Latest articles


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 …

The Inflation Reduction Act: Is it Enough Soon Enough?

Could somebody please get an extension ladder to help Senator Schumer down from the ceiling? He’s stuck in the rafters in a high-pitched note of self-congratulation whilst spraining his elbow as he awkwardly and repeatedly tries to pat his own back, screaming over and over again “the greatest climate legislation of all time!”

Compared to what?

Still, one signal that something really good must be in the nonsensically titled Inflation Reduction Act is the fact that no Republican senators voted for it. Nowadays, the extreme right has the entire Republican edifice on its hands and knees, almost in a fetal position in …

Stay Calm

A Story of Russia

Contemporary Russian politics are too often analysed without sufficient knowledge of Russian history.

— Orlando Figes, The Story of Russia, p 268

The conflict among nations in Ukraine and the breakaway Donbass oblasts/republics has been magnified in western monopoly media since Russia backed up its security demands. To the extent that people want to ascertain the verisimilitude of media information, people ought to become familiar with the region, its peoples, and the history. With this intention and with an open mind to a viewpoint counter to my orientation (I am decidedly of a …

Can We Please Have an Adult Conversation about China?

Wang Bingxiu of the Shuanglang Farmer Painting Club (Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, China), Untitled, 2018.

As the US legislative leader Nancy Pelosi swept into Taipei, people around the world held their breath. Her visit was an act of provocation. In December 1978, the US government – following a United Nations General Assembly decision in 1971 – recognised the People’s Republic of China, setting aside its previous treaty obligations to Taiwan. Despite this, US President Jimmy Carter …

The COVID Blues

A Looting Matter: Cambodia’s Stolen Antiquities

Cambodia has often featured in the Western imagination as a place of plunder and pilfering.  Temples and artefacts of exquisite beauty have exercised the interest of adventurers and buccaneers who looted with almost kleptocratic tendency.

In 1924, the French novelist and future statesman André Malraux, proved himself one of Europe’s greatest adventurers in making off with a ton of sacred stones from Angkor Wat.  It is estimated that 20 statutes were taken.  Malraux, along with his wife Clara and collaborator Louis Chevasson, were subsequently apprehended for their pinching efforts on the order of George Groslier, founding director of the …

Some Thoughts for Aspiring Journalists and Public Servants

Magnus gubernator et scisso navigat vello.  A great helmsman can navigate even when his sail is torn.

— Seneca, Moral Letters, 30. 3.

This is as true today as it was in antiquity. A president who steers the Ship of State knows that human nature is weak and that government officials are sometimes tempted to abuse their power. It is for this reason that he welcomes a free press to ensure honesty in his administration.

Journalists asking trenchant questions are worth their weight in gold. They protect the public from dishonest public servants, who, for example, advocate for small government as a dog …

Without Palestine, There is No Arab Unity

Why Normalization with Israel Will Fail

It seemed all but a done deal: Israel is finally managing to bend the Arabs to its will, and Palestine is becoming a marginal issue that no longer defines Israel’s relations with Arab countries. Indeed, normalization with Israel is afoot, and the Arabs, so it seems, have been finally tamed.

Not so fast. Many events continue to demonstrate the opposite. Take, for example, the Arab League two-day meeting in Cairo on July 31 – August 1. The meeting was largely dominated by discussions on Palestine and concluded with statements that called on Arab countries to reactivate the Arab boycott of …

The Government Wants to Silence the Opposition

Repression, Terror, Fear

Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.

President Harry S. Truman

Militarized police. Riot squads. Camouflage gear. Black uniforms. Armored vehicles. Mass arrests. Pepper spray. Tear gas. Batons. Strip searches. Surveillance cameras. Kevlar vests. Drones. Lethal weapons. Less-than-lethal weapons unleashed with deadly

While Cuba Deals with Blazing Fire, the U.S. Watches and Waits

Cuban firefighters (Photo Credit AP)
By now, the images of the oil explosion that erupted in the Cuban province of Matanzas on Friday, August 5 and continues blazing have become international news. When lightning struck an oil tank in Cuba’s largest oil storage facility, it quickly exploded and began to spread to nearby tanks. As of now, four of the eight tanks have caught fire. Dozens of people have been hospitalized, over 120 have been reported injured, at least 16 firefighters are still reported missing and …

Schooling with Fishes

The World Series Meets the World Economic Forum

The New York Mets enter foul territory

When I was growing up in Queens, NYC, I paradoxically rooted for the Yankees… but I also liked the Mets. After all, their home field — Shea Stadium — was much closer to where I lived. I can still recall sneaking on the subway and sneaking into the stadium to see the Mets (or Jets) play.

Here’s a photo of the now-defunct Shea in its glory [sic] days:

Take a look at those exposed ramps. As punk kids, we’d wait for the crowd to …

Political Prisoners in the United States, 2022

There are many ways to define what is a political prisoner. The most well-known cases are those the national security state framed-up, or imprisoned with extreme sentences for an offense because of their political activism, such as George Jackson.

