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How Rational Can the US Be in Dealing with Yemen and Iran?

We’re also stepping up our diplomacy to end the war in Yemen — a war which has created a humanitarian and strategic catastrophe. I’ve asked my Middle East team to ensure our support for the United Nations-led initiative to impose a ceasefire, open humanitarian channels, and restore long-dormant peace talks….

And to underscore our commitment, we are ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales.

President Biden, foreign policy speech, February 4, 2021

This announcement does not augur peace in Yemen any …

Over 800 Organizations and Individuals in the United States Demand the Biden Administration End Its Support for the Brutal Moïse Regime in Haiti

Above photo: By Professor Danny Shaw who is currently in Haiti
United States – Today, February 24, 72 organizations and 700 individuals published an open letter calling for the Biden administration to end its illegal and destructive intervention in Haiti. While Joe Biden and the Democrats condemned the Trump forces for not respecting the results of the U.S. election, they are supporting Jovenel Moïse’s refusal to leave office after his term as president ended on February 7, 2021. Moïse has unleashed violent gangs, the …

Switzerland Sliding into Dictatorship

The first human right is the right to life.
— Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and State Counselor of the People’s Republic of China

A secret paper from the Swiss Federal Council (Swiss Executive) was leaked to the Swiss Newspaper Der Blick divulging that the Federal Council is considering granting owners of restaurants, theatres, cinemas, and more, as well as private event organizers, the right to allow access to those people only, who have had their corona virus shots.

In addition to the Blick, Swiss Radio and Television (SRG) repeated this news item in the morning of 23 February. SRG, …

The Doll House the CIA Built

Review of Seeking Truth in a Country of Lies by Edward Curtin

American news these past few decades has been an almost constant non-stop spectacle of shock and awe. Breaking news is emotionally gripping, often disorienting, a 24/7 drama without rest. Key talking points are relentlessly asserted. And with each passing year news commentators grow ever more certain of their talking points, with no sense that dissenting points of view have any merit, or in some cases even exist. Side-by-side, there are comforting assurances, appeals for unity, hope and renewal. In the midst of the spin, like me, you may hunger for …

The Capital Riot: Tourists, Terrorists, or Iranians-in-Disguise, Perhaps?

What happened most recently in the broad daylight of modern times in the case of the French Revolution…[was] that the text finally disappeared under the interpretation.

— Friedrich Nietzsche, from Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 38, 1886, the Walter Kaufmann translation

The January 6 events at the U.S. Capitol are open to a variety of interpretations, but you wouldn’t know that from the Corporate Mainstream Media, which quickly made up its narrative mind and labeled the incident an “insurrection”– or an act of “domestic terrorism,” even.  My goodness, but all of this hoopla at the Capitol caused CNN to call in the …

Biden Swiftly Disappoints Educators and Students

Months before he became president, many pointed out that harmful neoliberal policies would continue unabated in K-12 education under a Joe Biden administration. Indeed, there is a long record of both democrats and republicans supporting harmful education policies like high-stakes standardized testing, charter schools, performance-based pay schemes, NCLB, ESSA, and more.

But U.S. presidential elections always have a way of successfully enforcing amnesia and intensifying false hope in the context of a discredited political set-up that has long failed to affirm the interests of people. To be fair though, there has emerged in recent years a level of social consciousness that …

The Ethics of Healthcare Marketing

Spend an evening watching television on any network in pretty much any town in America and you’d probably think that Big Pharma had already created a pill for anything that might ail ya. And, of course, in some ways, that’s not entirely wrong.

Today we have a world of therapies to extend our lives and help make those lives worth living, even in the face of historically lethal conditions, from diabetes to HIV/AIDS.

But that doesn’t change the fact that medicine is still a business. And, like most any business, healthcare …

Refriended in Defeat: Australia Strikes a Deal with Facebook

The Australian Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, was unconvincing in his efforts to summon up courage.  The Australian government had been left reeling in the wake of Facebook’s decision to scrap and block Australians from sharing and posting news items on hosted pages. The company’s target of opprobrium: the News Media Bargaining Code.

