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Showdown at COP28

$200 trillion is needed to stop global warming.

— Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Buckle up, fireworks will be going off in a couple weeks in the pristine complex known as Dubai. World leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, and fossil fuel producers will clash over the outlook for climate change and the impact of global warming, or should it be called global heating? Already, there are signs of tension, as explained in a recent BBC News headline: “Deep Divisions Ahead of Crucial UN Climate Talks” d/d October 31, 2023.

The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, more …

A Duty to Obey: David McBride, Whistleblowing and Following Orders

The unpardonable, outrageous trial of Australian whistleblower David McBride was a brief affair.  On November 13, it did not take long for the brutal power of the Commonwealth to become evident.  McBride, having disclosed material that formed the Australian public about alleged war crimes by special forces in Afghanistan, was going to be made an example of.

McBride served as a major in the British army before becoming a lawyer for the Australian Defence Force, serving two tours in Afghanistan over 2011 and 2013.  During that time, he gathered material about the culture and operations of Australia’s special forces that would …

Here Comes the Rain Again

The rain has been almost constant these early months of 1996. Great storms from the US have arrived even to here, the Caribbean coast of Honduras, thousands of kilometers to the south. At times in Tela, the run-off courses thigh-deep.

And every day, it seems, some piece of news about those Northern-owned Fruit Companies has flooded the papers. A banana war has begun between them and the European Community. Accusations and denials gust through the pages of El Tiempo and La Prensa.

In February, I read in La Prensa of some campesinos who have taken over lands of the Tela RR Co. …

Killing the Story

The ongoing Israeli bombardment of Gaza has been described as the deadliest period for journalists. 53% of all journalists killed by Israel between 2000-2023 were killed during Israel’s current assault on Gaza. Journalists in Gaza are finding it more difficult to report Israeli atrocities due to prolonged periods of communication blackouts. With 48 media facilities in Gaza hit or destroyed, Israel is committing a genocide under a complete media blackout.


Gaza Water 2023

Before the genocide, Palestinians in Gaza struggled to access clean water, with 97% of Gaza’s freshwater resources contaminated due to the Israeli blockade and repeated bombardments. Many families in poverty were forced to spend a third or more of their income to purchase water from unregulated sources, with the hopes that it is safe. Now, this already dire situation is exponentially worse.

CODEPINK Launches International Campaign Urging ICC Investigation into Israel’s Alleged War Crimes in Gaza

THE HAGUE — In the wake of alarming statements by Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which have been perceived as incitement to genocide in Palestine, CODEPINK and its international partners are spearheading a global letter-writing initiative calling for an investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into Israel’s actions in Gaza.
Since the commencement of Israel’s military offensive after October 7, 2023, Gaza has been subjected to a series of war crimes and crimes against humanity. According to Article 5 of the Rome Statute, the ICC holds jurisdiction in cases where states are “unable” or “unwilling” to …

From Gaza with Rage

The repeating Israeli airstrikes on the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza are beyond my own comprehension.  For at least 10 of the last 40 days, missiles have rained down on the most densely populated refugee camp in all of Gaza.

And it is not just the days; it is also the nights. The bombing is done in the dark, when the power is off and the only light is from the fires that burn. It is done when the internet is cut, when the journalists are shot dead, to hide their crimes, the burning of children.

I have …

A Modern Day Addiction

How disciplined are most people?

Korea: Colonized, Plundered, Divided, Devastated by War, under Ongoing Threat of War

The War on Korea (1950-53) was suspended with an armistice agreement. A hostile truce has persisted ever since. With respect to that ongoing confrontation, what Americans get from their government and their news mass media abounds with crucial omissions and misleading distortions resulting in a false portrayal of the geopolitical realities. Relevant history and essential facts.

The Fight for National Independence

Korea was unified as a nation by the 10th century.  During the last half of the 19th century, multiple invasions by foreign powers (US, France, Britain, and Japan) forced the country to allow foreign capital to enter and operate in Korea. [1]

In 1905, …

The God Card: What’s in Your Wallet?

It wasn’t so long ago that the truly faithful knew with certainty that Donald Trump was chosen by God to be president of The United States of America. They knew it, not because God had materialized at the base of the Washington Monument to publicly announce the appointment; they knew it via the usual human grapevine. For reasons most cryptic, God eschews public appearances and chooses to communicate the big stuff through special emissaries. Luckily for the less than special, the Lord chooses wisely and his certified go-betweens obligingly and unerringly put the news out for general consumption.

It’s not clear …


How does the legend of vampires cowering at a cross compare to people acquiescing to COVID-19 mandates?

