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Iraq War Lies Still Cause Pervasive Distrust of UK State

Militant arson against 5G towers showed citizens view the state as a liar

With anti-statist paranoia and acts of vandalism now part of the coronavirus crisis in the UK, in one outrageous video sent to me by a friend (I will not produce it, due to the responsibility to prevent the spread of false information) a British man denounced the virus as a hoax. What is most shocking is that he included (17 years on!) an appeal to the fact the Iraq War was based on lies.

The continued disbelief towards any government statements and guidance shows, despite attempts to put Tony …

Sanders Will Present Legislation to Pay All Medical Costs for Coronavirus Patients

Bernie Sanders, the Junior Democratic (nominally Independent) U.S. Senator from Vermont, is working with other progressives in Congress to come up with proposed emergency legislation that would pay all coronavirus medical costs throughout the coronavirus epidemic in America, and that would pay salaries of laid-off workers, so that the economy will not crash.

In a 7-minute video which was posted by The Hill,

Sanders says that due to the pandemic, “our economy is now collapsing in front of our eyes” and so “the essence of this legislation is that it will be more effective to prevent the collapse of our economy …

Human Development: Will It End Soon?

Our species—Homo sapiens sapiens—originated in Africa about 40,000 to 130,000 years ago.  Even before 130,000 years ago our ancestors were exposed to certain stimuli—from other members of our species, and from the physical surround—and engaged in certain behaviorsespecially behaviors related to the acquisition of sustenance, such as gathering, hunting, and even scavenging.  Because both occurred over an extremely long period of time, our ancestors became biologically “designed” to receive certain stimuli and to engage in certain behaviors.  In addition, because our ancestors lived “outdoors” in small groups, our ancestors also became biologically “designed” for life “outdoors” in small …

Change Love and the Need for Unity

Much needs to change in our world, and while this was clear before Covid-19, the pandemic is highlighting festering issues and creating a space in which to re-access current modes of living. New and just socio-economic and political systems are required together with positive values that encourage the good. Mankind needs to learn to share, to live more simply, to cooperate and to create a world free from conflict, and the planet needs to be allowed to heal. The list is long, but everything is interrelated.

Underlying the various crises facing humanity is a crisis of identity. Identifying almost exclusively with …

Was the Fed Just Nationalized?

Did Congress just nationalize the Fed? No. But the door to that result has been cracked open.

Mainstream politicians have long insisted that Medicare for all, a universal basic income, student debt relief and a slew of other much-needed public programs are off the table because the federal government cannot afford them. But that was before Wall Street and the stock market were driven onto life-support by a virus. Congress has now suddenly discovered the magic money tree. It took only a few days for Congress to unanimously pass the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which will …

Human Rights and Natural Facts

Where do human rights come from? And can we establish a firm philosophical base for their existence?

For Hobbes, a thin version of human rights stemmed from the fact that humans want to persist in their existence by doing whatever necessary to preserve their own life. From this, Hobbes deduced that humans have the “natural” right to always protect their own lives. This is generally believed to be the modern start of human rights theories.

Locke added to this basic idea by arguing that human beings are ultimately a sort of …

The Bigger Picture is Hiding Behind a Virus

Things often look the way they do because someone claiming authority tells us they look that way. If that sounds too cynical, pause for a moment and reflect on what seemed most important to you just a year ago, or even a few weeks ago.

Then, you may have been thinking that Russian interference in western politics was a vitally important issue, and something that we needed to invest much of our emotional and political energy in countering. Or maybe a few weeks ago you felt that everything would be fine if we could just get Donald Trump out of the …

We are Not Allowed to Watch, Listen, and Read What We Want Anymore

Now that almost all of us, all over the world, have been forced into staying in what could be easily defined as house arrest, there is suddenly plenty of time to read books, to watch great films, and to listen to splendid music.

