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CODEPINK Condemns the Violent Protesters at Medea Benjamin’s Ukraine Book Tour Event in Minneapolis

We strongly condemn the deplorable actions of some of the protesters at Medea Benjamin’s book tour event on Friday, May 19 in Minneapolis, an event cosponsored by the local Veterans for Peace and Women Against Military Madness (WAMM). We believe that there are very legitimate, divergent positions on the war in Ukraine, even among people in the U.S. who have been longtime peace advocates. But there are ways of expressing that disagreement that are not legitimate. The violent incident that occurred on May 19 is an example of an unacceptable form of protest.

About 15 protesters gathered outside the event, chanting …

Rein in the FBI

Put an End to the FBI’s Gestapo Tactics

… Because why does the FBI do all this? To scare the hell out of people… They work for the establishment and the corporations and the politicos to keep things as they are. And they want to frighten and chill the people who are trying to change things.
—  Howard Zinn, historian

Power corrupts. We know this.

In fact, we know this from experience learned the hard way at the hands of our own government.

So why is anyone surprised to learn that the FBI, one of the most power-hungry and corrupt agencies within the police state’s vast complex of power-hungry and corrupt agencies, …

Western Marxism: The Unwholesome Temptation

Image credit: Left Voice.

The history of Marxism has a parallel history of counter-Marxism — intellectual currents that posture as the true Marxism.

Even before Marxism came into being as a coherent ideology, Marx and Engels devoted an often-neglected section of their 1848 Communist Manifesto to debunking the existing contenders for true socialism.

As the workers’ movement painfully sought a system of beliefs to animate its response to capitalism, the ideas of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels gradually won over workers, peasants, and the oppressed. It was not an easy victory. …

Death’s Secretary Tries to Forget on Cape Cod

We have come to Cape Cod for a few days to forget the man-made world that is too much with us. I have asked my forgettery to get to work. As my childhood friends used to say to me, “Eddy spaghetti, use you forgetty.” The adults had no idea what they meant. Many still do not.

Here slowness reigns and forgetting seems possible, even if for just a few days.  In mid-May, the beaches are deserted except …

American Comedian: U.S. Blaming China While Ignoring Own Citizens

As G7 members, Canada and Italy each has a gross domestic product of only $2 trillion. “That’s what Jeff Bezos spends on a nice steak dinner,” said CGTN Special Commentator Lee Camp. The bloc consists of the U.S. and six vassal states asking if they can shine America’s shoes. But on top of that, the U.S. itself isn’t seeing good times. Their inequality levels are beyond imagination yet the government responds by saying “It’s China’s fault!” Instead of a new Cold War against China, why not choose cooperation?

An Unwanted Solution

Government priorities are easily understood when one looks at the effort and money put into different ventures.

Demented Policing: Tasering the Elderly

Australia is a country addictively hostile to the elderly. Despite being a continent that speaks to immemorial origins, respect for those who age is uncommon. In The Lucky Country, that seminal, repeatedly misunderstood text, written in frustrated, sour prose, Donald Horne observes that Australia is not a place where one should grow old.

And so, it follows: the rampant, habitual abuse of the elderly, seen as the gnats and brats of family and human refuse, the lack of community protections, the human rights abuses, all exposed vividly by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

No Royal …

China to Use Russian Port of Vladivostok

This week’s News on China in 2 minutes.

• China to use Russian port of Vladivostok
• Tech transfer to Thailand for high-speed trains
• Rural youth stay in their hometowns
• Free housing for young job seekers

How Easy is It to Toss the Constitution out the Window?

“The constitution is just a goddamn piece of paper.” — former US president George W Bush

A Kid in California Heading to the Brig

A personal journey of love for a strong mother to the land of the rising sun and a new pathway out of conscientious objector status

Every war is a war against children.

–Egalntyne Jebb, founder Save the Children a century ago.

Squeezed by the Shorts: Time to Ban Short Selling?

Short sellers have made a killing in the recent banking crisis, scalping $14.3 billion from bank stock owners just in March of this year. Short sellers “borrow” stock they don’t own and immediately sell it, driving the price down. Then they buy it back at the lower price, return the stock, and pocket the difference. Bankers say the practice is threatening the stability of the banking system and are calling for a ban on short sales of bank stock. The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to decline but is investigating whether the practice constitutes illegal market manipulation intended …

Australia, Biden, and Cancelling the Quad Visit

Fears of Abandonment

Much needless fuss has been generated by President Joe Biden’s cancellation of his visit to Australia for the Quad meeting, a now regular gathering of leaders from the US, Japan, India and Australia. He had other things on his mind: dealing with fractious debt ceiling negotiations taking place back in the United States.

