TPP ministerial deadlock

Friday’s fourth/dubbed “final” ministerial attempt to reach agreement failed. Global Trade Watch Director Lori Wallach called it a “Maui [Hawaii] meltdown.” Continue reading

Incongruities in the news

Jonathan Pollard, a paid spy for Israel described by Michael D. Shear as “one of the country’s most notorious spies,” has been pardoned from his life sentence. It strikes me as hypocritical for the US government to sentence anyone to prison for spying when the government itself spies on everyone everywhere. All Americans including members of the House and Senate, congressional staff, military officers, foreign governments, including the leaders of Washington’s closest allies, and foreign businesses are spied upon. No one is exempt from Washington’s spying. Continue reading

No warlords need apply—a call for credible peacemaking in Afghanistan

A second round of peace talks between Afghan government officials and Taliban representatives suggests that some parties to the fighting want to declare a cease fire. But even in the short time since the first round on July 7, fighting has intensified. The Taliban, the Afghan government forces, various militias and the U.S. have ramped up attacks, across Afghanistan. Continue reading

Morrissey alleges sexual assault by TSA

British indie rock musician Stephen Patrick Morrissey—better known simply as Morrissey—became well known in the 1980s with his band The Smiths. He’s now 56 years old. And yesterday he filed a complaint against the TSA for sexual assault. Continue reading

Postcard from the end of America: Jack’s Famous Bar in Philadelphia

I’ve depicted Jack’s in a Kensington Postcard, two poems and even a Vietnamese article. In business since the end of Prohibition, Jack’s is the last bastion of a Kensington that existed before all the factories moved out and the heroin came in. Old timers on a shrunken budget can mosey in to get buzzed for under five bucks. Though a pitcher of Yuengling is only $3.75, I once saw a woman sit for at least an hour drinking nothing. She just lifted an empty mug to her lips every few minutes. Continue reading

The Greek coup: Liquidity as a weapon of coercion

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is now being charged with treason for exploring the possibility of an alternative payment system in the event of a Greek exit from the euro. Continue reading

EU’s Greek debt austerity plan rejected by the IMF

I have maintained since the so-called Greek Debt “crisis” began back in 2010, I believe it was, that the imposition of austerity on Greece could not possibly work and that the only solution was to write down the debt to a level that Greece could service and introduce reforms that loosen the hold the oligarchs have on the Greek economy. The current Greek government has taken the same position, and now the IMF has joined us. Continue reading

70th anniversary of ‘The Bomb’s’ use against civilians

It has been 70 years since the United States became the only nation in history that deployed two atomic “weapons of mass destruction” against civilian populations. On August 6, 1945, a B-29 known as the Enola Gay took off from Tinian island, north of Guam. After flying six hours to the main Japanese island of Honshu, pilot Paul Tibbets flew his aircraft over the city of Hiroshima released “Little Boy,” an atomic bomb with the explosive power of 16 kilotons of TNT. Continue reading

Israeli diplomat: Maintaining German guilt about the Holocaust helps Israel

Haaretz reported recently that a spokeswoman for the Israeli embassy in Berlin told Israeli journalists it was ‘in the country’s interest to maintain German guilt about the Holocaust, and that it isn’t seeking full normalization of relations between the governments.’ Continue reading

Kick open the door to liberty

What are we waiting for?

Everything this nation once stood for is being turned on its head. Continue reading

America’s endless air wars

U.S. Central Command’s latest figures on its aerial bombardment of Iraq and Syria reveal that this is the heaviest U.S. bombing campaign since President George W. Bush’s “Shock and Awe” campaign against Iraq in 2003. In the campaign’s first ten months from August 2014 to May 2015, the U.S. and its allies conducted 15,245 air strikes, or an average of 51 air strikes per day. Continue reading

Darker horizons ahead: Rethinking the war on ‘IS’

As much of the Middle East sinks deeper into division between competing political camps, the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (‘IS’) continues its unhindered march towards a twisted version of a Muslim caliphate. Many thousands have lost their lives, some in the most torturous ways, so that ‘IS’ may realize its nightmarish dream. Continue reading

