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There are Right Ways and Wrong Ways

But in Capitalism, Wrong is Right, and Wrong, as in Disaster Capitalism, Makes Money!

Bruce Lee said:

I don’t fear the man who has 10,000 kicks, I fear the man who has practiced 1 kick 10,000 times.

Wisdom for the Way

And there is cultural and retail and consumer insanity doing the same thing over and over and over expecting different results, as in doing the same wrong thing over and over, or, following the wrong ways over and over, and expecting different results is, well, sort of insane.

Or that system of thinking, SOPs, the working rule book for this system of extraction, destruction, …

The Sword of Bolivar Is Wielded Again by the People of Latin America

Photo courtesy of Dan Kovalik
On August 7, 2022, Gustavo Petro and his running mate, Francia Márquez, were inaugurated as the President and Vice-President of the Republic of Colombia. This was one of the most historic events in Latin America for at least a century.
For the first time since the liberation of Colombia from Spain by Simón Bolívar, Colombia now had leaders who promised to radically transform Colombia, and with it, all of Latin America. I was fortunate enough to be present at the inauguration ceremony which was just …

Scientists Petition EPA to Take Bold Steps

Scientists are working on a plan to go beyond the Inflation Reduction Act (“IRA”) recently signed by President Biden, which is supposed to tackle global warming, which, in turn, is tearing the planet apart, piece-by-piece. There’s more info on this very important petition filed by scientists to follow below, including a request for supporting signatures.

Meanwhile, even though IRA is loaded with good stuff to fight global warming, it’s not likely enough to put out the heat. After all, the Inflation Reduction Act is the third or fourth iteration of Biden’s Build Back Better $3.5T prominently mentioned in an article in …

Jerry and the Jabs

What does a jab jam sound like?

Reports of NYC’s Demise are Greatly Exaggerated

(been there, done that)

Yes, that’s a friggin’ oil slick near the Statue of Liberty (May 1973)
But a few things for starters:

There are real-life people living here and there’s nothing badass about rooting for our pain.
Not everyone in this city is a non-binary snowflake in a BLM t-shirt. We all don’t agree that rioting is a form of social justice.
NYC is a complex city that deserves a complex perspective.
Things have been worse here — WAY worse…as you’re about to see.

No one has to tell this lifetime New Yorker what …

Canadian Navy sails with US Empire into War, Environmental Disaster

Ottawa is hellbent on supporting the US empire’s drive for global domination even if it increases the odds of war and undermines the cooperation required to overcome the climate crisis. Canada’s defence minister is boasting about the navy’s continued support for Washington’s bid to stoke tensions with China 8,000 kilometers from this country’s shores.

On Monday Anita Anand tweeted, “Canada is a Pacific nation and believes in the importance of the Indo-Pacific region to global stability and prosperity. Today, we announce that HMCS Vancouver and Winnipeg will remain deployed in the Indo-Pacific until December 2022.” Canada’s defence minister linked to …

Those Angry at Rushdie’s Stabbing have been Missing in Action Over a Far Bigger Threat to our Freedom

The Satanic Verses novelist is championed by western liberals not because he has bravely articulated difficult truths but because of who his enemies are

Nothing I am about to write should be read as diminishing in any way my sympathy for Salman Rushdie, or my outrage at the appalling attack on him. Those who more than 30 years ago put a fatwa on his head after he wrote the novel The Satanic Verses made this assault possible. They deserve contempt. I wish him a speedy recovery.

But my natural compassion for a victim of violence and my regularly expressed support for free speech should not at the same time blind me or you to the cant …

Why Was Former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Estate Raided?

In a Press Conference on Wednesday 10 August, former President Donald Trump said that on Monday, two days earlier, more than 30 FBI agents raided his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida. The FBI refused to allow Mr. Trump’s attorney or any other witnesses to be present during the razzia which lasted over 9 hours. Mr. Trump was suggesting they might have used the opportunity to plant evidence against him.

And why not?

It is clear that the Trump residence Mar-a-Lago raid was not about a bunch of documents that he may have taken with him from the White House. It was …

When People Want Housing in India, They Build It

Communist Party of India (Marxist) protest in Khila Warangal, 10 May 2022.

