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Anti-semitism bandwagon rolled out again

For a few months over the summer the British corporate media largely lost interest in smearing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-semite. Maybe they had begun to worry that the constant drum-beat of the past three years was deadening the public’s sensitivity to such claims.

But an election is now weeks away, and the anti-semitism smear bandwagon is being rolled out once again.

Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle (who also writes for the Tory-loving Mail, Express, Sun and Telegraph newspapers) has yet again been terrifying readers as best he can, implying not so subtly that voting for Labour might …

When an Elected Government Falls in South America, as in Bolivia Today, Look for a US Role

President Evo Morales, deposed leader of BoliviaWhen it comes to politics in Latin America, what initially seems clear is usually anything but.

And when that some complicated political event happens and is reported about in the US, the last place to look for clarity is the US media, which almost universally parrots the Washington line — an imperialist one that takes as it’s premise the so-called Monroe Doctrine that all of Latin America is “the US backyard.”

For well over a century or more, the US has played …

More than 765 Charter Schools Closed in Three Years

Currently, about 3.2 million students are enrolled in roughly 7,000 privately-operated charter schools across the country. This represents less than 7% of all students and 7% of all schools in the country.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 765 charter schools closed between 2014-15 and 2016-2017, leaving thousands of families stressed, abandoned, dislocated, and angry. This figure represents more than one out of ten charter schools in the …

Casualties of War: Military Veterans Have Become America’s Walking Wounded

Come you masters of war / You that build the big guns
You that build the death planes / You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls / You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know / I can see through your masks….
You fasten all the triggers / For the others to fire
Then you sit back and watch / When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion / While the young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies / And is buried in the mud.

— Bob Dylan, “Masters of War”, from The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan,

Climate Confusion, Angst, and Sleeplessness

Climate change is a nagging issue for many people because it is so big, diverse, and overwhelming, as big as the planet itself. So, how to explain climate change?

Sociologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and even anthropologists and economists have tackled the phenomenon of Climate Weltschmerz, meaning people experience angst as the enormity of climate change overrides sensibilities, and sanity, and sadly some go insane.

Not only that, but dishearteningly, it’s been reported that couples refrain from having children because of the overbearing threat of global warming spoiling a child’s transcendent (hopefully) future. …

On Armistice Day, Work For And Celebrate Peace

Today is Armistice Day – the day that World War I, a brutal and devastating war, ended. After World War I, people hoped nothing like that would ever happen again and a large peace movement developed in the United States. Sadly, just over two decades later, World War II began.

The US arose in the aftermath of this second terrible war as the global power. In 1954, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day to celebrate all veterans. Now, veterans are pushing to change it back to Armistice Day and to celebrate those who work for peace and justice, not war.

Veteran …

How the Hand of Israeli Spy Tech Reaches Deep into our Lives

Israeli software used on Palestinians is producing new cyber weapons that are rapidly being incorporated into global digital platforms

Digital age weapons developed by Israel to oppress Palestinians are rapidly being repurposed for much wider applications – against Western populations who have long taken their freedoms for granted.

Israel’s status as a “startup nation” was established decades ago. But its reputation for hi-tech innovation always depended on a dark side, one that is becoming ever harder to ignore.

A few years ago, Israeli analyst Jeff Halper warned that Israel had achieved a pivotal role globally in merging new digital technologies with the homeland security industry. The danger was that gradually we would all become Palestinians.

Israel, he noted, …

The 2019 UN Vote Against the US Blockade of Cuba

Trump’s Washington Remains Cornered


The United States government does not have the least moral authority to criticize Cuba or anyone else in the area of ​​human rights. We reject the repeated manipulation of this issue for political purposes and the double standards that characterize its use.

— Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, November 7, 2019 at United Nations General Assembly

On November 7, 2019, for the 28th year in a row, the entire United Nations General Assembly, gathered in one room, voted overwhelmingly against “the Economic, Commercial, and Financial Embargo Imposed on Cuba by the …

Canada backs coup against Bolivia’s President

In yet another example of the Liberals saying one thing and doing another, Justin Trudeau’s government has supported the ouster of Evo Morales. The Liberals position on Bolivia’s first ever indigenous president stands in stark contrast with their backing of embattled pro-corporate presidents in the region.

Hours after the military command forced Morales to resign as president of the most indigenous nation in the Americas, Chrystia Freeland endorsed the coup. Canada’s foreign affairs minister released a statement noting “Canada stands with Bolivia and the democratic will of its people. We note the resignation of President Morales and will continue to …

A Doubtful Proposition

A reflection on the trial of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7

Voices activists Brian Terrell, Kathy Kelly and Sarah Ball outside the Brunswick Courthouse (Photo by Kings Bay Plowshares 7)
“Whether nuclear weapons are actually illegal under international or domestic law (a doubtful proposition) is not relevant or an appropriate issue to litigate in this case,” so ruled Judge Lisa Godbey Wood of the US District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, late on Friday October 18. This last-minute order, restricting the defense of seven antinuclear activists at a trial that began Monday morning the 21st, made a …

Israel is silencing the last voices trying to prevent abuse of Palestinians

It has been a week of appalling abuses committed by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank – little different from the other 2,670 weeks endured by Palestinians since the occupation began in 1967.

The difference this past week was that several entirely unexceptional human rights violations that had been caught on film went viral on social media.

One shows a Palestinian father in the West Bank city of Hebron leading his son by the hand to kindergarten. The pair are stopped by two heavily armed soldiers, there to help enforce the rule of a few hundred illegal Jewish settlers over the city’s …

We Will Come Back, Says Bolivia’s Evo Morales after Rightist Coup Forces Him to Resign

Amidst a right-wing coup, Bolivian President Evo Morales was forced to resign Sunday. Evo’s forced exit from the Bolivian presidency was a right wing coup by army and police chieftains with imperialist backing.

Prior to the putsch, imperialism-backed rightists organized unrest, violence and arson including setting fire to residences of two governors’ and of Evo’s sister.

The rightists organized the widespread violence after Evo’s October 20 electoral victory.

Two officials next in line to take over the helm of the government also resigned as Bolivia is in turmoil.

“I resign from my position …

US Policy: Global Climate Crisis Not Our Problem. Really?

AP Photo/Mel EvansBy withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, the US is effectively saying the global climate crisis is not our problem. This is American exceptionalism run amok. The US acts as if it can opt-out of the only planet we have because, well, because we’re special. This is not logical, this is not practical, this is not moral, and this is not possible. This is delusional. This is a crime against humanity. And yet the House Democrats remain obsessed with the low-level intrigues of Ukraine, …

Agrarian Crisis and Malnutrition: GM Agriculture Is Not the Answer

Efficacy of GM Bt cotton challenged, Daily NationMS Swaminathan is often referred to as the ‘father’ of India’s Green Revolution. In 2009, he said that  no scientific evidence had emerged to justify concerns about genetically modified (GM) crops, often regarded as stage two of the Green Revolution.

In a December 2018 paper in the journal Current Science, however, it was argued that Bt insecticidal cotton (India’s only officially approved commercial GM crop) is a failure and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.

The …

Qatar: Education as a Weapon

There seems to be no limit to Qataris tossing around their wealth. This tiny kingdom with 2.6 million inhabitants is full of ridiculously lavish gold-plated palaces, most of them built with terrible taste. It is overflowing with Lamborghini racing cars and Rolls Royce limousines, and now, even with ludicrously wasteful air-conditioned sidewalks (cold air blows from below, into the 35C heat).
Downtown Doha
Ruled by the House of Thani, the State of Qatar is truly a strange place: according to the latest count conducted in early 2017, its total …

What is Property?

