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The Ministry of Wiki-Truth

OK, here’s a silly one for you.

Have you ever wondered how all those Wikipedia articles get produced … you know, the ones you pull up on your phone to look up an actor, an author, or a recipe, or a historical or scientific fact? Unfortunately, one of the Consent Factory staff had an opportunity to find out recently.

Apparently, what happened was, someone (presumably one of my readers) tried to add a reference to one of my essays to Wikipedia’s Identity Politics page. The Ministry of Wiki-Truth objected, adamantly. A low-level edit war ensued. Once the …

A Brief History of Time Change

As an American, one can reasonably ask: “What’s happened during the last hundred years, or 36,500 days?”

Presidentially speaking, America’s gone from a pedantic, virulently anti-Communist Woodrow Wilson to a bombastic, virulently anti-Islamic Donald Trump.  Coincidentally, Wilson was the most recent U.S. president to authorize an invasion of Mexico (March 15,1916), while Trump’s obsession with “our Southern border” has been more than well-documented.

Now, back in 1916, President Wilson’s “punitive expedition” was intended to capture the Mexican political outlier Pancho Villa, whose cross-border raid on Columbus, New Mexico (March 9, 1916) had killed 18 Americans.  Ultimately, General John “Black Jack” Pershing’s 6,000 …

From Colombia to Galapagos to California and OSU

International Scientist Moors His Work on Whales at Newport, Oregon

New information breakthroughs for me are exhilarating. Working with all that whale data is like looking into the dark with a flashlight. It’s work that is able to contribute new information to the field.

— OSU Whale Researcher, Daniel Palacios

Whaling’s first commercial iteration with harpoons started in Japan around 1570. With many more nations participating in killing whales for exploitation over the proceeding centuries – seeking oil, blubber, flesh, and other body parts – by the turn of the 20th Century, many of the 90 species of whales were on a steep decline, endangered or near extinction.

For one Oregon State University research …

Winding Brook Stories: Communicator-Recruiter Justas

Part 1 of 17 Part Series


Justas picked me up at the train station. We rode in an elder Tvind car to the campus where I would live for eight days preparing for this series. I hoped this would be a positive story for me—being with people who actually embody the vision of liberation, and fight with the oppressed, jointly struggling to empower their lives. This would be a rarity for me as nearly all my writings reflect the evils and profiteering humans inflict upon one another and the planet.

Justinas Volungevicius (Justas for short and …

Game of Thrones: Olde-Style Catharsis or Bloody Good Counsel?

You have been too clever for your own good, O human nature (hominen natura)! and gifted beyond measure to your ruin. Of what avail to you to gird cities with turreted walls? Of what avail to arm hands in strife? What had you to do with the sea – you might have been satisfied with the land! Why do you not seek the sky as well – a third kingdom? In so far as you may, you do annex the sky also – Quirinus has his temple, and Liber

Winding Brook Stories

Preface to a 17 part series

This series of teacher-student stories, interspersed with journalistic materials and writing, is aimed  at showing how thousands of mainly white Europeans and Americans from both continents together with millions of Africans and peoples from India struggle to eradicate, or greatly reduce, poverty by “fighting with the poor”. They do so out of “solidarity humanism” by using a unique and radical schooling—“another kind of school: learning by doing”—and through concrete development projects for sustainable agriculture and environment; community development; and improving the health of people by preventing-treating HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other epidemics.

What is unusual and noteworthy about these …

Stephen Lewis and the NDP’s liberal Imperialism

If the New Democratic Party wants to be part of the solution and not a barrier to creating a better foreign policy it needs to start telling the truth.

Stephen Lewis is a liberal imperialist who largely ignores Canada’s contribution to African subjugation.

Just before the election Svend Robinson for Burnaby North-Seymour published an endorsement from Lewis. The Facebook page for the left-wing NDP candidate noted, “Thanks to the legendary Stephen Lewis for this stellar endorsement!”

The mainstream left’s deification of Lewis reflects its alignment with Canadian imperialism. Ontario NDP leader from 1970 to 1978, Lewis was stridently anti-Palestinian. He demanded the federal …

Now Is The Time To Win National Improved Medicare For All

National improved Medicare for all is making tremendous progress during the 2020 election cycle. Democratic presidential candidates, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who advocate for it, are achieving record numbers of contributions and performing strongly in the polls. Candidates like former Vice President Joe Biden, who opposes Medicare for all, and Senator Kamala Harris, who came out with a phony plan she called Medicare for all, are losing ground.