How America became an oligarchy

According to a new study from Princeton University, American democracy no longer exists. Using data from over 1,800 policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page concluded that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of—or even against—the will of the majority of voters. America’s political system has transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where power is wielded by wealthy elites. Continue reading

Pollard ‘false flag’ defense was an AIPAC gambit

U.S. spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard, convicted of espionage in 1987 and due for parole on November 20, 2015, was reported at the time of his arrest to have been spying not for Israel but for South Africa, Pakistan, East Germany, the Soviet Union, and even Iran. However, according to documents held by the Central Intelligence Agency and declassified in 2013, this “false flag” defense—false flag was the term used at the time—was designed to deflect Pollard’s espionage activities away from Israel. Continue reading

New Human Terrain System?

Army, PACOM séance reveals news

The US Army Human Terrain System (HTS) will become a “shining star, you’ll see” said a music critic, part-time divinity professor, retired military officer, and former HTS contractor. He was incensed that with the alleged demise of the US Army program, it having been murdered, killed and defeated, the HTS suddenly has new life thanks to “those pro-HTS intellectuals authorized, by somebody higher up in their organizations to take up the HTS cause. Continue reading

The New York Times on Greece: Business as usual

Misinterpreting a Greek tragedy

It wouldn’t be difficult to imagine The New York Times journalists as a stuffy band of blue bloods sitting around a men’s clubhouse some place, puffing cigars, sipping scotch, and fiddling with their monocles as they composed the day’s news—only the news fit to print. At least one participant snoozes softly in an armchair. Such is the level of excitement one gets reading the Times. By design, all traces of righteous anger, the furies of injustice, and the ire of the powerless have been erased from the (paper of) record. No emotional response is permitted, regardless of the crime. Continue reading

American Defense Secretary Ashton Carter: Physicist for war and profit

The US defense secretary, Ashton Carter, is the face of all that is wrong in Washington, DC. But he is “Mr. Right” for the varied capital interests and ideologies he represents: the fusion of neoliberalism and neoconservatism, state-sponsored corporate welfare, the revolving door, opportunism and greed, the “free market,” and a science and technology that is first and foremost in the service of weapons and war. Continue reading

Drivers, beware: The costly, deadly dangers of traffic stops in the American police state

Trying to predict the outcome of any encounter with the police is a bit like playing Russian roulette: most of the time you will emerge relatively unscathed, although decidedly poorer and less secure about your rights, but there’s always the chance that an encounter will turn deadly. Continue reading

Kevin Barrett (ed.), “We Are Not Charlie Hebdo: Free Thinkers Question the French 9/11”

Kevin Barrett has become a legend in the US as a fearless journalist who cuts to the quick, his political and analytic skills leading to provocative, truthful explanations of our mostly inexplicable reality. He has written several books dealing with 9/11, and is currently an editor at Veterans Today, and a pundit at Press TV, Russia Today, al-Etejah and other international channels. His website is TruthJihad.com. He builds on a well-established American journalistic tradition of brave exposers of government misdoings. Bill Blum and Seymour Hirsh are best known, but there are hundreds more. Continue reading

Vietnamese Globe—divided by war, united by poetry and compassion

When the plane was landing in Hanoi, I began to cry tears of joy to finally see my motherland and land of birth again. Later, I would realize that my tears were like the downpour of rain nearly every night that week of summer I was in Hanoi. To be in Hanoi was special to me because it was my grandmother and father’s birth city. During the first part of my journey, “Uncle” Quang (Trần Huy Quang), a Vietnamese writer who had served in the North Vietnamese Army during the U.S. war in Vietnam, took care of me and took me to Sapa, Ha Long Bay, around Hanoi and to Vung Tau. The first time I really saw large ponds of lotus flowers was in Vietnam and I was so happy to see those pink blossoms rising from the muddy waters, balancing on their thin, green stems surrounded by large, umbrella-like leaves. Continue reading

