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The Rise of Corporate Power
March 29th, 2017, 11:33 AM
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Donald Trump and Steve Bannon: Real Threats More Serious Than Fake News Trafficked by Media
March 29th, 2017, 11:33 AM
The United States faces a threat. The danger is potentially existential. Imagine a force that could take the United States into ruinous wars with major powers. Simultaneously, this same threat promises to erode the cultural, regulatory, scientific and social infrastructure upon which the United States' future prosperity depends. That's precisely what the US faces under the presidency of Donald Trump, with the grey cardinal figure of Steve Bannon directing policy. The threats posed by Trump and Bannon are both domestic and foreign, and are deadly serious. More
Does Washington Want to Start a New War in the Balkans?
March 29th, 2017, 11:33 AM
With Monday’s procedural vote in the U.S. Senate to allow Montenegro into NATO, the Washington elite proved once more that heightening tensions with Russia might not just be inevitable, but actually desirable. With the exception of Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT), the entire 100-strong body of the Senate rallied behind the motion that would see the tiny Adriatic state admitted into the Atlantic alliance over the objections of many Montenegrins . The vote set off a 30-hour countdown, during which Senators will debate before putting the issue to a final vote. More
Bloodbath in West Mosul: Civilians Being Shot by Both ISIS and Iraqi Troops
March 29th, 2017, 11:33 AM
Civilians trying to flee the besieged Isis-held enclave in west Mosul are being shot dead by Isis and Iraqi army snipers as they try to cross the Tigris River, says an eyewitness trapped inside the city with his family. In an exclusive interview with The Independent, Jasim, a 33-year old Iraqi Sunni living in west More
War and Propaganda
March 29th, 2017, 11:33 AM
The U.S. has been at war throughout much of its history. Some wars were blatantly wars of conquest, e.g., the Indian Wars (the near genocide of Native Americans) and the Mexican-American War. Whatever the real reasons for our military actions, they were usually sold to the public as being defensive in nature and this practice still goes on. More
Letter From Phnom Penh
March 29th, 2017, 11:33 AM
Although I have been thinking about Cambodia since the 1970s, when it was yet another grim headline over a horizon of endless fighting, I only made it here this week—thanks to a cheap ticket on Royal Jordanian Airlines to investigate my fears that the Trump administration is among those who believe that the Indochina wars More
Peanuts Prove Congress is Incorrigible
March 29th, 2017, 11:33 AM
The history of federal peanut policy illustrates why Congress could never competently manage a lemonade stand. The feds sabotage farmer productivity, screw consumers, and sow chaos around the world – all for campaign contributions. Federal spending for peanut subsidies has increased eightfold since 2015 – reaching almost a billion dollars and approaching the total value More
Presidential Golf Breaks: Good For America
March 29th, 2017, 11:33 AM
On March 27, CNN reports, US president Donald Trump left the White House for a day at the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia, his 13th trip to one of the numerous golf courses he owns. The implication of the media’s mild obsession with his trips is that Trump is wasting time playing cow pasture More
Disaster as Joy: Cyclone Debbie Strikes
March 29th, 2017, 11:33 AM
“If the building starts to break up, protect yourself w[sic] mattresses, rugs etc under strong table or hold onto solid fixture.” Queensland Ambulance, Twitter, Mar 28, 2017 Townsville, North Queensland The eerie sense that something is about to happen, with unsolicited fulsome vicious force was hard to avoid.  There is a pregnant sense in the More
Human Rights are Animal Rights!
March 29th, 2017, 11:33 AM
Since we humans are an animal species, it is obvious that human rights are a form of animal rights; and that animal rights include – or should include – the human species. Sadly, not everyone sees it this way. Many view humans and other animals as totally distinct: drawing a clear, sharp line between animal More
Livestock Grazing vs. the Sage Grouse
March 29th, 2017, 11:33 AM
A recent modeling study that looked at livestock grazing and sage grouse has been getting a lot of play in the media with headlines like “Livestock Grazing Can Benefit Sage Grouse, Study Says.” And not surprisingly, representatives of the livestock industry are quick to pounce on the study as evidence that livestock grazing is compatible More
Trump Should Form a Bipartisan Coalition to Get Real Reforms
March 29th, 2017, 11:33 AM
The decision of House Republicans to torpedo the American Health Care Act, their own leadership’s plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, is a stunning defeat for President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan. It also rescues the 24 million Americans that were projected by the Congressional Budget Office to lose health care More
Rwanda Indicts French Generals for 1994 Genocide
March 29th, 2017, 11:33 AM
Late in 2016 the Rwandan Government indicted several senior French Army Generals for crimes against humanity including genocide for their role in the 1994 Rwandan holocaust. The Rwandan case against the French Generals is based on the French having instigated and trained the Interhamwe para-military Hutu militia that was responsible for most of the killings More
President of Pain
March 29th, 2017, 11:33 AM
Be careful, very careful, jumping for joy over Trump’s alleged ‘defeat’ failing to get enough votes to torpedo Obama Care.  This is just one of his opening shots.  Keep your eye peeled on the prize, what he’s really about, which is to deliver pain to the weak, the poor and fucked-over. I continue to be astounded that, despite spotty More
President Gina Raimondo?