It all started with a survey. In April 2022, members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPI(M), went door to door in the town of Warangal in Telangana state. The party was already aware of challenges in the community but wanted to collect data before working on a plan of action. Thirty-five teams of three to four CPI(M) members and supporters went to 45,000 homes and learned how people were suffering from a range …

Klaus Schwab Really Bugs Me

The Maybe Mob and the Rushdie Attack

He has survived death threats and attempts on his life since February 1989.  But Salman Rushdie’s luck just about ran out at the Chautauqua Institution, southwest of Buffalo in New York State.  On August 12, at a venue historically celebrated for bringing education to all, the writer was stabbed incessantly by a fanatic who felt little sense of guilt or remorse.  Hadi Matar only had eyes for Rushdie’s neck and abdomen.  As a result of the attack, the author is likely to lose sight of one eye and possibly the use of an arm.

It was a chilling reminder that …

Blood and Iron: Volkswagen and Modern Slavery in Brazil

On June 14th, prosecutor Rafael Garcia Rodrigues in Brasilia pressed charges against the German car-manufacturing giant Volkswagen for owning a farm filled with slave labor back in the seventies and eighties.

Law professor and cleric, Father Ricardo Rezende, told Le Monde he spent four decades gathering information on Volkswagen’s complicity in the Brazilian slave trade. The farm named Companhia do Vale do Rio Cristalino allegedly held indebted itinerant workers against their will, without pay, and did not provide adequate accommodation or sanitary facilities. Mr. Garcia Rodrigues is certain Volkswagen “was perfectly aware of the criminal practices underway”.

These embarrassing accusations emerge less …

Israel’s Premature “Victory” Celebration

The defining War in Gaza Is Yet to Be Fought   

For years, Palestinians, as well as Israelis, have labored to redraw the battle lines. The three-day Israeli war on Gaza, starting on August 5, clearly manifested this reality.

Throughout its military operation, Israel has repeatedly underscored the point that the war was targeting the Islamic Jihad Movement only, not Hamas or anyone else.

A somewhat similar scenario had transpired in May 2019 and again in November of the same year. The May clashes began when two Israeli soldiers were wounded by a Palestinian sniper at the fence separating besieged Gaza from Israel.

Mass weekly protests had taken place near the fence …

Monitoring Prisoners

Prisoners by choice. Sometimes people don’t have a choice in relinquishing their right to privacy, and sometimes they do have a choice and relinquish the right to privacy anyway.

The 1930s and Popular Radicalism in the United States

In the United States there exists today, and has existed since at least the 1950s, a dominant political narrative according to which most Americans, indeed the very history of the country, exemplify a kind of ideological “moderateness.” Democratic Party operatives and sympathizers constantly preach the virtues of occupying the political “center,” where most of the population supposedly resides. If the party caves in to its “extremist” left wing, it faces electoral annihilation. This narrative echoes, in a vulgar and opportunistic way, the postwar “liberal consensus” school of thought among social scientists and more generally the political culture, that the …

Defying the Laws of Physics

Newton’s Third Law: Forces always occur in pairs and act on different bodies.

Eco-Socialism, Democratic Communism: Common Sense

Are present ecological stresses so strong that if not relieved they will sufficiently degrade the ecosystem to make the earth uninhabitable by humans? Obviously no serious discussion of the environmental crisis can get very far without confronting this question.

— Barry Commoner in The Closing Circle, 1971

More than fifty years after Commoner wrote those words, the environmental problem is almost infinitely worse and what is presently called climate change once thought to affect future generations is engulfing the entire planet right now. While warnings from a scientific community not on corporate payrolls grow more desperate the global political power of capitalism, …

The World Economic Forum is Getting Nervous

Online exposure/analysis works

(You can read this post below or listen above — or both!)

On August 10, I read an article on the World Economic Forum (WEF) website. It’s called “The solution to online abuse? AI plus human intelligence” and it appears without a byline.

The article begins like this:

“With 63% of the world’s population online, the internet is a mirror of society: it speaks all languages, contains every opinion, and hosts a wide range of (sometimes unsavory) individuals.”

“Hosts a wide range of (sometimes unsavory) individuals”?

Please allow me to introduce a …

The Failings of Westminster: Scott Morrison’s Shadow Government

Why the sharp intake of breath, the tingling shock?  In one of the world’s most secretive liberal democracies, the revelation that the previous Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison ran a shadow government overseen by personal quasi-despotic whim spanning several ministerial positions has caused chill and consternation.  That’s not the way we do things – except when we do.

Such consternation, in a country that tolerates secret trials only revealed by accident, raids upon journalists and the headquarters of the national broadcaster, full-throated prosecutions of whistleblowers, the torture-tinged indefinite detention of refugees, and brazen immunities for intelligence officers engaged in …

Heads up: A Major Threat to Medicare!

