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Che: Viva! Hasta la Victoria Siempre!

Che! You are one of the greatest revolutionaries of the 20th Century. You inspired tens of millions of people throughout the world to fight for justice, for their freedom and civil rights. You have left a vision of hope, of never giving up – a legacy of solidarity and of Venceremos! – we shall overcome. You have been murdered by the most criminal organization of the most evil empire, the CIA of the United States of America – but your spirit lives on in Latin America, Africa, Asia and even in vassal Europe, inspiring generation after generation for class struggle,

Reverse Logic: No “God Bless America” But Damn America for Its Deeds

It’s as if a moral and cultural bomb has been detonated now that this guy tweets and says things not allowed in school. I have youth in my ‘behavior room’ saying stuff right from the president’s mouth. These words and statements we do not allow children to say in school. Racist and sexist and anti-disabilities things, we don’t tolerate but the president is spouting off these horrendous statements. I’ve already got my hands full with young people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities that put them in the behavioral and defiance categories. With Trump, my caseload of high school youth

I went to School with the Vegas Shooter

Mobile home on tracks, Sun Valley CA, birthplace of the Vegas shooter. From the film The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.
Los Angeles — When we were at Francis Polytechnic High in Sun Valley, Steve Paddock and I were required to take electrical shop class.  At Poly and our junior high, we were required to take metal shop so we could work the drill presses at the GM plant.  We took drafting.  Drafting like in “blueprint drawing.”

Paddock. Palast.  We sat next to each other at those drafting tables with …

Trillion-Ton Icebergs and Record Stock Prices

The strange happenstance of record-breaking stock markets and record-breaking icebergs is something to behold and wonder, what the hell is going on in the world? Is there a relationship between high stock prices and crashing, splintering icebergs? Probably, yes.

In point of fact, as capitalism’s grand experiment of neoliberal tendencies (privatization/commoditization of everything in sight, let free markets reign supreme) progresses and registers enormous stock market profits, Antarctica splitters apart ever faster in lock step. In bizarre fashion, high stocks equate to faster loss of major ice icons, the Arctic-to-Patagonia-to-Antarctica, a worldwide phenomena. Is the linkage mere coincidence?

In short, does unfettered …

Bigoted and Unprofessional Police Chief Backed by Michigan Governor

Dear NFL: We will not support millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our Armed Forces and Veterans. Who wins a football game has ZERO impact on our lives. Who fights for and defends our nation has every impact on our lives. We stand with the Heroes, not a bunch of rich, entitled, arrogant, ungrateful, anti-American, degenerates. Signed, We the people.

This is an unsurprisingly nasty internet meme that was publicly shared by the director of the Michigan State Police on her Facebook page on Sunday, September 24. Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue apparently gave no thought to …

How to Wipe Out Puerto Rico’s Debt Without Hurting Bondholders

During his visit to hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico, President Donald Trump shocked the bond market when he told Geraldo Rivera of Fox News that he was going to wipe out the island’s bond debt. He said on October 3rd:

You know they owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street. We’re gonna have to wipe that out. That’s gonna have to be — you know, you can say goodbye to that. I don’t know if it’s Goldman Sachs but whoever it is, you can wave good-bye to that.

How did the president plan to pull this off? Pam Martens …

North Korea and Trump’s Reality Free Zone: Tweeting About Armageddon

When US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, stated of North Korea (4th September 2017): “When a rogue regime has a nuclear weapon and an ICBM pointed at you, you do not take steps to lower your guard. No one would do that”, she unwittingly put her finger on why the DPRK has been conducting missile tests and stating that they have ever bigger, better and longer range capabilities. There is no certainty that either of the latter is the case, but the tiny country has been subject to nearly seventy years of vilification and ever more threatening behavior from …

The “Ugly Canadian” is on the March: Trudeau is its New Face

The “Ugly Canadian” is on the march but now with a much prettier face at the helm. Across the planet Canadian mining companies are in conflict with local communities and usually have the Trudeau government’s support.

A slew of disputes have arisen at Canadian run mines in recent weeks:

Last week in northern central Mexico, community members blockaded the main access road to Goldcorp’s Penasquito mine. They are protesting against the Vancouver-based company for using and contaminating their water without providing alternative sources.

In Northern Ireland two weeks ago, police forced activists out of a Cookstown hotel after they tried …

Power Corrupts: A Culture of Compliance Breeds Despots and Predators

All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.

― Frank Herbert

Power corrupts.

Worse, as 19th-century historian Lord Acton concluded, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about a politician, an entertainment mogul, a corporate CEO or a police officer: give any one person (or government agency) too much power and allow him or her or it to believe that they are entitled, untouchable and will not be held accountable for their actions, and those powers will eventually be …

What Is Behind the Hamas-Fatah Reconciliation?

Egypt’s enthusiasm to arbitrate between feuding Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, is not the outcome of a sudden awakening of conscience. Cairo has, in fact, played a destructive role in manipulating Palestinian division to its favor, while keeping the Rafah border crossing under lock and key.

However, the Egyptian leadership is clearly operating in coordination with Israel and the United States. While the language emanating from Tel Aviv and Washington is quite guarded regarding the ongoing talks between the two Palestinian parties, if read carefully, their political discourse is not entirely dismissive of the possibility of having Hamas join a unity …

Noam Chomsky And The BBC: A Brief Comparison

A recent interview with 88-year-old Noam Chomsky once again demonstrates just how insightful he is in providing rational analysis of Western power and the suffering it generates. By contrast, anyone relying on BBC News receives a power-friendly view of the world, systematically distorted in a way that allows the state and private interests to pursue business as usual.