This is happening because of the decades of work by the single-payer movement to educate people, organize and build consensus for …

Dammed Good Question about the Green New Deal

Dam Removal on Salmon Rivers Hydroelectric power from dams might be the thorniest question that proponents of the Green New Deal (GND) have to grapple with. Providing more energy than solar and wind combined, dams could well become the backup for energy if it proves impossible to get off of fossil fuels fast enough.

Rivers and lakes are an integral part of human existence, with virtually all major inland cities being located next to one of them. They provide water for drinking, …

China Breaks the Western Debt Stranglehold on the World

The west has colonized, exploited, ravaged and assassinated the people of the Global South for hundreds of years.

Up to the mid-20th Century Europe has occupied Africa, and large parts of Asia.

In Latin America, though much of the sub-Continent was “freed” from Spain and Portugal in the 19th Century – a new kind of colonization followed by the new Empire of the United States under the so-called Monroe Doctrine, named after President James Monroe (1817-1825), forbidding Europeans to interfere in any “American territory”. Latin America was then and is again today considered Washington’s Backyard.

In the last ten years or so, Washington …

The Empire, Trump and Intra-Ruling Class Conflict

Over the past few months President Trump has unilaterally by Tweet and telephone begun to dismantle the U.S. military’s involvement in the Middle East. The irony is amazing, because in a general overarching narrative sense, this is what the marginalized antiwar movement has been trying to do for decades.

Prof. Harry Targ, in his important piece “United States foreign policy: yesterday, today, and tomorrow,” (MR online, October 23, 2919), reminds us of the factional dispute among U.S. foreign policy elites over how to maintain the …

Scott Morrison’s Authoritarian Streak: Crushing Anti-Mining Protest in Australia

The Prime Minister of Australia is fuming.  Having made his mark on Australian politics by being the mining sector’s most avid defender, Scott Morrison was disturbed by the week’s events in Melbourne that saw clashes between police and protesters outside the sixth annual international mining and resources conference.

It made sense for the protesters to kick up a fuss at the big ticket event.  IMARC, as the site states, “is where the global mining leaders connect with technology, finance and the future.  It is Australia’s largest mining event bringing together over 7,000 decision makers, mining leaders, policy makers, investors, …

Proposed Withdrawal of US Troops in Syria

President Trump has stated his intent to withdraw US troops from Syria on several occasions since March 2018. Each time politicians from both the Democratic and Republican parties, supported by the corporate-controlled media, have, based on US imperial interests, vehemently challenged the withdrawal proposal. These folks also based their opposition to withdrawal on their supposed concerns for the Syrian Kurds. Unfortunately they have shown far less concern about the welfare of Iraqis, Libyans, Yemenis, Afghanis and Palestinians among many other populations suffering terribly due in part to US actions.

It is a telling commentary that few of the so-called elite US …

Take Your Thiamine and Eat Your Cake Too?

Dirty genes, epigenetics, maladaptive Western diets & lifestyles, environmental factors play into our chronic illness problem

So the presumption was that you really just need your basic macronutrients – carbohydrates, proteins, fats, etc., and the mitochondria will take care of everything. What is ignored is that to get from those macronutrients to ATP you actually need functional enzymes and you need micronutrients – vitamins and minerals at each step and there’s 22 of them you need. Thiamine happens to be the most important because of its geographic position, if you will, and because of its great limiting step along the various pathways.

No matter what other deficiency you may or may not have, if you do not

The “Deep State” Has Been Redefined as Career Bureaucrats Doing Their Patriotic Duty

It gets funny, this shallow analysis of the deep state that is currently big news. There’s something ghoulish about it, perfectly timed for Halloween and masked jokers. What was once ridiculed by the CIA and its attendant lackeys in the media as the paranoia of “conspiracy theorists” is now openly admitted in reverent tones of patriotic fervor.  But with a twisted twist.

