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Murder of Daunte Wright Ruined Derek Chauvin Show Trial

The fix was in. The U.S. state was determined to demonstrate to the world that its system was able to render “justice” to its captive African/Black population.

So, unlike in the handful of cases where charges were brought against police officers for killing a Black or Brown person, the prosecutors this time did not pretend to follow the demands of the ill-informed public to bring charges of first degree or second-degree murder that would set a bar for conviction so high, it could not be met. That is a favorite strategy of prosecutors when conviction is not what they are looking …

Public Funds For Charter Schools Is Socially Irresponsible

Public money comes from the new value workers produce. It does not come from somewhere else. This value is presently controlled not by those who produce it but by the financial oligarchy and its state. When socially-produced wealth is not controlled by those who actually produce it, endless problems arise. There is no way for the economy to benefit all individuals and serve the general interests of society when it is dominated by a handful of billionaires.

Socially-produced wealth belongs to the public and must be used for social programs …

Cultural Relativism as “Counter Enlightenment”

It was the intellectual historian Isaiah Berlin who coined the term “Counter-Enlightenment.”  He was referring to a widespread ideological-reactionary movement in the early 19th century — against the universalizing human rights doctrines which had originated in the 18th century Enlightenment and the French Revolution.  Berlin viewed this as primarily a German reaction, powerfully mobilized by the resistance to Napoleon’s wars of “liberation.”  Most prominently, pre-anthropological theorist Gottfried Herder had strongly insisted, not only on the multiplicity of viable cultural traditions, but also on a value-free “cultural relativism” (thereby condoning, by implication, feudalism, indentured servitude, female subjugation, and so forth).

Nonetheless, the …

The End of the Rules-based International Order Rapidly Approaching

One of the most tiresome phrases uttered by officials of the United States and its loyal acolytes such as Australia is its claim that its foreign policy and adheres to what it repeatedly refers to is the “rules based international order.”  What the Americans (and the secretary of state Anthony Blinken uses the phrase repeatedly) really mean is a system of rules dictated by successive US governments and repeated ad nauseam as though the phrase carried magical properties intended to quell any criticism of their actions.

Blinken use the phrase recently when he tweeted about the NATO meeting in Brussels that …

Denis Halliday: A Voice of Reason in an Insane World

Photo credit: indybay.org
Denis Halliday is an exceptional figure in the world of diplomacy. In 1998, after a 34-year career with the United Nations—including as an Assistant Secretary-General and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq—he resigned when the UN Security Council refused to lift sanctions against Iraq.

Halliday saw at first hand the devastating impact of this policy that had led to the deaths of over 500,000 children under the …

Israel Rejects ICC Investigation: What Are the Possible Future Scenarios?

The Israeli government’s position regarding an impending investigation by the International Criminal Court of alleged war crimes committed in occupied Palestine has been finally declared by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“It will be made clear that Israel is a country with rule of law that knows how to investigate itself,” Netanyahu said in a statement on April 8. Subsequently, Israel “completely rejects” any accusations that it has committed war crimes.

But it won’t be so easy for Tel Aviv this time around. True, Israel is not a party to …

Hope

There is hope that we may come to grips with this covid-chaos – worldwide deliberate systematic destruction of social systems and economies, country by country. The rendering of hundreds of millions of unemployed people, extreme poverty, abject famine and death – millions and millions of people died from this invisible enemy, the corona hoax in the past 15 months, mind you not from corona or covid-19, or SARS-CoV-2, but from the covid fraud’s collateral damage.

There is hope that we may regain our senses, our freedom, maybe even our sovereignty as humans and sovereignty as nations – as independent individual nations. …

Canada’s NDP Votes for Palestine

On Saturday New Democratic Party members delivered a victory for Palestinian rights and a blow to the Israel lobby in Canada.

Over 80% of convention delegates voted for a resolution calling for “Ending all trade and economic cooperation with illegal settlements in Israel-Palestine” and “Suspending the bilateral trade of all arms and related materials with the State of Israel until Palestinian rights are upheld.”

