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Deportations and Harassment of Irish Group Traveling to West Bank

A trip to Palestine resulted in deportations and harassment by security as the Israel authorities step up attempts to intimidate or frighten future travelers to the area. During our trip we experienced CS gas, checkpoints, apartheid in action and military harassment of Palestinians.

Departure

I joined the group in Dublin airport on the morning of September 8th and we flew out to Istanbul where we waited in a transit area cafe for a couple of hours. As it turned out our flight departure lounge for Tel Aviv was next to the cafe where we were sitting and we noticed that an extra …

Cannabis Cultivating Re-Visited

Sonoma County, California — Readers of this reporter’s August local and national articles on unpermitted cannabis growing expressed both appreciations and appropriate criticisms. Their feedback has made me aware of how complicated this issue is.

I am a patient at Peace in Medicine, a dispensary here in Sebastopol, California, and appreciate its CBD cannabis. It is essential to this 73-years-old person, as it is to other elders and those with a wide variety of health issues for which cannabis is an appropriate plant medicine.

Cannabis can be more healthy than some of the chemical medications to which people get addicted; it is …

The German Election: The West’s Nervous Breakdown Continues

Following Sunday’s nationwide parliamentary election here in Germany I can hear the mocking laughter of 1989’s ghost, echoing throughout Europe and around the world. The great victory march of the “Free Market” Religion, which featured pompous, self-righteous politicians, pundits, and other worshippers at the altar of Big Finance strutting and crowing in the years following the fall of the Wall about the final demise and alleged failure of the supposedly evil and misguided socialist idea, has come to a grinding halt.

The rapid growth of the anti-immigrant, anti-EU party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) in Germany – which received almost 13% of …

President Dotard Versus Chairman Rocket Man

In the recent rhetoric over tensions in the Korean Peninsula, US President Trump called North Korean Chairman Kim “Rocket Man” and Chairman Kim responded by calling Trump a “Dotard”. The exchange has plumbed the depths of statesmanship, with the greater offender being President Dotard. Language threatening Fire and Fury, national annihilation and extreme personal insults have been exchanged between two nuclear armed states…it makes you positively pine for the old days of a Cuban Missile Crisis presided over by President Kennedy and Chairman Khrushchev.

Promises of genocide are thrown around casually by the “Leader of the Free World” as …

Angela Merkel: The Ikea Politician

The recipe for her success, which she has only latterly discovered, is that she’s been able to develop an image as someone who is tuned in to the German soul.

— Oskar Niedermayer, September 22, 2017

Modular furniture divinities, or corporations, may not be the best points of comparison for a politician, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel has invited it.  She is stable, reliable, self-assembled from history.  But more to the point, she has managed to forge a workshop of political viewpoints, angles, and perspectives, a tent so vast it has neutralised opponents within and without her political base. Her capacity to …

Is Health Care A Commodity Or Right?

With just a week left before Congress’ budget reconciliation process ends, the Senate is once again peddling a poorly-thought out plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If Senators vote before the September 30 deadline, they only need 50 votes instead of the filibuster-proof 60 votes to pass amendments. And once again, people are rising up in opposition to the plan, making it unpopular and unlikely to pass.

At the same time, support for a National Improved Medicare for All single payer healthcare system is increasing and there are bills in …

First Do No Harm

Let me preface what I am about to say by stating that I have the utmost esteem for mainstream medicine’s skill in emergency situations — the do or die surgeries, the dispensing of powerful life-saving drugs necessary in that setting are second to none; and its mastery of cosmetic surgery in cases of deformities and the advances made in prosthetics are nothing less than spectacular. These are what make mainstream medicine great.

I would also like to add that I am not an expert of any kind. I hold no degrees or certifications, and neither do I represent, belong to, or …

Western Propaganda in Southeast Asia: A True “Success Story”

It is all done in a fully barefaced manner. Those who are not part of this world could never even dream about such a ‘perfect’ design.

You come to your club, in my case to The Foreign Correspondent Club of Thailand (FCCT), and immediately the long arm of indoctrination begins stretching towards you.
US filmmakers of Neighbour at FCCT Bangkok
You place yourself on a comfortable couch, and soon after get fully serviced. You get instructed, told what to think and how to formulate or modify your ideas.

You are periodically …

Trudeau Government seeking to oust Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro

Alongside Washington and Venezuela’s elite, the Trudeau government is seeking to oust President Nicolás Maduro. While Ottawa’s campaign has recently grown, official Canada has long opposed the pro-poor, pro-working class Bolivarian Revolution, which has won 19 of 21 elections since 1998.

Following a similar move by the Trump Administration, Global Affairs Canada sanctioned 40 Venezuelans on Friday. In a move that probably violates the UN charter, the elected president, vice president and 38 other officials had their assets in Canada frozen and Canadians are barred from having financial relations with these individuals.

In recent months foreign minister Chrystia Freeland …

Kim Jong-un Responds to Trump

An AP report described as “a rare if not unprecedented move,” a purported statement by Kim Jong-un, the chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic Republic of Korea, in response to United States president Donald Trump’s bullying speech to the United Nations earlier this week. The response was relayed by DPRK’s state news agency KCNA.

