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Ugly Texas

My wife’s dad is from Grenada, and we visited there last October. It was an incredible place and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, but, when I was speaking with one of my father-in-law’s relatives, I unknowingly committed a geo-political faux pas.

It had been a while since I had traveled to a less commercialized destination and, unaware that the relevant categorizations had changed, I said something about being proud of myself because I thought I had gotten too soft to travel in a Third World country. A group of us stayed in a modest seaside villa. The air conditioning was iffy. The …

A Brief History of Kill Lists, From Langley to Lavender

The bodies of Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes are buried in a mass grave in Khan Younis.
Photo credit: Al-Jazeera

The Israeli online magazine +972 has published a detailed report on Israel’s use of an artificial intelligence (AI) system called “Lavender” to target thousands of Palestinian men in its bombing campaign in Gaza. When Israel attacked Gaza after October 7, the Lavender system had a database of 37,000 Palestinian men with suspected links to Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). 

Lavender assigns a numerical score, from one to a hundred, …

The Palestine Congress

Thank God for the German Hate Police! Or heil … or whatever the appropriate salutation is for these unsung heroes. They just saved us all from “hate” again!

Yes, that’s right, once again, democracy-loving people here in New Normal Berlin and all across the New Normal world were right on the brink of being exposed to “hate,” and would have been exposed to “hate,” had the Hate Police not sprang into action.

You probably have no idea what I’m talking about.

OK, what happened was, some pro-Palestinian activists organized a “Palestine Congress,” and attempted …

Suspending the Rule of Tolerable Violence: Israel’s Attack and Iran’s Retaliation

The Middle East has, for some time, been a powder keg where degrees of violence are tolerated with ceremonial mania and a calculus of restraint.  Assassinations can take place at a moment’s notice.  Revenge killings follow with dashing speed.  Suicide bombings of immolating power are carried out.  Drone strikes of devastating, collective punishment are ordered, all padded by the retarded notion that such killings are morally justified and confined.

In all this viciousness, the conventional armed forces have been held in check, the arsenals contained, the generals busied by plans of contingency rather than reality.  The rhetoric may be vengeful and …

Germany confirms its collaboration with genocide

The photo is a screen shot from Press TV showing a demo protest against the shutdown of the conference.
A three day Palestine conference in Berlin was forcibly shut down after three hours on Friday. Electricity was abruptly terminated in the midst of the presentation by Salman Abu Sitta, the 87 year old author of the authoritative “Atlas of Palestine”.

Former Greek Finance Minister and leader of DIEM25, Yanis Varoufakis, was prevented from entering Germany to attend the conference. He went on Twitter/X to send a message:

Do you know that …

Take That, Joe Manchin

“We are a married couple of 45 years. We are taking action together as elders deeply concerned about the future facing our 3-year-old grandson, all children, and all life on earth. That is why we have joined with many others to stop the destructive and abusive Mountain Valley Pipeline, as well as any new fossil fuel infrastructure. Three years ago, the International Energy Agency said that was needed even then, because of the seriousness of the climate emergency

“We need solar and wind right now, not destructive fossil fuels and a trillion dollar a year war economy.

“We are outraged that billions …

The Death of Paris ‘15

The Paris climate agreement of 2015 set the standards for how nation/states must approach the net zero target year 2050 by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in stages, starting with major reductions by 2030.

Paris ’15 is dead.

According to a new report by Global Energy Monitor of San Francisco, at least 20B barrels of oil equivalent has been discovered since the International Energy Agency statement of fact in 2021 that no new oil, gas, or coal development should proceed if the world is to reach net zero by 2050.

Nevertheless, as of today, fossil fuel producers worldwide plan on quadrupling output from …

Ambulances or Tanks?

Spending priorities of the US Congress

Funding Priorities: Waging War against Palestine versus Solar Energy for the People

What would happen if the US Congress funded solar energy instead of war on Palestine?

Iran Confirms Launching “Extensive” Strike against Israel

The Islamic Republic has sent multiple drones toward the Jewish State, according to media reports

Israeli Land-grabbers Return “Home” to Sderot

And resume their hill-top viewing of the carnage in Gaza

Israelis gathered on a hilltop outside the town of Sderot on Monday to watch the bombardment of Gaza” in 2014. Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR), a worthy-sounding broadcaster which began life back in 1917 with the aim of sharing the educational resources of the University of Wisconsin with the state’s residents and now inspires communities around the world, has been feeding its listeners a load of old toffee about a place called Sderot, an Israeli township a stone’s throw from Gaza.

As …

The Irrational “Greed” of Geriatric Plutocrats


In his book Totem and Taboo, Sigmund Freud indulged in a speculative scenario for the origins of society.  Everyone, young and old alike, once lived together in a “primal horde”– ruled by an aging, domineering father-figure, who selfishly monopolized the women for his own satisfaction.  But one day (so to speak), the deprived “sons” defiantly rose up, challenged his control–and slew him.  In the aftermath, separate nuclear families now became possible, along with the sanctions and taboos which would facilitate orderly social relations.

