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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. …

Palestine’s Sacrifice

Years ago, I made the statement that Palestinians had not sacrificed enough. It was meant to be a shocking statement, but it wasn’t a judgmental one. What I meant was that all of the terrible sacrifices that Palestinians had made up until that time had failed to liberate Palestine, and that we would know when adequate sacrifice had been made by the standard of whether liberation had been achieved.

I believe that we are reaching a vantage point where this accomplishment is now within view, or at least just over the horizon. If so, it is utterly astonishing, but the greatest …

Israeli Milestones: From Six Day Victory to Six Month Failure

In June 1967 Israel launched surprise attacks on its Arab neighbors and captured Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Golan. With military and intelligence support from Lyndon Johnson’s administration, Israel shocked and overwhelmed its neighbors, largely destroying Egypt’s air force on the ground. Israel not only seized possession of these territories, they humiliated their adversaries. It only took six days.

This assault was pivotal in three respects. First, it cemented hard core Zionism  including unrepentant violence at the core of the country. This is shown not only by the atrocities committed against their Arab neighbors.  It is shown in the …

Are EVs Truly the Greenest Form of Transportation?

A friend recently told me of a new study showing that the “life cycle” of electric vehicles (EVs) causes fewer CO2 emissions than gas-powered cars.  This is important since research comparing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per mile have left out the enormous emissions associated with the complex mining, manufacturing and disposal phases of EVs. Is this recent announcement just more corporate bunk?  Or, could it mean that EVs are truly a step toward a greener world?

And, is there a transportation alternative that avoids the pitfalls of both EVs and gas cars?

The article by Julian Spector and Dan McCarthy

Germany, Gaza and the World Court: Broadening the Scope of Genocide

Can it get any busier?  The World Court, otherwise known as the International Court of Justice, has been swamped by applications on the subject of alleged genocide. The site of interest remains the Gaza Strip, the subject of unremitting slaughter since the October 7, 2023 cross-border attacks by Hamas against Israel.  The retaliation by Israel has been of such brute savagery as to draw the attention of numerous states, including those not directly connected to the conflict.

Given that genocide is a crime of universal jurisdiction abominated by international law, and given the broad application of the UN Genocide Convention intended …

A Presidential Race Guided by Illusions

No matter who wins the public loses

The American public awaits the coming presidential election…. with trepidation. Democrat assertion that the Republicans colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election on the side of Donald Trump and Republican assertion that the Democrats stole the 2020 election from Donald Trump remain bitter memories for the two political Parties. Both assertions are illusions, easily proven false, and still have growling followers.

The fabricated illusions that muddled the past elections remain; Trump constructs illusion as his principal political tool and Biden proceeds with perpetrated illusions that he is in total command and apartheid Israel is worth defending. Include presidential hopeful …

Divesting from Genocide and US Militarism

“War Tax Resisters” Protest with Their Money

War tax resisters are taking to the streets to call for an end to genocide and endless war. They are divesting from the taxes that fund war and investing in people, planet, and justice.

The US supports Israel with over $3 billion in military aid each year and has provided more military aid to Israel than any other country since the end of World War II. Since the beginning of 2022, the US has dedicated over $46 billion of military aid for war in Ukraine. Most of these funds will be used by the Department of Defense to replenish the military …

Three Injured in Ukrainian Attack on Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant

The facility was targeted by multiple kamikaze drones, Russia’s nuclear energy agency Rosatom has said

Are Our Political Leaders Really so Ignorant about International Law?

And will they ever be brave enough to brand Israel a terrorist regime?

You’d think Western leaders dealing with foreign affairs would make sure they had a working knowledge of international law and a healthy respect for its importance. It’s based on common sense and is easy enough for politicians of average intelligence to understand. But they don’t seem to.

So it was refreshing to hear Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s representative at the United Nations, ticking off the US and Israel for trying to duck their legal responsibilities after the Security Council adopted Resolution 2728. This deals with Israel’s attempt to destroy Gaza and its people and “demands an immediate ceasefire …

By the Dawn’s Early Light

On the Fall of the Francis Scott Key Bridge

The Baltimore bridge that collapsed on March 26th was named for Francis Scott Key, who wrote the lyrics to the American national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 1814. His inspiration was the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in the critical port of Baltimore during the War of 1812. The British had just burned the U.S. Capitol and the White House and had set their sights on the Baltimore port, with the guns from hundreds of British ships trained on shelling the American flag. If the flag were taken down, they would know the Americans had surrendered, and the British agreed the shelling would …

Aukusing for War: The Real Target Is China

The occasional burst of candour from US diplomats provides a striking, air clearing difference to their Australian and British counterparts.  Official statements about the AUKUS security pact between Washington, London and Canberra, rarely mention the target in so many words, except on the gossiping fringes.  Commentators and think tankers are essentially given free rein to speculate, masticating over such streaky and light terms as “new strategic environment”, “great power competition”, “rules-based order”.

On the occasion of his April 3 visit to Washington’s Center for a New American Security (CNAS), US Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell was refreshingly frank.  His …

Jean Houston’s Psycho-Historical Recovery of the Self

Sacred Psychology in Western History


How I came across Life Force: The Psycho-Historical Recovery of the Self                                                                                              

In the middle of the 1980s I had decided to return to college to get a degree in counseling psychology. I was sitting in a café in the North Beach area …

China Blasts Israel at the UN

Unbecoming American: THE Option for the Poor

Many years ago, in the previous century, an old controversy in the Latin Church was resuscitated, that of Christian poverty. Anyone who pursues the history of the Latin Church and the papal empire will find periodic disputes over the meaning of such dicta as “the poor shall inherit the Earth” or innumerable other citations attributed to the biblical Jesus of Nazareth. At the apex of its power the Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition included those who insisted that poverty was a fundamental principle of Christian life (meaning for all the clergy, …

Nuclear Energy Everywhere Costs an Arm and a Leg

The contribution of nuclear power to electricity generation is the lowest for thirty years and its price twice that of renewables.

It crackles like a Geiger counter in a uranium mine: in 2023, Emmanuel Macron announced plans for six additional EPR [European Pressurized Reactor] nuclear power plants. Hang on, no, perhaps fourteen in the long term.

In reviving nuclear in the name of the struggle against global warming, the European Union has followed suit. Japan is promising new developments on the nuclear front. The US is experimenting with miniature reactors. China is building with gusto … All these ‘ionizing’ projects seem to indicate that fission-based nuclear power is in full swing.

In fact, it is to the contrary. A report of experts published …

Night for Day or Day for Night in the Heart of Darkness

“I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguish’d, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air”
— Lord Byron, “Darkness”, 1816

Overheard in a coffee shop: A woman and a man are sitting together at a table.  She with a laptop open before her and he with a coffee and a book.  Looking at the screen, she says to him, “I didn’t know that the solar eclipse lasts for 70 to 80 minutes, …

WMO Bright Red Alert

The World Meteorological Organization (Geneva, Switzerland) State of Climate 2023 Report by Celste Saulo, secretary general, was issued on March 19th, 2024.

“As secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization, I am now sounding the Red Alert about the state of the climate.”

The WMO has issued an annual State of the Climate Report for more than 30 years. Accordingly, Dr. Celste Saulo’s release of the Flagship Report: “The year 2023 set new records for every single climate indicator. This annual report shows that the climate crisis is the defining challenge that humanity faces, closely intertwined with the inequality crisis as witnessed …