All power structures are rooted in ideology. A shared belief in this ideology is what keeps the structures of power in place. Under capitalism, the edifice of social control is built on the collective illusion of private property, and the sanctity of the so-called “free market.” Any moves taken to challenge this logic will therefore provoke pushback from the system’s indoctrinated cheerleaders, and will certainly catch the attention of the repressive and recuperative functionaries of the state. But as the saying goes… you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. And you definitely can’t overthrow capitalism without messing …

A New Kind of Tyranny: The Global State’s War on Those Who Speak Truth to Power

What happens to Julian Assange and to Chelsea Manning is meant to intimidate us, to frighten us into silence. By defending Julian Assange, we defend our most sacred rights. Speak up now or wake up one morning to the silence of a new kind of tyranny. The choice is ours.

— John Pilger, investigative journalist

All of us are in danger.

In an age of prosecutions for thought crimes, pre-crime deterrence programs, and government agencies that operate like organized crime syndicates, there is a new kind of tyranny being imposed on those who dare to expose the crimes of the Deep State, …

Ignoring Climate Catastrophes

The planet is coming apart at the seams right before the eyes of scientists at work in remote fringe areas of the North where permafrost crumbles and collapses. It’s abrupt climate change at work in real time, but the governing leaders of the world either don’t care or don’t know. If they did, there would already be a worldwide Climate Marshall Plan to save civilization from early warning signals of utter chaos.

Across 9 million square miles at the top of the planet, climate change is writing a new chapter. Arctic permafrost isn’t thawing gradually, as scientists once predicted. Geologically speaking, …

Hundreds Stand Tall in Solidarity with the People of Latin America at Havana Conference

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Moros, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez (Photo by Bill Hackwell)
From November 1-3 more than 1,350 delegates from 86 countries representing 789 organizations, came to Havana to participate in the Anti-imperialist Conference of Solidarity, for Democracy and Against Neoliberalism. Delegates traveled from all continents, particularly from Latin America and the Caribbean.  The conference was organized by the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), Central Organization of Cuban Trade Unions (CTC), along with the Cuban Chapter of Social Movements …

Bank Report Reveals Where Ruling Class Lives

While clearly not intended as a tool for the subversion of capitalism, the 2019 Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report provides a fascinating glimpse at the inequality that the neoliberal era has produced, who has benefitted and those who have been left behind.

According to the tenth edition of the report, recently released, “The bottom half of wealth holders collectively accounted for less than 1% of total global wealth in mid-2019, while the richest 10% own 82% of global wealth and the top 1%  alone own 45%.” (Note that this a study about wealth and not income. It measure assets …

Massive Rallies Work!

America’s Streets and Squares Are Waiting

Around the world people are marching, rallying, and demonstrating in huge numbers. Some of these countries are ruled by dictators or plutocratic regimes, others are considered democracies. Despite the peril of protest, people are seeking justice, freedom, and decent livelihoods.

Many boast about the United States being the oldest democracy in the world. While there are some street protests in the US, they are sadly too few and far between. Rallies calling attention to climate disruption have received less public support and media attention than they deserve. Likewise, the Parkland rally in Washington, D.C. against gun violence could have received more …

Unfree Media: State Stenography and Shameful Silence

A recent viral clip of Jeremy Corbyn featured vital truths about the corporate media that ought to be at the forefront of public consciousness in the approach to the UK General Election on December 12. The clip began:

A free press is essential to our democracy. But much of our press isn’t very free at all.

Corbyn continued:

Just three companies control 71 per cent of national newspaper circulation and five companies control 81 per cent of local newspaper circulation.

This unhealthy sway of a few corporations and billionaires shapes and skews the priorities and worldview of powerful sections

Corporate Mammon: Amazon and the Seattle Council Elections

An enduring US political tradition was in evidence in Seattle recently.  Amazon had decided that the city council elections would be too important to leave alone.  Seattle was their city after all.  The aim of the company was much in keeping with the manor lord who prosecutes keen poachers: fund pro-business candidates sympathetic to its cause and defeat such Amazon critics as Kshama Sawant in their home town.