Each period of struggle by the working class and oppressed peoples against ruling class control results some activists locked up for their effective revolutionary work. “Political prisoner” often means those jailed for fighting their national oppression, as the case with the great number of Black Panthers. In contrast, over a century ago political prisoners were labor-Marxist-antiwar activists such as the exemplary …

Scientism

Scientism is a hideous religious proposition that science is god and thus requires a priesthood of scientists to administrate its dictates upon mankind. Anthony Fauci is a perfect example of such a high priest, declaring that the rest of us are too ignorant or stupid to understand the high things of his science. However, we know from other sources that Fauci is an empty suit of fraud and corruption.
Technocracy News Editor

Punishing Whistleblowers at the United Nations

The United Nations prides itself on exposing, monitoring and noting the travails and vicissitudes to be found on this troubled planet.  It also prides itself on being the premier international institution that protects, or at the very least keeps an eye out for, the principles of the Charter that underpin its existence.  But as with all bodies with mighty aspirations but skewed power, the grime of reality often supplies a different, less impressive picture.

Every organisation replicates its own rationale for existence, including mechanisms to cope with problems of its own making.  Such problems are rarely resolved: they are inherent in …

Surviving America’s Industrial Manufacturing, Quality Centric Health Care System

We see the hospital as a factory and our hospitalist group as an assembly line that is in the business of manufacturing perfect discharges.”1 These words are not hyperbole. They are the exact words written by David J. Yu, MD, MBA, Medicare & DSNP Medical Director, Presbyterian Health Plan, Albuquerque NM. Yu cites the work of management guru W. Edwards Deming as a major authority for this approach to patient care. Deming’s business principles have been given much of the credit for Japan’s industrial revival after World War Two…Theory is not practice. Ever since management and business school “experts” took

Fake News + Bad Journalism = New Normal

I’ve been interviewed more times than I can remember. Those experiences have sometimes left me shaking my head when I’d find factual errors in the ensuing articles and posts about myself. After all, who better than Mickey Z. to fact-check something written about Mickey Z.?

Whenever I ponder these memories, I can’t help but see them through the lens of the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect.

Murray Gell-Mann was the physicist who discovered and named the quark. One of his close friends was novelist-turned director, Michael …

How the Pentagon Dictates Hollywood Storylines

New documentary discloses the ways western publics are softened up for aggressive, global US militarism through the Pentagon’s influence over thousands of films and TV shows

In what should have been an extraordinary television confession this month, John Bolton, national security adviser in the previous administration of President Donald Trump, admitted to CNN in passing that he had helped to plot the overthrow of foreign governments while in office.

Dismissing the idea that Trump had attempted a coup at the Capitol with the January 6 riots, Bolton told anchor Jake Tapper: “As somebody who has helped plan coups d’etat, not here [in Washington] but, you know, other places, it takes a lot of work.”

It was an admission …

Chains Old And New: A Brief History of the Afro-Colombian Peoples

June 19th signaled an unprecedented shift in Colombian politics. Gustavo Petro and his left-wing coalition, the Pacto Histórico, defeated the far-right wing multi-millionaire Rodolfo Hernández in the second round of the presidential elections.

Pedro’s running mate, the environmental activist and human rights lawyer Francia Márquez, is now the first Afro-Colombian woman to ever become Vice-President. This report will therefore contextualize this impressive achievement in the broader history of Colombia’s black minority—a people who endured and continue to endure incalculable misery.

Frederick Bowser says African slaves with melancholy-scarred faces and bodies riddled with scurvy or broken bones first arrived in Colombia in 1529. …

West Virginia: New Charter Schools Slated to Degrade Education

Five new privately-operated charter schools are expected to open in West Virginia in the coming weeks. Three will be brick-and-mortar charter schools and two will be statewide virtual charter schools. More privately-operated charter schools will be permitted to open after July 2023.

As in other states and territories, privately-operated charter schools in West Virginia will be riddled with corruption and will undermine public schools and the public interest. These “innovative” and “flexible” “schools of choice” will funnel millions of public dollars from public schools into private hands, foster more segregation, dodge accountability, thwart unions, increase competition, intensify a consumerist approach …

The Intricate Fight for Africa

The Legacy of the Soviet Union vs Western Colonialism

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s recent tour in Africa was meant to be a game changer, not only in terms of Russia’s relations with the continent, but in the global power struggle involving the US, Europe, China, India, Turkey and others.

Many media reports and analyses placed Lavrov’s visit to Egypt, the Republic of Congo, Uganda and Ethiopia within the obvious political context of the Russia-Ukraine war. The British Guardian’s Jason Burka summed up Lavrov’s visit in these words: “Lavrov is seeking to convince African leaders and, to a much lesser extent, ordinary people that Moscow cannot be blamed …

Going Global with NATO

Regional alliances should, for the most part, remain regional.  Areas of the globe can count on a number of such bodies and associations with varying degrees of heft: the Organization of American States; the Organisation of African Unity; and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.  Only one has decided to move beyond its natural, subscribed limits, citing security and a militant basis, for its actions.

On April 27, the UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, prime ministerial contender, made her claim that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization needed to be globalised.  Her Mansion House speech at the Lord Mayor’s Easter Banquet …