Many of us, for years, have been sadly repeating again and again: “if only we would have time…”

Now there is plenty of it – plenty of time. The world has stopped. Something terrible is happening; something we never wanted to occur. We sense it, we are terrified, but we do not know precisely what it is. Not now, …

From Rags to Riches, from Plague to Profits

(Agenda for after eight)

One of the lessons I recall from school was about the theory of spontaneous generation with regard to disease. Of course, there is the well-known phenomena of spontaneous combustion, when something starts to burn without any apparent external ignition. With spontaneous generation we were taught the idea that something considered dirty or impure, like rags, could give inception to diseases. This was superseded by the germ theory, where microorganisms — that might actually be harboured by such rags — actually were the cause of the illnesses blamed on the …

“He’s Got Eight Numbers, Just Like Everybody Else”

Trident nuclear disarmament activist Steve Kelly, a Jesuit priest, begins his third year imprisoned in a county jail as he and his companions await sentencing.

On April 4, 2020, my friend Steve Kelly will begin a third year of imprisonment in Georgia’s Glynn County jail. He turned 70 while in prison, and while he has served multiple prison sentences for protesting nuclear weapons, spending two years in a county jail is unusual even for him. Yet he adamantly urges supporters to focus attention on the nuclear weapons arsenals which he and his companions aim to disarm. “The nukes are not going to go away by themselves,” says Steve.

The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 now await sentencing for their action, performed two years ago inside the Kings …

These Migrant Workers Did Not Suddenly Fall from the Sky

Madness engulfs the planet. Hundreds of millions of people are in lockdown in their homes, millions of people who work in essential jobs – or who cannot afford to stay home without state assistance – continue to go to work, thousands of people lie in intensive-care beds taken care of by tens of thousands of medical professionals and caregivers who face shortages of equipment and time. Narrow sections of the human population – the billionaires – believe that they can isolate themselves in their enclaves, but the virus knows no borders. The global pandemic driven by the variants of the SARS-CoV-2 …

Could COVID-19 Reshape Global Leadership?

Photo Credit: CODEPINK
As U.S. COVID-19 cases double every few days and the death toll mounts, the U.S. seems to be caught in a “worst of both worlds” predicament: daily life and much of the U.S. economy is shut down, but no real progress has been achieved in its efforts to contain or eradicate the virus.

Meanwhile, the 11 million people of Wuhan in China, where the pandemic began, are starting to return to a more normal life, with the city’s subway system …

Trillions in Disaster Relief for Corporations and Banks, Spare Change for the People, Hospitals, Small Businesses, State and Local Governments

Business as Usual

Our doctors and nurses are being thoroughly mobilized and worked to limit… Many cases receive no attention at all.

— Acting Governor Calvin Coolidge, Massachusetts, 9/25/1918

Some things never change. When it come to the unhappy conjunction between corporate capitalism, greed and pandemic — be it 1918 or 2020 the U.S. response to a health emergency is underwhelming. On March 26, 2020 with over 3.3 million Americans out of work and applying for unemployment, wondering how they are going to pay their rent, the mortgage, their credit cards bills and student …

War Profiteering in the Time of Corona

On 11 March, executives from the war corporation CACI, which sells goods and services to CIA, NSA, and the U.S. Armed Forces, rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. That ceremony embodies the war industry’s business as usual approach to the coronavirus. Industry executives are doing their best to keep the gears of war churning, however, as portions of the overall military-industrial-congressional triangle stumble, the working class must seize the moment to obtain peace in our day.

The war industry received 367 distinct deals (contracts …

Pandemonium: The Disease of Celebrity

This year was already off to a fast start, beginning with Ricky Gervais’ scathing social commentary at the Golden Globes, preceded by Greta Thunberg’s UN address and the mysterious death of Jeffrey Epstein not to mention the run up to the 2020 election. But all that seems to have been sidelined by the global pandemic/lockdown which itself has been eclipsed by a global economic recession if not depression, if not collapse, and all this only months before the big election push.

Coincidence? Perhaps, but who has the energy to look at it in such a detached way …

How the Joint List Got it All Wrong for ever Believing Benny Gantz

"Foolish and naive"

Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White party, abandoned the central plank of his platform at the weekend – that he would never sit in a coalition with Benjamin Netanyahu, who has led Israel continuously for the past 11 years.