A few hours after the vote CBC News Network’s ticker said NDP members “voted to sanction Israel over settlements” and a subsequent clip on their site was …

Reflecting on Twenty Years of Media Lens

We can hardly count ourselves lucky in the west and particularly Britain, given the level of media corruption and collusion with sites of power.  As Pulitzer Prize Winning journalist Glenn Greenwald put it…

The worst media in the democratic world is the British media, and it’s not even close.  I know it’s hard for people in other countries who hate their own media to believe, but whatever you hate about your country’s media, the UK media has in abundance and worse.

To all extents and purposes in the UK we have lost our mainstream democratic sphere.  But over the last 20 years …

The Mad Warhorse of Neoliberalism is Galloping Towards Perdition

We are the United States of Amnesia, we learn nothing because we remember nothing.
— Gore Vidal, Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia, 2004

As Americans drown in debt and atomization, the liberal class applauds the arrival of a post-nation-state neo-feudal order which is devoid of checks and balances, integration, national cohesion, or collective memory, rendering any working class resistance to fascism a Herculean task. This has been made possible because of the demise of traditional American liberalism, rooted in the values of the civil rights movement and the New Deal, and its usurpation by the cult of neoliberalism …

Nimble Failure: The Australian COVID-19 Vaccination Program

“I am not going to be talking about numbers today,” Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly told Australia’s Radio National on April 12.  This echoed suggestions from the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, who had adopted the position that Australia best forget meeting any clear vaccination targets.  Having left battling the pandemic to State governments, the Federal government has found itself unable to execute its program, if one dare call it that.

Part of the monumental failings of the government can be put down to its stubbornness in prioritising the use of one vaccine.  AstraZeneca was meant to be the …

The Secret Wars of Africa’s Sahel: What Is Behind Mali’s Ongoing Strife

In a recent report, the United Nations Mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA, concluded that, on January 3, French warplanes had struck a crowd attending a wedding in the remote village of Bounti, killing 22 of the guests.

According to the findings, based on a thorough investigation and interviews with hundreds of eyewitnesses, 19 of the guests were unarmed civilians whose killing constitutes a war crime.

Unlike the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the wars in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and other countries, the French war in Mali receives …

Ramsey Clark: A Life Well Lived for the People of the World

Samarra Iraq 1996, Ramsey Clark visiting pharmaceutical plant. Photo: Bill Hackwell

Yesterday (April 10) Ramsey Clark died at the age of 93 in New York, and today justice and peace loving people and movements in the US and around the world are in mourning for a man who stood up and fought tirelessly in support of justice, equality and against his country’s drive for endless wars.

Ramsey Clark, the son of a Supreme Court Justice, was a lawyer who began an 8 year career in the US Justice …

Jacques Ellul: Controversies in the Rise of Propaganda

Orientation

Controversies within propaganda theory

When I was preparing for a course I had created, “Brainwashing, Propaganda and Rhetoric: Dark Psychology in the 20th Century” I came across the name Jacques Ellul over and over again. Many of the quotes from his book Propaganda amazed me, considering the book was written almost 60 years ago. Still, when I decided to read the book, I had some reservations, thinking it would be dated in many places. In this article I hope to show that not only is it not dated, but …

A Knee on the Neck of Long-term Political Prisoners

The line between clearly defined political prisoners and prisoners targeted to make points for the political power structure is hidden. Criminalization is a standard tool of racial supremacists. George Floyd’s death is familiar a thousand times over because it restates the predominant ethic of law enforcement’s historical treatment of a minority population as revealed in the examples of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Fred Hampton.

But consider the less well known and large number of former Black Panther and other community activists serving intolerable prison terms which have …

The news media offers wall-to-wall propaganda every day: we only notice when a royal dies

A few lessons to be learned from the wall-to-wall coverage of Prince Philip’s death in the British media:

1. There is absolutely no commercial reason for the media to be dedicating so much time and space to the Prince’s death. ITV, which needs eyeballs on its programmes to generate income from advertising, saw a 60 per cent drop in viewing figures after it decided to broadcast endless forelock-tugging. Audiences presumably deserted to Netflix and Youtube, where the mood of mourning was not being enforced. Many viewers, particularly younger ones, have no interest in the fact that a …

Four Words Gates and His Pals Despise: Democracy and Minimum Support Price

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and an assortment of high-profile figures and policy makers are pushing for unregulated gene-editing technologies, the rollout of bio-synthetic food created in laboratories, the expanded use of patented seeds and the roll back of subsidies and support for farmers in places like India.