March 29th, 2017, 11:33 AM
“Everyone knows her political career was over on Election Night.” Thus spoke a teachers union member and source for my education reporting when we sate down for coffee a few months ago. He was describing Rhode Island’s current Governor, Gina Raimondo, and how her stock has been plummeting of late with everyone that was not More
Can Our Social Institutions Catch Up with Advances in Science and Technology?
March 29th, 2017, 11:33 AM
H.G. Wells, one of the most prolific and prominent novelists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, consistently warned his contemporaries that social institutions were not evolving fast enough to cope with rapid changes in science and technology. Since Wells’s death in 1946, the scientific and technological advances have certainly been enormous. Thanks to More
Military-Industrial Complex Pushes Nuke Modernization
March 28th, 2017, 11:33 AM
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Ending Syria’s Nightmare will Take Pressure From Below 
March 28th, 2017, 11:33 AM
Ominous developments in East Syria have drawn the United States and Russia into closer proximity increasing the likelihood of a violent confrontation. The Trump administration has embarked on a dangerous plan to defeat the terrorist militia, ISIS, in Raqqa. But recent comments by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggest that Washington's long-term strategy may conflict with Moscow's goal of restoring Syria's sovereign borders. Something's got to give. Either Russia ceases its clearing operations in east Syria or Washington agrees to withdraw its US-backed forces when the battle is over. If neither side gives ground, there's going to be a collision between the two nuclear-armed adversaries. More
Memory Against Forgetting: the Resonance of Bloody Sunday
March 28th, 2017, 11:33 AM
Martin McGuinness died last week, one time IRA leader, more recently a British government minister-the irony of even writing that still leaves me a bit incredulous. Inevitably a lot has been written about his ‘journey’ from gunman to peacemaker and his supposed damascene conversion. That as it may be, people like McGuinness don’t appear in an ahistorical vacuum-however much it would seem that way if you had occasion or the misfortune to read much of the coverage on him in much of the British media since last week, and some of the Irish media for that matter. Whatever you think of his actions in the 1970s and 80s, the rotten social and political conditions that produced and formed him were set in stone long before he was even born. And when he came of age, apolitical as most people are at that young age, working class people in his native city of Derry took to the streets to demand civil rights, rights long denied them by a vindictive state that hated and despised them, McGuiness saw them battened and kicked off the streets. More
Fake News: the Unravelling of US Empire From Within
March 28th, 2017, 11:33 AM
US ruling ideology and Washington power have become unstuck as never before. A war of opposing certitudes and denunciations is waged day to day between the long-ruling US corporate media and the White House. Both continuously proclaim ringing recriminations of the other’s ‘fake news’. Over months they both portray each other as malevolent liars. US bully pulpits are now beyond show disagreements and successful media inquisitions of the past. Slanderous accusations long confined to vilifying the designated Enemy have crept into accusations of the President himself. ‘The Russians are coming’ is returning as the final recourse of smear to stop deviations from the global program of hugely profitable enemy hate and perpetual preparations for foreign war. More
Mad Dog, Meet Eris, Queen of Strife
March 28th, 2017, 11:33 AM
The bigger question is why the United States military is even in the Middle East, much less actively engaged in killing them. The last several decades of US involvement in the region has proven that military solutions are incapable of resolving the issues in the region. Indeed, it can be reasonably argued that the ongoing military presence in the region has only exacerbated existing problems and created many new ones. Foremost among the latter are the millions of refugees created by the wars and repression that has been precipitated by imperialist adventurism. The sheer numbers of refugees have overwhelmed European nations unprepared for the influx. In addition, the fear of refugees among certain segments of western societies has been inflamed by racist demagogues and liberal politicians alike, resulting in numerous crimes against the refugees and their supporters. More
State Dept. Condemns Attacks on Russian Peaceful Protests, Ignores Those in America
March 28th, 2017, 11:33 AM
On March 26, the State Department tweeted, “U.S. condemns detention of 100s of peaceful protesters in ‪#Russia today. Detaining peaceful protesters is an affront to democratic values.” The tweet was in reference to thousands of people participating in peaceful opposition protests in cities across Russia against Putin’s corrupt administration. The Russian media downplayed the protests, and hundreds More
Five Things the Democrats Could Do to Save Their Party (But Probably Won’t)
March 28th, 2017, 11:33 AM
Coupla weeks ago, I speculated that we may soon witness the end of the Democratic Party as we know it. I was kind. I didn’t mention the fact that the party is all out of national leaders. I mean, can you name a likely, viable Democratic candidate for president in 2020? Can you name three? More
Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Hiring Practices: Privilege or Prejudice?
