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What Went Wrong in Charlottesville?

At All Levels, Government Is Still the Problem

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem.

— Ronald Reagan

Corruption. Graft. Intolerance. Greed. Incompetence. Ineptitude. Militarism. Lawlessness. Ignorance. Brutality. Deceit. Collusion. Corpulence. Bureaucracy. Immorality. Depravity. Censorship. Cruelty. Violence. Mediocrity. Tyranny.

These are the hallmarks of an institution that is rotten through and through.

What you smell is the stench of a dying republic. Our dying republic.

The American experiment in freedom is failing fast.

Through every fault of our own—our apathy, our ignorance, our intolerance, our disinclination to do the hard work of holding government leaders accountable to the rule of law, our inclination to let …

The Life of Fidel Castro: A Marxist Appreciation

One Year After His Passing


Marxism taught me what society was. I was like a blindfolded man in a forest, who doesn’t know where north or south is. If you don’t eventually come to truly understand the history of the class struggle, or at least have a clear idea that society is divided between the rich and the poor, and that some people subjugate and exploit other people, you’re lost in a forest, not knowing anything.

— Fidel Castro

[Humans] make [their] own history, but [they] do not make it out of the whole cloth; [they]

Capitalism’s Failure Of The Flesh: The Rise Of The Robots

Humankind, being an inherently tool-making species, has always been in a relationship with technology. Our tools, weapons, machines, and appliances are crucial to forging the cultural criteria of human life. At present, amid the technology created phantom-scape of mass media’s lurid — yet somehow sterile — imagery, one can feel as if one’s mind is in danger of being churned to spittle.

On a personal note, an informal consensus has formed among my friends who share a passion for reading: We read far fewer books since the time we became enmeshed with the internet. Worse, we find the feelings of isolation …

Recognising Jerusalem: Unilateralism, International Law, and the Trump White House

What ramifications and when? The recognition of Jerusalem as the natural capital for the State of Israel by US President Donald J. Trump was promised by the buffoonish steward of the empire. Delivering on it was not necessarily expected – US presidents, keen on courting pro-Israeli groups, had been promising to do so for years.

Overthrowing the shackles of convention is something Trump believes is a valuable substitute for good sense. Ruffle feathers, dirty assumptions, and hope that it catches. One such convention is the steadfast refusal on the part of states to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital in any …

The Cold War Now and Then

The Anti-Empire Report # 153

He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.

– President Trump re Vladimir Putin after their meeting in Vietnam.

Putin later added that he knew “absolutely nothing” about Russian contacts with Trump campaign officials. “They can do what they want, looking for some sensation. But there are no sensations.”

Numerous US intelligence agencies have said otherwise. Former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, responded to Trump’s remarks by declaring: “The president was given clear and indisputable evidence that Russia interfered in the election.”

As we’ll see below, …

“Say the Word”: What the Rohingya Struggle is Really About

Pope Francis lost a historical opportunity to truly set his legacy apart from previous popes. Alas, for him, too, political expediency trumped all else. In his visit to Burma (Myanmar) on November 27, he refrained from using the word ‘Rohingya.’

But what’s in a name?

In our frenzied attempts at understanding and articulating the plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma, we often, perhaps inadvertently, ignore the heart of the matter: The struggle of the Rohingya is essentially a fight for identity.

Burma’s Buddhist majority and its representatives, including the powerful military and the country’s de-facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, …

Cambodia Keeps Perverting its own History for Cash

I have already written a lot about Cambodia, but each time I return to this ancient and scarred country, I get so outraged by the cynicism that confronts me there, at every corner, that I have to start writing again, re-addressing the same essential issues that I have already been covering for years and decades.

One question always comes back to my mind:

‘How could a nation that suffered so much, losing hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of sons and daughters (official number stands at 1.7 million), accept a totally twisted narrative fabricated in Washington, London, Paris and other Western capitals? And …

The Not-So-Subtle Art of Protesting: Artists and the Public Space

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common,
But lets the greater felon loose
Who steals the common from the goose.

— (Anonymous protest poem from the 17th century)

In 1762 Jean Jacques Rousseau published his book, The Social Contract, in which he wrote, “In Greece, all that the populace had to do, it did for itself; it was constantly assembled in the public square.” Rousseau was well aware of the importance of public spaces when it came to political change. Indeed, the storming of the Bastille on 14 …

Presumed Innocence and Trial by Media

There has been a recent media frenzy surrounding elitist men’s alleged sexual predation toward women/girls and men/boys. The news is hard to miss. Of course, over-the-top, unwanted sexual advances when made known to be unwelcome, exceed boundaries and enter the realm of harassment and, perhaps, criminal behavior.

But the condemnations of these alleged sexual predators has been based on trial by media rather than trials through the legal system.

Israel Shamir exposes the social justice implications of this in a recent article. Yet the writer starts out his …

Election Theft in Honduras

Introduction

Honduras is in crisis. The national election took place on Sunday 26 November. Results posted that night showed the challenger Salvador Nasralla with a 5% lead with 57% of the votes tallied.