These neoliberal evangelists despise democracy and believe that state machinery and public money should only facilitate the ambitions of their unaccountable mega-corporations.

Corporations are jumping on the ‘sustainability’ bandwagon by undermining traditional agriculture and genuine sustainable agrifood systems and packaging this corporate takeover of food as some kind of humanitarian endeavour….

Hunting in Yemen

Iman Saleh fasting in Washington D.C. to protest the blockade and war against Yemen (Photo Credit: Detriot Free Press)
“It’s not normal for people to live like this,” says Iman Saleh, now on her twelfth day of a hunger strike demanding an end to war in Yemen.
Since March 29th, in Washington, D.C., Iman Saleh, age 26, has been on a hunger strike to demand an end to the war in Yemen. She is joined by five others from her  group, The Yemeni Liberation Movement. The hunger …

Human Rights for Children: Saving Children from Covid Measures Abuses  

Open Letter to Dr. Nils Melzer, Swiss Human Rights Chair at the Geneva Academy

Background

The Geneva Academy of international Humanitarian Law and Human Rights is a postgraduate joint center located in Geneva, Switzerland. The faculty includes professors from both founding institutions and guest professors from major universities.  The Geneva Academy is affiliated with the University of Geneva.

Dr. Nils Melzer has been the Swiss Human Rights Chair (HR Chair) at the Geneva Academy since March 2016. As HR Chair he develops and promotes the Geneva Academy expertise in HR via policy work, cutting-edge research, expert meetings, the development of partnerships and teaching. Since November 2016, Nils Melzer has also been the UN Special Rapporteur on

When Prince Philip Became a Monument

The student from Ghana was insistent. “I want to meet him.” The stubborn, well-attired fool, groomed and keen to make a good impression, was attending the Senate House ceremony in Cambridge for honorary awardees. He was not the only one. In attendance on this warm June day in 2006 were a gaggle of rascals, well-wishers and rogues. This was gawking made respectable.

The awardees were justifiably brilliant. There were the establishment birds of paradise: the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, a man who soporifically charmed; and the Bank of England governor, Mervyn King. The mad cat mathematician’s contribution was …

A Damned Murder Inc: Kennedy’s Battle Against the Leviathan

Part 3 of a 3-Part Series

The Eisenhower presidency would see Washington taken over by business executives, Wall Street lawyers, and investment bankers—and by a closely aligned warrior caste that had emerged into public prominence during World War II.
*****
As discussed in Part Two of this series, the war in Vietnam did not start on its official date, November 1st, 1955, but rather 1945 when American clandestine operations were launched in Vietnam to “prepare the ground”.

Fletcher Prouty, who served as Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Kennedy and was a former Col. in the U.S. Air Force, goes …

Arsonist US Plays with Fire

You would think riling up one nuclear power is bad enough, but the United States seems intent on doubling the risk of starting a world war by gratuitously aggressing Russia and China simultaneously.

Throwing around personal insults against the leaders of those two countries is one thing. But actually winding up military tensions is quite another which shows how reckless the Biden administration is.

Since Joe Biden became the 46th president, there has been an alarming increase in hostile rhetoric and conduct by the US toward Russia and China.

Ludicrously, the Biden administration is accusing Moscow and Beijing of aggression towards European and …

Zambia Is the Tip of the Tail of the Global Dog

From left to right: Vijay Prashad, Fred M’membe, Diego Sequera, and Erika Farías in Caracas, 2019. Photograph taken by Yeimi Salinas.