March 28th, 2017, 11:33 AM
If there is truth to the phrase “a man is known by the company he keeps,” how should Americans judge Neil Gorsuch, the man President Trump said is the perfect conservative to have a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court? Judging from the company kept by Gorsuch in the form of the law clerks that More
Benoît Hamon, the Socialist Presidential Hopeful, is Good News for the French Left
March 28th, 2017, 11:33 AM
Benoît Hamon is unlikely to make it into the final round of the French presidential election next month. But his candidacy has been a breath of fresh air for French socialists after François Hollande’s catastrophic term of office. When Hamon emphatically defeated Manuel Valls, the former prime minister, in the French socialist primary elections earlier More
Political Cannibalism: Eating America’s Vitals
March 28th, 2017, 11:33 AM
In a nation that professes to be democratic, the United States, we see, as I write, violations of a fundamental nature. They constitute the substructure, perhaps not yet the Constitutional-legal basis, although certainly the moral basis, for introducing the charge of impeachment directed to Donald Trump. Am I too premature? I have the following charges More
Obamacare? Trumpcare? Why Not Cubacare?
March 28th, 2017, 11:33 AM
Obamacare has probably saved my life, or at least made my declining years less painful and allowed me to work and stay off the streets. But it certainly has flaws — flaws that a Republican Congress truly interested in not only saving money but improving health care could have easily solved with President Obama in More
Hollywood Screen and TV Writers Call for Strike Vote
March 28th, 2017, 11:33 AM
On March 24, after two weeks of frustrating contract talks, negotiators for the WGA (Writers Guild of America) notified the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) that, because the talks were stalled, they had no choice but to ask their 12,000 members to give them strike authorization.  It was a bold move. As More
We’ve Let Capitalism Kill the Planet
March 28th, 2017, 11:33 AM
The headlines in the first three months of 2017 have made one thing clear: capitalism is killing the planet. Capitalism, the governing structure of nearly every society on Earth, puts profit above all other considerations. The consumer cycle is indifferent to proper disposal or reprocessing of discarded resources because such actions do not maximize profit. More
What We Don’t Want to Know
March 28th, 2017, 11:33 AM
There is an old saying that goes “Out of sight out of mind.” If we don’t think about the shit that we live in, we won’t smell it. And if we don’t think about it, we are not compelled to do anything about it. In other words, the more you know, the more you smell More
The Futility of the Electronics Ban
March 28th, 2017, 11:33 AM
Security measures are often exercises in futility.  Resembling placebos, they are the reassurance authorities make as acts of intrusive inconvenience.  Queues are increased at airports in the vain hope that an elusive gel carrier will be nabbed before the next detonating device is activated on a flight.  Shoes are checked to see if they pass More
Why ICE Raids Imperil Us All
March 28th, 2017, 11:33 AM
A restaurant worker and father of four daughters in Southern California is arrested while dropping his youngest daughter off at school.  A young woman in Mississippi is taken into custody after speaking at a news conference about her fears of being deported; she is released on unspecified terms only after attorneys, including lawyers for the More
A Record-Setting Climate Going Bonkers
March 27th, 2017, 11:33 AM
Never before in the history of the human species has climate set so many spine-chilling new records as last year, 2016. That dire assessment comes via analysis of the World Meteorological Organization’s (“WMO”) annual report d/d March 21, 2017, prompting a thought: Does a wildly out of control climate threaten lifestyle and/or life as we know it? The answer is a resounding yes it does! It’s just a matter of time. More
Why $15 an Hour Should be the Absolute Minimum Minimum Wage
March 27th, 2017, 11:33 AM
There are many important issues on the national political table right now, but sometime soon, fixing the federal minimum wage should be there too. Of course, the politics of reform don’t look good, but there is a Congressional election coming next year, and we need to be sure that voters understand that almost every Republican More
The Disappearance of Bipartisanship on the Intelligence Committees
March 27th, 2017, 11:33 AM
There is a political myth in Washington that the Senate and House intelligence committees, unlike other congressional committees, have been bipartisan and fair minded in their handling of political matters.  Now that the chairman of the House intelligence committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has gone rogue by providing sensitive exculpatory intelligence documents to the President More
ISIS’s Losses in Syria and Iraq Will Make It Difficult to Recruit
March 27th, 2017, 11:33 AM
Iraqi forces are stalled and suffering heavy casualties in their assault on the last Isis fighters defending close-packed buildings in the Old City of Mosul. Civilian loss of life is very high as US aircraft, Iraqi helicopters and artillery, try to target Isis strongpoints in a small area in which at least 300,000 civilians are More
Single-Payer Bernie Morphs Into Public Option Dean
March 27th, 2017, 11:33 AM
Right before our eyes, we are seeing the transformation of single payer Bernie Sanders into public option Howard Dean. During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Sanders took off like a rocket, fueled by the promise of a single payer, Medicare for All single payer system. His single payer plan paralleled HR 676, the single payer bill More
Can Democracy Save Us?
