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How CNN Makes Fake News about Xinjiang

A cemetery in Xayar, NW #China‘s #Xinjiang #Uygur Autonomous Region, has recently become a bone of international contention. #CNN reported that graveyards in the region were being demolished by authorities, highlighting stories such as that of Aziz Isa Elkun, a Uygur poet now residing in London, who had said he couldn’t find his father’s grave on Google Maps. So a crew from CGTN decided to find out if there was any truth to the CNN report. Click the video to …

Charter Schools Have No Valid Claim to Public Property

Public facilities and infrastructure are produced by the working class and people and belong to the public. They exist in order to serve the common good and to contribute to the extended reproduction of society.

This collectively-produced wealth must not be handed over to competing owners of capital who are only concerned with maximizing profit as fast as possible, regardless of the damage caused to society and the environment. Socially-produced wealth must be off limits to narrow private interests. The aims and purposes of the private sector and public sector are not the same.

Non-profit and for-profit charter schools are not public …

Challenging the Flawed Premise Behind Pushing GMOs into Indian Agriculture

A common claim is that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are essential to agriculture if we are to feed an ever-growing global population. Supporters of genetically engineered (GE) crops argue that by increasing productivity and yields, this technology will also help boost farmers’ incomes and lift many out of poverty. Although in this article it will be argued that the performance of GE crops to date has been questionable, the main contention is that the pro-GMO lobby, both outside of India and within, has wasted no time in wrenching the issues of hunger and poverty from their political contexts to use …

The Rumbling ESAS Methane Enigma

The northern continental shelves of Russia, inclusive of the Barents Sea, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea (ESAS) are some of the least researched yet most controversial subjects in climate science today. It’s the one region that has the biggest potential to trigger runaway global warming because of sizeable subsea methane deposits, thereby taking civilization down to its knees. But, that prospect is also extremely controversial within the scientific community.

Scientific opinion runs the gamut: (1) high risk- methane bursts will bury civilization with runaway global warming – a dreadful, deadly risk (2) not to worry, it’s low risk …

Education: Expanding Purpose

As the world stumbles from one crisis to another it is increasingly apparent that existing systems and institutions are incapable of responding to the challenges of the time and the growing demands of the people. Creative ways of thinking free from ideology are needed, allowing for a revolution of ideas to take place and new ways of living to emerge based on altogether different values to those that are currently so pervasive; values that cultivate cooperation, tolerance and understanding in place of competition, prejudice and ignorance, and allow for a sense of unity and social responsibility to flower naturally.

At the …

A Matter of Quality: Air Pollution, Tennis, and Sporting Officialdom

CTV News

They are disgruntled and have every right to be. Whatever one’s feelings about tennis, expecting athletes to perform in subpar conditions is a rank matter that should see officials taken to task. But administrators of a game are often distant from the practice of the game itself. Being on different, cognitive paths, the players can be left stunned by decisions that have the estranging effect of being made in committee.

The pressing issue at the Australian Tennis Open this year is the air quality that has …

Canada’s Dark History vis-à-vis Iran

Canada Greets Shah and Shahbanou (1965)To understand where you are, it is necessary to know where you have been. To understand current Canadian policy towards the 18th most populous country in the world, it is necessary to look at the history of Ottawa’s relations with Iran.

For the first 75 years after Confederation Canada’s foreign policy was largely shaped by the British Empire. For London during this period Persia was mostly a strategic geopolitical ally. Then came oil.

The first company to exploit Iranian …

China, Number One Economic Power for Half Decade, Dashes on

Ignorance or Denial by the U.S. Poses Grave Dangers

The recent China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai attracted little attention in the Western press but it is one more reminder that China is an economic and trading powerhouse that has surpassed the US. That is right, the word is “surpassed.” The CIIE also serves to remind us that China’s economic power now stands on four mighty pillars.

Americans must understand this clearly, for ultimately all power grows out of economic power, including military power. A confrontational approach to China is therefore extremely dangerous in many ways, and it is being …

Russia:  A Groundbreaking Powershift?

