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Brexit and the UK Supreme Court

It was predicted, it was warned against, and it happened: Prime Minister Theresa May’s government cannot commence the official process for leaving the European Union without parliamentary approval.

In upholding the decision of the lower court Parliament, deemed the sovereign voice of the UK, was again affirmed as ultimate arbiter, the historical figure of force that cannot be bypassed.  This flies well and truly in the face of the semi-authoritarian May, who has used Brexit as alibi and deflector in asserting the state’s famed prerogative powers.

The Crown, it was argued again, had prerogative power to enter into and withdraw from treaties. …

The Trump Conundrum: Remodeling the American Republic, Diktats via Twitter

We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the ‘right ‘, a Fascist century. Now liberalism is preparing to close the doors of its temples, deserted by the peoples who feel that the agnosticism it professed in the sphere of economics and the indifferentism of which it has given proof in the sphere of politics and morals, would lead the world to ruin in the future as they have done in the past. This explains why all the political experiments of our day are anti-liberal, and it is supremely ridiculous to endeavor

The Paris Peace Conference

Signaling an End to a Western-dominated Era?

No, it was not just ‘another Middle East peace conference,’ as a columnist in Israeli Jerusalem Post attempted to depict the Paris Peace Conference held on January 15, with top official representations from 70 countries attending.  If it was, indeed, just ‘another peace conference’, representatives from the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority (PA) would have attended as well.

Instead, it was a defining moment that we are likely to remember: as the one that has officially ended the peace process charade after 25 years.

In fact, if the Madrid Conference of October 1991 was the vibrant official start of peace …

Pink

My aching 2003 Toyota Matrix is finally at the mechanic’s for some major surgery.  The kind only plastic can pay for.  So I’m shut in, housebound – stuck inside with nothing to do but stream DemocracyNow’s coverage of the “March on Washington DC”.  I’d planned to watch a bit of it anyway as some recourse to the pharmaceuticals I lack but badly require after bearing witness to the kabuki theater of a sparsely attended anointment of our 45th potentate the day before.  Like my car, I’m badly in need of uplift.

All I’ve got is this near frozen bottle of Prosecco, …

White Silence Equals Violence: Awaiting a Verdict

This morning, here in Minneapolis, I’ll learn whether six jurors believe beyond a reasonable doubt that Dan Wilson and I are criminals.  The court case stems from an action protesting the execution of Jamar Clark, age 24, who died in the early morning of November 15, 2015 outside a north Minneapolis apartment complex. Two Minneapolis police officers, Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, were involved in the shooting. Jamar Clark died after a bullet was fired directly into his head. Several witnesses say that he was handcuffed and motionless when he was shot dead. The police officers have been cleared of …

Chelsea’s Freedom

A victory for world peace enabled by a warring president

Tears flowed freely down my face as I told my partner that Chelsea’s imprisonment is commuted.

Contradictions galore! The jingoist nation’s most warring president just committed the one decent thing in his eight years of war-making against seven nations, conjuring up false enemies with competing capitalist states Russia and China, and harsh treatment against all the whistle-blowers during his contentious term.

During the US’s worst president’s first term, Chelsea Manning sent Wikileaks important secrets—secrets the world had every right to know—about how the US murdered and lied its way across Afghanistan and Iraq. Since then, Wikileaks’ initiator Julian Assange has been …

Unsung Excellence in Medicine

George H. Haddad

Ever wonder about the people who make our health care system work at a time when reports of greed, fraud, profiteering and harmful malpractice are rampant and remedies are not advanced?

I was recently reminded how hard these proficient and caring physicians, nurses and physician assistants are working day after day and how their commitment to patients and their profession receives so little recognition. The sad occasion for these reflections was the passing this month of Dr. George H. Haddad, an alert 101-year-old surgeon who had worked for many years in New York City’s public hospitals.

Growing up in Egypt, he graduated …

The Revolt of the Intelligence Community

Future Battles with President Donald Trump

Factionalism and fury are basic ingredients of the US Republic. Designed as a classic response to the lynch mob fantasy of direct democracy, and the weakness of unaccountable monarchy, those behind the US constitution contrived a select form of paternal snobbery: letting groups fight it out in the amphitheatre of politics. Such a battle would always adhere to certain demarcations of power along the separation of powers.

This was all well and good, bar one fundamental problem. The State blossomed and ballooned. Bureaucracy became both purpose and fetish, despite being opposed in a rhetorical way by various presidential administrations and politicians. …

Obama’s Political Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy: Chelsea Manning as Bait


The malady, common among political leaders who commit heartless crimes while craving popular adulation as heroes and misunderstood saints, is ‘Political Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy’ (PMSP).

PMSP best explains the pathologic drive of politicians and policy makers who inflict relentless, systematic mass destruction and then intervene in a most theatrical manner to save a few victims – thus drawing gratitude from the victim and public support for their ‘humanitarian intervention’ – ignorant of their fundamental role in creating …

Life in the African American Aristocracy

Negroland is a memoir by theater and book critic Margo Jefferson about growing up in the American Negro aristocracy in the 1950s. Far more than a memoir, the book carefully chronicles the history of Black America’s elite professionals, academics and business people. For the most part these families are descended from the children of white slaveholders, from ancestors bought and freed by slavery-hating whites, from ancestors descended from free Negroes (non-slaves) or ancestors who bought their own freedom with hard work and cash.