Students of US history would, or should have appreciated, the two phenomena that speckle the fiscal landscape in Washington. One is the failure of Congress to pass a budget in a timely, mature fashion. Then comes that plague known as the federal debt ceiling.

Since 1976, 22 …

Toxic Contagion: Funds, Food and Pharma

In 2014, the organisation GRAIN revealed that small farms produce most of the world’s food in its report “Hungry for land: small farmers feed the world with less than a quarter of all farmland.” The report “Small-scale Farmers and Peasants Still Feed the World” (ETC Group, 2022) confirmed this.    

Small farmers produce up to 80% of the food in the non-industrialised countries. However, they are currently squeezed onto less than a quarter of the world’s farmland. The period 1974-2014 saw 140 million hectares – more than all the farmland in China – being taken …

Tossing Neoliberalism into the Dumpster

It’s official, according to a speech by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, the United States is jumping off the neoliberal globalization bandwagon (a root cause of domestic extremism) and it couldn’t come soon enough as institutions of government are sucking up more and more angry exhaust fumes from constituents, as well as encountering a world trade map with China bullying its way across the world of commerce via its massive Belt and Road Initiative encircling the globe, kicking sand into Uncle Sam’s face.

Neoliberalism is an economic philosophy of capitalism that promotes freedom of markets, very little government regulation, no …

WikiLeaks as Scapegoat for the Political Establishment

Julian Assange is in prison, indefinitely and in blatant contravention of humanitarian norms. The US national security state has spoken and put its foot down, in a show of power which has subverted the true course of democracy. Sadly, the political will to sustain the persecution counteracts the political will to terminate it, though in the fullness of time the tables may turn. The repercussions are already playing out with copycat prosecutions of journalists under draconian espionage law becoming a frightening norm through cases spanning several jurisdictions, but always following the same pattern of attacking innocent journalists for exposing government …

Imperial Protectionism: US Foreign Policy for the Middle Class

What does a “foreign policy for the middle class” of the United States entail? President Joe Biden’s national security adviser is rather vague about this. But in a speech in April at the Brookings Institution, Jake Sullivan enunciated a few points that do much to pull the carpet from under the “rules-based international order”, unmasking the face of the empire’s muscular self-interest. Adversaries, and allies, best watch out.

Sullivan, for one, wistfully laments the passing of the order forged in the aftermath of the Second World War, one that “lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty” and …

The Numbers BlackRock Won’t Crunch

As the planet’s biggest investor, with $9 trillion in assets under management and an army of tech-savvy analysts trained on the scent of easy money, numbers are BlackRock’s bread and butter. A giant with such an enormous appetite should find room for all kinds of facts and figures – but this one’s a bit of a picky eater.
The BlackRock Annual General Meeting is on May 24, and resolutions submitted by shareholders will be going to a vote. The board advocates for or against those resolutions in a statement released last month. One resolution they unanimously recommend shareholders vote …

A Tree of Life — Right outside my Window

Whenever I need a brief respite from my work, I get out on my fire escape for a little air: Astoria, Queens, New York City, USA air.

From my wrought iron perch, I am regularly treated to a wide range of urban bird companions. In these moments, I can’t help but imagine what it might have been like in pre-Industrial or pre-Colombian days. I’ve read tales of the sky being darkened for days by a single flock of birds.

Sounds like another planet to me — and perhaps even to the …

Edgar Morin and the Magical Origins of Stardom

Participation Mystique and Projective Identification

No one who frequents the dark auditoriums is really an atheist…Whenever there is a white screen in a black room a new religion has been established…We enter into the darkness of an artificial grotto. A luminous dust is projected and dances on a screen. We cross time and space, until some solemn music dissolves the shadows on the screen that has once again become white.

— Edgar Morin, The Stars

Why Cartesians are not Allowed at the Movies

Epistemologically, one of the major characteristics of the western world, at least as …

Can the Global South Build a New World Information and Communication Order?

Meas Sokhorn (Cambodia), Inverted Sewer, 2014.

