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Vaccine Will Not Reverse Economic Problems

No matter how many vaccines are rush-produced by large for-profit corporations with a long record of malpractice, vaccines will not reverse severe economic deterioration because the economic collapse, nationally and internationally, was not caused by any virus.

The economic depression that is unfolding was a long time in the making and was accelerated and intensified by the “COVID Pandemic” but not the direct result …

About Suffering: A Massacre of the Innocents in Yemen

In 1565, Pieter Bruegel the Elder createdThe Massacre of the Innocents,” a provocative masterpiece of religious art. The painting reworks a biblical narrative about King Herod’s order to slaughter all newborn boys in Bethlehem for fear that a messiah had been born there. Bruegel’s painting situates the atrocity in a contemporary setting, a 16th Century Flemish village under attack by heavily armed soldiers. Depicting multiple episodes of gruesome brutality, Bruegel conveys the terror and grief inflicted on trapped villagers who cannot protect their children. Uncomfortable …

Fearing the Palestinian Narrative: Why Israel Banned Jenin Jenin

On January 11, the Israeli Lod District Court ruled against a Palestinian film-maker, Mahmoud Bakri, ordering him to pay hefty compensation to an Israeli soldier who was accused, along with the Israeli military, of carrying out war crimes in April 2002, in the Palestinian Jenin refugee camp located in the northern occupied West Bank.

The case, as presented by Israeli and other media, seemed to deal with typical legal matters such as defamation of character and so on. To those familiar with the massive clash of narratives which emanated from …

The Debt Tsunami 

Imagine this scenario if you will… You are the head of a small family of 5 people, including your 3 children, you live in a small street in an average house, and drive 2 average Ford or Chevy cars. You have a normal mortgage, credit card bills, which you manage to keep on top of, just about, as both adults work in average jobs.

In this make-believe situation, one of your children, when you return home from work, reveals that they have run up a $5 million gambling debt. What is worse is that the debt is with Mr Big, the …

Critical Lessons From Dr. Martin Luther King For These Times


NOTE: Margaret Flowers and Askia Muhammad will co-host an inaugural special on Pacifica Radio on Wednesday, January 20 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm Eastern. It can be heard on WBAI and WPFW. The theme will be Dr. King’s triple evils and what Biden’s cabinet picks tell us about what we can expect from this administration. Guests include Dr. Greg Carr, Abby Martin and Danny Sjursen.

Also, on Tuesday, January 26 at 8:00 pm Eastern, Popular Resistance will co-host a webinar, “COVID-19: How Weaponizing Disease and Vaccine Wars are

Indian Farmers on the Frontline Against Global Capitalism

In a short video on the empirediaries.com YouTube channel, a protesting farmer camped near Delhi says that during lockdown and times of crisis farmers are treated like “gods”, but when they ask for their rights, they are smeared and labelled as “terrorists”.

He, along with thousands of other farmers, are mobilising against three important pieces of farm legislation that were recently forced through parliament. To all intents and purposes, these laws sound a neoliberal death knell for most of India’s cultivators and its small farms, the backbone of the nation’s food production.

The farmer says:

Corporates invested in Modi before the

By “Force and Fraud”: Is This the End of the US Democracy Doctrine?   

In an interview with the British newspaper, The Times, in 2015, former US Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, vehemently denied that exporting democracy to Iraq was the main motive behind the US invasion of that Arab country 12 years earlier.

Rumsfeld further alleged that “the idea that we could fashion a democracy in Iraq seemed to me unrealistic.” But the US’ top military chief was being dishonest. Writing in Mother Jones, Miles E. Johnson responded to Rumsfeld’s claim by quoting some of his previous statements where he, repeatedly, cited democracy as …

The Cause of Independence for Puerto Rico

From 1974 into the 1980’s I worked actively with the US branch of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party (PSP) in support of the cause of independence for Puerto Rico. I have maintained connections to this should-be country ever since, primarily through a close friendship with a leading community activist in Vieques, a small island off the southeast coast of the main island.

