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Covid Variants

What is behind the Covid variants show?

A Challenge to Environmental Activism

We Must Question Everything

Looking at the world with perspective, it is clear that there are an overwhelming number of issues of concern needing general recognition and action. Most often, people moved to action by these concerns see the immediate need or danger with clarity: people are hungry, give them food; people are sick, give them medical care; a polluting industry is to build next to you, organize against it.  Actions that arise in such direct ways address immediate needs and must be supported and have the most immediate benefit on people’s lives. But, where one begins an analysis of a problem or issue …

Second and Third-Stage Consequences of Fossil-Fueled Climate Disruptions Emerging Fast

The headlines on climate catastrophes are becoming more informative as they become more ominous. For years the media headlines have been describing record floods, droughts, wildfires, heatwaves, hurricanes and other fossil-fueled disasters of an abused Mother Nature. The immediate human casualties are devastating.

Very recently, the headlines have been steering us toward what happens in the aftermath of natural disasters in afflicted regions around the world.

The Washington Post yesterday front-paged a huge headline “Climate-Linked Ills Threaten Humanity,” followed by the sub-headline: “Pakistan is the epicenter of a global wave of climate health threats.” The …

Postliberals Against the Common Good

“The Republican Party is the most dangerous organization in human history,” says Noam Chomsky. It seems like a ridiculous statement. “Has there ever been an organization in human history that is dedicated, with such commitment, to the destruction of organized human life on Earth? Not that I’m aware of.” He has a point. Even the Nazis didn’t want to destroy civilization itself; they wanted to kill millions of people and dominate civilization, not bring it to an end. The Republican Party is much more ambitious, and more nihilistic: it is the capitalist id, or rather the capitalist death instinct, …

“A Good Investment”: The Ukraine War and the US Arms Racket

It all tallies.  War, investments and returns.  The dividends, solid, though the effort expended – at least by others – awful and bloody.  While a certain narrative in US politics continues in the vein of traditional cant and hustling ceremony regarding the Ukraine War – “noble freedom fighters, we salute you!” twinned with “Russian aggressors will be defeated” – there are the inadvertently honest ones let things slip.  A subsidised war pays, especially when it is fought by others.

The latter narrative has been something of a retort, an attempt to deter a growing wobbling sentiment in the US about continuing …

Heroic Skeptical Odysseys Into Parapsychology Part II

Scientific Method Challenges Extraordinary Claims: Part II

(Image is of young skeptics in action)
Summary of Part I

The purpose of this two-part article is to present an eight-step method that a self-organized community of scientific skeptics developed specifically to investigate the claims of the existence of paranormal phenomenon. I began Part I with a survey of what the Yankee population believes about the paranormal, including psychic healing, ESP, the existence of ghosts and extraterrestrials’ visitations to earth. Using the work of Jonathan Smith I categorized eight types of paranormal experience on a spectrum, based on how modest or …

The West’s blueprint for goading China was laid out in Ukraine

Europe fears losing access to Chinese markets, plunging it deeper into a cost-of-living crisis. But it fears Washington’s wrath more

The West is writing a script about its relations with China as stuffed full of misdirection as an Agatha Christie novel.

In recent months, US and European officials have scurried to Beijing for so-called talks, as if the year were 1972 and Richard Nixon were in the White House.

But there will be no dramatic, era-defining US-China pact this time. If relations are to change, it will be decisively for the worse.

The West’s two-faced policy towards China was starkly illustrated last week by the visit to Beijing of Britain’s foreign secretary, James Cleverly – the first by a senior …

Japan’s Insane Immoral Illegal Radioactive Dumping

Storage tanks for radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. (Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters)
Japan cannot possibly outlive the atrocity of dumping radioactive wastewater into the Pacific Ocean. In fact, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) is an example of how nuclear meltdowns negatively impact the entire world, as its toxic wastewater travels across the world in ocean currents. The dumping of stored toxic wastewater from the meltdown in 2011 officially started on August 24th, 2023. Meanwhile, the country restarts some of the nuclear plants that were shut …

What if There Had Been No Coup in Chile in 1973?

