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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 …

Anarchy Now! Chile Elects to Revolt

This week we take a look at the 6 plus year student revolt in Chile, plus ballot burning fury in Mexico and an interview with militants from Santiago who tell us about the anarchist scene there. On the music break we bring you Chilean rapper Portavoz with “Te Quieren

Can’t watch on TOR? Try our Archive.org page

We stole heavily from two great films about anarchists in Chile.

Documental Caso Bombas
This Chicago Conspiracy

Here’s the playlist for this show

XOC – Super Mario World – End Credits
Metal Fingers – Shallots
KK Urbana – Estado Decadente
Conspirazión – Atrevete te
Run …

No “Crisis in Islam”: Just Apathy of So-called “Historians”

On the “BBC This Week” program, historian Tom Holland labored to counter the argument that the so-called Islamic State should not be labeled as such: “The Islamic State”.

Holland’s logic in the program seemed more philosophical, concerned with dialectic and logic of language, and hardly situated in any proper historical context.

His comments were in response to British Prime Minister David Cameron’s objection to the BBC’s use of the phrase ‘Islamic State’.  Cameron prefers ISIL – which, itself, stands for the ‘Islamic State in the Levant’ or the cynical qualifier ‘so-called’ to be placed before the phrase.

Although Holland asserts that …

What Does Solidarity Mean on the Left?

Greece is white, it is European, and therefore the eyes of the entire Western “progressive” world are now directed towards Athens: will its government dare to default, would Greece leave the euro-zone and eventually the European Union? As if the answer to this question could change the world; as if Athens is where the fate of humanity will be decided.

Some 10 thousand kilometers away, Ecuador is predominantly indigenous, and therefore, inhabited by ‘un-people’, to borrow from George Orwell’s colorful terminology. Battered by its own, mainly Euro-centric and pale-skinned ‘elites’ who are enjoying extremely close links with both the EU and …

International al-Quds Day: A Global Cause?

Al-Quds Day, celebrated around the world by millions, is marked on the last Friday of Ramadan, coinciding with the most sacred time of Ramadan, the Night of Destiny. This year it is on July 11. This night especially empowers Muslims with God’s mercy, as the starting point of Muslims’ awakening and awareness in all aspects of life. Al -Quds Day was initiated in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini to express solidarity with the Palestinian people and oppose Zionism and Israeli occupation, especially of Jerusalem.

JDL ‘celebrate’ al-Quds …

Israel’s Army of Spin-Doctors is Doomed to Defeat

The Israeli government believes it is locked in an epic struggle to save Israel from the growing movement calling for an international boycott. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns that Israel must quickly “rebrand” itself to avoid pariah status.

Ordinary Israelis are therefore being conscripted into an army of spin-doctors in a campaign termed “hasbara” – Hebrew for “public diplomacy”, or more literally “propaganda”.

In the latest offensive, the education ministry has launched a compulsory hasbara course for Israeli students travelling abroad. All youth delegations are now required to learn how to justify to outsiders Israel’s policies in the occupied territories. According to …

Killing Crabs and Arabs

I lead a sheltered life. Apart from visiting Afghanistan once during a war, the closest I come to danger is in sports, and the closest I come to violence is in emailed death threats from war fanatics — and even those pretty much dried up when the president became a Democrat.

When rats moved into the garage, I trapped them one-by-one and let them go in the woods, even as people claimed the same rats were finding their way back over and over again, like local troops getting guns and training from the U.S. Army over and over again so they …

Vietnamese Globe: Divided by War, United by Poetry and Compassion

When the plane was landing in Hanoi, I began to cry tears of joy to finally see my motherland and land of birth again. Later, I would realize that my tears were like the downpour of rain nearly every night that week of summer I was in Hanoi. To be in Hanoi was special to me because it was my grandmother and father’s birth city. During the first part of my journey, “Uncle” Quang (Trần Huy Quang), a Vietnamese writer who had served in the North Vietnamese Army during the U.S. war in Vietnam, took care of me and took …

Hillary-Bernie Skirmishes Begin

Can All-Out War Be Far Behind?

Hillaryite Senator McCaskill shoots from her hip, hits her foot

A month after attacking Game of Thrones, Claire McCaskill, Democratic senator of Missouri, shifted her attack from fiction to her very real fellow senator, Bernie Sanders. She took the Independent senator from Vermont to task for having the temerity to challenge Hillary Clinton’s divine right to ascend to the American political throne of the presidency. Or as McCaskill put it on MSNBC June 25:

Any other candidate that had the numbers that Hillary

Neoliberalism, Fukushima, and the Pope’s Letter

Japan’s Social Disintegration

Japanese sociologist and Tokyo Metropolitan University professor, Shinji Miyadai, argues that European nations progressed from the communal self-governance of food to the communal self-governance of energy after World War II. Miyadai compares Europe’s post-war developments with those of post-war Japan in his article entitled ‘Pitfalls of the Nuclear Power Reduction Movement’. His contention is simple: As opposed to Europe, Japan had actually “accelerated its dependence on the market through trade liberalization and deregulation…”

Post-war economic indenture was exactly what the United States wanted from Japan. Moreover, the US was able to procure Japanese market dependence through discussions on …

Global Warming: A Threat to Humanity?

Interview with Carolyn Baker

For human beings… to destroy the biological diversity of God’s creation; for human beings to degrade the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate, by stripping the earth of its natural forests or destroying its wetlands; for human beings to contaminate the earth’s waters, its land, its air, and its life – these are sins.

— Encyclical Letter of the Holy Father Francis on Care of our Common Home, June 2015

The recent intervention by Pope Francis into the debate over climate change has once again put this pressing issue back into the public eye. His intervention merely …

How the Media Discredit Greek Democracy

The language the Guardian and all other corporate media have been using about Syriza’s victory at the weekend against draconian EU-imposed austerity is revealing. Here are some examples of the subtle but effective framing from the paper’s front page today:

* The referendum is described in the standfirst and text as “polarising” rather than what it is: an exercise in direct, participatory democracy. If a 61% win is an illustration of a polarised society, what does that make David Cameron’s recent absolute victory in British parliamentary elections with 24% of the total vote? In the face of massive threats and intimidation from …