In groundbreaking news President Putin announced today, 15 January, in his annual address to the Nation, major changes in his government. First, he announced that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his entire cabinet resigned and will eventually be replaced by a new PM and a new cabinet. A timeline was not given. In the meantime, they would carry on with their functions as ‘normal’. Well, how normal can this be for a group of “lame ducks”?

A second important point of Mr. Putin’s speech focused on shifting power away from the Presidency to the Duma, or Parliament. The Duma shall have …

RCMP are Now Blocking Access to Wet’suwet’en Territory

RCMP are now blocking access to Wet’suwet’en territory, and only allowing hereditary chiefs that THEY approve to enter our own unceded lands. Our Wet’suwet’en people and family members are being blocked off the territory, while RCMP say that they are in a position to decide who is and who isn’t a chief.

Police have blocked media and supplies out, and they are enforcing a modern day pass system — forcing people to identify themselves in order to come and go from our own unceded lands.

Wet’suwet’en lands are unceded, untreatied, and unsurrendered. We maintain full jurisdiction, and the right to decide what …

Gone Fishing? No Fish but Plenty of Pesticides and a Public Health Crisis

There is mounting evidence that a healthy soil microbiome protects plants from pests and diseases. One of the greatest natural assets that humankind has is soil. But when you drench it with proprietary synthetic chemicals or continuously monocrop as part of a corporate-controlled industrial farming system, you can kill essential microbes, upset soil balance and end up feeding soil a limited doughnut diet of unhealthy inputs.

Armed with their synthetic biocides, this is what the transnational agritech conglommerates do. These companies attempt to get various regulatory and policy-making bodies to bow before the altar of corporate ‘science’. But, in …

Sealed Off and Forgotten: What You Should Know about Israel’s ‘Firing Zones’ in the West Bank

A seemingly ordinary news story, published in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, on January 7, shed light on a long-forgotten, yet crucial, subject: Israel’s so-called “firing zones” in the West Bank.

“Israel has impounded the only vehicle available to a medical team that provides assistance to 1,500 Palestinians living inside an Israeli military firing zone in the West Bank,” according to Haaretz.

The Palestinian community that was denied its only access to medical services is Masafer Yatta, a tiny Palestinian village located in the South Hebron hills.

Masafer Yatta, which exists in complete and utter isolation from the rest of the occupied West …

King Tides and Who’s King of the Hill?

Reflections on the poverty of one's life and the richness of one's character

I’m watching the Pacific heave up a king tide in the tiny town of Waldport on the Oregon Coast. Houses right above the beach line are now soaked, their back and front yards littered with driftwood, logs and tree stumps.

And water. The power of that expanding ocean and the rising tides lend pause for any sane person realizing that this yearly cyclical event is a premonition: what I am seeing now is going to be the new normal. Everything shifts with one-three-nine feet of ocean rise in the next 20-30-50-100 years. The winds are pushing up more sea spray, and …

Trump Prosecutors Make Move to Ensure that Embassy Protectors are Convicted

As the trial approaches, the lawyers for the Trump Administration’s prosecution of the four Venezuelan Embassy Protectors who were arrested last May are asking the court to make sure the jury is kept ignorant about the facts and circumstances surrounding the actions of the protectors.

In a recently filed motion by government lawyers, state prosecutors are seeking to severely restrict what can be discussed during the trial scheduled for February 11, 2020. Judge Beryl Howell will hear arguments on the motion at the pre-trial hearing on January 29.

What does the prosecution want to repress? Everything that might give the defenders the …

Short of Time: Julian Assange at the Westminster Magistrates Court

LONDON — Another slot of judicial history, another notch to be added to the woeful record of legal proceedings being undertaken against Julian Assange. The ailing WikiLeaks founder was coping as well as he could, showing the resourcefulness of the desperate at his Monday hearing. At the Westminster Magistrates Court, Assange faced a 12-minute process, an ordinary affair in which he was asked to confirm his name, an ongoing ludicrous state of affairs, and seek clarification about an aspect of the proceedings.