The Thirty-Sixth Newsletter (2023)

Gracia Barrios (Chile), Multitud III (‘Multitude III’), 1972.
Imagine this scenario. On 11 September 1973, the reactionary sections of the Chilean army, led by General Augusto Pinochet and given a green light by the US government, did not leave their barracks. President Salvador Allende, who led the Popular Unity government, went to his office in La Moneda in Santiago to announce a plebiscite on his government and to ask for the resignation of several senior generals. Then, Allende continued his fight to bring down inflation and …

Children in Police Watch Houses: A Nasty Queensland Experiment

They really are a brutal lot.  While the Queensland Labor Government croons on matters regarding rights, liberties and, it should be said, the plight of the First Nations Peoples, its policy, notably on youth detention, is a contradictory abomination.  This situation finds itself repeated across the country, though the Sunshine State, as it is sometimes called, does it better than most.

In Australia, jurisdictions have persistently refused to raise the age of criminal responsibility.  Down under, troubled children are treated as threatening ogres, monsters to cage rather than educate.  Legislatures and lawmakers have taken fiendish pleasure in using more stick than …

Native Son: Big Bill Haywood

Happy Labor Day!

[The] barbarous gold barons do not find the gold, they do not mine the gold, they do not mill the gold, but by some weird alchemy all the gold belongs to them.

— Big Bill Haywood, addressing commencement of miners’ strike, Colorado, 1903.

Work taught him of injustice early and converted him to socialism. His first boss whipped him when he was only twelve, and the same year he witnessed a black man handed over to a lynch mob. Three years later he was a Nevada miner doing a “man’s work for a boy’s pay,” breaking the loneliness of Eagle Canyon by …

Is There Really Pay Equity at the US Open Tennis Tournament?

Imagine if you and others in your group are paid a flat rate, and the members of a different group are paid the same flat rate. The employer proclaims it is equal pay.

But wait a minute! Your group works a 5-hour shift while the other group works a 3-hour shift for the same pay. Your group would be working 40% more for the same pay as the other group.

Is this equal pay?

I doubt few people would consider that they were being paid equally if this were the case they found themselves in.

In an interview on TSN, after …

Meet the New Normal, Same as the Old Normal: You Are Still the Enemy Within   

Today, we are witnessing the nudging (manipulation) of the population to accept a ‘new normal’ based on a climate emergency narrative, restrictions on movement and travel, programmable digital money, ‘pandemic preparedness’ courtesy of the World Health Organization’s tyrannical pandemic treaty, unaccountable AI and synthetic ‘food’.

Whether it involves a ‘food transition’, an ‘energy transition’, 15-minute cities or some other benign-sounding term, all this is to be determined by a supranational ‘stakeholder’ elite with ordinary people sidelined in the process. An undemocratic agenda designed to place restrictions on individual liberty, marking a dramatic shift towards authoritarianism.

In the 1980s, to help legitimise the …

The Virus We Should Really be Concerned About is the Neoliberal Virus

psychosis (noun)

UK /saɪˈkəʊ.sɪs/ US /saɪˈkoʊ.sɪs/

“Any of a number of the more severe mental illnesses that make someone believe things that are not real”
— Cambridge Dictionary

As the United States continues to reach untold depths of barbarism and depravity it is important to understand the role played by the neoliberal virus in catapulting us into this state of appalling moral and intellectual degradation. Embracing an ideology rooted in humanitarian interventionism, multiculturalism, biofascism and censorship, neoliberal cultists have become the brownshirts of the new authoritarianism. Puppets of the Western elites, they constitute the primary impetus in the war against democracy, reason, and civilization …

Prioritizing Human Rights in Relations with Saudi Arabia

The Saudis picked us up from the detention center in Daer and put us in a minibus going back to the Yemen border. When they released us, they created a kind of chaos; they screamed at us to “get out of the car and get away.” … this is when they started to fire mortars – to keep us into the mountain line, they fired the mortar from left and right. When we were one kilometer away, … We were resting together after running a lot…and that’s when they fired mortars on our group. Directly at us. There were 20 …

The Coup Against the Third World: Chile, 1973

In anticipation of the fiftieth anniversary of the 11 September coup against Chile’s Popular Unity government, Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and the Instituto de Ciencias Alejandro Lipschutz Centro de Pensamiento e Investigación Social y Política release a new dossier analysing the coup and its effects on the Third World and non-aligned countries.

