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Controversy Over the Alleged Abortion Views of Amy Coney Barrett Misses Wider Issues

The nomination to the United States Supreme Court of Amy Coney Barrett has raised again the issue of access to abortion, legalised in the United States in the decision in Roe v Wade 410 US 113 (1973) 47 years ago. If Ms Barrett is confirmed as a member of the Supreme Court it will make the conservative majority of the court 6:3. It is difficult to see why her appointment would make a difference to the United States abortion laws. The conservative capacity to make such changes already existed.

What her prospective appointment has done, however, is to raise the issue …

Superman Versus The Davos Despots

George Carlin warned all good Americans to think critically at their own peril.  Although life has now become somewhat difficult…even lonely at times, I have forsaken his fascetious advice.  When I was a child, my grandfather was my god.  Pops.  I can still see his steady eyes touching some secret place deep inside me as he softly said that there is only one unforgivable sin.  Nobody has the right to take another human life.  He was emphatic when he added that the worst offenders of this basic precept are …

BREAKING: Wet’suwet’en Women Occupy Pipeline Drillsite to Stop CGL from Drilling Beneath Their Sacred Headwaters!

The standoff is ongoing

We call for solidarity actions from coast to coast. Take action where you stand, or come stand with us on the yintah.

— Gidimt’en Checkpoint

Callout from Gidemt’en Checkpoint

Coastal GasLink has called in the RCMP to try and remove Wet’suwet’en community members and Indigenous youth as they hold a ceremony at a proposed drill site for Coastal Gaslink’s pipeline. Coastal Gaslink has been evicted from our territories by the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs – who have full jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en lands. As CGL continues …

The Covidian Cult

One of the hallmarks of totalitarianism is mass conformity to a psychotic official narrative. Not a regular official narrative, like the “Cold War” or the “War on Terror” narratives. A totally delusional official narrative that has little or no connection to reality and that is contradicted by a preponderance of facts.

Nazism and Stalinism are the classic examples, but the phenomenon is better observed in cults and other sub-cultural societal groups. Numerous examples will spring to mind: the Manson family, Jim Jones’ People’s Temple, the Church of Scientology, Heavens Gate, …

Another Capitalist Market Brand: Brain Death

America and the world are suffering a crisis of capitalism like no other in recent history. With an economy teetering on a mountain of incredible debt without which it could not continue, and a virus threatening the globe but with the highest death toll in America and even a president leading in gross ignorance about it testing positive, stresses and strains are created that, while showing positive awakening among some to systemic rather than personal problems, also creates negative descents into fantasy among others that make immaterial religious mythology seem like critical examinations of material reality.

Approaching a national election which …

Supporting Indigenous Resistance

(Photo Credit: Jenna Pope)
This weekend, celebration of Indigenous People’s Day will replace the federal holiday, Columbus Day, in at least eight states and over 130 cities in 34 states. Along with the toppling of Columbus statues and the removal of a racial slur as a name for a major football team, this signals a shifting awareness in the United States of our colonial roots and ongoing Indigenous genocide and a desire for change.
If, like me, you are not indigenous, there are ways each of us …

Boris Johnson at Sea: Coronavirus Confusion in the UK

The tide has been turning against UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.  Oafishly, he has managed to convert that tide into a deluge of dissatisfaction assisted by the gravitational pull of singular incompetence.  Much of this is due to such errors of communication as committed last month, when he got into a tangle over new coronavirus restrictions in England’s northeast.

In responding to a question on these new regulations, the prime minister erred in stating that the rule-of-six limit on gatherings did not apply to people meeting outdoors.  “It is a six in a home or in hospitality but not six outside.”  …

“Policing Is Not Your Concern”

Graduate Student Workers Reckoning with the Policing University at the University of Michigan and Beyond

As the dust settles after the end of the University of Michigan’s (UM) historic eight-day strike, autopsies investigating the labor action are already being churned out. Why the strike ended, who is responsible for breaking the strike, and what future labor action at UM will look like are now questions that will doubtlessly rise to the forefront of debates among laborers at the university for many months—if not years—to come.

But we cannot allow those truly responsible for curtailing labor action to sink into the background: the university administration. Now is the time we should turn our focus to its functions, …

AT&T and 5G in Berkeley

For several weeks people prevented AT&T from installing 5G devices in the first two locations in Berkeley.  A key part of the project consisted of placing antennas on utility poles at the corner of Gilman and Neilson streets and near the Monterey Market on Hopkins Street.  These are tiny business districts with coffee shops, restaurants, a natural grocery and other small shops in a residential area.

Residents and workers feared negative health effects from the radiation, that 5G just might even turn the district into a slow-acting microwave oven.  So whenever AT&T’s installation crews showed up with trucks and equipment, small …

Dying Alone: When We Stopped Caring for Palestinian Prisoners

“No one cares about the prisoners.” Over the past few years, I have heard this phrase — or some variation of it —  uttered many times by freed Palestinian prisoners and their families. Whenever I conduct an interview regarding this crucial and highly sensitive topic, I am told, repeatedly, that ‘no one cares.’