On 12 August 2021, the people of Zambia will vote to elect a new president, who will be the seventh person elected to the office since Zambia won its independence from the United Kingdom in 1964 if the incumbent loses. The incumbent, President Edgar Lungu, is facing a strong challenge from Fred M’membe, …

Limitations of JCPOA Negotiation

On April 1 — appropriate date, perhaps, for a saga of unending western foolishness and villainy — the EU announced that officials from Iran, Russia, China, the UK, France, and Germany would be meeting virtually to discuss a possible return of the USA to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Later announcements indicated that representatives of both the USA and Iran would meet with European partners in Vienna in the first week of April, although possibly from different rooms to separate US and Iranian representatives. Talks began on August 6.

A State Department spokesman welcomed the move, indicating the Biden …

Unconventional US Warfare Won’t Stop Nicaragua’s Revolution

Republican strategist Karl Rove often advised his clients to attack not the enemy’s weaknesses but its strenghts. The bipartisan US foreign policy disinformation machine has taken Rove’s advice with tedious devotion. So, to attack Nicaragua, the machine’s fabrications and propaganda have targeted some of that country’s strengths: gender equity, Indigenous rights and autonomy, democracy, sovereignty, and a successful response to the pandemic, as well as the Sandinista government’s great popularity.

This should not surprise. It’s the same Rovian method used against Nicaragua’s friends and allies and countries the US designates …

From His Solitary Confinement, Marwan Barghouti Holds the Key to Fatah’s Future  

If imprisoned Palestinian leader, Marwan Barghouti, becomes the President of the Palestinian Authority (PA), the status quo will change substantially. For Israel, as well as for the current PA President, Mahmoud Abbas, such a scenario is more dangerous than another strong Hamas showing in the upcoming Palestinian parliamentary elections.

The long-delayed elections, now scheduled for May 22 and July 31 respectively, will not only represent a watershed moment for the fractured Palestinian body politic, but also for the Fatah Movement which has dominated the PA since its inception in 1994. …

Fatuous Defence: Australia’s Guided Missile Plans

Even in times of pandemic crises, some things never change.  While Australia gurgles and bumbles slowly with its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, there are other priorities at stake.  Threat inflators are receiving much interest in defence, and the media is feeding on it with a drunken enthusiasm.  We live in a dangerous environment, and think-tankers, parliamentarians and commentators are starting to get a sweet taste for imminent conflict.

The latest instalment in this pitiable train towards conflict was revealed in Canberra last month.  Australia, it seems, wants to make its own guided missiles.  In a joint statement, the Prime Minister and …

New York State: 50 Charter Schools Closed in 20 Years

According to New York Charter School Fact Sheet (January 2021) from the New York State Education Department, the number of charter schools issued in New York State since the passage of the state’s charter school law in 1998 is 397. The total number of privately-operated charters permitted statewide under 2015 legislative amendments is 460. It is worth noting that a conversion of an existing public school to a charter school is not counted toward the numerical limits established by Article 56 of Education Law. This amounts to about 10 charter schools.

A separate but related document from the New York …

Financial Tyranny: Footing the Tax Bill for the Government’s Fiscal Insanity

We’re not living the American dream. We’re living a financial nightmare.

The U.S. government—and that includes the current administration—is spending money it doesn’t have on programs it can’t afford, and “we the taxpayers” are the ones who will be forced to foot the bill for the government’s fiscal insanity.

We’ve been sold a bill of goods by politicians promising to pay down the national debt, jumpstart the economy, rebuild our infrastructure, secure our borders, ensure our security, and make us all healthy, wealthy and happy.

None of that has come to pass, …

Cooling the Planet?

Grandiose plans to cool Earth, saving the planet from overheating by utilizing low-tech balloon flights sprinkling particles into the atmosphere to reflect solar radiation back into outer space have been delayed. Nobody knows for sure when, or if, it’ll proceed.

The planet-cooling scheme referred to as Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment aka SCoPEx headed by Harvard professor Fran Keutsch hopes to save humanity from hothouse Earth with plans to sprinkle aerosols of calcium carbonate and other substances at 12 miles above Earth’s surface to reflect solar radiation to outer space. The initial flight scheduled for June 2021 was set to test the …