Of …

Compared to the Benefits of Peace, Spending Money on War Is Insane

While war is perceived by many as an inherent institution of the nation state, few people fail to recognize and regret the horror, death, destruction, suffering, and misery it inflicts. Another consequence of war, however, is less often considered, though it is in the long run even more damaging to the cause of human well-being. That is the waste of resources in preparing for, and waging, war that could otherwise be used to help meet the physical, economic, social, and cultural needs of ordinary people.

According to a reliable online information source, the U.S. accounted for 37 percent, or about …

Correcting Gregory Bateson

Forty-five years ago the late Gregory Bateson [1904 – 1980] wrote these ominous words:

If you put God outside and set him vis-à-vis his creation and if you have the idea that you are created in his image, you will logically and naturally see yourself as outside and against the things around you.  And as you arrogate all mind to yourself, you will see the world around you as mindless and therefore not entitled to moral or ethical consideration.  The environment will seem to be yours to exploit.  Your survival unit will be you and your folks or conspecifics against

Israel’s Chief Stooge at Westminster shames us again

As Prime Minister, I am proud to say that I support Israel. And it is absolutely right that we should mark the vital role that Britain played a century ago in helping to create a homeland for the Jewish people.

Thus spake Theresa May the other day as she welcomed members of the Jewish community to 10 Downing Street. But by focusing on creating a homeland for the Jewish people she’s also celebrating the hell that Balfour’s Declaration created for the gentle Palestinians and for the rest of the region. “Born of that letter, the pen of Balfour, and of …

How Israel robs Palestinians of Citizenship

Israel has quietly revoked the citizenship of thousands of members of its large Palestinian minority in recent years, highlighting that decades of demographic war against Palestinians are far from over.

The policy, which only recently came to light, is being implemented by Israel’s population registry, a department of the interior ministry. The registry has been regularly criticized for secrecy about its rules for determining residency and citizenship.

According to government data, some 2,600 Palestinian Bedouins are likely to have had their Israeli citizenship voided. Officials, however, have conceded that the figure may be much higher.

The future …

American Propagandist Warns of Russian Propaganda

Power peddles fresh outrage at dissenting voices

After President Donald Trump’s detestable performance at the United Nations General Assembly last week, the New York Times had an opportunity to counter the president’s heedless belligerence with a message of diplomacy and dialogue. What it did instead was publish an op-ed from discredited former ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, Obama’s unforgivable appointment and one of the principal arm-twisters that convinced an irresolute president to get behind an invasion of a sovereign state (Libya) on the basis of manufactured lies too incredulous to believe. This unrepentant jackanape had the temerity to pen an article calling on …

Ritual Defamation: A Contemporary Academic Example

The term ritual defamation was coined by Laird Wilcox to describe the destruction of the reputation of a person by unfair, wrongful, or malicious speech or publication. The defamation is in retaliation for opinions expressed by the victim, with the intention of silencing that person’s influence, and making an example of him so as to discourage similar “insensitivity” to subjects currently ruled as taboo. It is aggressive, organized and skillfully applied, often by a representative of a special interest group, such as, ironically, the Anti-Defamation League.

Ritual defamation is not called “ritual” because it follows any prescribed religious or mystical …

President Trump’s Bluster at the United Nations

Donald Trump’s appearance before the General Assembly of the United Nations could have been a rare highlight of his chaotic young presidency. If Trump had just repeated his inauguration address, the audience would have burst out in gales of laughter. Instead, they countered his bluster not only against North Korea and Iran but also against the UN body as a whole with broad silence. Trump tried to be serious, but instead, he presented himself as the most dangerous President ever in US history. He went after the North Korean regime as the devil himself would run it. The Iranian …

Trump at the UN

President Donald Trump gave a bellicose, threatening speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) September 19, 2017. In addition to harsh attacks on North Korea and Iran, Trump singled out Venezuela and Cuba, reading a host of cliched lies and traditional US government boilerplate from his teleprompter, delivered to a notably muted response from the assembled delegations.

Trump’s address was a shameless display of demagogy that had the political aim of winning allies, especially in Latin America, for a campaign to isolate Venezuela and Cuba, and create the political conditions to implement “regime change” against both sovereign countries.

It is more …

Trump at the United Nations

The United States of America has been among the greatest forces for good in the history of the world, and the greatest defenders of sovereignty, security, and prosperity for all.

– from United States president Donald Trump’s speech to the United Nations on 19 September 2017

If you are the president of the United States of America, then, as a rule, all pretense toward modesty is dispensed with. Call it American exceptionalism.

After all, the US is variously self-proclaimed as the leader of the free world, the beacon on the hill, …

Any White Cop Can Kill a Black Man at Any Time

And the cop will not go to jail.  This is what has sparked protests by thousands in St. Louis from September 15 through today.
Anthony Lamar Smith with his daughter
In 2011, St. Louis cop Jason Stockley fired 5-7 shots at Anthony Lamar Smith, killing him.  Stockley claimed that Smith was selling drugs and chased him at high speed and shot him to defend himself.  The story was briefly reported as another drug deal gone bad, and it was just incidental that the cop was white and the victim …