Notwithstanding the fanciful quality of Freud’s origin-myth, world mythology …

Little is Left in Khan Younis

Al-Aqsa University in Khan Younis is one of many areas in Khan Younis to which Israel has caused enormous damage.  (Ruwaida Amer)
Khaled Arqoub was shocked when he saw that his home had been flattened.

It and the buildings next door were destroyed after Israeli troops entered Khan Younis city in tanks.

“I have lost everything,” Arquob said.

When Israel began its ground invasion, Arquob left his home for al-Mawasi, an area in southern Gaza. He only came back to Khan Younis after the Israeli forces withdrew a few days ago.

“As I walked …

Secret Agreements: The Australian-Israel Defence Memorandum of Understanding

While the Australian government continues to pirouette with shallow constancy on the issue of Israel’s war in Gaza, making vacuous utterances on Palestinian statehood even as it denies supplying the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) with weapons (spare parts, it would seem, are a different, footnoted matter), efforts made to unearth details of the defence relationship between the countries have so far come to naught.

The brief on Australian-Israel relations published by the Department of Trade and Foreign Affairs is deplorably skimpy, noting that both countries have, since 2017, “expanded cooperation on national security, defence and cyber security.”  Since 2018, we …

The Most Efficient Way to Minimize Social Inequality

A Washington Post columnist, Catherine Rampell, headlined on April 5, “The Great Medicaid Purge was even worse than expected” and reported:

It’s a tale of two countries: In some states, public officials are trying to make government work for their constituents. In others, they aren’t.

This week marks one year since the Great Medicaid Purge (a.k.a. the “unwinding”) began. Early during the pandemic, in exchange for additional funds, Congress temporarily prohibited states from kicking anyone off Medicaid. But as of April 1, 2023, states were allowed to start disenrolling people.

Some did so immediately. So …

Uncharted Territory Dead Ahead

When America’s leading authority on the climate system Gavin Schmidt of NASA throws his hands up in the air, exclaiming, we’ve got a knowledge gap for the first time since satellites started tuning into the planet’s climate system, what does this imply about future conditions for the planet?

Gavin Schmidt, Director, Goddard Institute for Space Studies: “In general, the 2023 temperature anomaly has come out of the blue, revealing an unprecedented knowledge gap perhaps for the first time since about 40 years ago, when satellite data began offering modellers an unparalleled, real-time view of Earth’s climate system.” (Gavin Schmidt,”Climate Models Can’t …

Flicker of Hope: Biden’s Throwaway Lines on Assange

Walking stiffly, largely distracted, and struggling to focus on the bare essentials, US President Joe Biden was keeping company with his Japanese counterpart, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, when asked the question.  It concerned what he was doing regarding Australia’s request that the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange be returned to Australia.

Assange, who has spent five tormenting years in Belmarsh Prison in London, is battling extradition to the US on 18 charges, 17 tenuously and dangerously based on the US Espionage Act of 1917.

The words that followed from the near mummified defender of the Free World were short, yet bright enough for …

US Public Housing — Not Weapons for Israel

prioritize 1,700,000 public housing units for the US instead of killing Palestinians

2024: Historic al-Quds Day

It took a genocide for Torontonians to commit themselves to the goal of defeating Israel. It turns out Iranian President Akhmedinejad was right after all. ‘Israel’ must be wiped off the map. It is an ugly cancer that could kill its Earthly host. But it will disappear only by the will of the people, Palestinian, Canadian, Jewish-Christian-Muslim united.

The Palestinians have been at it from 1917, the year British Lord Balfour (arch anti-Semite) wrote his poison pen letter offering a Jewish state in the soon-to-be British colony Palestine (to rid Britain of …

Ramadan amid the rubble

The area around al-Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital, following an Israeli massacre.  (Omar Ishaq DPA via ZUMA Press)
Ramadan in Gaza is unlike any we have previously seen.

We don’t have the traditional suhoor to brace us for the day ahead.

There are no feasts here.

No invitations extended for people to come and visit.

We can barely feed ourselves, let alone guests – even if they are members of our own extended families.

It is impossible to have sweets and juice after the iftar.

Sugar is a …

Take Action this U.S. Tax Day

April 15 is tax day in the U.S. The average individual U.S. taxpayer contributes $25.25 towards weapons for Israel each year, adding up to a staggering total of $3.8 billion that fuels violence and repression against the Palestinian people. Despite President Biden’s recent call for a ceasefire, the U.S. continues to send weapons to Israel, and Congress is currently considering sending $14.1 billion in additional military funding to further arm the ongoing genocide in Gaza.

Instead of funding genocide, the U.S. could prioritize human life by investing in healthcare, …

Unbecoming American: Did Apartheid Really End in 1991?