On 11 September 1973, reactionary sections of the Chilean army, led by General Augusto Pinochet, left the barracks and overthrew the democratically elected government of President Salvador Allende and the Popular Unity coalition. The military …

The Next Crisis Is Anyone’s Guess, But the Government Is Ready to Lockdown the Nation

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.

— H.L. Mencken, In Defence of Women, 1918

First came 9/11, which the government used to transform itself into a police state.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, which the police state used to test out its lockdown powers.

In light of the government’s tendency to exploit crises (legitimate or manufactured) and capitalize on the nation’s heightened emotions, confusion and fear as a means of extending the reach of the police state, one has to …

Educating the US Imperium: Australia’s Mission for Assange

An odder political bunch you could not find, at least when it comes to pursuing a single goal.  Given that the goal is the release of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange makes it all the more striking.  Six Australian parliamentarians of various stripes will be heading to Washington ahead of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s October visit to test the ground of empire, maybe even plant a few seeds of doubt, about why the indictment against their countryman should be dropped.

That indictment, an outrageous, piffling shambles of a document comprising 18 charges, 17 based on that nasty, brutish statute, the Espionage Act …

Criminalising Activism: Woodside, Protest and Climate Change

On August 1, protesters against the Burrup Hub expansion in Western Australia, a project of one of Australia’s most ruthless fossil fuel companies, took to the Perth home of its CEO, Meg O’Neill.  The CEO of Woodside was not impressed.  In fact, she seemed rather distressed.   “It doesn’t matter if you’re a member of the business community, in professional athletics, or just a school kid… everybody has the right to feel safe in their own home,” she subsequently told a breakfast event.  “What happened Tuesday has left me shaken, fearful, and distressed.”  In distress, opportunities for revenge grow.

Members of …

Wake Up Working Stiffs

Ironic how so many who say they worship Jesus as their Lord and Savior forget all that he taught:

If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

— Timothy 6:7-9 English Standard Version 2016 (ESV)

I was watching a lecture on the 1914 Ludlow Massacre, where striking mine workers and their wives and children were attacked and murdered by National Guard soldiers and hired coal company thugs. Their tent …

Weasel Words in Aviation: Protecting the Flying Kangaroo

Ambrose Bierce, whose cynicism supplies a hygienic cold wash, suggested that politics was always a matter of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.  It involved conducting public affairs for private advantage.  How right he was.  One way of justifying such an effort is through using such words as the “national interest” or “public interest” in justifying government policies, from the erroneous to the criminal.  They become weasel-like terms, soiling and spoiling language.

In various large-scale industries, companies can find themselves in the pink with governments keen to underwrite their losses during times of crisis while taking a soft approach to …

Ethiopia: Amhara Genocide and the Threat of Civil War

Since April the Ethiopian government, in the form of the ENDF (Ethiopian National Defense Force) have been engaged in violent clashes throughout the Amhara region in Ethiopia, with the volunteer force known as Fano.

The ENDF have used drones, tanks and heavy artillery against Fano freedom fighters, resulting, inevitably in the death of hundreds of civilians. “It is difficult to quantify the damage done….Many corpses are entering the hospital,” a doctor at the Bahir Dar Yelk Hayat Referral Hospital, told the BBC.

Associated Press (AP), 14 August, reported that, “at least 70 …

Niger Military Coup: More than Meets the Eye

Wagner – Niger – Washington – What’s the Connection?

There were several military coups in West Africa lately. Mostly in former French colonies, and in many ways “neo-colonies” of France, that do arguably more harm to the Sahel countries than the more than 300 years of French “on-the-ground” colonies, or enslavement. Though, this latter crime is not to be discarded at all. It has been an across-Africa genocide of unimaginable proportions, that, so far went unpunished.