Revolution Around the Corner is a special book. If you don’t know much about Puerto Rico and its relationship to the USA, there’s …

The Russian Revolution: Separating Truth from Myth

There is a deceitful and ahistorical myth that frequently resurfaces in right-wing circles seeking to discredit socialism with lies about the Russian Revolution. No matter how many times it has been invalidated as fabrication, the reactionary mythos endures. As might be expected, the author is referring to the preposterous claim that American capitalists — or “Wall Street bankers” — secretly financed one of the most epochal political revolutions in world history which overthrew the Romanov dynasty and ended the Russian Empire, leading to the establishment of the Soviet Union. One would be hard pressed to find anyone on the political …

Single Payer: Which Way Forward?

To say that there’s a political disconnect in the fight for a national single payer health care delivery system is to state the obvious. The struggle for M4ALL has grown due to decades of grassroots organizing alongside the gradual worsening of Americans’ health insurance coverage, with support now reaching 70% in the general public as reported by FOX News after the November elections.

Yet now in the middle of a pandemic, where the USA accounts for a quarter of the world’s infections, and a third of the deaths, the USA’s for-profit healthcare system has no national plan or coordinated response. Instead, …

International Support Continues for Protesting Farmers in India

On 5 January, British MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi wrote a letter to Boris Johnson urging him to convey to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi the “heartfelt anxieties” of MPs’ constituents (many emanating from Punjab) regarding the treatment of protesting farmers in India. The letter was signed by more than 100 MPs and Lords and had cross-party support.

Dhesi stated that many constituents had been horrified to see footage of water cannon, tear gas and brute force being used against protesting farmers on the outskirts of Delhi. He made it clear to Johnson that farmers were protesting against major corporates moving into …

Cyber Charter Schools: Neoliberals Determined to Commodify More Students

The parasitic seizure of social wealth by the rich has intensified in recent years and promises to increase in 2021. While the stock market soars to artificial new heights, the productive sector of the economy continues to steadily disintegrate, leaving the financial oligarchy with fewer options to maximize profit over time. This in turn is causing the rich to engage in more stock market gambling, private lending, bankruptcies, and restructuring of the state in order to funnel more public funds into private hands (e.g., through more “public-private-partnerships”). As the law of a falling rate of profit invariably intensifies, the nexus …

Stop Press: I’m Converted

Now I believe in climate change

Mass celebration after a year of coronation  (Ihoto credit:  Pedro K)
As those who have followed my published remarks in these pages might remember, I have always been sceptical about what one or more insistent author here and everywhere has told us about the immanent end of life as we know on the planet, Earth that is.

I realise that there are numerous writers who share what I was told in J-School (journalism school) is commonly called a “beat” (strangely perhaps the same term used for the area a …

Three Cheers for “Baseless”

Whether Donald Trump’s behavior on January 6 actually meets the legal definition of “coup” or “insurrection,” or merely represents the umpteenth “triggering” of Democrats eager to benefit from the latest whirlwind of Trumpian chaos, remains to be seen.

While this weighty matter is sorted out, perhaps we can take a moment to reflect on the bright side of having had Donald Trump as president. One thing we ought to appreciate is that his fast-flowing river of verbal bullshit has finally persuaded the media to call out a presidential assertion for being “baseless.” This constitutes a long-overdue advance in our national political …

Trump May be on Trial, but the System that Produced Him Will be Acquitted

It is a fitting end to four years of Donald Trump in the White House.

On one side, Trump’s endless stoking of political grievances – and claims that November’s presidential election was “stolen” from him – spilled over last week into a mob storming the US Capitol. They did so in the forlorn hope of disrupting the certification process of the electoral college vote, which formally declared his opponent, Joe Biden, the winner.