The Code’s ostensible purpose is to address the inequalities in the news market place by pushing digital giants and news outlets into reaching commercial deals.  Failing to do so will lead to final offer arbitration between the parties, where the independent arbitrator selects one of the deals on …

What Planet Is NATO Living On?

NATO headquarters in Brussels (Photo: NATO)
The February meeting of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Defense Ministers, the first since President Biden took power, revealed an antiquated, 75-year-old alliance that, despite its military failures in Afghanistan and Libya, is now turning its military madness toward two more formidable, nuclear-armed enemies: Russia and China.

This theme was emphasized by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in a Washington Post op-ed in advance of the NATO meeting, insisting that “aggressive and coercive behaviors from emboldened strategic competitors …

20 Years Of Media Lens: A Selection Of Remarkable Replies From Journalists

The Insiders

In a 2002 interview with the Observer, the BBC’s John Cody Fidler-Simpson CBE of Kabul, to give him his full name and title, was asked to define the ‘essential qualities’ of a journalist. Simpson responded with typical left-field quirkiness:

There’s something slightly wrong with most of us, don’t you feel? We’re damaged goods, usually with slightly rumpled private lives and unconventional backgrounds.

This certainly rings true. In our experience, the average male journalist is pretty much as Bogart described Captain …

A People’s History of Struggle: Liberty or Lockdown

UK health minister Matt Hancock has warned the government’s timeline for unlocking coronavirus restrictions could be slowed as ministers remain “vigilant” against infection rates. What began in March 2020 as a three-week lockdown to ‘save the NHS’ has turned into a year-long clampdown on fundamental liberties with the spectre of freedom through vaccination (‘COVID status certificates’) and the eventual roll out of all-encompassing digital IDs on the horizon.

In the meantime, children’s education, small independent businesses, livelihoods and lives have been wrecked all in the name of a coronavirus whose impact has been overstated – certainly if we take time to …

American Exceptionalism: Private Wealth and Public Squalor

A December 2017 statement from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights notes that, while the US manages to spend “more [money] on national defence than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, United Kingdom, India, France, and Japan combined”, US infant mortality rates were, as of 2013, “the highest in the developed world”.

The Special Rapporteur provides a barrage of other details from his own visit to the US, during which he was able to observe the country’s “bid to become the most unequal society in the world” – with some 40 million people living in poverty –

The Vaccine (Dis)Information War

So, good news, folks! It appears that GloboCap’s Genetic Modification Division has come up with a miracle vaccine for Covid! It’s an absolutely safe, non-experimental, messenger-RNA vaccine that teaches your cells to produce a protein that triggers an immune response, just like your body’s immune-system response, only better, because it’s made by corporations!

OK, technically, it hasn’t been approved for use — that process normally takes several years — so I guess it’s slightly “experimental,” but the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency have issued “Emergency …

Picnic Video Exposes Both Faces of Israeli Apartheid

Israel upholds a system of Jewish supremacy over the land, and it doesn’t matter whether those challenging its apartheid rule are Palestinian subjects without rights or ‘Arab’ citizens supposedly with full rights

A short video taken by a family as they picnicked in the West Bank this month may be the best field guide yet to Israel’s complex apartheid system of state-sponsored Jewish supremacy.

In the clip posted to Facebook, armed Jewish settlers arrive unexpectedly to break up the picnic of a Palestinian family – including grandparents and two babies – at a scenic public space on a hillside north of Ramallah.

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In the occupied West Bank, the settlers are the lords of the land and used to getting their …

Morons, Vaccines and Tennis: Booing at the Australian Open

It was a fittingly poor conclusion to a tournament that risked being cancelled, run to ground, or even rendered stillborn.  The tennis world number one, Novak Djokovic, had captured his eighteenth grand slam against would be usurper Daniil Medvedev, whose winning streak of twenty matches was conclusively blotted.  The victory was achieved before a crowd filled with vocal Serbian supporters, flags fluttering, a number sporting the šubara, a rather odd thing to wear given the warm temperature (symbolism will resist climate) and the šajkača cap with insignia associated with the Chetnik irregulars who fought in the Second World War under …

The Failure of Trump’s “Coup”: A Victory for the US Empire

but the Left gets on their bandwagon

The Democrats’ second trial of Trump ends like the first: the outcome known in advance, the entire process designed to sell to the anti-Trump masses that the Democrats were leading some progressive counter-attack. Both impeachments enabled these politicians to present a national diversion to avoid addressing real issues the US people suffer from: the pandemic, lack of vaccines, no national health care program, increasing homelessness, closed schools.