The Intimate Embrace Between Liberalism and the Far Right

The Forty-Sixth Newsletter (2023)

For Comrade N. Sankaraiah (1922–2023)

One of the curiosities of our time is that the far right is quite comfortable with the established institutions of liberal democracy. There are instances here and there of disgruntled political leaders who refuse to accept their defeat at the ballot box (such as Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro) and then call upon their supporters to take extra-parliamentary action (as on 6 January 2021 in the United States and, in a farcical repetition, on 8 January 2023 in Brazil). But, by and large, the far right knows …

The Politics of Indefinite Detention in Australia

The High Court of Australia is not known for its zealotry in protecting human rights, and certainly not when considering the persuasive pull of international law and conventions.  The Australian Parliament is usually given a generous hand in making policies that tend to outrage such conventions, a freedom made that much easier by an absence of any bill of rights.

A grim example of this was the 2004 High Court decision of Al-Kateb v Godwin, which gave the Commonwealth full assurance that policies on indefinitely detaining unwanted, designated “unlawful” arrivals were entirely within its power.  The case concerned the application …

We the Exploited

The U.S. Government Buys and Sells Its Citizens for Profit and Power

Americans have become easy prey for hackers, scammers, snitches, spies, and con artists.

But don’t be fooled into thinking the government is protecting you.

To the contrary, the U.S. government is selling us (or rather, our data) to the highest bidders.

By the way, those highest bidders also include America’s political class and the politicians aspiring to get elected or re-elected. As the Los Angeles Times reports, “If you have been to a political rally, a town hall, or just fit a demographic a campaign is after, chances are good your movements are being tracked with unnerving accuracy by data vendors on …

“Gaza is Becoming a Graveyard for Children”

And Still the US Does Nothing

In stark contrast to the appalling response of western leaders, throughout the world tens of thousands have taken to the streets protesting Israels barbaric actions in Gaza. In the US, Canada, Europe, and UK, in Asia and the Middle East with one voice people have cried out, condemning Israel and the US, calling for an immediate ceasefire, an end to the siege of Gaza and full scale humanitarian support for Palestinians.

Israel ignores all such demands, and continues its relentless attack on Palestinian civilians. Violating International Humanitarian Law (including carrying out a process of Collective Punishment) as it does so. …

The Ideological Mystification of Palestinian Resistance

In the Zionist ideological architecture, any discourse on Palestine has to be prefaced by the question “Do you condemn Hamas?” The underlying rationale of this question is that anti-colonial violence is a symbol of “barbarism” that needs to be met with absolute contempt. In its place, we are enjoined to follow the path of “civilization,” which means asking the Palestinians to engage in a respectful dialogue with Israel. The difference between the two approaches is encapsulated in the respective status it accords to Israel: the violence of national liberation regards Israel as a colonial machine of brutality, while the notion …

Sunak’s Dad’s Army Option: David Cameron Returns

Openly ignored by his incendiary, now ex-Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was left with few options.  Retaining her would continue a process of blighting his already precarious prime ministership, suggesting weakness and a distinct lack of authority.  Kicking her off the Cabinet front bench would, while reasserting some measure of control, permit her to foment discord on the backbenches.

In defiance of collective cabinet responsibility, Braverman roguishly challenged his wisdom, and that of the Metropolitan Police she was meant to control, in permitting pro-Palestinian protests to take place on Armistice Day.  Prior to that, she had …

The Media’s Nord Stream Lies Just Keep Coming

Why do billionaires and governments scramble to control the media? Because the power over our minds is the greatest power there is

Want to understand why the media we consume is either owned by billionaires or under the thumb of government? The latest developments in the story about who was behind the explosions that destroyed the Nord Stream pipelines that brought Russian gas to Europe provide the answer.

Although largely forgotten now, the blasts in the Baltic Sea in September 2022 had huge and lasting repercussions. The explosion was an act both of unprecedented industrial sabotage and of unparalleled environmental terrorism, releasing untold quantities of the most potent of the greenhouse gases, methane, into …

Worries from a Major Auto Dealer About All Electric Cars

John (Jack) Fitzgerald is no ordinary auto dealer. He communicates with consumer advocates. He started in the dealership business in 1956 and presently has 25 Fitzgerald Auto Mall dealerships in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Florida. He knows about automobiles.

Mr. Fitzgerald called me in August with worries about electric vehicles. For decades he has seen how auto dealers get blamed for vehicle deficiencies produced by the auto companies. He doesn’t want this to happen with electric cars and trucks. Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) have been surging – bolstered by tax credits, some …

What is the Freedom Community?

