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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 …

Google’s New Search Engine Bias is No Accident

Alternet has gone public with concerns about the way Google and Facebook have limited traffic to its website and, more generally, undermined access to progressive and independent media.

Its traffic from web searches has dropped precipitously – by 40 per cent – since Google introduced new algorithms in the summer. Other big progressive sites have reported similar, or worse, falls. More anecdotally, and less significantly, I have noticed on both my own website and Facebook page a sharp drop in views and shares in recent weeks.

Alternet is appealing for financial help, justifiably afraid that the drop …

Whither Privacy? Physician Shadowing in an Age of Moral Bankruptcy

Amazing Things are Happening Here.

— Motto of Weill Cornell and New York-Presbyterian

Countless times as a patient both at Memorial Sloan Kettering and Weill Cornell in New York City, I have witnessed doctors arrogantly waltzing into an examination room and arriving not alone, but with an entourage. Like Greeks bearing gifts, they arrived with something unwanted and threatening: medical students, interns, residents, and fellows. And not once, in all the many times that I have been subjected to this ignominious practice, was my consent ever obtained prior to the doctor’s arrival.

As there are experienced and inexperienced doctors, there also experienced and inexperienced …

Canada: NDP Leadership Candidate Jagmeet Singh embraces Imperialist Policies of Helene Laverdiere

Shouldn’t leaders who claim to support the interests of the poor and working class inside Canada also take left wing positions internationally?

Yet when a leadership candidate for a left wing party embraces a politician who has repeatedly taken pro-imperialist international stances it hardly creates a stir. Reflecting an indifference to the injustices the Canadian government commits abroad, Jagmeet Singh’s alignment with Hélène Laverdière has been all but ignored.

Since the NDP foreign critic endorsed Singh to be leader of the party he has repeatedly cited the former Canadian diplomat’s support. Singh’s campaigned with Laverdière, sent out an email appeal from the …

The Tragedy of Puerto Rico

The tragedy of Puerto Rico is that it assumed – incorrectly – that it would be protected and prosperous as an American colony because America is so rich and powerful, and that from there it could eventually become the 51st American state, thus gaining a voice and votes in the American Congress, which determines how the benefits of American wealth and power are distributed.

What Puerto Rico failed to realize is that both individuals and nations that are rich and powerful did not become that way by being generous and inclusive.

Puerto Rico assumed there were only three modes of existence it …

Looking for a Dry Roof from Which to Bray

Lifespans shrinking, social safety nets fraying, communities siloing, leaders murdering

All it takes for a society to express fear, paranoia, confusion, and a sort of mad country (riffing on mad cow disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy) mental disease is a toxic brew of narcissism, propaganda, amnesia, planned and perceived obsolescence and a transnational economic barbarism against the collective masses, and we end up here:

Leaders (sic) in USA, Canada, Mexico, most of Latin America, most of Europe, Australia, Japan, Israel and Middle East are as nasty and ethically/morally arrested developed as any of the lots in power-on thrones-in war rooms at anytime during the development (sic) of “civilization,” so much so that’s …

Joan Tafalla: “In Catalonia, it is all in the hands of the popular initiative”

The recent years of economic crisis in Spain have had two major consequences in the political landscape: the arrival of progressive political movements and the collapse of the two-party system. At the same time, a sovereignty movement, with the ability to mobilise large sectors of society, has emerged in Catalonia. As the referendum approaches, the central government has multiplied its efforts to stop it from taking place, raising again the spectre of franquismo in the collective memory. This has been met with widespread opposition and paradoxically a growing wave

Iran Forging a New Path in Spite of the US’s Best Efforts at Sabotage

Prior to his election as President of the United States Donald Trump had been highly critical of the agreement reached between China, France, Germany, Russia, the US, the UK and Iran and the European Union aimed at preventing Iran from enriching uranium to the point where is could manufacture nuclear weapons.  He repeatedly referred to the agreement as “a horrible agreement”, the “stupidest deal of all time” and “the worst deal ever.”

At his now notorious address to the United Nations General Assembly in September he extended his attack to Iran itself, calling it a “corrupt dictatorship” and a nation “on …

University of New Haven and Saudi Police

Big Money Makes Strange Bedfellows

University of New Haven and Saudi Police: Big Money Makes Strange Bedfellows
In America, college students are just arriving on their campuses- some for the first time- ready to start the new academic year. They have a wide range of interests and goals, from bringing about the latest medical breakthrough to wanting to change U.S. foreign policy. Some may even want to become President. One thing they all have in common though, is that they have just entered a time in their lives where they will …

Movies of the Semi-Great Depression

95 million Americans are out of the workforce, millions are losing their wholly inadequate Obamacare, half can’t afford a $400 emergency and the Satanic minions in Washington DC just approved $729 million more to move the rubble around in Afghanistan. Trump ups the obscene military budget by $56 billion but the righteous US Congress rebels — and increases it to $80 billion. The American monster is hungry, angry, restless for its war fix — what people will it destroy next: Iranians, North Koreans, Venezuelans? There’s no relief anywhere from the madness of America.
It’s a semi-Great Depression and I’m …

Wasted Lives: The Worldwide Tragedy of Youth Suicide

The pressures of modern life are colossal; for young people — those under 25 years of age — they are perhaps greater than at any other time. Competition in virtually every aspect of contemporary life, a culture obsessed with image and material success, and the ever-increasing cost of living are creating a cocktail of anxiety and self-doubt that drives some people to take their own lives and many more to self-abuse of one kind or another.

Amongst this age group today, suicide constitutes the second highest cause of death after road/traffic accidents, and is the most common cause of death in …

Presumptuous and devoid of scholarly value

Book Review: Bruce Hoffman’s Inside Terrorism

The author, Bruce Hoffman, was for a long time a director at RAND Corporation in Washington, which he designates in his book as an “independent, objective, nonpartisan research institution” (p. xi).

As an external observer, researcher and author, I have followed with keen interest for many years the debate surrounding the phenomenon of terrorism: its definition, rationale, execution, effects and legal aspects.

I came initially across Hoffman’s book when I examined the activities of Germany’s Federal Center for Political Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, or BpB), which is not, as its name might suggest, a university institute or a department in the Ministry of Education, …