A former military general, Gantz justified his dramatic change of course under cover of claims that Israel needed an “emergency” unity government to deal with the coronavirus epidemic.

Israel’s government has been paralysed by three elections in which neither Netanyahu’s bloc of ultra-nationalist and religious parties, nor Gantz’s anti-Netanyahu bloc of secular, largely right-wing parties, could muster a parliamentary majority.

Gantz argued …

Tunisia Leads the Way: New Report Exposes Israel’s False Democracy

Tunisia is the Middle East’s greatest success story, according to the findings of the V-Dem Annual Democracy Report 2019.

One of the world’s most regarded annual reports on democracy and good governance, the V-Dem Report is produced by the V-Dem (Varieties of Democracy) Institute at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

While Tunisians can be proud of the prospect of democracy in their country, Israelis have little to be proud of. A country that has long prided itself, however misleadingly, on being ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’, has lost the title to Tunisia, a small North-African Arab nation …

Coronademic: Venezuela’s drives obstructed

The entire human world is fighting to defeat a demon today. It’s coronademic – coronavirus pandemic. The fight demands a globally concerted, unified effort. Venezuela should not be left lurching in the pandemic-wilderness even if one of its original sins is resisting imperialism. But, the Bolivarian Republic is being obstructed in its fight against the pandemic. Imperialism is carrying on the “noble” job.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed its fear: the United States is going to be one of the epicenters of the pandemic.

The rich country is in a mess with fear of running out of medical equipment required …

Apocalypse, Now and Forever

Review of Notes from an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back

Notes from an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back is a thoughtful, engaging book that ends in failure. But Mark O’Connell shouldn’t take that assessment too personally. His book fails in the way that his culture—the modern, cosmopolitan, left/liberal, individualist culture—routinely fails in the face of multiple, cascading ecological crises.

That said, I’m still a bit pissed off at O’Connell for getting my hopes up. In the first seven chapters, his reporting and reflections on how people understand and …

These Songs Kill Fascists

These Songs Kill Fascists, my latest album,  is an ode to Woody Guthrie, a call to fight fascism outside and internally.  Featuring Mick Jenkins, Psalm One, Denver jazz legend Ron Miles, and platinum producer DJ Pain 1, the album tackles issues such as the murder of Heather Heyer, Denver’s history with the KKK, gentrification, rape culture, migration, abolishing ICE, the alienation of technology, and my friendship with the late Lonnie Pops Lynn. All  proceeds from the single “Seeds” will be donated to Jeanette Vizguerra’s movement Sanctuary For All.  Ms. Vizguerra is an undocumented mother currently in sanctuary in Denver.

COVID-19: The Capitalist Emperor has no Clothes

As the capitalist emperor strolls down the avenue of U.S. public opinion butt-naked but for the first time since the 1930s, more and more people are starting to realize that they were not crazy. The brutal failures of the capitalist system that they saw were not a figment of their imagination or a diversion from their own personal failures. Instead, they were the awful reality of degradation, dehumanization and social insecurity embedded in the system. Many could see that reality but wouldn’t allow themselves to believe their own eyes and experiences. They couldn’t call it out like the kid in …

“Chinese Virus” Rhetoric Shows Ineptness of U.S. Politicians

The Western mass media is extremely busy frightening its own citizens and the entire world with statements like:

A leaked government document has suggested up to 500,000 people could die from coronavirus if the disease is able to infect up to 80 per cent of the country.

That’s what The Independent wrote on 26 February 2020. And that horrifying number of the fatalities ‘could occur’ according to the ‘documents’ in the United Kingdom.

It all feels bizarre. As if the Western regime were preparing its citizens and the world ‘for the most awful scenario.’

As if there were no solution to this dire global …

Bob Dylan’s Midnight Message to JFK’s Ghost

For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak with most miraculous organ.