But is this really the case? Are Palestinian prisoners so abandoned to the extent that their freedom, life and death are of no consequence?

The subject, and the claim, resurfaces every time a Palestinian prisoner launches a hunger …

Afghanistan: 19 Years of War

Afghan children play in the bombed out rubble of the Darul Aman Palace in Kabul, amidst a photo exhibition marking four decades of Afghans killed in war and oppression (Photo: Maya Evans)
The NATO and US backed war on Afghanistan was launched 7th October 2001, just a month after 9/11, in what most thought would be a lightning war and a stepping stone onto the real focus, the Middle East.  Nineteen years later and the US is still trying to extricate itself out of the longest war …

Howard Zinn Was Right: We Need To Stop Obsessing Over The Supreme Court

The death of Supreme Court Justice and liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg left a gaping hole on America’s highest court. The question over her replacement has quickly become a hotly contested issue which will define the coming weeks and perhaps even months. Mere days after Ginsburg’s death, Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett, a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit with a conservative track record. Republican leaders have already signaled that they are ready to confirm Trump’s nominee as quickly as possible, while many Democrats have argued that whoever wins in November should nominate the …

To Rebel Against Necessity and More

Compassion has no place in the natural order of the world, which operates on the basis of necessity.  The laws of nesessity are as unexceptional as the laws of gravitation.  The human faculty of compassion opposes this order and is therefore best thought of as being in some way supernatural.  To forget oneself, however briefly, to identify with a stranger to the point of fully recognizing her or him, is to defy necessity, and in this defiance, even if small and quiet  and even if measuring only 60cm. x 50cm., there is a power that cannot be measured by the

The Curse of Game Theory

Why It’s in Your Self-Interest to Break the Rules of the Game

Game theory, the mathematical theory of games of strategy, was developed by John von Neumann in several successive stages in 1928 and 1940-41, according to his book Theory of Games and Economic Behaviour which he co-authored with Oskar Morgenstern.

The crux of the theory is that an individuals’ behaviour will always be motivated towards achieving an optimal outcome, which is determined by self-interest. An assumption made is that the players in such a game are rational, which translates to, “will strive to maximize their payoffs in the game”. In other …

There’s no Need to Fear, Under God is Here

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Speaking at what the White House described as a “conference on American history,” Trump said that he plans to sign an executive order soon to create a “national commission to support patriotic education” called the 1776 Commission and that he is directing funding to create a patriotic curriculum for schools. “Our youth will be taught to love America with all of their heart and all of their souls,” Trump said….

Back on the Stairway to Heaven: Led Zeppelin Wins Over Spirit

In March, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeal upheld an original jury finding that Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven did not infringe copyright in Spirit’s 1968 song Taurus.  Michael Skidmore, who had filed the suit in 2014 as trustee of the estate of the late Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe, was hoping that the US Supreme Court would take time to hear, and hopefully reverse, the decision.  The highest court in the US refused to bite.

Wolfe, known professionally as Randy California, wrote Taurus somewhere between 1966 and 1967.  On composing the song, Wolfe’s publisher armoured Taurus with copyright protection as …

How can Americans support Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh?

Americans are dealing with an upcoming general election, a pandemic that has killed over 200,000 of us, and corporate news media whose business model has degenerated to selling different versions of “The Trump Show” to their advertisers. So who has time to pay attention to a new war half way round the world? But with so much of the world afflicted by 20 years of U.S.-led wars and the resulting political, humanitarian and refugee crises, we can’t afford not to pay attention to the dangerous new outbreak of war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a bloody war over Nagorno-Karabakh from …

The Trump Covid Hoax?

Political theater is nothing new. And Trump is, arguably, a master at it.

The speed with which Trump was diagnosed, “hospitalized”, and, as of now, seemingly set for early release must raise a few seasoned eyebrows.

What would Trump have to gain by pretending to be sick with Covid?

Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!

If this tweet doesn’t strike you as a campaign message/strategy, think again!

The message here is clear: Don’t concentrate on …

News on China | No. 21

This Week’s News on China in 60 seconds.

Protect the Headwaters! Wet’suwet’en Resist Coastal Gaslink

Our headwaters are under attack. Our way of life is at risk. Coastal Gaslink is weeks away from test drilling beneath Wedzin Kwa — the river that feeds all of Wet’suwet’en territory and gives life to our nation.

We continue to reoccupy our territories — to prepare our foods, to hold our ceremonies, to teach our children what it means to be Wet’suwet’en.

We have to protect ourselves. We have to protect what we have at all costs.
We need your support now more than ever.

A message from Sleydo, Molly Wickham, spokesperson for the Gidimt’en Checkpoint.

Did Deutsche Bank Leak Trump’s Tax Returns?

With the initial brouhaha surrounding the leak of Trump’s tax returns fading, including finger pointing at the IRS and talk of criminal charges, has anyone stopped to consider whether someone other than the IRS leaked the documents? There seems to be two criteria to consider in identifying the leaker. First, who had “access” to Trump’s tax returns? This limits the pool of candidates to a relatively small number. Second, who has the greatest “incentive” to leak those tax returns at this time?