The Democrats’ first impeachment over Trump’s phone call to Ukraine aimed to sully his name for the benefit of the 2020 Democratic presidential campaign.  They purposely did not address Trump’s actual crimes: his cruelty …

Does the West Repeating Claims of China Committing Genocide in Xinjiang Reify It?

The Jewish Virtual Library quotes Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels as having said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

Yet that could be called a lie, or more kindly put, a misattribution. Wikiquotes provides the accurate quotation, albeit not as a Nazi stratagem: “The English follow the principle that when one lies, it should be a big lie, and one should stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.” It is sourced …

Haitian Official stashes Wealth in Montréal

Recent media reports of a Haitian official stashing wealth in Montréal property ignore a key element of the story: Canada’s contribution to enabling Haitian corruption.

As a neo-Duvalierist regime becomes ever more dictatorial it’s also worth revisiting Canada’s history in facilitating fraud and money laundering in the hemisphere’s most impoverished nation.

Recently La Presse reported that the wife of a governing party senator, who works at the Haitian consulate in Montréal, purchased a mansion in Laval. The story reported, “as the political crisis bogs down in Haiti, the wife of …

The Global Cry for Change

Change is in the air, it’s been hovering for some time, but thanks to Covid-19 festering social issues and inequalities have been highlighted, intensifying the need for a new approach. Talk of environmental action and reimagining how we live and work fills the airwaves; catchphrases abound, spilling from the lips of duplicitous politicians who claim they want to ‘build back better’, create a ‘new normal’, and invest in a ‘green recovery’.

Repeated often enough, and the men and women in suits are nothing if not repetitive, such slogans become totally devoid of meaning. The word becomes the thing to which it …

What is a “Strong” Charter School Law?

Every year the billionaire-funded National Alliance for Charter Schools (NAPCS) produces a glossy report ranking state charter school laws. This year’s 72-page report is titled: Measuring up to the model, a ranking of state public charter school laws, twelfth annual edition.

The main goal of the report is to rank state charter school laws in terms of how “strong” or “weak” they are. This is supposed to signal to privatizers and neoliberals which states are most conducive to privatizing public schools and which are the least conducive to privatizing public schools.

When the report refers to a state’s charter …

Global Solidarity Is Needed During The Pandemic To End Medical Apartheid

Some of the truths the COVID-19 pandemic is exposing about the United States are its racial disparities in health and access to health care. Black and Indigenous people are more likely to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 than white people. They are two to three times more likely to be hospitalized and two to two and a half times more likely to die than white people. There are a number of factors that contribute to this.

Another related truth that is being exposed by the pandemic …

Why Politicians and Doctors Keep Ignoring the Medical Research on Vitamin D and Covid

It is probably not a good idea to write while in the grip of anger. But I am struggling to suppress my emotions about a wasted year, during which politicians and many doctors have ignored a growing body of evidence suggesting that Vitamin D can play a critically important role in the prevention and treatment of Covid-19.

It is time to speak out forcefully now that a new, large-scale Spanish study demonstrates not a just a correlation but a causal relationship between high-dose Vitamin D treatment of hospitalised Covid patients and significantly improved outcomes for their health.

The pre-print

Murdoch’s Australia Censors Google, Facebook, Science and Freedom of Speech

The mendacious Australian Mainstream media, Coalition Government and Labor Opposition demand via a news media Bargaining Code that Google and Facebook pay Murdoch and Nine media huge sums for quoting Links to their “information” for free.