The corporate mass-media has recently discovered a “deep state” that they claim to be not some evil group of assassins who work for the super-rich owners of the country and murder their own president (JFK) and other unpatriotic dissidents …

Hollow Promises of a Better Life: Modern Day Slavery

Despite the fact that slavery has long been abolished it continues to blight our world, destroying the lives of tens of millions of people. The Global Slavery Index (GSI) 2018 estimates there to be 40.3 million slaves in the world; however, given the difficulty of collecting data, the areas that are not included – organ trafficking, child soldiers, or child marriage – and the fact that, as GSI says, there are ‘substantial gaps’ from the Arabs States, where 17.5 million migrants workers live, the actual number will no doubt be a great deal higher.

Of the 40.3 million total, 24.9 million …

Invasion

Over the past decade I’ve made a number of short films about the Unist’ot’en, because I believe in their struggle and also because out of all the climate activism I’ve seen in Turtle Island, theirs has the potential to block the largest chunk of greenhouse gasses coming out of Canada’s tar sands and fracked gas projects. This is because their camp stands in the way of a proposed “energy corridor” that would bring fossil fuels via multiple pipelines, to ports in the Pacific for export to Asian markets.

This past year has been pretty devastating for the camp as Canadian courts …

Charter School Advocates Demand That Everyone Fend for Themselves

Promoters of privately-operated charter schools that intensify segregation and siphon money from public schools idolize the law of the jungle where the “strongest survive.”

This backward view assumes that everyone is nothing more than a consumer and that education is mainly a commodity. Such a discredited outlook is a direct assault on the modern principle that education is a basic human right and that schools must be fully-funded, publicly controlled, high quality, integrated, and available to all for free in every community. No one should have to worry about which school to send their child to. Government must take up its …

Chile and Her History of Western Interference

Chile is experiencing the largest and most serious political crisis and public unrest throughout Santiago and the country’s major cities since the return to ‘democracy’ in 1990. A week long of fire, tear-gas and police brutality left at least 20 people dead, thousands arrested and injured. More than 1.2 million people protested on Friday 25 October in the Streets of Chile’s capital, Santiago, not just against the 4% hike in metro-fares. That was the drop that brought the glass to overflow. Years, decades of neoliberal policies, brought hardship, poverty and inequality to Chileans. Chile is the country with the world’s …

Beirut is Burning: Rebellion Against the Elites has Commenced

Tires are burning, smoke is rising towards the sky. It is October, the 18th day of the month, the capital city of Lebanon, in the past known as the “Paris of the East”, is covered in smoke.

For years I was warning that the country governed by corrupt, indifferent elites, could not hold together indefinitely.

For all those five years when I was calling Beirut home, things were going down the drain. Nothing was improving: almost no public transportation, electricity shortages, contaminated and erratic water supply. Periodically, garbage has been piling up along the streets and suburban roads. Once an airplane lands …

Why Making Young School Children Observe Veterans Day Is Problematic

Summary: Encouraging elementary school children to honor and glorify the military without a deeper understanding of militarism and war is simply indoctrination.

As we approach Veterans Day in the United States, many schools across the country will engage in some sort of activities or ceremonies to commemorate this holiday and those to whom it is dedicated. On the face of it, there is nothing inherently wrong with honoring people who have made sacrifices to defend their homeland, but the way we do it in the United States is fundamentally wrong and deeply disturbing, especially when young children are implicated in this.

In …

Our Vanishing World: Insects

About 12,000 years ago, late stone age humans precipitated the neolithic (agricultural) revolution that marked the start of the steady rise to civilization. Coincidentally, this occurred at the same time as the beginning of what is now known as the Holocene Epoch, the geological epoch in which humans still live.

However, since the industrial revolution commencing in about 1750, just 270 years ago, humans have been destroying Earth’s biosphere with such tremendous ferocity that the Earth we inherited at the beginning of the Holocene Epoch is vanishing before our eyes. And life is vanishing with it.

While this catastrophe first gained significant …

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinian Christians that nobody is talking about

Palestine’s Christian population is dwindling at an alarming rate. The world’s most ancient Christian community is moving elsewhere. And the reason for this is Israel.

Christian leaders from Palestine and South Africa sounded the alarm at a conference in Johannesburg on October 15. Their gathering was titled: “The Holy Land: A Palestinian Christian Perspective”.

