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The Merchant of Menace

About fifteen years ago I was a normal person. I had an average job, to help pay my average mortgage and average living costs. I was of average intelligence and had received an average education. I thought I pretty much understood how the world worked, because I followed the news every day on the BBC and frequently read The Times newspaper which, as everyone knew, was the best newspaper in the whole world. If anyone had suggested otherwise I would have been slightly offended, as if I’d been called stupid. But the fact was, like most normal people I knew …

Nobel’s Peace Prize to ICAN: Thank you to the Nobel Committee!

Our thanks to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee for awarding its 2017 Prize to ICAN – the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Undoubtedly nuclear disarmament and, ultimately, nuclear abolition is a major – if not the major – goal of humankind. There can be no lasting peace with these weapons and there exists no goal, the achievement of which would legitimate the use of this type of weapons.

Even when not used, nuclear weapons cause problems, distrust, risks and pretext for wars – think Russia-NATO, Iraq, the nuclear deal (JCPOA) with Iran, US-North Korea, Israel, India-Pakistan – and documented technical …

A Lefty Progressive Goes To The Seaside

Walking past a packed beach on a sweltering summer’s day, the lefty progressive is like a fish out of water.

And by the way, he’s not staying: he’s taking a constitutional after a morning spent reading about genocidal sanctions on Iraq and before an afternoon spent writing about genocidal killings in East Timor.

Among the knotted handkerchiefs, Hawaiian shirts and burrowing thongs, he appears surreally overdressed in his black Doc Martin shoes, black jeans (full-length in the heat) and regulation no-logo T-shirt.

His dark, subdued clothing carries subtle meaning: ‘It’s not about me.’ After all, he describes himself …

KPFA’s Antiwar Voice

When people ask me why I joined the Marine Corps (at age 18, back in 1959), I tell them, “Because where I grew up there was no KPFA or Pacifica Radio affiliate.” There was just the constant corporate drumbeat of anti-Communism which took many forms, often pretending to advocate world peace, but always in one way or another campaigning against China and Russia.

I’m told that KPFA bravely exposed Cold War propaganda during the McCarthy era. But in recent years our station has been backsliding, subtly but increasingly echoing the corporate media’s calls for “humanitarian” interventions around the world. Some KPFA …

Canada to Guinea Refugees: We want your bauxite but we don’t want you

If you take a nation’s mineral resources do you have a moral responsibility to also accept its people?

On Sunday about 40 people rallied outside a Montreal Metro station against deportations to Guinea. The protesters called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to live up to his “Welcome to Canada” rhetoric and allow asylum seekers from the small West African nation to stay.

After a de-facto amnesty on deportations between 2013 and 2016, requests for asylum by Guineans have been refused en masse since December. According to the Refugee and Immigration Board, 10 Guineans in Canada have had their asylum rejected …

Boris Johnson goes Caracas

Shame people with no knowledge or understanding of Libya want to play politics with the appallingly dangerous reality in Sirte.

— Boris Johnson, Twitter, October 3, 2017

The Conservative Party conference in Manchester was always going to hinge on an important question: what would Boris Johnson do to steal the show?  Having demonstrated the hardest of lines on the issue of Brexit, he has become more just a mere thorn in his prime minister’s side.  From thorn, he has become a blade, buried in a vulnerable carriage.

Theresa May had no doubt hoped that giving him the Foreign Secretary position would see an …

From a Concert in Las Vegas to a Funeral in Yemen, We Must Stop Mass Murder

While Americans are mourning the mass shooting in Las Vegas that so tragically took the lives of over 50 concert-goers, people in Yemen will be marking the one-year anniversary of a tragedy that took the lives of over 140 people who were not at a concert, but a funeral. The Las Vegas carnage was a crime against humanity carried out by what seems to be a crazed lone wolf. The bombing of the funeral home in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, was a war crime carried out by a close US …

From Myanmar, to Whitehall, to Washington: The Festering Nadir of Politics

But then, once in a lifetime
the longed for tidal wave
of justice can rise up,
and hope and history rhyme.
Believe that a further shore
is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles.

— Seamus Heaney, 1939-2013, “The Cure at Troy.”)

Oxford UK, the “city of dreaming spires”, as described by poet Matthew Arnold and the oldest university city in the English speaking world, is to rescind the honour of the Freedom of the City awarded to Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, over her response to the Rohingya crisis, reports The Guardian.

A unanimous cross-party motion stated that it was “no longer appropriate” to fete Myanmar’s de facto …

The Fight Ahead: 13 Questions about the Origins, Objectives and War on BDS

BDS stands for ‘Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions’. The BDS Movement was the outcome of several events that shaped the Palestinian national struggle and international solidarity with the Palestinian people following the Second Uprising (Intifada) in 2000.

Building on a decades-long tradition of civil disobedience and popular resistance, and invigorated by growing international solidarity with the Palestinian struggle as exhibited in the World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa in 2001, Palestinians moved into action.

In 2004, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) called for the boycott of Israeli government and academic institutions for their direct …

Mass Shootings: The Military-Entertainment Complex’s Culture of Violence Turns Deadly

Mass shootings have become routine in the United States and speak to a society that relies on violence to feed the coffers of the merchants of death. Given the profits made by arms manufacturers, the defense industry, gun dealers and the lobbyists who represent them in Congress, it comes as no surprise that the culture of violence cannot be abstracted from either the culture of business or the corruption of politics. Violence runs through US society like an electric current offering instant pleasure from all cultural sources, whether it be the nightly news or a television series that glorifies

Great Hunger

Earlier this year, the Sisters of St. Brigid invited me to speak at their Feile Bride celebration in Kildare, Ireland. The theme of the gathering was: “Allow the Voice of the Suffering to Speak.”

