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Oscar Lopez Rivera, Puerto Rican Political Prisoner

I don’t have any blood on my hands. I haven’t victimized anyone. And I’ve devoted most of my life serving a just and noble cause and struggling to help make this world a better and more just one.

— Oscar Lopez Rivera, in a Febuary 2011 letter

For over 33 years Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera has been imprisoned in the United States for his activities in support of freedom and independence for his country, the island of Puerto Rico.

Oscar Lopez Rivera was arrested on May 29, 1981 and accused of seditious conspiracy. He was later sentenced …

Fearology and Militarism

But the real enemy is us

Russia and NATO have offensive capacities and MIMACs (Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complex) but NATO’s is a much larger potential threat to Russia than the other way around

Why does an alliance with such an overwhelming superiority shout and scream and see ghosts on the horizon when, in reality, there are none?

Why does it seem to be intellectually unable to see things from the side of its opponent? Is the show of strength in reality a sign of weakness?

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A threat consists of two main things: An intention to do something negative to you + a capability to actually carry it through – thus I …

Venezuela and When People Are Forced to Eat Shit!

In a powerful short novel by the Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez, No One Writes to the Colonel (El coronel no tiene quien le escriba) set during the period of “La Violencia”, an old retired colonel struggles to survive, forgotten by the government which promised him a substantial pension some fifteen years earlier. The state is corrupt and brutal, and it had abandoned almost all of those who had fought for the country during the fierce “Thousand Days’ War”.

And so, no one writes to the colonel. No letters, no envelopes with his pension are arriving. The old man and his …

Rainbow Capital, Queerness, and Black Lives Matter’s Shocking Reformism

Earlier this year, I predicted that Sunday’s Pride Parade would take the form of a wrestling match between the activist and establishment sides of queerness. With the activist side, represented by Black Lives Matter-Toronto marshaling and others, and the establishment side represented by Justin Trudeau, Toronto Police and the usual orgy of corporate sponsorship under the guise of “social responsibility, I expected that the previous years’ tensions would be heightened.

But I didn’t think that they would shut down the parade.

I’d expected a possible fight for loudness and space. I also expected to encounter the typically odd sight of droves of …

Je Suis Istanbul

Photo courtesy of Judith Gilles

On October 10, 2015, over 100 Turkish activists were killed by twin explosions at a peace rally in Ankara, the country’s capital. Three months later, 10 were killed in a popular tourist area in Istanbul. Then 28 in a military convoy. Then 37 in a public square. Then 4 in Istanbul. Then 11 in Istanbul. Then 45 in Istanbul.

Since I started writing this article three days ago, further terror attacks have claimed 22 in Bangladesh, …

What the Killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile Really Signify

Had American racism occurred in exact reverse, with whites being the victims of slavery, terrible Jim Crow abuses, and the soul-devouring hopelessness of festering ghettos and barren reservations where jobs are rare or nonexistent, wouldn’t many of us have turned to crime or drug dealing to survive?

In fact, in circumstances lacking a racial factor, as in economically devastated Appalachia,  mass dysfunction associated with heroin use has reached epidemic proportions.

So let’s stop using the broad-brush “thug” characterization as a basis for believing that a decades-long pattern of police murders of young blacks is just “those people” getting what they supposedly deserve.

If …

U.S. War on Russia and China Will Mean Ruin for the Whole of Europe and Asia

What we shouldn’t do now is inflame the situation further through sabre-rattling and warmongering. ..

Whoever believes that a symbolic tank parade on the alliance’s eastern border will bring security is mistaken. ..

We are well-advised to not create pretexts to renew an old confrontation. ..

(It would be) fatal to search only for military solutions and a policy of deterrence.

— German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, commenting on NATO’s recent military exercises in Poland and the Baltics.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s cry of distress is that of a man watching a tidal wave of destruction gathering force, similar to ones that have engulfed his country …

Oligarchs, Bankers, and Swindlers

Washington’s "New Managers" in Latin America

Amid raging corruption, social pathologies and outright political thuggery, a new gang of vassal regimes has taken-over Latin America. The new rulers are strictly recruited as the protégé’s of US financial and banking institutions. Hence the financial press refers to them as the “new managers” – of Wall Street.

The US financial media has once again provided a political cover for the vilest crimes committed by the ‘new managers’ as they launch their offensive against labor and in favor of the foreign and domestic financiers.

Impeach and Prosecute Tony Blair

The Chilcot report’s “findings” have virtually all been part of the public record for a decade, and it avoids key pieces of evidence. Its recommendations are essentially to continue using war as a threat and a tool of foreign policy, but to please try not to lie so much, make sure to win over a bit more of the public, and don’t promise any positive outcomes given the likelihood of catastrophe.

The report is a confused jumble, given that it records evidence of the supreme crime but tries to excuse …

The Plague of Nationalism

This week we unpack the historic #Brexit vote in the UK, which has sparked a political crisis and generalized a populist anti-immigrant sentiment.

For the musical break, we’ve got Caxton Press, with Broken Dreams.

We then shift our attention to the United Snakes, where the long-standing effects of neoliberalism and disillusionment with the traditional political establishment is leading many down the path of right-wing reaction and conspiracy theories.  We end things off with an interview with anti-racist organizer Brazo, who fills us in on the June 26th clashes in Sacramento between anti-fascist and anti-racist militants, and members of the Traditionalist Workers …

War & Peace: Armenia & Israel

The world hovers on the edge of war, not only in Israel-Palestine, Syria, Ukraine, but in Eurasia’s ground zero, where Armenia and Azerbaijan are always on the cusp of a new outbreak of their unresolvable conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian enclave in the centre of the post-Soviet ‘republic’ of Azerbaijan.