It is remarkable how the media in a select few countries is able to set the record on matters around the world. The European and North American countries enjoy a near-global monopoly over information, their media houses vested with a credibility and authority inherited from their status during colonial times (BBC, for instance) as well as their command of the neocolonial structure of our times (CNN, for instance). In the 1950s, the post-colonial nations identified the West’s monopoly over media and information and sought …

Looking up

What did Chicken Little see?

Business As Usual: Shutdown or Not, the Police State Will Continue to Flourish

There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men.

—Ludwig von Mises

Once again, the police state is up to its old tricks, stoking tensions over whether or not the government is forced to shut down, even partially, due to a default on the national debt.

Yet while these political games dominate news headlines, send the stock market into a nosedive, and put federal employees at risk of having to work without pay, nothing about these high-handed theatrics will diminish the immediate and very …

Ever Again

Setting the Stage for the Genocide of the Palestinian People

An unusual and pleasant experience occurred when I attended the webinar book launch of Never Again: Germans and Genocide after the Holocaust, authored by Dr. Andrew Port, Professor of History at Wayne State University. Skeptical of Germany’s anxiety in remaining identified with the genocidal Nazi past and its servile attempts to gain Jewish approval by assisting Israel, I audaciously framed a question for Dr. Port, “You say never again, but Germany supports Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people. How do you reconcile that hypocrisy?”

I admit that the question was poorly expressed and can be misinterpreted; Germany does not support Israel’s …

Who Ya Gonna Get to Hammer Nails and Wire up your Internet?

Hateful policies preventing Mexican carpenters from doing America's work & college creeps lying about college

I know, I know, every time I get onto the Zoom Doom thing with the Chronicle for Higher Education, the entire experience is dirty beyong dirty. Today, it was more bizarro people yammering about “talent search challenges for getting people to go into higher education.”

Three women went into their experiences recruiting and screening potential college hire-ons. The language coming from these people belies the vapidity of our times. Now, well, one woman said, “we have 30 people applying for one job, compared to a few years ago when 300 …

Confessions of a CIA Terrorist

In 1975, Philip Agee published his book Inside the Company: CIA Diary. In the introduction he wrote,

When I joined the CIA, I believed in the need for its existence. After twelve years with the agency I finally understood how much suffering it was causing, that millions of people all over the world had been killed or had their lives destroyed by the CIA and the institutions it supports. I couldn’t sit by and do nothing and so began work on this book.

Enrique Prado’s book, Black Ops: The Life …

The Tasmanian AFL Stadium Protest

Fighting White Elephants

Every now and then, the sharpened, dedicated means of halting a monstrous white elephant before its birth can work. The wise suddenly seem in charge, conscious and aware that folly can be averted. This, however, is a rare feat indeed. In Tasmania protests of some magnitude against a proposed stadium for Australian Rules Football are starting to have some effect. These have taken place against a dark backdrop: a persistent, critical housing crisis; the presence of homelessness; concerns about food and energy security, and healthcare.

On May 13, thousands gathered on Hobart’s parliamentary lawns protesting the $715 million proposal that envisages …

Exceptionism in US Empire

[S]uffice it to state that the US Guardian Elite are very much of and for the overworld of private wealth. Since the end of World War II, the US Guardian Elite have functioned most decisively as executors of dark power.

— Aaron Good, American Exception, p 107

Aaron Good, who received his PhD in political science at Temple University, has written an exceptional book: American Exception: Empire and the Deep State (Skyhorse, 2022). The title of the first chapter broadly lays out the thesis of the book: “Empire, Hegemony, and …

Tracking an Addiction

Cell phones have so many of us mesmerized.

Climate Breakdown, Extinction, and “the Most Stupid Boast”

In a recent Guardian advert pleading for readers to hand over money to the paper, leading columnist Marina Hyde declared: ‘My absolute favourite thing about the Guardian is not being told what to write.’

Hyde – or Marina Elizabeth Catherine Dudley-Williams, as she prefers not to be known – was, in fact, making ‘the most stupid boast’ that could be made by a journalist, to quote George Seldes (1890-1995), the US press critic. He was scornful of journalists who proclaimed: ‘I have never …

The US is No Democracy!

I just love it when all the media political pundits and talk show hosts ( News Talk?) throw out that word Democracy. You don’t have to go to a ranch to find more bull excrement than that. Folks, this is not a democracy and probably never was one, all the way back to our founding. Why? MONEY MONEY MONEY is the answer. As long as the masters of our republic keep allowing private money into electoral politics you will continue to smell that bull excrement — period!

The Open Secrets site follows the flow of money in political campaigns. After …