On the other side, the Democratic Party instituted a second, unprecedented impeachment process this week, in the slightly less forlorn hope that Trump leaves office …

Illogical Thinking Leading to Illogical Actions

Preventing the assault on America’s capitol was not exclusively a policing failure; the twisted behavior culminated from inadequate response to Trump and his supporters’ unsubstantiated attacks on the validity of the 2020 election.

A simple analysis could have uncovered the illogical thinking and convinced many that the charges of election fraud were fallacious. Media and public servants allowed deranged accusations to inflame the electorate and remained complacent to the obvious – Illogical thinking leading to illogical actions.

Illogical Thinking
Impossibility of a successful large conspiracy

Rudolph William Louis Giuliani, America’s “mayordomo,” in …

Reimagining the World: Agroecology and Post-COVID Plunder

Contingent on World Bank aid to be given to poorer countries in the wake of coronavirus lockdowns, agrifood conglomerates will aim to further expand their influence. These firms have been integral to the consolidation of a global food regime that has emerged in recent decades based on chemical- and proprietary-input-dependent agriculture which incurs massive externalised social, environmental and health costs.

Reliance on commodity monocropping for global markets, long supply chains and dependency on external inputs for cultivation make the food system vulnerable to shocks, whether resulting from public health scares, oil price spikes (the global food system is fossil-fuel dependent) or …

The Country Where Liberty Is a Statue

On 6 January, the world witnessed an interesting spectacle, an assortment of what appeared to be characters from fantasy television shows taking possession of the US Capitol, where the legislature sits.

Israel is losing the fight to obscure its apartheid character

New report by rights group B’Tselem will make it harder to smear Israel’s critics as antisemites for arguing that Israel is a racist state

For more than a decade, a handful of former Israeli politicians and US diplomats identified with what might be termed the “peace process industry” have intermittently warned that, without a two-state solution, Israel is in danger of becoming an “apartheid state”.

The most notable among them include Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, two former Israeli prime ministers, and John Kerry, who served as former US President Barack Obama’s secretary of state. Time is rapidly running out, they have all declared in the past.

Their chief concern, it …

Anteroom of Our Own Extinction

If you want to deprive citizens of freedom of movement, freedom of assembly and the right to family life, there should be written reasons. They ask the department why they can hardly find such anywhere since the intervention was introduced in March. It is a mystery that hardly any Norwegian journalists have thought of asking this question. { } …that should be every journalist’s first instinct when the government shuts down the country.
— Øyvind Håbrekke (Candidate for Krk in Trondelog, Norway)

I. Decrees the expulsion of Jews from the colony. { }
XXXII. The runaway slave, who shall continue to be so

Why Does Mayor Ted Wheeler Hate Us So Much?



Tear Gas Ted is getting Tough On Crime and Anarchy, and I’ve got some analysis for you.

Oregon Public Broadcasting has been giving a lot of play to Mayor Wheeler’s latest couple of speeches, where he once again criticized “violent anarchists” for doing terrible things like spray-painting memes on plywood, or breaking the windows of outrageously expensive downtown corporate property that he confuses for “local businesses owned by people of color” (I think that’s a direct …

Two Principles of Racial Equity that Outrage Liberals

The May 25, 2020 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked a civil rights explosion.  It ignited pushes to demilitarize the police, reallocate police over-funding to necessary social services, end economic and power divides, and replace symbols of oppression with recognition of those who have suffered and resisted.

In University City, one of the oldest and more progressive suburbs of St. Louis, much happened during the upsurges of 2020.  During the spring and summer, multiple Black Lives Matter protests made their way though U City.  In July, the Green Party …

The Ends of Whiteness

A book review of Gerald Horne's White Supremacy Confronted and The Dawning of the Apocalypse: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, Settler Colonialism and Capitalism in the Long Sixteenth Century

Thirty years ago this month I was preparing for what would be a three-month tour of the Republic of South Africa. The original research objective—conceived in 1990—had been to visit mission stations and other properties and operations of Christian churches in South Africa and to collect data on their role and function in the system of statutory segregation known as apartheid. By the time I had made my travel arrangements, I was forced to modify an initial assumption of the doctoral dissertation for which this trip was to form the empirical basis—namely the end of apartheid rather than its continuance. …

