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Supplying Ukraine with Depleted Uranium Shells

A Hazardous Decision

Should they be taking them? Ukraine is desperate for any bit of warring materiel its armed forces can lay their hands on, but depleted uranium shells would surely not be a model example of use. And yet, the UK, in an act of killing with kindness, is happy to fork them out to aid the cause against the Russians, despite the scandals, the alleged illnesses, and environmental harms.

An outline of the measure was provided by Minister of state for defence Baroness Annabel Goldie’s written answer to a question posed by Lord Hylton: “Alongside our granting of a squadron …

China Denounces US TikTok Ban Threat as “xenophobic witch hunt,” Firmly Opposes Possible Forced Sale

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 23: TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew prepares to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on March 23, 2023 in Washington, DC. The hearing was a rare opportunity for lawmakers to question the leader of the short-form social media video app about the company’s relationship with its Chinese owner, ByteDance, and how they handle users’ sensitive personal data. Some local, state and federal government agencies have been banning use of TikTok by employees, citing …

Historic Meeting between Xi and Putin

News on China No. 140

This week’s News on China in 2 minutes.

• Historic meeting between Xi and Putin
• Hong Kong announces industrial policy for the first time
• Baidu unveiled its version of ChatGPT

The Theatrics of COVID

What goes on behind the scenes.

Imran Khan, a Zionist Army Chief, and Pakistan-Israel Normalization

Historical Precedent

While many base Pakistan’s enmity towards Israel on the latter’s post-1948 transgressions such as occupying Gaza and West Bank, military incursions in Gaza, ethnic cleansing of Arabs, building unlawful Israeli settlements, and innumerable other events, this is an incomplete story. Pakistan’s opposition to Israel can be traced back to Muhammad Iqbal and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, two of Pakistan’s founders, when the two nations were nonexistent.
Mr. Iqbal, Mr. Jinnah, and their political party worked selflessly toward the cause of Palestine after World War I, despite chasing the dream of Pakistan. They sent Indian …

American Labor: Prospects and Possibilities

Starbucks workers at over 100 sites greeted Spring and the company’s new CEO by walking off the job. Some pundits hail this action as a reflection of labors’ growing new strength. Public approval of unions is at a fifty year high, petitions for union elections are on the upswing, and the recent well-publicized organizing victories at Trader Joes, Amazon, outdoor outfitter REI, and almost 300 Starbucks stores, among others. suggest that unions are on the rise. But glowing reports of the resurgence of the American labor movement are premature. The organizing efforts by Starbucks workers illustrate the many obstacles produced …

The Terrorist Forefathers of Israel: The Irgun and Lehi

To the unbiased eye, Israel’s true colors are not obfuscated due to its innumerable crimes against the Palestinians whether in the form of innocent Gazans being killed or the proliferation of illegal settlements in the West Bank. It is interesting to note that the state of Israel and the IDF’s (Israel Defence Forces) terrorist proclivities are nothing new – instead, they are rooted in the ideologies and actions of Jewish pre-independence terror groups, the Irgun and Lehi. The article describes the Irgun and Lehi’s origins, sheds light on their …

Banking Crisis 3.0: Time to Change the Rules of the Game

On CNN March 14, Roger Altman, a former deputy Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration, said that American banks were on the verge of being nationalized:

What the authorities did over the weekend was absolutely profound. They guaranteed the deposits, all of them, at Silicon Valley Bank. What that really means … is that they have guaranteed the entire deposit base of the U.S. financial system. The entire deposit base. Why? Because you can’t guarantee all the deposits in Silicon Valley Bank and then the next day say to the depositors, say, at First Republic, sorry, yours aren’t guaranteed. Of …

How Chelsea Manning’s Court-Martial Laid the Groundwork for Julian Assange’s Prosecution

Adapted from Guilty of Journalism: The Political Case against Julian Assange

Private First Class Chelsea Manning received the harshest punishment any United States military officer or federal government employee has ever received for leaking classified information to the press. Colonel Denise Lind, the military judge presiding over her court-martial, sentenced Manning to thirty-five years at Fort Leavenworth prison in Kansas.

She was found guilty of six charges under the Espionage Act, five stealing charges, one charge involving the “wanton publication” of “intelligence,” multiple charges of “failure to obey an …

More Like Cousteau’s Son, Not Bradley Cooper’s Twin!

I’m back at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport Oregon, part of the Oregon State University campus harboring marine mammal-fisheries-benthic-ocean researchers and students.

The topic: How humans decimated whale populations through hundreds of years of industrial whaling, leaving some species and populations on the brink of extinction. But despite these impacts, many whale populations have made remarkable recoveries, demonstrating the ability of threatened and endangered species to bounce back from intense human pressure.