Isn’t almost everyone for his/her freedom?

The Militarised University: Where Secrecy Goes to Thrive

For anyone wishing to bury secrets, especially of the unsavoury sort, there is one forum that stands out.  Call it a higher education institution.  Call it a university.  Even better, capitalise it: the University.  This is certainly the case in Australia, where education is less a pursuit of knowledge as the acquiring of a commodity, laid out spam for so much return.  On that vast island continent, the university, dominated by a largely semi-literate and utterly unaccountable management, is a place where secrets are buried, concealed with a gleeful dedication verging on mania.

In its submission to what will hopefully …

Government of Canada’s Values on Display

“Canada unequivocally condemns Hamas’ attack against Israel – and we stand united with the Israeli people. That was the message I shared with Ottawa’s Jewish community and everyone at yesterday’s solidarity gathering.” — Canada PM Justin Trudeau, 10 October 2023

“No. You endorsed [Israel’s] violence against Palestinians in Gaza. You attended a pro-war rally to call for more killing of Palestinians who’ve repeatedly been subject to [Israel’s] “mowing the lawn” over the past 15 years. Shameful.” — Canadian writer Yves Engler in response, 10 October 2023

Blood and Oil in the Orient: A 2023 Update

The Hamas-Israel War

The 2023 war between Hamas and Israel elicits many different explanations. As with previous regional hostilities, here too, the pundits and commentators have numerous overlapping processes to draw on – from the struggle between the Zionist and Palestinian national movements, to the deep hostility between the Rabbinate and Islamic churches, to the many conflicts between Israel and Arab/Muslim states, the contentions between the declining superpowers (United States and Russia) and their rising contenders (like China, Iran, Turkey), the rift between western and eastern cultures, and so on.

The experts also highlight the growing importance of local militias – …

Israeli War Crimes and Propaganda Follow US Blueprint

Girl holds improvised white flag, to tell Israel to respect Geneva Conventions and spare her fleeing family.
Photo credit: Yasser Qudih

We have both been reporting on and protesting against U.S. war crimes for many years, and against identical crimes committed by U.S. allies and proxies like Israel and Saudi Arabia: illegal uses of military force to try to remove enemy governments or “regimes”; hostile military occupations; disproportionate military violence justified by claims of “terrorism”; the bombing and killing of civilians; and the mass destruction of whole cities.

Most Americans share a general aversion to war, …

What is the Reason behind the Increased Attention of the United States to Kazakhstan?

Recently, the White House has been intensifying its diplomatic work towards Kazakhstan, aimed at separating Astana from Moscow. Shortly after the C5+1 Summit in Washington, which was attended by the Presidents of the United States, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu visited Astana to conduct an Enhanced Strategic Partnership Dialogue. At the same time, the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev himself is also not sitting idle. He recently flew to China for talks with …

The Public’s Trust

What would cause the public’s trust to wane?

China and the US: Who is Helping Who?

File photo: China US
The Politico, on November 8, published a piece on China-US relations. The article stated, “Voters in a rural Michigan town sent a message to their leaders Tuesday: don’t help China.” The article described this as “a potential warning signal” to President Joe Biden.

During the past year or two, American politicians and media have not hesitated to use the word “help” when discussing relations with China. Used in the past tense, the implication is that the US has assisted in China’s rise, …

Who is Arming Israel?

The top 10 weapons suppliers to Israel in last 5 years.

Dear K: A Letter across the Covid Divide

In order to sustain a friendship, there must be grounds for complicity. To know what these grounds might be, it is necessary to see the other as clearly as possible. Nonetheless, you seem to be interested not in finding out who I am but in making declarations about my character. Perhaps you want rebuttals. Maybe you want me to say, “Oh, no. I’m not right-wing. I’m not a kook. Here, I have proof.” The burden of proof does not lie with me but with you. And you have offered none.

So what kind of a response am I left with? Would …

Unintended Ironies: Condemning the Armistice Day Marches

Armistice Day is one of those disturbing occasions of the year when humanity’s folly is laid bare.  It should be an occasion to remind said humanity about the stupid waste occasioned by war and its war-crazed planners who generally elude the dock; instead, it’s an occasion to extol its virtues and remind the reactionaries that war can be a mighty fine thing to pursue in the name of an ideology, cock-eyed belief or a sense of self-worth.  Unquestioning solemnity, medals and tears are the order of the day, the ritualistic plat du jour.

These occasions are never challenged, nor impugned.  The …