One major issue that highlighted itself at the meetings is the rapidly declining number of Palestinian Christians in Palestine.

There are varied estimates on how many Palestinian Christians are still living in Palestine today, compared with the period before 1948 when the state of Israel was established atop …

Syria:  The Launch of a Constitutional Committee a Sign of Hope for Syrian People

29 October 2019

Peter Koenig

Transcript of a PressTV Interview following a live press Conference by the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey at the UN Geneva, Switzerland

Background

GENEVA, October 28 (Xinhua) — The UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, said here on Monday that the Constitutional Committee’s launch should be a sign of hope for the long-suffering Syrian people.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Pedersen said that the creation of the Constitutional Committee is a shared promise to the Syrian people to try in earnest to agree on new constitutional arrangements for Syria’s future.

Russia, Iran and Turkey have stressed …

A Touch of Plagiarism: The Nazari Precedent

The academy is filled with wonder.  There are professors who cannot teach.  There are associate professors who cannot write.  There are tenured academics who have been promoted on the basis of being able to be the fourth author on all their papers, able to put and patch together an abstract and jot down a signature.  And there are those tagging types, the sort that come to the intellectual show once it has been played, attaching their names to a monograph they have never written.  All make sure about one thing: to spell their name correctly and hail the merits of …

The Temperature Movement: The Reincarnation of a Perennial Anglo-American Obsession

There are two basic fields in which more than a century of critical writing and education has made no impact whatsoever on what for convenience I will call the Anglo-American progressives, some of whom apparently like to think of them as members of the Left.

Here is not the place to discuss the meanwhile virtual uselessness of the term “Left” in describing Euro-American political discourse — and eo ipso those who engage in it.

The first basic field is science — by which I mean the institutions of natural science who produce and propagate what we have come to call scientific knowledge. …

Russian MoD Doubts Trump’s Announcement of Killing ISIS Chief al-Baghdadi

Rejects claims it assisted US forces in op

There’s no credible data to prove a successful American raid took place against Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Russia’s Defense Ministry said. The US coalition didn’t even carry out any airstrikes in Idlib recently.

Earlier, Trump made a rare Sunday address from the White House informing the world that al-Baghdadi was eliminated in northwest Syria in a “daring nighttime raid” with the involvement of US special forces, planes, helicopters and drones. The Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) leader met his end “crying and screaming” in the face of the Americans’ might, he said.

But the Russian Defense Ministry insisted that …

Agrochemical Apocalypse: Interview with Environmental Campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason  

The renowned author and whistleblower Evaggelos Vallianatos describes British environmentalist and campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason as a “defender of the natural world and public health.” I first came across her work a few years ago. It was in the form of an open letter she had sent to an official about the devastating environmental and human health impacts of glyphosate-based weed killers. What had impressed me was the document she had sent to accompany the letter. It was over 20 pages long and contained official data and referred to a plethora of scientific papers to support the case she …

Ongoing Haiti Revolt Targets Canada

Haiti is the site of the most sustained popular uprising among many that are currently sweeping the globe. It’s also the most explicitly anti-imperialist, which is part of the reason why it has received the least coverage.

For six weeks much of Port-au-Prince has been shuttered in the longest in a series of strikes since the revolt began 15 months ago. There have been innumerable mass protests by diverse social sectors calling for president Jovenel Moïse to go.

Last week protesters reportedly threw rocks at the Canadian Embassy in Port-au-Prince. On Friday Radio Canada’s Luc Chartrand highlighted the widespread hostility towards …

Camp Bucca, Abu Ghraib and the Rise of Extremism in Iraq

Yesterday morning, President Trump announced the death of Abu Bakr Al- Baghdadi and three of his children.

President Trump said Al-Baghdadi, the founder of ISIS, was fleeing U.S. military forces, in a tunnel, and then killed himself by detonating a suicide vest he wore.

In 2004, Al-Baghdadi had been captured by U.S. forces and, for ten months, imprisoned in both Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca.

I visited Camp Bucca in January, 2004 when, still under construction, the Camp was a network of tents, south of Basra, in an isolated, miserable area of Iraq.

Before our three-person Voices delegation entered Iraq, that month, we …