March 27th, 2017, 11:33 AM
As a columnist for the Anglo-Indian magazine Socialist Factor, I find it inspiring and gratifying to see fellow socialists in India fighting to elect Socialist candidates, and working to make their country better through a democratic system. I was also inspired and motivated by the success of Iceland’s Pirate Party in bringing fundamental change to More
Budget Goes Military
March 27th, 2017, 11:33 AM
Economist Dean Baker, in an article published at NationofChange, complains that the New York Times never explains the federal budget in a way that Americans can comprehend, because it publishes big numbers, like the billions of dollars spent on welfare or on foreign aid, but never notes that neither of those “big” numbers amounts to More
Disappeared on the Border: “Chase and Scatter” — to Death
March 27th, 2017, 11:33 AM
“We recognize the weight that the language of disappearance holds; we use it to call attention to the fact that disappearance is not a natural or inevitable phenomenon but rather a direct consequence of US border-enforcement policies and practices.” — La Coalitión De Derechos Humanos, and No More Deaths, “Disappeared: How the US Border Enforcement More
The Troubling Financial Activities of an Ecuadorian Presidential Candidate
March 27th, 2017, 11:33 AM
As Ecuador heads toward the second round of its presidential election on April 2, a scandal has broken out over the opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso’s financial dealings. The accusations are serious and largely based on public records, with most of it verifiable on websites such as the Panamanian Public Registry and Superintendency of Banks and More
As ISIS’s Caliphate Shrinks, Syrian Anger Grows
March 27th, 2017, 11:33 AM
It must be the most beautiful front line in the world. Turn right at the ancient city of Qatna, drive east for 40 miles and you’ll come to a village called Telwared, the “Hill of Roses”. There are fields of yellow flowers, sheep and cattle and almond orchards and an old T-62 tank and then More
Democratic Party Continues Shunning Popular Sanders Surrogates
March 27th, 2017, 11:33 AM
This past weekend, popular Bernie Sanders surrogate, former Ohio State Senator and Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Executive Committee member Nina Turner attended the annual Cuyahoga County Democratic Party dinner in Cleveland, Ohio. Turner was receiving the “courage” award in honor of former Congressman Louis Stokes, the first black congressman elected from the state of Ohio in 1968. More
Nazi Heritage: the Strange Saga of Chrystia Freeland’s Ukrainian Grandfather
March 27th, 2017, 11:33 AM
The corporate media has left many questions unanswered about recent news that Canadian Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland’s grandfather was editor of the Krakivski Visti, referred to as a Nazi “collaborationist newspaper” by the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. The most important question is how Freeland’s Grandfather Mykhailo Khomiak, gained admission to the United States More
Buddhism in the Storm
March 27th, 2017, 11:33 AM
The storm is coming.  Out the door the winds rage.  The weather service predicts two feet around my house in the mountains, and I’ve been stockpiling wood all day, and food, and batteries, preparing for the place to go dark.  My two daughters are with me, the night is galvanized, and it keeps them awake. More
Platitudes in the Wake of London’s Terror Attack
March 27th, 2017, 11:33 AM
News of last Wednesday’s terror attack in London sent waves of shock across the country. It also sent establishment politicians clamouring for the media spotlight, seeking to define the narrative which came out of the events. Our Prime Minister, Theresa May: “We will all move forward together. Never giving in to terror and never allowing More
Insane Truths: a Vietnam Vet on “Apocalypse Now, Redux”
March 27th, 2017, 11:33 AM
It is almost 3 AM in Portland, Oregon. I just finished watching the film, “Apocalypse Now, Redux.” The original film was made in 1979, and was directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The film won five Academy Awards in 1980, but did not win Best Picture. In 2001, the definitive version was released. It was re-edited More