitlement to Social Security benefits is not a “contractual …

Make Gotham Great Again!

Fear and suspicion of undocumented immigrants has lead to a showdown of sorts.  The issue is a polarizing one, with some showing compassion and welcoming the alien merely seeking refuge from hostilities aboard.  Others, however, see this as a threat to employment, welfare, security and overall stability of the homeland.

None have taken a stronger stance than Billionaire mogul and business tycoon Bruce Wayne of Gotham City, waging a war of aggression against one such alien from Krypton.  In a recent press conference, Wayne said the following: “When Krypton sends its people, they’re not sending their best.  They’re sending men of …

War and Incitement: The Acquittal of Vojislav Šešelj

[H]istory is past politics, and politics is present history.

— Edward A. Freeman (November 18, 1880)

When the tormented history of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia is written, the eyebrows of legal authorities will be raised in assortments of confusion. Soon after the Radovan Karadžić verdict, the harshest dished out by the ICTY, the firebrand and frequent patriotic buffoon Vojislav Šešelj of the Serbian Radical Party found himself acquitted. It had taken some 13 years for the Chamber to reach that conclusion, a lengthy circus of delay, obstruction and challenge.

Šešelj, labouring with the effects of cancer, neither cared, nor …

Is Star Trek’s Utopia Achievable?

Trekonomics

All fans of science fiction are familiar with Star Trek. It is an iconic science fiction show that has bequeathed the public with five TV series, one animated series, and a number of films over five decades. The storyline of Star Trek, however, spans three centuries. What makes Star Trek particularly attractive for many viewers is its progressivism. Star Trek depicts a future where the scourges of sickness, racism, poverty, and war have been eradicated on Earth and throughout much of the Federation, an inter-planetary alliance of which the Earth is a founding …

As Saudi and Allies Bombard Yemen US Clocks up $33 Billion Arms Sales in Eleven Months

Sometimes even to the most towering cynic, American hypocrisy is more than breathtaking.

As they lambast their latest “despot”, Syria’s President al-Assad — a man so popular in his country and the region that the US Embassy in Damascu had, by the end of 2006, devised a plan to oust him — arms sales to countries where human rights are not even a glimmer on the horizon have for the US (and UK) become an eye watering bonanza.

The latest jaw dropper, as Saudi Arabia continues to bombard Yemen with US and UK armaments dropped by US and UK-made aircraft, is …

Neoliberal Asphyxiation

Neoliberalism sucks the air out of the middle class, and it suffocates politicians.

It likely makes no difference who wins the November elections because the course of neoliberalism is already powerfully set in place, and it sets the course for America, not politicians; they simply follow orders. This reality, in turn, serves to anticipate disruption of the American capitalistic system. It is very likely doomed to utter failure by caving in under its own vibrations, its callousness, its self-indulgence, its narcissistic tendencies with a high probability that a major disruption of the neoliberal capitalist state is dead ahead.

By definition, a capitalistic …

Citizen, You Are Not Working Hard Enough

Citizen, you are not adequately serving your society.

Citizen, you should feel shame for your selfish desire for free time, pleasure, and the pursuit of happiness.

Citizen, you should be thankful and happy around us. We have given you a job and allowed you to live on this planet. We have given you the amazing exciting opportunity to pay for resources that have been stolen and immorally cordoned of by us so that we may profiteer off your existence. You should be grateful we have chosen you as a worthy candidate for employ.

Citizen, you should not complain about not having enough. If …