Then strange things began to happen. After midnight on election night, TSE stopped posting updates and effectively shut down for the next 36 hours. The president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), David Matamoros Batson, said they had received 13,000 tally sheets but were missing 6,000 from the total. With just over 18,000 total, this does not quite add up.  Then two hours later, Matamoros increased the number of …

The Row Over Jerusalem gives American Jews a Tough Choice

For decades most American Jews have claimed an “Israel exemption”: resolutely progressive on domestic issues, they are hawks on their cherished cause. Racism they would vigorously oppose if applied in the United States is welcomed in Israel.

Reports at the weekend suggested that Donald Trump was about to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, throwing a wrench in any peace plan.

If true, the US president will have decisively prioritised support for Israel – and pro-Israel lobbies at home – over outrage from Palestinians and the Arab world. But paradoxically, just as American Jews look close to winning the battle domestically on behalf …

China, Saudi Arabia, and the US: Shake Up and Shake Down

Major changes are roiling the states, societies and ruling classes of the biggest industrial economies, oil regimes and military complexes.

China is re-allocating its economic wealth toward building the most extensive modern infrastructure system in history, linking four continents.

Saudi Arabia is transferring a trillion dollars of pillage from princes to princes, from old business parasites to up-to-date versions, from austere desert mirages to fantasies of new …

Holding Uber Accountable: Litigating over Data Hacks

It sent patrons and users into fits of puzzled anger.  It numbed a good many more who had placed mistaken faith in its operations.  Rapacious, predatory Uber, a ride-hailing company famed for its international ruthlessness, had behaved accordingly.  Last week, the firm revealed that it had received a massive hack in 2016, failing to notify customers and regulators that a breach of security had taken place.

The scale of the hack was far from negligible.  Some 57 million customers were affected, their data obtained and held to ransom.  This was not all.  Officials at Uber, having decided against immediate revelation in …

In Age of Forest Fires, Israel’s Law Against Palestinian Goats Proves Self-inflicted Wound for Zionism

A ban by Israel on herding black goats – on the pretext they cause environmental damage – is to be repealed after nearly seven decades of enforcement that has decimated the pastoral traditions of Palestinian communities.

The Israeli government appears to have finally conceded that, in an age of climate change, the threat of forest fires to Israeli communities is rapidly growing in the goats’ absence.

The goats traditionally cleared undergrowth, which has become a tinderbox as Israel experiences ever longer and hotter summer droughts. Exactly a year ago, Israel was hit by more than 1,500 …

Roads to Perdition, Paths of Righteousness, and the Gray Area In Between

Apparently there are seven things that piss off the Christian God more than anything else.  And, not surprisingly, those seven things are all common traits in both those who worship Him and in those of us who doubt or deny His existence.  Real or imaginary, you’ve gotta give the man upstairs credit for His sense of humor.  Too funny…incorporate faults and flaws into our DNA, and then punish us for them.  Even threats of Hellfire and damnation don’t seem to carry much weight in deterring good Christians from lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, or pride.  One would strongly suspect that a …

A City on a Hill, or The Weinstein Effect

Freed from the sublimated form which was the very token of its irreconcilable dreams—a form which is the style, the language in which the story is told—sexuality turns into a vehicle for the bestsellers of oppression.

— Herbert Marcuse, One Dimensional Man, 1964

I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it — you will regret both.

— Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or, 1843

The accusations of sexual harassment and sexual assault against celebrity (mostly Hollywood) men by women who, mostly, …

The Poetic Rendezvous

A review of Dustin Pickering's book Salt and Sorrow

Dustin Pickering’s evocative book of poems, Salt and Sorrow, does a lot in the short precincts that it had. Also, it deals with a lot of problems and the intricacies that are quite unique in their own right, taking into account the American culture that the poet represents. One thinks of the conventional things when one thinks of Hollywood. One takes things for granted, say, the beauty of a woman. Pickering does not entertain such cock sure readers. He makes things pretty clear right at the beginning. In the opening poem, he talks about the beauty of a woman …

The American Dream Has Been Irreparably Broken

There are many respects in which America, if it can bring itself to act with the magnanimity and the empathy appropriate to its size and power, can be an intelligent example to the world. We have the opportunity to set an example of generous understanding in our relations with China, of practical cooperation for peace in our relations with Russia, of reliable and respectful partnership in our relations with Western Europe, of material helpfulness without moral presumption in our relations with the developing nations, of abstention from the temptations

Genocidal U.S. Thanksgiving Celebrated Even in Cambodia

In Siem Reap

A table was set up for two, an advertisement table, a table with a photo of a giant turkey, two elegant plates, and a U.S. flag sticking out into the air.

“Thanksgiving at Angkor Royal Cafe”, a flier read. And: “23rd November… Join us for a traditional Thanksgiving Feast”.

This was at one of the international hotels in Siem Reap, a Cambodian city near the world architectural treasures of Angkor Wat and the ancient Khmer capital, Angkor Thom.

The same day I read an email sent to me from the United States, …

Decades of US Diplomacy Has Failed: Why the US Wants to Shut Down PLO Office

On November 18, just days before the 50th anniversary of United Nations Resolution 242, the US State Department took its first step towards severing its ties with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

The timing of this decision could not be any more profound.

The first formal contact between the US and the PLO occurred in mid-December, 1988, when US Ambassador to Tunisia, Robert H. Pelletreau Jr., picked up the phone to call the PLO headquarters in Tunis to schedule formal talks.

Palestinian PLO officials were ‘elated’ by the fact that the US made the first move, as reported by the New York