Of immediate concern to the lawyers, specifically seasoned human rights advocate Gareth Peirce, was the issue that prison …

The World Must End The US’ Illegal Economic War

The United States is relying more heavily on illegal unilateral coercive measures (also known as economic sanctions) in place of war or as part of its build-up to war. In fact, economic sanctions are an act of war that kills tens of thousands of people each year through financial strangulation. An economic blockade places a country under siege.

A recent example is the increase in economic measures being imposed against Iran, which many viewed as more acceptable than a military attack. In response to Iran retaliating for the assassination of …

Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs Grant CGL One-Time Access to Shut Down Man Camp

Under the supervision of Lihkt’samisyu Chief Dsta’hyl, and following the eviction of Coastal Gaslink from unceded Wet’suwet’en territory, Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs granted Coastal Gaslink one-time access to Dark House yintah to winterize Site 9A. The Eviction Order we signed as Dinï ze’ and Ts’akë ze’ of these territories remains in effect, and Coastal Gaslink (CGL) will not be authorized to build the pipeline on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory.

This limited access was offered in good faith as a demonstration of wiggus or respect by us as Dinï ze’ and Ts’akë ze’ in our dealings with CGL, despite the lack of consent for …

Mass Media Attacks on a Surging Sanders

CNN’s Sanders Hit Piece Doesn’t Pass the Smell Test

CNN (1/13/19) has an anonymously sourced hit piece out today on Bernie Sanders, claiming that at a meeting in Elizabeth Warren’s home on December 18, 2018, he told her “a woman can’t win” the presidency.

The article, by CNN correspondent MJ Lee, is so journalistically shoddy that someone reading only the first few paragraphs would end up believing that it is a fact that the current top-polling candidate for the February 3 Iowa Caucus actually said that. Never is Sanders’ “quote” prefaced with the term “allegedly.”

None of the four anonymous staffers/friends making the charge of Sanders sexism were …

Iran’s Accidental Downing of a Ukrainian Plane Already Being Used to Smear MH-17 Skeptics

When the Pentagon confirmed the assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, U.S. President Donald Trump took to social media to post a single image of the American flag to the adulation of his followers. Unfortunately, most Americans are ignorant of the other flag synonymous with U.S. foreign policy, that of the ‘false flag’ utilized to deceive the public and stir up support for endless war abroad. While the chicken hawk defenders of Trump’s reckless decision to murder one of the biggest contributors in the defeat of ISIS salivated over possible war with Iran, their appetite was spoiled by Tehran’s …

World War III

So, 2020 is off to an exciting start. It’s barely the middle of January, and we’ve already made it through World War III, which was slightly less apocalyptic than expected. Forensic teams are still sifting through the ashes, but preliminary reports suggest that the global capitalist empire has emerged from the carnage largely intact.

It started in the Middle East, of course, when Donald Trump (a “Russian-asset”) ordered the murder of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani outside the Baghdad Airport, presumably after clearing it with Putin, which, given Iran and Russia’s relationship, doesn’t really make much sense.

But whatever. According to the U.S. …

Outrage as Controversial Indian Mining Company Opens Tribal School

A controversial Indian mining company whose operations threaten lands, forests and sacred sites vital to thousands of tribal families has opened a residential school for tribal children in Odisha, India in an effort to “transform” them.

Adani, a $13billion corporation, is embroiled in controversy in India and Australia. In India its coal mines threaten the forests and livelihoods of thousands of Gond, Santhal and Munda tribespeople.

Its new school for tribal children is a partnership with KISS (the Kalinga Institute for Social Sciences), whose existing school for 27,000 tribal children in Odisha is the largest tribal residential …

Letter to the Young People of Hong Kong

Now that your city has been in flames for more than six months, your families divided, and no end to the violence is in sight, I have decided to write this short essay, in the form of an open letter, to the young people of Hong Kong.

First of all, I want to ask: Why?

Why all this smoke and fire, wrath and violence? Were your lives, before the so-called “protests”, or “riots”, really so dismal?

You have been living in one of the richest cities on earth. Even according to Western …

Is the US a Civilized Nation?