Medicare has been a highly successful, popular and treasured government program that provides health care for seniors, for those with disabilities and for those with end-stage renal disease. The Traditional Medicare (TM) approach spends 98% of its funds on health care and only 2% on administration. A key part of TM is that beneficiaries don’t have to jump through all the hoops that the private health insurance industry often requires of its enrollees who are trying to obtain care.

Private health care insurance has already made inroads into the Medicare program through the Medicare Advantage (MA) approach. MA is primarily implemented …

Terrorism According to Mae

Complacent Beverly Hills housewife Mae Brussell had quite an awakening in 1963 when President Kennedy was assassinated, and again when she read and cross-indexed the massive 26-volume Warren Commission Hearings…. Mae’s friend Henry Miller of Big Sur, California told her that people can do anything they want if they apply themselves; live anywhere, learn anything…. With that advice Mae moved herself and the kids to Carmel, California and began the selfless, nonstop journey of political and history research that would soon rock the radio airwaves of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties from 1971 through 1988.

Stumbling Surveillance: The end of the COVIDSafe App

It took a few years of tolerable incompetence, caused fears about security, and was meant to be the great surveillance salvation to reassure us all.  Instead, Australia’s COVIDSafe App only identified two positive cases of infection during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and failed, in every sense of the term, to work.

Launched in April 2020, this AU$21 million platform was heralded as a great tool for pandemic surveillance.  It was one of many such digital responses used by countries to combat viral transmission.  China adopted the Alipay Health Code app, which shares location data with police authorities.  Users receive various codes …

Giving up Your Right to Privacy

Europe Dries Up

Scenes and pictures have been circulating of broken earth, lacking moisture, cracked and yearning.  But these are not from traditional drought-stricken parts of the planet, where the animal carcass assumes near totemic power amidst dry riverbeds or desert expanses.  Neither Australia nor Africa feature on these occasions – at least in a prominent way.  Europe, continent of historical arable sustainability, is drying up.

This is not to say that the continent is immune to drought.  The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River notes the impacts of a number of dry and severe summers from the 1990s till …

Poor Quality Charter School Applications Are Common

One of the main reasons many charter school applications are rejected repeatedly by public school boards across the country is because they are poorly-written and low quality in many ways.

Such applications are often full of spelling mistakes, overly-ambitious claims, vague details, incomplete responses, many blank boxes, incorrect information, and more. The application is supposed to be a serious, rigorous, and thorough business and education plan to educate hundreds of youth for years in a stable, safe, and clean environment with highly qualified professionals and excellent programs.

What makes all this bizarre is that charter school promoters and operators are either rich …

A Distant Mirror: Official Torture in the Roman Empire

Much is to be learned from the political correspondence of such Roman luminaries as Julius Caesar, Cicero, Seneca, among many others.  Here I am restricting myself to a Gestapo-like bureaucrat, Pliny the Younger (61-113 C.E.), imperial governor of Bithynia province (now part of Turkey) under the divinely mandated autocracy of the Emperor Trajan (53-117 C.E.).

In his numerous letters seeking orders from the emperor, Pliny repeatedly pledges his obeisant loyalty.  But his tone, which seems curiously modern to me, is that of a pragmatic administrator merely seeking clarification of official policy regarding treatment of a small but possibly disloyal, subversive cult.  …

Global Leader in Scientific Papers

News on China No. 111

This week’s News on China in 2 minutes.

• Reducing import tariffs for 16 poorest countries
• Global leader in scientific papers
• China surpasses US in Fortune Global 500
• China’s temperatures are rising faster than the global average

Escalating the Sustainability Agenda

With God on Our Side?

On Sunday, August 7th — the day that Jews around the world celebrated Tisha bAv, the traditional day of mourning for the disasters that have occurred throughout Jewish history—the state of Israel brutally slaughtered at least 44 people, including 15 children in the besieged Gaza Strip. Beyond the horrible irony of this massacre, it is difficult for me not to see it as part of a much larger global Holy War.

Not in the sense of the Crusades of history or American and European fears of Islamic Jihad. We don’t have a name yet for this Holy War but its …

Joe Lombardo Interview 

An Objective Look at U.S. Foreign Policy

Events continue to unfold at a quickening pace. Facing an alarming escalation in tensions around the world, we asked Joe Lombardo for his most current thoughts.

Joe Lombardo is the co-coordinator of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) and has been an organizer in the anti-war movement and a labor activist for decades. He is a cofounder and lead organizer for Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, a local anti-war group based near Albany, New York, a member of the Troy Area Labor Council, and former staff person of the Vietnam era National Peace …