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COVID-19 Tested Our Commitment to Freedom

Three Years Later, We’re Still Failing

The remedy is worse than the disease.

— Francis Bacon, “Of Seditions and Trouble” in Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall

The government never cedes power willingly.

Neither should we.

If the COVID-19 debacle taught us one thing it is that, as Justice Neil Gorsuch acknowledged, “Rule by indefinite emergency edict risks leaving all of us with a shell of a democracy and civil liberties just as hollow.”

Unfortunately, we still haven’t learned.

We’re still allowing ourselves to be fully distracted by circus politics and a constant barrage of bad news screaming for attention.

Three years after …

Supporting the Government Health Authority

What is wrong with this scene?

Swiftie Nonsense Down Under

Gaza. Palestinians.  Israel.  Genocide.  Taylor Swift?  This odd cobbling of words is the extent celebrities make a mockery of serious conversation, even in such middle-brow outlets as Australia’s Radio National.  Admittedly, it was breakfast, and the presenter a seasoned impressionist of journalism, but surely listeners did not have to know that Swift’s private jet had just arrived in Melbourne, making it an occasion of national significance?

Ground had already been tilled, and seeds scattered, by desperate academics keen to draw gold dust from the Swift worship machine at Melbourne’s Swiftposium 2024.  Seriousness was not the order of the day and …

Nationalism as the Religion of the Modern West

Orientation

The emergence of a strange, secular god

 “I am the Lord Thy God, Thou Shalt not have strange gods before me” is not just a religious commandment. Every nation-state expects their citizens to give up or subordinate their regional loyalties, their class, their ethnicity and even their religion to this new god. If we could tell any culture in the world before the 18th century that we nationalists are willing to give our lives to fight strangers in a land we have never seen, they’d say we were crazy. I am a US …

Why Do We Love Consumerism?

De-linking from the dominant ideological themes of capitalist society is a difficult task. The globalization of capital under the regime of neoliberal deregulation has allowed consumerism to establish a pervasive presence throughout the world. Even if we get to know harrowing information about the inequalities and injustices of the reining consumption model, we don’t enact a radical transformation of our personality. The response to anti-capitalist information remains confined to a momentary reaction of repulsion. Even as new mental data enters our consciousness, the latter continues to remain in a passive state. The inflow of enlightened knowledge settles into a tiny …

Israel Is Assaulting Hospitals in Gaza with Full U.S. Support

Hospitals should be places of healing, not theaters of war.

Many decades ago in Chicago, my favorite of several part-time student jobs was operating the “old-style” telephone switchboard at a small hospital called Forkosh Memorial. The console of coils and plugs included a mirror so operators could keep an eye on the hospital entrance, which on weekends and evenings was also monitored by an elderly, unarmed security guard named Frank. He sat at a classroom style desk near the entrance with a ledger book. Over the course of four years, on weekends and evenings, “security” at the hospital generally consisted solely of Frank and me. Fortunately, nothing much ever happened. …

War with China

How Primed for War Is China?

Don’t want to spoil your weekend, but the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has picked Foreign Policy (FP) magazine’s article, How Primed for War Is China, as a top commentary. AEI states: “The likelihood of war with China may be the single-most important question in international affairs today.

FP knows how to start an article and capture attention ─ start with words that startle the audience.

If China uses military force against Taiwan or another target in the Western Pacific, the result could be war with the United States—a fight between two nuclear-armed giants brawling for hegemony in that region and …

Truth, Love and Hope

Carlson at the Bolshoi

Broadly speaking three kinds of reactions to the recent Tucker Carlson-Vladimir Putin interviews can be detected. Aside from the official condemnations that find their echo wherever dementia and other intellectual impediments prevail, there is ecstasy, skepticism, and loyalty.

The ecstatic present this interview as something akin to the visions of Fatima. The skeptics point out that Fatima is a fraud. The loyal include those who have held Tucker Carlson for a hero or at least a very worthy member of their national conservative side in the ongoing US political wars. Nonetheless all these groups of viewers, commentators (pod or web) and …

Homesteading: Beginning with Chickens

The Do and Don't of laying hens

Personally, we have yet to raise a hen big enough to plow a field!

That said, having chickens running around the barnyard or even in a backyard coop makes one feel glad to be alive.  People often think of chickens as dumb or mean, but they is an over simplification of the chicken psyche.

As they scratch in the dirt, peck around in the grass and curiously come up to great us, hens are anything but mean. Anyone who has had to catch a chicken, knows that they can and will …

Alexei Navalny’s Death and Curious Well-Timed Coincidences

There is propaganda by commission and propaganda by omission, the former often serve to conceal the latter. Timing is crucial.