The presenter: Joshua Stewart, a new faculty member at OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute, PhD from Scripps Institute of Oceanography….

Trump Rot at the EPA

A new report by the EPA’s internal watchdog has exposed Trump administration appointees that meddled in the agency’s science to weaken “the toxicity assessment of PFASs.” If not for the Biden administration, which discovered this egregious complicity by political appointees and the chemical industry to weaken standards of toxicity, Americans would be unnecessarily exposed to dangerous chemicals beyond the abhorrent levels of exposure already extant.

Shortly after taking the oath of office, Trump grabbed a baseball bat and waddled over to EPA, eviscerating the agency created under President Richard Nixon’s …

Worse Than Trump: The Invasion of Iraq Twenty Years On

“The hypocrisy in … the Bush administration’s overall national security strategy – is monumental. If having weapons of mass destruction and a history of using them is a criteria, then surely the United States must pose the greatest threat to humanity that has ever existed … While the U.S. is massively expanding its biological weapons research capabilities – for example by upgrading its bioresearch facilities at the Livermore and Los Alamos nuclear weapons labs to aerosolize live anthrax and genetically modify bio-organisms – it is blocking a protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention that would allow international inspectors into U.S. …

Female Urinals, Extra-woke Hollywood, Privacy Violations, Mouse Brain Cells, Pizza & Disneyland

This criminal gaslighting ends when enough of us say NO.

Starting with next year’s Oscars, the Academy will require that a film meet two of the four inclusion standards above to be eligible for a best picture nomination.

Read the full Hollywood Reporter article here.

Indiana’s Bureau …

Who Has Right on Their Side?

In Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, the character Dr. Stockmann says:

The majority never has right on its side. Never I say! That is one of those social lies against which an independent, intelligent man must wage war. Who is it that constitute the majority of the population in a country? Is it the clever folk or the stupid? I don’t imagine you will dispute the fact that at present the stupid people are in an absolutely overwhelming majority all the world over. But, good Lord!—you can never pretend that …

A Huge Difference Between America’s and Russia’s Governments

In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama met privately in the White House with the democratically elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, to get him to end Ukraine’s neutralist position ever since 1991 and join the U.S. Government’s EU and NATO alliances against Ukraine’s next-door neighbor Russia, but Yanukovych said no. And, then, Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton travelled in 2010 to Kiev to give this another try, and again Yanukovych said no. By the …

Narendra Modi’s Cricket Coup

What a coup. Nakedly amoral but utterly self-serving in its saccharine minted glory. India’s showman Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who otherwise appears to have clerkish, desk-bound qualities, had what he wanted: an accommodating, possibly clueless guest in the form of the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese; a common interest in India’s national sport cricket, and a show illuminating him as supreme Hindu leader presiding over a new age of politics. For Albanese, this was ill-fitting and disturbing but all in keeping with the occasion.

This month, Albanese, who has been held to the bosom of great powers of late, found himself …

How Far Do We Go to Save a Species?

Saving Salmon

Robin Waples: University of Washington (NOAA Fisheries, retired)

Topic: On the shoulders of giants: Under-appreciated studies in salmon biology with lasting influence.

In 1675 Isaac Newton wrote, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

This idea epitomizes the way that science progresses by incremental steps, punctuated occasionally by major breakthroughs. But often it is the case that neither these ‘giants’ nor their research are well-known or even routinely recognized.

I discuss four such studies conducted in …

What Does the Data Reveal?


You Strike the Women, You Strike the Rock, You Will Be Crushed

Arnold Bo?cklin (Switzerland), Isle of the Dead, 1880.

What constitutes a crisis worthy of global attention? When a regional bank in the United States falls victim to the inversion of the yield curve (i.e., when short-term bond interest rates become higher than long-term rates), the Earth nearly stops spinning. The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) – one of the most important financiers of technology start-ups in the United States – on 10 March presaged wider chaos in the Western financial world. In the days after …

Ideology, Autocracy, and Dystopia

Review of: The Private Life of Chairman Mao by Dr. Li Zhisui. Trans. Tai Hung-chao, New York: Random House, 1994.

The title of this acutely perceptive memoir is perhaps misleading: the American reader has come to expect lurid, “tell-all” biographies which spare no graphic details of the subject’s debaucheries and scandals. Some such unsavory details are of course revealed, but the author–Mao’s personal physician for the remaining 22 years of Mao’s life (1954-1976)–had a more ambitious purpose in mind: to present a shrewdly insightful character-study of Mao as a man, ideologue and ruler.