Making sense of the Iran nuclear deal: Geopolitical implications

In a meeting with government officials on July 18, four days after the conclusion of the nuclear agreement, President Rouhani of Iran praised the work of his negotiating team and called the deal a triumph. Is the president right? Does the deal really signify a victory for Iran, as he claims, or an elusive surrender, as a number of critics have pointed out? To answer these questions, a brief review of the contents of the agreement is in order. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: The Iran deal reality

The nuclear energy agreement between Iran and the P5+1 nations has finally concluded and the moment is bitter sweet. Iran’s sovereignty should have been respected and it should not be forced to make concessions for doing what it always had a right to do. Iran has as much right as Israel or any other country to produce nuclear material or even nuclear weapons. But it was impossible to withstand the onslaught of crippling sanctions and the loss of $100 billion in funds that were frozen under pressure from the United States. Continue reading

$1.5 quadrillion time bomb

When investing becomes gambling, bad endings follow. The next credit crunch could make 2008-09 look mild by comparison. Bank of International Settlements(BIS) data show around $700 trillion in global derivatives. Continue reading

Flags: Powerful fabric

The photo of a racist murderer alongside a Confederate flag reignited the long smoldering emotional fire this symbol creates in America. Continue reading

Americans happy to fly despite being abused by TSA

As ever, air travel in this country is increasing. I wrote last year about the fact that summer travel was expected to increase, and it did. Now we see that BWI—Baltimore-Washington International Airport—is planning to expand to accommodate the increasing, ahem, load. Continue reading

Trumping political success through an irate silent majority

Four years ago Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga rebirthed the musical-cicada of the 1937 song, “The Lady Is a Tramp” . . . which makes me think that maybe we could be facing in 2016 a reenactment of the 1968 presidential election, this time Donald Trump taking the role of George Wallace; a political musical that could appropriately be given the lyrical title, “The Politician Is a Trump.” Continue reading

A chance for Arab-Iranian reconciliation: An opportunity in the Iran nuclear deal

“The Americans have taken the Shia Muslim side in the Middle East’s sectarian war,” declared Robert Fisk in the “Independent” newspaper on July 15, a day after the US and five major world powers reached a landmark agreement with Iran about its nuclear programs. Continue reading

In 2006, WMR reported on Hastert’s blackmailable ‘misconduct’

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) was indicted in Chicago on May 28 for lying to FBI agents about his cash withdrawals from his various bank accounts. Hastert withdrew the money, allegedly beginning in 2010, to pay an individual described only as “Individual A” in the federal indictment as blackmail over “prior misconduct” on the part of Hastert. The Chicago Tribune only referred to the blackmail as “Dennis Hastert’s dark secret,” but northern Illinois was abuzz with credible rumors that dark secret had something to do with Hastert’s earlier years as a wrestling coach for boys at Yorkville High School outside of Chicago. Continue reading

No matter who wins the White House, the new boss will be the same as the old boss

The American people remain eager to be persuaded that a new president in the White House can solve the problems that plague us. Yet no matter who wins this next presidential election, you can rest assured that the new boss will be the same as the old boss, and we—the permanent underclass in America—will continue to be forced to march in lockstep with the police state in all matters, public and private. Continue reading

Denver TSA rigged system to grope men’s genitals

From KCNC, the CBS affiliate in Denver, comes this completely unsurprising “news”: TSA clerks at Denver International Airport deliberately messed with the strip-search scanners to alarm on attractive male passengers so one of the blue-shirted goons could grope them. Continue reading

Iran’s longstanding US-inflicted nightmare

It began in August 1953—replacing democratically elected Mohammad Mossadeq (Iran’s most popular politician at the time) with a generation of brutal US-installed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi dictatorship. Continue reading

Minimizing the risk of radiation skin burns

Patients who are to undergo radiation for head, neck and breast cancer learn about a litany of possible side effects from the treatment. Among the warnings I received was that about 90% of patients will experience some radiation dermatitis. What the doctor meant was that skin burns occur to about 90% of all patients receiving radiation to the head and neck. The odds are about the same for breast cancer. Continue reading