That the U.S. President Joseph Biden, his British, NATO, Israeli allies, and their corporate media mouthpieces are in need of a major propaganda victory is obvious. They are losing the war in Ukraine, have been condemned throughout the world for the genocide in Gaza, and are ruling over a disintegrating empire. Biden and Netanyahu’s political lives are at serious risk. And so they have just rolled out a full-court propaganda press effort aimed at covering their losses. It should be …

Border Paranoia in Fortress Australia

The imaginative faculties of standard Australian politicians retreat to some strange, deathly place on certain issues.  In that wasteland, they are often unrecoverable.  Like juveniles demanding instant reward, these representatives find complexity hideous, troubling, discomforting.  Focus on the prospect of immediate electoral gain, the crude punch, the bruising, the hurt. That, in sum, is Canberra’s policy towards refugees.

With this month’s appearance of 39 asylum seekers on some of the most remote shorelines on the planet in Western Australia, the customary wells of hysteria were again being tapped for political gain.  “Here we go again,” lamented the Tasmanian Greens Senator …

What Did You Do during the Gaza Genocide?

We owe a debt to Elie Wiesel, Leon Uris and all the historians, writers and filmmakers who produced thousands of books and films about the Nazi holocaust of the Jews, as well as some who documented the extermination of the Roma, homosexuals, communists, mentally handicapped and others in almost equal numbers. Even the fictionalized stories helped to sensitize us all to the horrors of genocide (a word coined in 1943 by the eminent Polish Jewish lawyer Rafael Lemkin to refer to the elimination of at least a quarter of the world’s Armenians, before he or anyone else knew of the …

Delete the Smear Jagmeet, Tell Truth and Help Palestinians

Jagmeet Singh’s refusal to delete a smear against internationalist, social justice, minded protesters encourages Israel’s genocide. Over 6,000 individuals have requested the NDP leader remove his anti-Palestinian slander, but Singh seems too scared of the fascistic, supremacist, genocide lobby to do what is right.

In a bid to deter Israel from slaughtering the 1.5 million Palestinians cloistered in Rafah thousands joined an emergency march in Toronto Monday evening. During the four-hour long march “Spiderman for Palestine” and another individual climbed atop scaffolding in front of a (closed) entrance to Mount Sinai Hospital to waive a Palestinian …

Hostage Nation

In his Moscow interview, Tucker Carlson also asked the president of the Russian Federation to release a young American citizen convicted of espionage in Russia from imprisonment. Vladimir Putin replied that the man was arrested, tried and convicted by a Russian court of a crime under Russian law, espionage, by secretly receiving classified documents from someone in Russia.

Carlson’s plea was based not on respect for Russian law — or understanding of the crime of espionage — but on a widely held prejudice in the West. Namely there is a presumption that Westerners, in particular Americans, if arrested in countries listed …

Gaza is an Image of the Future

For months now Israel has waged a brutal bombing campaign against Gaza. With state of the art technology, the IDF uses algorithms to generate a seemingly unending list of potential targets with a low filter for collateral damage resulting the highest rate of civilian casualties of any war of this century.

In the face of political backlash and large protests, Western governments have doubled down on their unwavering support of the Israeli state and their war. But why exactly do western governments continue to support such a deeply unpopular war? What is their material interest in the advanced weaponry and surveillance …

Echoes of Conflict

Mutually exclusive narratives war in the media

Europe was burning. Or so I had heard in many media outlets before I boarded a flight to Europe. According to various hysterical outlets in the West, philistines were surging up through Gibraltar and other southbound nodes of ingress to destabilize European culture, that high-flown redoubt of wine and song and literature and art. Lisbon, as I discovered somewhat disappointedly, was serene. No flaming cathedrals. No barricades on the boulevards. Only the prosaic reproduction of daily life, at work in a thousand pastelerias and padarias. Hordes of tourists, like arctic ice floes, coursed through the cobblestone streets with a practiced …

Commercial Marketing Took Notice

A new variety of advertising emerges

Wars on Terrorism

United States, Israel, China, and Russia Counter-attack

Domestic and international terrorism have caused havoc in several nations. Each nation exhibits a unique approach to combatting terrorism; each nation exhibits a unique outcome from its approach. Examining types, causes, approaches, and outcomes of wars on terrorism in four nations — United States, Israel, China, and Russia — discloses successful strategies, self-destructive strategies, and strategies that deceive the public and terrorize others with impunity. The words “terrorist” and “terrorism” are not always allied; terrorist actions are not always due to terrorists.

Depending on perspective, the word “terrorism” ─ the unlawful use of violence or threats to intimidate or …

Joe Biden: The Damnation of Age

He was sweet and well meaning, but he was old.  He was hazy.  His memory was poor.  Doddering, confused, the self-proclaimed leader of the Free World seemed ready to check into a retirement village.  That, at least, is the thick insinuation of the Special Counsel’s report on President Joe Biden’s mishandling of classified documents when vice president during the Obama administration.

The findings of the Special Counsel Robert Hur were not punitive.  But they were laceratingly wounding.  It seemed to resemble more of a nurse’s assessment of whether you need an upgrade in aged-care treatment, a bolstering of services for …

Farmers’ Protest in India Reignites: A Struggle for the Future of Food and Agriculture

In 2021, after a year-long protest, India’s farmers brought about the repeal of three farm laws that were intended to ‘liberalise’ the agriculture sector. Now, in 2024, farmers are again protesting. The underlying issues and the facilitation of the neoliberal corporatisation of farming that sparked the previous protest remain and have not been resolved.