Mao Zedong in Dandong, China ? Photo by Kim Petersen
The young, likable Dr. Li, chosen …

Commemorations of the Attack on Iraq March 20 and Libya March 19 Reaffirms that the U.S.-EU-NATO Axis of Domination Remains the Greatest Threat to International Peace on our Planet

The International Criminal Court should uphold an objective and impartial stance, respect the jurisdictional immunity enjoyed by the head of state in accordance with international law, exercise its functions and powers prudently by the law, interpret and apply international law in good faith, and avoid politicization and double standards.

— Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin

This commentary really should be part two from the piece I wrote last week in the run-up to the anti-war mobilization that took place March 18 which commemorated the 20th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. In that article I made a similar argument about …

Smartening up about 15-Minute Cities

Smart Cities = Smart Prisons
(Please Listen To This Very, Very Carefully) Extract Glastonbury Town Council Meeting, 14 March 2023

What Red State vs. Blue State Looks Like to an Ant

Just watching the two major parties ruthlessly claw at and attempt to malign and delegitimize each other, then seeing people now excitedly lining up on one side or the other like opposing Ninja turtle teams is both amusing and frightening.  We can count on the talking heads and modern media to regurgitate a story line familiar to devotees of Saturday morning cartoon shows to give substance to our political competitions and aspirations.  Unfortunately, the narrative …

Imperial Visits: US Emissaries in the Pacific

For some time, Washington has been losing its spunk in the Pacific. When it comes to the Pacific Islands, a number have not fallen – at least entirely – for the rhetoric that Beijing is there to take, consume, and dominate all. Nor have such countries been entirely blind to their own sharpened interests. This largely aqueous region, which promises to submerge them in the rising waters of climate change, has become furiously busy.

A number of officials are keen to push the line that Washington’s policy towards the Pacific is clearly back where it should be. It’s all part of …

Circus Politics Are Intended to Distract Us

There is nothing more dangerous than a government of the many controlled by the few.

— Lawrence Lessig, Harvard law professor

It is easy to be distracted right now by the bread and circus politics that have dominated the news headlines lately, but don’t be distracted.

Don’t be fooled, not even a little.

We’re being subjected to the oldest con game in the books, the magician’s sleight of hand that keeps you focused on the shell game in front of you while your wallet is being picked clean by ruffians in your midst.

This is how …

The War Drive Against China

From Balloons to AUKUS

When will this hate-filled nonsense stop? Surveillance balloons treated like evocations of Satan and his card-carrying followers; other innumerable unidentified phenomena that, nonetheless, remain attributable in origin, despite their designation; and then the issue of spying cranes. In the meantime, there has been much finger pointing on the culprit of COVID-19 and the global pandemic. Behold the China Threat, the Sino Monster, the Yellow Terror.

In this atmosphere, the hawkish disposition of media outlets in a number of countries in shrieking for war is becoming palpable. The Fairfax press in Australia gave a less than admirable example of this …

Always Wanting More

“Always wanting more” is an operational definition of “hedonism.” This brief article is my “mea culpa.” Inexplicably, I overlooked hedonism per se as a trait in my “psychoscope” of the evil superpower elite in America’s corpocracy. ((Brumback, GB. KABOOM! Wolves in Suits Leading Humanity to Doomsday and How to Stop the Doomsday Clock and End Human Misery. Penguin BookWritersGroup, in press.)) In my defense, I did briefly allude to “greed” as an outgrowth of ambition.

Why “Always Wanting More?”

The ancient Greek poet Ovid had an answer, “the Goddess of Plenty.” America’s …

Alerted by Government

When government has access to your cell phones.

Reckless Capitalist Banks Rescued by Government Socialism – Again!

Once again, government socialism – ultimately backed by taxpayers – is saving reckless midsized banks and their depositors. Silicon Valley Bank (S.V.B) and Signature Bank in New York greedily mismanaged their risk levels and had to be closed down. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), in return, to avoid a bank panic and a run on other midsized banks went over its $250,000 insurance cap per account and guaranteed all deposits – no matter how large, which are owned by the rich and corporations – in those banks.

Permitting such imprudent risk-taking flows directly from the Trump-GOP Congressional weakening of regulations …

Reader-Comments at Russia’s RT News and Censorship in America

On March 20, Russia’s RT News reported, “The US Department of Defense announced on Monday that it will send Ukraine another $350 million worth of military aid. The further supplies come as Ukraine reportedly gears up for a spring offensive, despite suffering heavy losses in Donbass. The package is the 34th tranche of military aid doled out to Ukraine by the US since August 2021. … The US has given Ukraine more than $32.5 billion in military aid since last February, out of more than $110 billion allocated by the administration of US President Joe Biden for military and economic …