In what follows, we present examples of Chomsky’s clarity on several important topics and contrast them with the distortions and silences from BBC News. These examples are not intended to be fully comprehensive, with lots of detailed background. But …

A Courageous Israeli Speaks Out

On October 6 there was a presentation in Lafayette California featuring the Israeli-American Miko Peled.  The event was sponsored by Mt Diablo Peace & Justice Center (MDPJC) with co-sponsorship by Jewish Voice for Peace and others.

What Miko Peled says is seldom heard by Americans.

Miko was born in Jerusalem and comes from a famous Israeli family. His grandfather was one of the signers of the Israeli founding documents. His father was a soldier in the war which led to the creation of Israel and later a senior Army general during the 1967 war. Adding to the power of his voice, one …

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs: Stoking Islamophobia and Defending Racism

Would a farmer ask a fox to help design a security system for her free-range chickens?

A group that stokes Islamophobia and defends an explicitly supremacist organization shouldn’t be part of a Public Consultation on Systemic Discrimination and Racism in Québec. The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) should be removed from the “list of selected organizations” for this important initiative.

While groups participating in the just launched consultation are supposed to “develop concrete proposals to combat systemic discrimination and racism”, last summer CIJA campaigned aggressively against a Green Party of Canada resolution calling on the Canada …

The Balfour Declaration Destroyed Palestine, Not the Palestinian People

Some promises are made and kept; others disavowed. But the ‘promise’ made by Arthur James Balfour in what became known as the ‘Balfour Declaration’ to the leaders of the Zionist Jewish community in Britain one hundred years ago, was only honored in part: it established a state for the Jews and attempted to destroy the Palestinian nation.

In fact, Balfour, the foreign Secretary of Britain at the time his declaration of 84 words was pronounced on November 2, 1917, was, like many of his peers, anti-Semitic. He cared little about the fate of Jewish communities. His commitment to establishing a Jewish …

52 Years after Fascist Genocide, Indonesians Scared of “Communist Ghosts”

From Jakarta and Yogyakarta — It was once again a hot, muggy day in Jakarta. The air was full of pollutants, epic traffic jams blocking entire center of the city. Biasa, as locals would say, or in a lax translation, ‘business as usual’.

It is September 29th, 2017, Friday, just one day before the most sinister anniversary in the entire Southeast Asia.

On September 30th, 1965, the Indonesian military, obeying orders from foreign powers (mainly the US and the UK), overthrew the progressive and anti-imperialist government of President Sukarno, murdering between 1 and 3 million men, women and children (including almost all …

Protesting Against Adani: The National Day of Action

Melbourne

“Be careful, you might get run over.”  So squawks an administrator from the local RMIT University as she dashes towards Princess Park, Melbourne. The need for this jet propulsion enthusiasm is clear: a gathering is being organised in the park, amongst other venues, in a national day of action. The bogeyman? The Indian monster mining concern, Adani.

Across some 45 venues in Australia, protestors gathered, banners flown, speeches given. “I have a two-year old daughter,” exclaimed Bondi surf life saver Simon Fosterling at the Sydney end of the protest on Saturday, “and I don’t want to have a conversation with …

Finding Our Way Back to Truth by Following a String of Facts

If you find yourself lost and confused in a dark wood, then perhaps following this network of knots strung on a long string of dates listed below will help you find your way back home, where the bread of truth awaits you on the kitchen table.

As we know, children love to trace, to connect the dots, to make connections, but often the connections they make frighten adults who try to ignore their points or offer some ridiculous circumlocutions.  Maybe we adults are much like children in our desires to make connections, but the thought of it frightens us, even when …

Revolution, not Reform: Moral Courage, Redefining Progress, and the Myth of Social Democracy

Revolution in society must begin with the inner, psychological revolution of the individual. Most of us want to see a radical transformation of the social structure…however radical that social revolution may be its nature is static if there is no inward revolution, no psychological transformation…However much and however wisely legislation may be promulgated, society is always in the process of decay because revolution must take place within, not merely outwardly.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti, The First and Last Freedom

The revolution will only come as a result of inner, mental transformation, as Krishnamurti foretold. Political movements may urge people towards an outward revolution of …

Our Che: 50 Years After His Execution

(Author’s note: This is an updated, re-edited essay, based on a 2007 written for a Celebration of Ernesto Che Guevara’s life held in October 2007 in New York City in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of his execution, attended by 300 people.)
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Che died defending no other interest, no other cause than the cause of the exploited and the oppressed of this continent. Che died defending no other cause than the cause of the poor and the humble of this earth.

— Fidel Castro, October 18, 1967

Che Lives!

On October …

Citadels of Paranoia; Panoramas of Despair: An Occupation of Phantoms

The bad news is, we have been deluged with bad, even mortifying, news, and for such an extended period of time, the mind reels in bafflement as the spirit sinks. Despair seems an apt response to events one cannot reconcile, of circumstances of which one cannot gain perspective nor control.

The only sadnesses that are dangerous and unhealthy are the ones that we carry around in public in order to drown them out with the noise; like diseases that are treated superficially and foolishly, they just withdraw and after a short interval break out again all the