The World Bank, the World Trade Organization, global agribusiness and financial capital are working to corporatise India’s agriculture sector. This plan goes back to the early 1990s and India’s foreign exchange crisis, which was used (and manipulated) to set this plan in motion. This ‘structural adjustment’ …

Genocidal DNA: Depravity, Evil and Cowardice in the “West” as well

(L) with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: via President Biden Twitter Page)

Western moral cowardice feeds this war as much as the arms flown or shipped into Israel by the US in a continuous cycle.

Everything that needs to be said has been said. Some of the worst crimes since 1945 are being committed in Gaza by soldiers following the orders of a genocidal government and military command.

The details are inhumane, sickening and repulsive in the extreme. This is not collateral damage. It is the deliberate destruction in …

Journalism and Entertainment

Tucker Carlson interviews Vladimir Putin

This week former Fox News commentator, now self-employed audio-visual journalist, Tucker Carlson interviewed the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. According to his own account, it was a mission opposed—secretly by the agencies of the “Vatican on the Potomac” and with it the hierarchy of the American Church. A summary of the sermons and homilies published by its national and international propaganda organs indicates concerted efforts to spin this encounter in ways that profess the faith and confirm the purported apostasy of the successor to that patriarch of the beloved if short-lived Russian-American Church, Boris Yeltsin.

Carlson has acquired a …

A Word Like Peace Is Faster Than the Bullet of War

Erik Bulatov (USSR), Horizon, 1971–72.

On 26 January, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) announced the start of a massive military exercise called Steadfast Defender 2024 that will continue until the end of May. Over 90,000 troops from NATO countries (and one partner country, Sweden), including fifty naval groups and more than eighty air platforms, will deploy in thirteen countries to demonstrate the alliance’s capacity and ‘send a robust message about its readiness to protect all Allies in the face of emerging threats’. …

Imagining a Literary Society

Anti-Imperialism in the US Today

What it is and is not

Fidel Castro, who the world recognizes as a historic anti-imperialist figure, repeatedly warned that the main danger to humanity is US imperialism: “There is an enemy that can be called universal, an enemy whose attitude and whose actions…threaten the whole world, bully the whole world, that universal enemy is Yankee imperialism.” He fought to build a world united front against imperialism, of the world’s peoples and countries to oppose the barbarous actions of US imperialism. We see that anti-imperialist unity right now with United Nations votes and worldwide protests against the US-Israeli slaughters in Gaza, in …

They’re Lying about Alexei Navalny “Putin’s Enemy”

Was Alexei Navalny really Putin’s main opponent? Was he poisoned by the Russian government who then killed him in prison? Was he even popular in Russia? Well, no to all of those things and we show you what the West will not tell you while they mourn their favorite media darling.

Here Come the Steroid Games

To attribute weighty moral codes to athletes has always been a silly pastime of the judging classes and flesh admiring voyeurs.  But sporting bodies, in a manner similar to the clergy, demand something called the level playing field.  Fairness and fair play imply that sports people will follow various principles and rules in competition.  They will, for instance, do nothing to unravel and disturb this understanding of détente between the supremely talented.  We are all gifted on Olympus; may the best athlete behave in accordance with accepted practices.  No need for superior sporting machinery, superior equipment, enhanced biceps, steroid-boosted bodies.  …

Defusing the Derivatives Time Bomb: Some Proposed Solutions

The “protected class” is granted “safe harbor” only because their bets are so risky that to let them fail could crash the economy. But why let them bet at all?

This is a sequel to a January 15 article titled “Casino Capitalism and the Derivatives Market: Time for Another ‘Lehman Moment’?”, discussing the threat of a 2024 “black swan” event that could pop the derivatives bubble. That bubble is now over ten times the GDP of the world and is so interconnected and fragile that an unanticipated crisis could trigger the collapse not just of the bubble but of the …

67 Countries Banned This Toxic Product but the EPA Says: “Go for it!”

Sixty-seven (67) countries have banned paraquat, a toxic chemical used to control weeds that was discovered in the 1950s subsequently widely used throughout the world in agriculture. Despite a deadly toxic reputation, it’s still used throughout America. Moreover, it’s a cheap effective product used as a common pesticide by third-world countries that do not proactively regulate chemical products.

As of 2024, the US EPA, once again, reapproved paraquat in the face of stiff public opposition and criticism via a slew of negative scientific studies. With more than 60 major developed countries banning the product, why is the United States still onboard?

Syngenta …

Why does Israel destroy hospitals?

Hospitals are prime strategic targets of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. The Nasser hospital in Rafah is the only major one still standing, along with a handful of smaller ones. All the rest have been destroyed, along with many of the patients and medical staff. Many have been slaughtered, while the helpless have been left to die, like the premature babies in their incubators, simply abandoned to the inevitable. Doctors and other personnel have been taken captive for an unknown length of time. Even the Nasser hospital is no longer functioning, having been taken over by Israeli soldiers, and all …