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and Australia’s Complicity

Australia’s Foreign Minister, Marise Payne, said little in the statement from her department, which was a good thing, as it might have been dangerously useful.  The finding of a UK court on whether Julian Assange would be extradited to the United States was made “on the grounds of his mental health and consequent suicide risk.”  She does not care to mention the actual details of the case, the fact that the decision by District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, while blocking the extradition, was nastily focused against journalism.

Payne insists on objective distance from the proceedings.  “Australia is not a party …

Questions In the Wake of the Beer Belly Putsch

After seeing some very strange, amnesiac discussion threads on social media, I have a few words to consign to the screen.

Naturally, social media and the media media are all going nuts since the more or less successful far right siege of the Capitol.  There are a variety of talking points that I’ve been hearing that I have some thoughts on.

First of all, in one of Trump’s various post-siege missives, he assured his followers that the “our incredible journey is only just beginning,” …

The Trump Administration’s Parting Outrage Against Cuba

(Photo credit:  Yander Zamora/EFE)
On January 11, in his final days before leaving office, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added one parting blow to the series of bludgeons his administration has inflicted on Cuba for four years: putting the island on the list of “state sponsors of terror” that includes only Iran, North Korea and Syria. The designation drew swift condemnation from policymakers and humanitarian groups as a decision widely characterized as “politically motivated.” It comes six years after the Obama administration had removed Cuba from the same …

Covid-19 under Apartheid: How Israel Manipulates Suffering of Palestinians   

Israel’s decision to exclude Palestinians from its COVID-19 vaccination campaign may have surprised many. Even by Israel’s poor humanitarian standards, denying Palestinians access to life-saving medication seems extremely callous.

Amnesty International, among many organizations, condemned the Israeli government’s decision to bar Palestinians from receiving the vaccine. The rights group described the Israeli action as evidence of the “institutionalized discrimination that defines the Israeli government’s policy towards Palestinians.”

The Palestinian Authority was not expecting Israel to supply Palestinian hospitals with millions of vaccines as it hopes to receive two million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in February. Instead, the request made by …

The US Capitol Building Riot and Its Blowback

The Only Thing Scarier than QAnon Is the Reaction to It

The right-wing demonstration turned violent riot at the US Capitol on January 6 was a spectacle, complete with Confederate flags and a QAnon shaman in red-white-and-blue face paint. The Venezuelan government stated: “With this unfortunate episode, the United States is experiencing what it has generated in other countries with its policies of aggression.”

Some half of the active electorate voted for Trump, who believed the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent. The other half of the active electorate was abhorrent about what happened in Washington on January 6, speaking with semi-religious reverence about the desecration of sacred institutions. They believed, in …

Raskolnikov’s Dream Come True

Something is happening here,
But you don’t know what it is,
Do you, Mr. Jones?
— Bob Dylan, Ballad of a Thin Man, 1965

It’s hard.

Life today seems like a dream, doesn’t it?  Surreal to the point where everything seems haunted and betwixt and between, or this against that, or that and this against us.

Something.

Or a Luis Buñuel film.  The logic of the irrational. Surrealistic.  A film made to draw us into an ongoing nightmare.  Hitchcock with no resolution. Total weirdness, as Hunter Thompson said was coming before he blew his brains out.  A life movie made to hypnotize in this darkening world where …

An Exhausted Planet Limps Into 2021

Early this new year, the Alliance of World Scientists (13,700 strong) delivered a biting report, not mincing words:

Scientists now find that catastrophic climate change could render a significant portion of the Earth uninhabitable consequent to continued high emissions, self-reinforcing climate feedback loops and looming tipping points.

The mission: “We scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat.”

Even though it is very difficult to accept a cartoonish statement that …