Google seems to have surrendered to this Australian blackmail and negotiated a private deal to avoid damaging its core Internet operation of quoting Links to information for free.

Facebook has finally responded to this Australian blackmail by saying that it will not pay, and as a law-abiding organization will accordingly not quote Links to Australian …

Is there a remedy for the PCR disease? (Part 1)

(Legal remedies for fraud and crimes against humanity)

Bremen is a small city-state in the Federal Republic of Germany. It is one of two cities from the medieval Hanseatic League that have retained their political identity and autonomy over several centuries. The other is Hamburg. Such historical autonomy has also produced idiosyncratic personalities and unconventional or non-conformist policies.

For instance, Bremen’s constitution was strongly influenced by merchant Calvinism. So the city is noted for its lack of ostentation. The head of the church in Bremen is the mayor in his capacity as senator for religious affairs. To distinguish themselves from the surrounding aristocratic principalities and the kingdom of Prussia …

Facebook Unfriends Australia: The Triumph of Epistemic Chaos

Creepy and ruthless Facebook has again impressed with its steely indifference to civic responsibility, as if a company established by a sociopath could ever be a model of human improvement. On February 18, Mark Zuckerberg’s antisocial company took aim at Australia by blocking those in that country from sharing local and international content.  As the company notice to those trying to share material went: “In response to Australian government legislation, Facebook generally restricts the posting of news links and all post from news Pages in Australia. Globally, the posting and sharing of news links from Australian publications is restricted.”

As with …

How Democratic is China?

Like America, China is a republic and, like America, says it is democratic, but how democratic is China? A glance at history is always a good starting point

The People are supreme, the state is secondary and the Ruler is the least important: only those who please the people can rule. Mencius

In Roman politics, citizens lost control of politicians after they elected them. It’s one of the system’s greatest weaknesses and it is no wonder that, like our Roman …

Urgent Solidarity with Haiti is Needed

A long-brewing crisis in Haiti, created through intervention by the United States, United Nations and allied western imperialist countries, has now come to a head. The Biden administration is openly backing a violent, corrupt and fraudulent leader, Jovenel Moïse, and maintaining the policies of previous presidents, including Donald Trump, in Haiti.

Activists in Haiti have reached out to the Haitian diaspora in the United States and to organizations that support respect for self-determination and human rights for their solidarity. Listen to my interview about the situation there with Haitian …

Partners: China and Cuba

Miguel Díaz-Canel and Xi JinpingIn the 1960s, the main forms of the Chinese assistance offered to Cuba were preferential trade and interest-free loans. From 1961 to 1965, China gave Cuba an interest-free loan of 60 million U.S. dollars. The two sides signed the China-Cuba Economic Cooperation Agreement, Trade and Payment Agreement, and Technology Cooperation Protocol. According to the agreement, the interest-free loan provided by China was used for Cuba to purchase complete sets of Chinese technical equipment. China purchased 1 million tons of raw sugar from …

Madagascar: A Nation of Hunger

Madagascar is in great pain. Theodore Mbainaissem, the head of the World Food Programme (WFP) sub-office in Ambovombe, southern Madagascar, says: “Seeing the physical condition of people extremely affected by hunger who can no longer stand…children who are completely emaciated, the elderly who are skin and bone…these images are unbearable… People are eating white clay with tamarind juice, cactus leaves, wild roots just to calm their hunger.”

One third of people in southern Madagascar will struggle to feed themselves over the next few months. Until the next harvest in …

Post-Pandemic American Society Must Not Return to its Industrial Capitalist Roots

Our mace shaped COVID-19 enemy and its mutations merrily popping up around the United States, ironically has opened up new possibilities for inching beyond the grimy confines of industrial capitalism to new modes of work, learning and being that were initially promised by technocrats at the dawn of the Internet/World Wide Web. Indeed, the Pandemic of 2020-21 (Pandemic) revealed that remote education and work was feasible easing; for example, the pollution that filled the air with the exhaust from automobiles, buses, aircraft and idle factories.

Further, telemedicine was catapulted from mere novelty to reality as the medical community realized that simple …