These questions came up on a hike with …

Anxiety Mindfulness and the Natural Unity of Life

Depression and anxiety are commonplace in contemporary societies, part of everyday life; celebrities and public figures, British Royalty even, talk openly about their struggles with conditions that were hidden and dismissed just a few years ago. Most of us either suffer from one of these debilitating diseases or know someone who does; for huge numbers of people around the world, life has become a kind of agony, something to cope with, a competitive battlefield in which only the few triumph.

Individual stress adds to, and is intensified by, the collective anxiety and tension under which we all live, which in turn …

Despite Ambiguity in International Law, Palestinians are Winning the ‘Legitimacy War’

‘International law’ remains one of the most discussed terms in the context of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. It is almost always present, whether the discussion pertains to the Israeli wars and siege on Gaza, the expansion of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank or the encroaching apartheid throughout Israel and the Occupied Territories.

Despite the importance and relevance of the term, however, it rarely translates into anything tangible. The Israeli siege on Gaza, for example, has continued, unabated, for nearly 14 years, without international law serving as …

John Lennon at 80: One Man Against the Deep State “Monster”

You gotta remember, establishment, it’s just a name for evil. The monster doesn’t care whether it kills all the students or whether there’s a revolution. It’s not thinking logically, it’s out of control.

— John Lennon (1969)

John Lennon, born 80 years ago on October 9, 1940, was a musical genius and pop cultural icon.

He was also a vocal peace protester and anti-war activist, and a high-profile example of the lengths to which the Deep State will go to persecute those who dare to challenge its authority.

Long before Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning were being castigated for blowing …

“Totalitarian” Anti-Communism: Loaded Language Straight Out of CIA, Neo-Con Playbook

Loaded Language Straight out of CIA, Neo-Con Playbook

ORIENTATION

Forms of language manipulation

As most of us know, verbal language is both a tool and a weapon. Verbal language allows our species to talk about the past and the future. It allows us to label mental and physical illnesses and provides us with diagnosis and prognosis. It allows us to communicate more precisely than we can with non-verbal language, whether about the world or our internal states. But language can also be used to control and manipulate. There are at least nine forms of language manipulation:

Loading the language …

Omnibus Collisions: Coronavirus Policing and Overreach in Victoria

In her September 17 speech to parliament, the Attorney General of the Australian state of Victoria, Jill Hennessy, explained various provisions of the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) and Other Acts Amendment Bill.  Of most interest was the proposal that would dramatically inflate the scope of public health power in ostensibly preventing a spread of COVID-19.  “The broader class of persons who may be appointed as authorised officers may include public sector employees from Victoria and other jurisdictions.  For example, health services staff, WorkSafe officers such as Inspectors, Victoria Police members and Protective Service Officers.”

The formulation seemed an odd …

Nobody for President: Voting Legitimizes a Fraudulent Democracy

Here’s a bit of food for thought about why you should not, we repeat, should not, vote for anyone in November. Now, unlike the rabid pro-voters, there is no intention on our part to “vote-shame” those that choose to vote. If you really feel that strongly about voting, that’s fine and that’s your prerogative, have at it. However, we think there are a number of valid reasons why one should not participate in yet another spectacle of presidential elections masquerading as democracy.

No Individual Can be Trusted with That Much Power

The first consideration is the moral or ethical dilemma. Both Trump …

Eternal Impunity of Capitalism’s Crimes

Agent Orange, a fifty-fifty mix of the n-butyl esters 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T)

The very idea of War Being a Racket penetrates so deeply into capitalism’s flair for murder by a thousand cuts, a thousand miles in a Corvair, a thousand sips from diet Coke, a thousand sucks from Nestle baby formula, a thousand hours on the video screen, a thousand seconds inside the nuclear core, a thousand nanoparticles chewed, a thousand days living under high tension power lines, a thousand slices of mercury-cured tuna, a thousand puffs of the e-cigarette, a thousand days in law school, a thousand clicks hiked in clear cut, a thousand bombs bursting in air, a thousand doses …

Savior of Capitalism

Roosevelt’s New Deal brought an array of acronyms for new government agencies to the attention of the American public:  NRA, WPA, CCC, TVA et al. The only one absent was capitalism’s SOS.

There is no doubting that many of the projects initiated by the New Deal were indeed beneficial to America’s infrastructure and were a success. It was said that the capitalists had acquired a social conscience. Roosevelt’s election was engineered by a group of individuals whose economic interests required urgent governmental aid. The Crash of 1929 was so devastating

Let’s Cut the Crap about “White Supremacy”

How many times do we need to request a meaningless “denunciation” of white supremacy? We, on what passes for a left, are supposed to be critics of corporate media, so why the dog-like obedience to its idiotic framing on this non-issue? President Trump has issued such pointless denunciations before, and did so again in the first presidential debate with Joe Biden, saying “sure” when asked if he would be willing to denounce white supremacists.

Then he introduced the apparently radical notion that there are two sides to every conflict, and took the side of those “defending property” and upholding the values …