The title of this piece may seem stupid to many. They would respond that obviously the US is civilized. After all, we have a highly developed society and culture which is a definition of civilized. In addition, as a sign of our culture, they proudly point to our museums, theaters, and symphonies that, along with our colleges and universities, are among the best in the world.

Adjectives found in other definitions of civilized are humane, ethical and reasonable. Antonyms include barbaric, savage, and inhumane. Many of us would likely agree with the following sentence:

A civilized society or country has a

Marx’s Labor Theory of Value: Bad Science and Bad for Ecological Socialism

Value and Socialist Distribution

Marxists need a scientific theory of value. I do not make that statement because I think it is controversial. I make it because I am not convinced that Marx provided one. By “scientific” I mean a theory that identifies an empirically detectable and measurable property that gives value to commodities, and a theory that is consistent with fundamental propositions of other relevant sciences, such as physics and chemistry. I do not reject the labor theory of value out of hand, and I do not believe that my criteria necessarily lead to rejection of everything Marx had to …

Pompeo’s Gulf Of Tonkin Incident

Like the crucial steps toward public acceptance preceding the U.S. invasions of Vietnam and Iraq, the assassination of Qassem Soleimani was aimed at building popular support for war on Iran. Not only the justification, but the assassination itself were part of a broader strategy to grease the skids into war.

The Soleimani ploy has apparently failed, however, thanks to the carefully prepared Iranian response, which did not provoke Donald Trump to raise the stakes further. At least not yet.

The fingerprints of Pompeo are all over this provocation to war. In a striking parallel to the deception that accompanied the Gulf of …

Canada’s Cops Were Ready to Shoot Indigenous Anti-Pipeline Activists

RCMP officers were instructed to use as much violence as they wanted at the blockade of the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline. Kanahus Manuel, an Indigenous activist in British Columbia, said it’s part of Canada’s long colonial legacy.

Iraq:  Why Doesn’t the US Move Out Despite the Iraqi Parliament’s Decision?

Why doesn’t the U.S. respect the decision made by the Iraqi Parliament and move out of Iraqi territory? The short answer is, because the US doesn’t respect anybody’s – any country’s – decision or sovereignty, as long as it doesn’t meet their objectives.

Now, the US is steadfast and will not leave the region. Already President Assad has requested that the US leave Syrian territory. They didn’t. The stakes are too immense for the US. It has all to do with their move towards world hegemony by territory and by finance – meaning by the US dollar.

The conflict with Iran is …

The Fed Protects Gamblers at the Expense of the Economy

Although the repo market is little known to most people, it is a $1-trillion-a-day credit machine, in which not just banks but hedge funds and other “shadow banks” borrow to finance their trades. Under the Federal Reserve Act, the central bank’s lending window is open only to licensed depository banks; but the Fed is now pouring billions of dollars into the repo (repurchase agreements) market, in effect making risk-free loans to speculators at less than 2%.

This does not serve the real economy, in which products, services and jobs are created. However, the Fed is trapped into this speculative monetary …

GM in India: Faking it on the Astroturf

According to a recent report in The Hindu Business Line, India’s intelligence agencies are investigating the role of a global investment company and international seed companies in supporting farmers organisation Shetkari Sanghatana (SS) in the distribution of illegally procured genetically modified (GM) herbicide tolerant (HT) cotton seeds. The planting of such seeds is an offence under the Environment Protection Act and Seeds Act.

In May 2019, SS broke the law and freely distributed these seeds. In early January 2020, it broke the law again by distributing second generation seeds. According to the report, a senior intelligence official had told Business Line that a global …

Incendiary Extinctions: Australian Fires and the Species Effect

Cocooned as it is from the world of science scepticism, the handling of the bush fire catastrophe unfolding in Australia is going to one of the more notable (non)achievements of the Morrison government.  They were warned; they were chided; they were prodded.  But the measures lagged and the flames came.

To a certain extent, this remains unfair.  Australian governments, across colours and persuasions, have found managing the environment a problematic, and inconvenient affair.  Being a country rich in resources readymade for digging and export, environment ministers have become the executing tribunes of mining rights and interests before the preservation of flora …