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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, …

Trump Cripples Science… and Golf?

The Trump administration has a nasty habit of issuing “sentences before verdicts,” which is eerily similar to the “off with your head” mentality of the Queen of Hearts in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  Off with your head is the Trump/Pruitt/Zinke overriding approach to science, thus leaving America’s best and brightest in a vortex of perpetual bewilderment.

Unfortunately, in addition to bullying scientists, Trump’s henchmen ignore science but approve risks of toxicity to America’s golfers! Here’s what’s happened: It’s all about chlorpyrifos, originally designed as a wartime nerve agent by the Nazis, which is sprayed on golf courses as a pesticide and …

The Strange and Curious Case of “Politicianitis”….

The soundtrack to daily life is a very specific tone of voice that is heard across all news outlets and entertainment channels. The voice of the generic talking head as he or she mouth platitudes and empty repetitive cliches….

— John Steppling

I wish it were not so, but it was, and is, so,…and so it goes….

It is difficult to say when precisely the phenomenon commenced, but because it was first recorded at a Commencement Ceremony at a very small and unimportant “Liberal Arts” college in the embarrassing “fly-over” part of the country, and somewhat deftly reported by a …

Organizing the Uprising: The Age of Poverty and Inequality

Book Review: Why Don't The Poor Rise Up?: Organizing The Twenty-First Century Resistance. (Editors: Truscello, M., And Nangwaya, A.)

When academics and activists, drawn from differing ideological persuasions and dissimilar social milieu, from around the world collaborate in the compilation of a book on the topical issue of social uprising in a time of relative calm, it begs the question, what is the state of the social order? Is it less desirable than its opposite? The question, “Why don’t the poor rise up?” is addressed by twenty (20) academics, labor organizers, and community activists in a book of the same title, Why Don’t The Poor Rise Up?: Organizing The Twenty-First Century Resistance.

Punishing the Media: The Fantasies of the CIA and William J. Casey

Unauthorized disclosures of classified information have become a cancer which undermines presidential authority to conduct foreign policy, our national security process, and our intelligence capabilities.

— William J. Casey, Director of the CIA, Nov 14, 1986

It’s the perfect dream in a nightmarish context: how do intelligence services get around the problem, in a liberal democracy, of punishing outlets that reveal classified information?  The issue, when it reaches the stiff, paranoid official in a home ministry (domestically sounding, if British; more stately, if American) drives the establishment to distraction.

Laws, having being put in place to supposedly protect and encourage the dissemination of …

The Legacy of Balfour: 100 Years of Betrayal and Suffering

A report from the refugee camps of Lebanon

It is hard to reconcile how a government that sold out the civilian population of Palestine can celebrate the shameful letter Lord Balfour sent to Lord Rothschild. Although termed in language that presented itself as only offering a homeland to the Jewish people, with no discrimination to be brought against the indigenous Palestinian population, it is evident the agreement was always intended as a precursor to the establishment of Jewish Statehood in Palestine. It is documented that Lord Balfour stated that he had no intention of consulting the Palestinians when he effectively gave their homeland away. This initial …

Patriots and Protesters Should Take a Knee for the Constitution

Seems like in the past 15 years or so the idea of patriotism has changed some. More polarized, more tied to political or ideological views. I’ve never seen patriotism or the flag connected to either; I see the flag more as the symbol of a nation that allows the freedom to express those ideas. That alone deserves my respect.

— Macy Moore, U.S. Marine

By all means, let’s talk about patriotism and President Trump’s call for “respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem.”

At a time when the American flag adorns everything from men’s boxers and women’s bikinis to beer …

Trump, “Fake News” and the War on Dissidents

The state-corporate media must be in trouble if a BBC veteran like Nick Robinson is getting dirty in the trenches, taking up arms against the “guerilla war” he claims people like me are waging. In a new commentary piece for the Guardian, he argues that media critics – from the right and the left – are taking to social media in an organised campaign to discredit what Robinson calls the “mainstream media”. Predictably, his article strikes the self-satisfied tone of those who claim to be right because they have come under attack from both sides.

Let me delay …

Shuffle Off to Buffalo, Or Landscapes of Capital

I don’t live in the U.S. any longer. I did, for over forty years, but left for good almost twenty years ago. But I return, often, and I even returned and stayed for a year. I returned again this last week as an invitee of the Buffalo/Niagara Falls Film Festival (more on that below).

So, I wanted to talk about the America I found this time through. I changed planes in Washington D.C., at Dulles Airport (yes, named after cold war reactionary John Foster Dulles). I could not but think of that fascist loving arch elitist and racist as I sat …

Breaking: Captured ISIS Fighters Admit Cooperation between ISIS and U.S.

Recently, mass media is actively emerging new evidence of cooperation between the U.S. and ISIS terrorists.

This time, Warfare Worldwide organization tweeted a video, where an ISIS fighter from Deir Ezzor had told some shocking details about U.S.-ISIS collusion.

According to Mohammed Moussa al-Shawwakh, the U.S. and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) guaranteed to protect them from the SAA and its allies in exchange for entering gas and oil fields in the region in order to make propaganda videos. Al-Shawwakh said that such kind of cooperation had acted in the Conoco gas field, allegedly captured by the SDF. The fighter added that according …

I Am Puerto Rico, So Are You

The island of Puerto Rico has been destroyed by Hurricane Maria and remains in ruins with little outside assistance for about a week now. What should be done?

The U.S. could (if it wanted to) send an aircraft carrier (or two or three) to Puerto Rico, and use its nuclear reactor as a power source for basic needs in San Juan (where it would most likely dock). It could offload mobile hospital units (MASH) and truck and/or helicopter such units to more remote locations; such units would include gasoline/diesel generators. Additionally, there are Marine units designed to set up helicopter landing …