Council member Sawant has become something of a minor celebrity and hate figure in Seattle political circles, having battled for a $15 minimum wage in 2014, and promoted the merits of an employee …

Is the Run on the Dollar Due to Panic or Greed?

What’s going on in the repo market? Rates on repurchase agreements (“repo”) should be around 2%, in line with the fed funds rate. But they shot up to over 5% on September 16 and got as high as 10% on September 17. Yet banks were refusing to lend to each other, evidently passing up big profits to hold onto their cash – just as they did in the housing market crash and Great Recession of 2008-09.

Since banks weren’t lending, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York jumped in, increasing its overnight repo operations to $75 billion; and on October …

What’s Joker’s Joke?

Cause how many times can you wake up in this comic book and plant flowers?

— Rodriguez, “Cause

It’s not funny, that’s for sure.

When I went to see Joker, the new Todd Philips’ film, there were five other people in the theater in the liberal, up-scale tourist town populated by wealthy second-home owners, exiles for the most part from Gotham City (NYC). When the cave’s wall lit up, there was a string of shadows projected onto it, advertisements looping repetitively for the town’s “advantages,” specifically “living and working in the same community,” something next to impossible in the town except for …

Microsoft Should Not Fund Israeli Spying on Palestinians

The act of Palestinian activists covering their faces during anti-Israeli occupation rallies is an old practice that spans decades. The masking of the face, often by Kufyias – traditional Palestinian scarves that grew to symbolize Palestinian resistance – is far from being a fashion statement. Instead, it is a survival technique. Without it, activists are likely to be arrested in subsequent nightly raids; at times, even assassinated.

In the past, Israel used basic technologies to identify Palestinians who take part in protests and mobilize the people in various popular activities. TV news footage or newspaper photos were thoroughly deciphered, often with …

Neoliberalism’s Children Rise Up to Demand Justice in Chile and the World

Uprisings against the corrupt, generation-long dominance of neoliberal “center-right” and “center-left” governments that benefit the wealthy and multinational corporations at the expense of working people are sweeping country after country all over the world.

In this Autumn of Discontent, people from Chile, Haiti and Honduras to Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon are rising up against neoliberalism, which has in many cases been imposed on them by U.S. invasions, coups and other brutal uses of force. The repression against activists has been savage, with more than 250 protesters killed in Iraq in October alone, but the protests have continued and grown. Some …

Sierra Club Takes a Commendable Turn on Population, Climate Change, and Inequality

The Sierra Club – long a retrograde proponent of saving the planet by driving a Tesla, eating wild caught salmon, and voting blue – took positive environmental leadership with their end of the year issue of the Sierra magazine. Stating it is “time to fix the population fixation,” they examine the interactions of population, climate change, and inequality. This commendable development from bourgeois lifestyle environmentalism to a more genuine red-green understanding, though, has a way to go.

The ideology of over-population

The ideology of over-population diverts criticisms of capitalist social relations of unequal distribution. It serves to justify a system, capitalism, which …

America’s Education System: Teaching the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing

Ask students to read for more than a couple of sentences and many will protest that they can’t do it. The most frequent complaint that teachers hear that it’s boring. It is not so much the content of the written material that is at issues here; it is the act of reading itself that is deemed to be boring. What we are facing here is not just time-honored teenage torpor, but the mismatch between a post-literate New Flesh that is too wired to concentrate and the confining concentrational logics of decaying disciplinary systems. To be bored means simply to be

The Ministry of Wiki-Truth

OK, here’s a silly one for you.

Have you ever wondered how all those Wikipedia articles get produced … you know, the ones you pull up on your phone to look up an actor, an author, or a recipe, or a historical or scientific fact? Unfortunately, one of the Consent Factory staff had an opportunity to find out recently.

Apparently, what happened was, someone (presumably one of my readers) tried to add a reference to one of my essays to Wikipedia’s Identity Politics page. The Ministry of Wiki-Truth objected, adamantly. A low-level edit war ensued. Once the …