Oil-rich Azerbaijan is lavishing its petro-dollars on beefing up its armed forces, assisted by–guess who?–Russia and Israel. It seems only a matter of time till a full scale explosion happens. It almost did in April, 2016,  when Armenian forces …

Don’t Move

Two major news stories here in the U.S., both chilling, point out how readily U.S. authorities will murder people based on race and the slightest possibility of a threat to those in places of power.

On July 5th Baton Rouge police killed Anton Sterling in a Louisiana parking lot. Sterling was a 37-year-old Black father of five selling CDs outside of a local storege. As captured on widely seen cellphone video, two officers tased him, held him with their hands and knees down on the ground and then shot him multiple times at close range. The officers pulled a gun …

Cheating Moscow: NATO’s Dangerous Expansion

NATO has just announced a plan to send troops to the alliance’s eastern flank, close to the Russian border. NATO says it is attempting to deter potential Russian aggression.

The UK, the US, Canada and Germany will lead four battle groups to be based in Poland and the Baltic states. Diplomats say the troops will be a deterrent to Russian aggression by acting as a “tripwire” that would trigger a full response from the alliance if necessary

On Sunday the foreign minister of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, condemned Western “sabre-rattling and war cries”. He said, “Anyone who believes the symbolic tank parades on …

Guardian: Iraqis think Blair made a “mistake”

It will be no surprise to readers of this blog that I believe Tony Blair should be put on trial for crimes against humanity for assisting George Bush in attacking Iraq in 2003. The Chilcot inquiry, however compromised its members were by their establishment ties and however cautious they were in their use of language, have very belatedly reached the same conclusion.

If “military action at that time was not a last resort” and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein “posed no imminent threat”, then Bush and Blair launched a war of aggression. And that, according to the definition laid out by the …

Talk About a Day of Infamy!

A sad day.  A disgraceful day.  The Fourth was probably pretty bad in terms of hypocrisy.  I can only imagine.  I don’t live there any more.  But today (now yesterday – I thought it better not to vent my immediate and utter frustration), when I read that FBI director Comey decided that the investigation into la Clinton’s DoS document affair didn’t warrant an indictment. I was speechless.  I stared at the face of that cackling hyena and knew I was looking at the face of pure Evil.  And this blood-drenched, lie-spewing Albright clone on steroids is running for the …

Iraq Verdict: Trouble if heads don’t roll

The much-edited Chilcot Report finally arrived and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has issued a pretty-sounding apology for his party’s decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003. He called it the most serious foreign policy calamity of the last 60 years and “a stain on our party and country”.

It’s unfortunate that he dignifies the evil Iraq war conspiracy by suggesting it had anything to do with policy of the British people. It was a private venture, pledged in secret, by a Labour prime minister and his closest henchmen, and backed by the Cabinet. Those across the parties who …

If You Like Obama, You’ll Love Trump

Oh what fun we have with the nonsense that flows out of the mouth of Donald J. Trump. The man is suffocatingly banal, racist, dishonest, inarticulate, uninformed, uneducated, narcissistic, a bully, just plain stupid, and an asshole (or in the immortal words of my people — a schmuck!). I would guess that as the boss of his own enterprises for many years, with the power and the habit of firing people, he eventually became deeply accustomed to not having his thoughts seriously questioned or challenged, to the extent that he really believes the crap that comes out of …

If Sanders is a True Progressive, He Has One Winnable Option Left

Information Clearing House — Bernie Sanders has played all his cards and has nothing to show except for a frustrated generation of populists trying to figure out what they should do. Sanders argued he would fight the Democratic bureaucracy at the convention, but his fight is already over. Last week the Democrats held their Platform Committee meeting in DC, and while Sanders had nominated five great populists and progressives, they were steamrolled by the stacked delegates of the corporatists candidate Hillary Clinton. The results of the meeting received very little corporate media attention in a usual attempt to …

Forget “Pleading the 5th”!

6 Hillary-FBI Excuses for Our New World Order

(1) Dear Judge: I didn’t mean to go 100 miles per hour over the speed limit thru the work zone!  I’m just a 50-year old kid who grew up suffering from Affluenza!  I was just trying out my shiny new Lotus and I really didn’t mean to hit those 6 “innocent” pedestrians and send them flying!  I was just being extremely careless!

2) Dear Teacher: I didn’t mean to let my dog eat my homework!  (And I’m sure Rover didn’t mean to barf all over the living room carpet!) I can forgive Rover, the FBI can forgive Hillary, so I’m sure …

The Eel of History: Hillary Clinton, Emailgate and the FBI

Tactics of minimisation have been central to Hillary Clinton’s political career. When stumbling takes place, go for the established book of deflective rules.  When violations of the law take place, explain that it was normal at the time.  Suggest that others had engaged in a form of conduct only subsequently frowned upon.

Such tactics should be kept in the dustbin of history. For the Clintons, they have consistently worked, giving that particular not so holy family a particularly nasty sense of political entitlement. They remain the ghouls of the US political establishment, paying (or rather withholding) tribute to the dead ideas …