The Sisters have embraced numerous projects to protect the environment, welcome refugees and nonviolently resist wars. I felt grateful to reconnect with people who so vigorously opposed any Irish support for U.S. military wars in Iraq. They had also campaigned to end the economic sanctions against Iraq, knowing that hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children suffered and died for lack of food, medicine and clean water. …

Damn, I don’t want Rahman to end up being killed

Sultan, Ali’s brother, was killed in August 2016.

Hussein, Bismillah’s uncle, was killed in April 2017.

I don’t want Rahman, Inaam’s brother, to end up being killed. Rahman is now training to be a soldier.

Both Sultan and Hussein were Afghan soldiers in their twenties. They joined the army because there were no other viable jobs available. Their families needed food. Hussein was killed in Helmand Province, where in the past 15 years, 18,000 policemen (not counting soldiers or civilians) were killed

Newton would have wondered why we fail to apply scientific laws to human behaviour too; for every action, there is an …

How to Fund a Universal Basic Income Without Increasing Taxes or Inflation

The policy of guaranteeing every citizen a universal basic income is gaining support around the world, as automation increasingly makes jobs obsolete. But can it be funded without raising taxes or triggering hyperinflation? In a panel I was on at the NexusEarth cryptocurrency conference in Aspen September 21st-23rd, most participants said no. This is my rebuttal.

In May 2017, a team of researchers at the University of Oxford published the results of a survey of the world’s best artificial intelligence experts, who predicted that there was a 50 percent chance of AI outperforming humans in all tasks within 45 …

Cataluña Libre?

Yesterday’s historic vote – the Referendum decided by the Government of Cataluña, called illegal by the neoliberal Rajoy Government of Madrid – turned into an event of abject police violence against masses of unarmed voters. The Referendum may have been illicit according to the Spanish Constitution, but voting in a referendum as an expression of opinion is a human right, regardless of whether the central government of Madrid would, or would not, accept the result of the vote.

In the early Monday morning hours, the Catalan Government issued statements saying that about 2.3 million Catalans, 42.3% out 5.3 million eligible voters, …

Corbyn’s Labour Party Will Deliver a Fairer, More Compassionate Britain

The ferocious beast of the so called free-market capitalism needs to be on a leash before it devours all around it, including our planet. Britain’s Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn has now emphatically signalled that they will do just that. Actually, free-market is a misnomer; a more accurate name would be crony capitalism, where corporate profits are privatised and losses are socialised.

The country now has a choice between two distinct visions. On the one side we have free-market economics espoused by the Tories where the market is king and can do no wrong. On the other we have Labour …

Empire’s Electro-Lobotomized Worker Bees

Spinning through time and space on a tiny blue sphere, somewhere in an infinite universe.  Well into my 70th revolution around the burning star which sustains us.  Growing ever-closer to imminent demise, but searching…still searching…ever searching for an infinitesimal shred of understanding.  Just a worker bee, blown off course by a hurricane of conflicting information.  Separated and alienated from my Hive long ago.

Somewhere deep within the Hive, and hidden from their underlings, the Banking Queen and her Wall Street/Government Drones disseminate electronic misinformation, manipulate the masses, and scheme to control or conquer neighboring colonies. ‘Tis the Hive of Empire. The exceptional Hive. The all-powerful one. …

Do Unity Moves put Hamas Back in the Driving Seat in Gaza?

The rival Palestinian factions are set to meet in Gaza after a decade of bitter feuding

Hamas’s offer to submit to a long-delayed reconciliation process with its Fatah rivals signals that the balance of regional forces may be tipping in its favour and against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, analysts say.

Officials from the Palestinian Authority (PA), led by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, are due in Gaza on Monday, for the first time in three years, to test Hamas’s commitment to establishing a unity government.

The first weekly government meeting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, with an Egyptian delegation overseeing the proceedings.

Hopes are that reconciliation will end a decade of bitter feuding between Hamas and Fatah – …

The Great Acceleration Death Trap

The Great Acceleration, post WWII humanity forcing the earth system, is charging ahead at exponential speed, including record temps year-after-year-after year-after year and on and on it goes, relentlessly.

Fatally, many parts of the world become uninhabitable with a 2°-4°C increase in temps, too hot for human physiology. Under the circumstances, the human body cannot get rid of bodily heat fast enough. People die. Will worldwide average temps increase by 2°-4° and if so, how fast? Nobody knows for sure, but the outlook is lousy.

We need to understand that we are in a nonlinear exponential phase… we have overwhelming scientific evidence

A Cuban Mystery: The US Embassy in Havana

Cuba has, for decades, been a form of political pathology for US political consciousness. Fidel Castro loomed in his indestructible guise, tormenting a succession of American presidents with his seeming indestructibility. Efforts at deposing and assassination had conspicuously failed.  It was left, then, to Washington to insulate, seal off and keep Cuba as an infectious patient of international relations, fearing its global reach and influence.

With the softening of this manic stance under the Obama administration, Cuba ceased being the incurable. It even had promise. US business officials were smacking their lips and rubbing hands.  The new Cuba might well return …

The Case of Cuba: “Human Rights” as a Club

Submission to United Nations Human Rights Commission, Geneva, Switzerland

This document was submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Office of the Commissioner, based in Geneva, Switzerland in the name of Cuba solidarity organizations in the New York-New Jersey area of the United States. These are the political views and analysis of the author.
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The first members of a team of 165 Cuban doctors and health workers unload boxes of medicines and medical material from a plane upon their arrival at Freetown’s airport to help the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone, on October …