But the new crime, the financial and military strategic econo-political colonization, needs to be brought to the fore now.

Among the coup countries are Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, but also Nigeria – a former British …

Seven Generations Behind

It’s funny. You think you know a place. A community.

Maybe it’s the town you grew up in. Maybe it’s a city you’ve lived in for decades. Perhaps it’s a state or even a country.

Your primary and secondary schools gave you comic book versions of the place’s history and heroes, and then you were on your merry way. You did the normal things, pursued the typical ends, and enjoyed standard success. You assumed a life.

But somewhere along the way, you remembered something off-putting at a red light or recalled a disturbing image you saw on TV. A face in a crowd …

Art Versus Capital

Rebecca Davis’ Life in the Iron Mills

Many an artist have understandably taken stabs, with varying degrees of skill and success, at indicting capitalism and all its execrable effects. Rebecca Harding Davis’ short story, or novella, if you like, Life in the Iron Mills (1861), is one of the first, certainly one of the best and, given its mastery, one of the most overlooked.

A cloudy day: do you know what that is in a town of iron-works?

Thus we’re addressed by the narrator of Life … It’s the story’s opening line, and it serves to prepare the reader for exposure to an alien environment. Namely, the type inhabited …

Mega Risks Threaten Earth

The Council for the Human Future, which is a dedicated group of intelligent well-informed people, has identified ten Mega Risks to Earth. As it happens, all ten risks are threatening the planet all at the same time. Consequently, the board of the Council has called for an Earth System Treaty. This may be one of the most unique efforts to organize the world community under a banner of identification of serious mega risks to the planet’s life-support system.

Humanity created its current dire trajectory. It is now time to change course with a binding global treaty designed to empower individuals, …

Nikole Hannah-Jones, Frederick Douglass, and the Left

Twitter conversations with public intellectuals are rarely worthy of note, but a recent exchange I had with Nikole Hannah-Jones, famed mastermind of the New York Times’ 1619 Project, was symptomatic of widespread tendencies in left-liberal culture and brought up important issues.

Hannah-Jones is a spokeswoman for wokeness, the cultural phenomenon that, as I’ve written elsewhere, is brilliantly undermining the left and providing grist for the mill of the right-wing outrage machine. Historically, a crucial method of undermining the left is to divide the working class according to race and ethnicity, fostering resentments and enmity between groups of people who …

Defriending Canada: Natural Disasters and Facebook’s Information Scrub

Australia experienced this in February 2021.  Facebook had gotten nastily stroppy, wishing to dictate public policy to the Commonwealth government.  To teach Canberra mandarins a lesson, it literally unfriended the entire country, scrubbing all news platforms of content and making any posted links through the platform inaccessible.  It mattered not that the content involved the tawdry details of celebrity love affairs gone wrong or advice on how to respond to a cyclone.  The users of an entire country had been cancelled.  For a time, a blissful blackhole had appeared at the centre of Australia’s information scape.

Facebook’s parent company Meta had …

More Banks to Fail? Not in North Dakota

U.S. banks are again in the crosshairs. Standard and Poor’s has downgraded five new middle-tier banks and put three others on negative outlook. This follows sweeping downgrades earlier in August by Moody’s, which cut credit ratings on 10 banks and placed four of the 15 largest U.S. banks on review for possible downgrade. As with the banks going into receivership earlier this year, concerns include interest rate risk due to unrealized losses from long-term securities.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government itself has been downgraded by Fitch Ratings, which questions the government’s ability to finance its nearly $33 trillion federal debt. Just the interest on …

Charter Schools On Paper Versus Charter Schools In Reality

There has always been a large chasm between how charter schools operate in reality versus what is said about them on paper.

Three examples:

One: all charter school laws state that charter schools are public, yet there is really nothing truly public about them in practice. Simply being called public or receiving public funds does not automatically make a school public under the law. Other legal criteria must be met.

Two: all charter school laws state that charter schools are open to all students, yet thousands of charter schools routinely use selective enrollment practices, which usually means that they frequently under-enroll special needs …