— Hamlet

On May 1, 1962, President John Kennedy was meeting in the Oval Office with a group of Quakers who were urging him to do more for peace and disarmament.  As he kept explaining the great political opposition he was facing within his own government, they kept urging him to do more.  He listened very closely to their words and finally said, “You believe in redemption, don’t you.”  By the next spring he had turned decisively toward the peacemaking the Quakers had urged upon him, resulting in his murder …

“Can I Keep You Safe? Your Future Is Uncertain”: Climate And The Fate Of Humanity

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the most immediate objective is to slow its spread, minimise the death toll and help people through the crisis.  But, despite government promises to support citizens who are now losing their jobs and income, the underlying establishment concern will be as it always has been: to preserve the global inequitable system of wealth and power.

Private interests, including airlines, fossil fuel industries and sinister-sounding ‘businesses crucial to national security‘, have been busy lobbying governments for taxfunder-paid bailouts. Notoriously, Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic even …

Corona is More Than a Health Disaster:  It’s a Human Calamity

The New York Times of March 20, asks rhetorically: “Is Our Fight Against Coronavirus Worse Than the Disease?”

The coronavirus, known as COVID-19, was declared a pandemic by WHO’s Director General, Dr. Tedros, on 30 January 2020, when outside of China there were only 150 WHO-registered infections. This declaration as a pandemic – nowhere justified – has devastating effects on the entire world population and the world’s socioeconomic fabric. The globe is literally on lock-down, until who knows, but the latest date put forward by President Trump is 12 April 2020. It can almost be taken for granted that the …

What is Socialist Psychology? Lev Vygotsky, Activity Theory and Socio-historical Psychology

PART ONE

Orientation

The field of psychology is a big capitalist business, whether it is helping capitalists with advertising, finding new consumers, selling self-help books to an anxious public, or helping psychiatrists or counselors make a living off of people’s misery. There are six schools of psychology:  psychoanalysis, behaviorism, humanistic psychology, cognitive psychology, physiological psychology and evolutionary psychology. While all these schools are different from each other, they all have in common stripping individuals from their social and historical identity and either ignoring it, suppressing it or are unaware of it. …

The Swedish Alternative: Coronavirus as a Grand Gamble

As draconian lockdowns, punitive regimes and surveillance become the norm of the coronavirus world, Sweden has treaded more softly in the field.  This is certainly in contrast to its Scandinavian cousins, Denmark and Norway.  The rudiments of a life uninterrupted generally remain in place. Cafes, restaurants and shops, for the most part, remain open and stocked.  As do gyms and cinemas.  Vibrant after-ski parties persist, much to the bemused horror of those across the border.

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, embracing the principle of voluntariness over coercion, has issued warnings to citizens to keep travel down to a minimum, avoiding anything …

Change Is In The Air

Quite literally.

In a single week air pollution cleared up, housing was found for the homeless, evictions were banned, the stock market ceased being the gauge of social well being, water shut-offs ended, jails were emptied, debt peonage was suspended, universal basic income was proposed by “free market” die-hards, people started caring about the elderly and front-line workers, personal competition gave way to mutual aid networks, kids abandoned digital serfdom to go outside to play, and Donald Trump outflanked Bernie Sanders to the left, calling for public equity in bailed-out corporations, in other words, public profit.

The only restrained observation one can …

Gaia’s Revenge?

There is a meme circulating online with a biblical quote that contains a message from Solomon’s god accepting the consecration of the temple as a place he will receive his sacrifice. Solomon’s god claims to have sent drought, locust and epidemics to drive his people to repentance and obedience. An obvious message for believers in the midst of a pandemic?

On the other side, amongst the enlightened, there are those who would ascribe this contagion as some sort of “Gaia’s Revenge,” with the earth extracting payment from this errant species that has so decimated this planet over the course of the …

As Israel’s Netanyahu uses Coronavirus to Consolidate Power, his Chief Rival Caves In

Benny Gantz, the former Israeli general turned party leader, agreed late last week to join his rival Benjamin Netanyahu in an “emergency government” to deal with the coronavirus epidemic.

Two weeks ago he had won a wafer-thin majority vote in the parliament that gave him first shot at trying to put together a coalition government.

Instead he has conceded to Netanyahu, who will remain prime minister for the next 18 months. Gantz is supposed to take over in late 2021, though Netanyahu has a formidable reputation for double-dealing.

Over the past year Gantz fought three hotly contested, though indecisive, general elections in which …