I wrote my first book, Church Clothes in 1997. It was finally published in 2004. The essay was written because I had to write it. At the time when I began my work that would culminate in this book there was still a Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and a German Democratic Republic. By the time Maisonneuve Press published Church Clothes both states were extinct. I can only recall one review by a South African historian. He repeated the misunderstanding uttered by some of the doctoral committee that rewarded my work …

CODEPINK Protests at German Diplomatic Missions

STOP US and German arms for Israel’s Genocide!

[CODEPINK and other peace activists outside the German Consulate in Los Angeles/Ryan Wentz — CODEPINK]
From coast to coast, CODEPINK delegations protested at German diplomatic missions in support of Nicaragua’s case against Germany at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for complicity in Israel’s genocide that has killed or maimed over 100,000 Palestinians in Gaza.
On the first day of ICJ proceedings, April 8, 2024, in Nicaragua v. Germany, pickets and letter deliveries took place in DC, NYC, LA, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Houston, Miami and Seattle. Demonstrators echoed Nicaragua’s …

Media Slams Man Who Dares Challenge Cabinet Minister

Media commentators and Liberal ministers are angry a father filmed himself challenging Canada’s foreign minister on the street for enabling genocide. The outrage exposes the media/political establishment’s anti-democratic ethos.

Ten days ago, a man biking with his two kids saw Melanie Joly on Laurier Avenue in Montreal and asked the foreign minister to “lift the cap on the number of Palestinian refugees”. In response, Joly hit his phone and grabbed his jacket. Antoine (sole identification of the man) then told the minister to calm down and after she mentions the children with …

Death by Algorithm: Israel’s AI War in Gaza

Remorseless killing at the initiation of artificial intelligence has been the subject of nail-biting concern for various members of computer-digital cosmos.  Be wary of such machines in war and their displacing potential regarding human will and agency.  For all that, the advent of AI-driven, automated systems in war has already become a cold-blooded reality, deployed conventionally, and with utmost lethality by human operators.

The teasing illusion here is the idea that autonomous systems will become so algorithmically attuned and trained as to render human agency redundant in a functional sense.  Provided the targeting is trained, informed, and surgical, a utopia of …

On the Quito Embassy Raid

When armed Ecuadorian police gathered outside the Mexican embassy in Quito last Friday evening, a casual observer might have thought they were there to protect it. Instead, they launched an attack: brandishing assault rifles, police climbed the walls, entered the building by force and kidnapped Ecuador’s former vice-president, Jorge Glas, who had that day been granted political asylum by Mexico. Within ten minutes Glas was being driven away.

The consul, Roberto Canseco, was filmed as he tried to chase after the car but was bundled to the ground by police. Visibly shaken, he told an interviewer that this ‘can’t be …

Tyranny by the Numbers: The Government Wants Your Money Any Way It Can Get It

The government wants your money.

It will beg, steal or borrow if necessary, but it wants your money any way it can get it.

This is what comes of those $1.2 trillion spending bills: someone’s got to foot the bill for the government’s fiscal insanity, and that “someone” is the U.S. taxpayer.

The government’s schemes to swindle, cheat, scam, and generally defraud taxpayers of their hard-earned dollars have run the gamut from wasteful pork barrel legislation, cronyism and graft to asset forfeiture, costly stimulus packages, and a national security complex that continues to …

Israel’s killing of aid workers is no accident. It’s part of the plan to destroy Gaza

The isolation of Gaza is almost complete. The laws of war have been torn up and the enclave is now completely at Israel’s mercy

After six months – and many tens of thousands of dead and maimed Palestinian women and children later – western commentators are finally wondering whether something may be amiss with Israel’s actions in Gaza.

Israel apparently crossed a red line when it killed a handful of foreign aid workers on 1 April, including three British security contractors.

Three missiles, fired over several minutes, struck vehicles in a World Central Kitchen (WCK) aid convoy heading up Gaza’s coast on one of the few roads still passable after Israel turned the enclave’s homes and streets into rubble. All the vehicles were …

The Benevento Uprising

In anarchist history, 8 April 1877, a group of anarchists including a young Errico Malatesta marched into the small village of Letino. Chaos ensued as they looted the town safe and burned the village tax documents and property deeds in the streets.

It was one of the earliest examples of a new anarchist strategy: “Propaganda by the Deed.”

South African Election 2024: The People’s Minimum Demands

Beginning at the General Assembly held in Durban on the first Sunday in February Abahlali baseMjondolo has held an extensive process of meetings and discussions at all levels of our movement, and in all our 87 branches in good standing across the four provinces where we have members, to develop a collective strategy for the election to be held on 29 May 2024. The Youth League and Women’s League also held their own discussions. The discussions in our monthly General Assemblies have all been open to the public and have been attended by representatives from a number of other organisations. …