These ancestors, in turn, used …

Trump Faces Gnawing Problems in the Great White North

The shock election of Donald Trump has thrust Canada into one of the most perilous periods of its existence. Our relationship with the United States, upon which so much of our security and prosperity depends, has never been more uncertain.

Canada’s staid liberal-conservative political map on most economic issues and even social issues has been relatively flat. Conservatives in Canada, like in the US, are what Trump supporters (really just Tea Party lite) call “cuckservatives” — cuckolded by the liberals on both economic and social issues (free trade, global warming, feminism, abortion, affirmative action, gaylib).

Canada just emerged from a nasty Conservative …

A “Continuing Nakba” in Umm al-Hiran

Israel has advanced plans to raze the village of 150 homes and replace it with a town for Israeli Jews

They came in their thousands, from across Israel and from occupied East Jerusalem, to bury Yacoub Abu al-Qiyan after Friday midday prayers. The small dusty valley at the heart of Umm al-Hiran village in the Negev desert turned dark with rows of worshippers. But Abu al-Qiyan’s body never materialised.By early afternoon, it was confirmed that the Israeli police had refused to release the corpse, two days after Abu al-Qiyan was shot dead during a pre-dawn raid to bulldoze his home and those of another dozen families.

A sword has hung over the heads of Umm al-Hiran’s 1,000 inhabitants for many months, …

The Philippines in the Center of Asian Realignment

Philippines, for decades a limping invalid, poor and suffering from countless ailments, is now suddenly finding itself at the vanguard, reshuffling the entire Asia Pacific, sending Western imperialists packing.

In Manila, where the US used to roam unopposed, now Russian warships are calling on goodwill and symbolic visits.

On January 6, 2017, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte boarded the Russian anti-submarine combat vessel Admiral Tributs, chatted with its officers, and then declared, loudly and clearly: “Friends, long live! That’s from the heart; I hope you can come back more often.”

Definitely, Russians will be happy to come back!

Associated Press (AP) reported on January 6:

Defense

The Tories Are Wrecking the NHS in Order to Privatise It

Are we witnessing the unfolding of the last chapter of the Tories’ plan to privatise the NHS? The first step was taken by the Tory government under Margaret Thatcher in its National Health Services and Community act in 1990. This act introduced the internal market and competition, instead of cooperation, within the NHS. The Health and Social Care Act of 2012 pushed the marketisation and outsourcing of health and social care to private health providers to new levels. Allyson Pollock, professor of public health research and policy at Queen Mary College, University of London, in an …

The Madness of Karl Marx

How and Why He Sundered the First International


bakunin and marx from russia with love
I recently read Wolfgang Eckhardt’s The First Socialist Schism, and what I discovered disturbed me. A friend had told me that in it Karl Marx accused Mikhail Bakunin of wanting to be the dictator of the First International. The slapstick incongruity of the charge piqued my interest, and left me wondering if perhaps it were Groucho and not Karl who was its author. What I learned, however, was anything but amusing.

I knew that there had been a clash between …

Palestine: the International Community Screws Up Again

....and so does the Palestinian leader (again)

The Middle East peace conference in Paris was the usual farce with Israel and Palestine, the subjects under discussion, both staying away. Netanyahu called the talks “useless” and Abbas was off opening an embassy in Vatican City and meeting the Pope while 70 nations gathered to take part in another peace pantomime. It ended with a pathetic declaration urging both sides to “officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution”.

Is this what the much-trumpeted 2-state solution looks like?

Everyone knows Netanyahu and the Israeli regime have never wanted peace. Land-grabbing and ethnic cleansing is what they do, so the jackboot of …

Why Did Obama Grant Clemency to Manning?

The bona fide war criminal Barack Obama commuted the unjust prison sentence of political prisoner and courageous whistleblower Chelsea Manning (along with Oscar López Rivera and others). It is a big deal. But does it mitigate the numerous heinous crimes of Barack Obama?

First, there are plenty of other political prisoners who are still languishing in the American gulag. Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal spring immediately to mind. Also there are still 45 people incarcerated at Gitmo, a facility that Obama promised to close on Day …

Reality Check: Is #Pizzagate “Fake News” or Has It Just Not Been Officially Investigated?

Titus Frost investigated the connection between Podesta emails and pedophilia much earlier: “PizzaGate – DNC Pedophile Ring exposed by Podesta’s Emails – Obama, Clintons, Andrew Kline

A Changing of the Guard

The Russians are everywhere! Prepare! Rip out your hair! Didn’t you hear? The Russians are here!

And the Big Orange Toad God Emperor of Man is being pulled like a puppet by their strings. It seems so likely! The CIA loves you. The Military Industrial Complex loves you. Big Pharma loves you. Pop another pill. Go back to fucking sleep.

Meanwhile, Candidate B received massive campaign funding from Saudi Arabia and other repressive regimes, while her opponent was vilified and attacked constantly by foreign leaders all across the world …

Media on Canada’s Deployment to Africa

The media’s foreign affairs motto often seems to be ignorance is bliss. The Toronto Star, for instance, has devoted significant attention to the Trudeau government’s plan to dispatch 600 soldiers to Africa, but it has largely ignored the most relevant information.

In a recent installment of its “Should Canada go to Africa?” series the Star quoted former Royal Military College board member Jack Granatstein saying, “wherever we go in Africa is not where we should be going” and Canada’s contribution will “achieve nothing.” Countering Granatstein’s Afro-pessimism, the story cited Royal Military College professor Walter Dorn’s blanket support for UN missions since “the image of the peacekeeper is key to the Canadian …