Venezuela in the crosshairs

Is it the heat?

In Venezuela, politics is always a cause for misunderstanding and long heated conversations among friends and people in the streets. But Venezuelans are far from being a people who would turn against each other. We are known for our easygoing nature and good humor, for loving our visitors, and for being talkative and even sometimes nosy. Continue reading

The chance of an American being killed by terrorists is close to zero

The risk is calculated to be 1 in 20 million

In the years since 9/11, American police alone have killed at least twice as many Americans as died in that single large event, the annual toll of police killings being somewhere between 500 and 1,000, the variation owing to many such events going inaccurately reported by police. Continue reading

UN peace coordinator unwelcome by Palestinians

The PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation) did not object to the appointment of new UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov, although he was described by Tayseer Khaled, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, as “persona non grata”—not trusted by the Palestinians and nor qualified for the job. Continue reading

Obama strikes back at Netanyahu by declassifying 1987 nuclear weapons report

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was invited by House Speaker John Boehner to address Congress on March 3. Rather than running it past the White House, which is the usual protocol, both Boehner and Netanyahu decided to bypass the president. In diplomatic circles, this is considered an insult and/or slap in the face. Continue reading

Forced blood draws, DNA collection and biometric scans: What country is this?

Our freedoms—especially the Fourth Amendment—are being choked out by a prevailing view among government bureaucrats that they have the right to search, seize, strip, scan, spy on, probe, pat down, Taser, and arrest any individual at any time and for the slightest provocation. Continue reading

Obama’s admission not enough: US spin on Middle East violence must change

Truly, US President Barack Obama’s recent call to address the root causes of violence, including that of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) and al-Qaeda was a step in the right direction, but still miles away from taking the least responsibility for the mayhem that has afflicted the Middle East since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Continue reading

International Islamist terrorism: It’s more than a mere question of semantics

Early in January, it was widely reported that President Barack Obama’s staff had said that for him or his vice president not joining other heads of state in the largest rally in the history of Paris to protest the carnage done by Islamist terrorists in their attacks against journalists and against French Jews, had been a “mistake,” made by an “unnamed senior White House staff.” Continue reading

Washington has resurrected the threat of nuclear war

Foreign Affairs is the publication of the elitist Council on Foreign Relations, a collection of former and current government officials, academics, and corporate and financial executives who regard themselves as the custodian and formulator of US foreign policy. The publication of the council carries the heavy weight of authority. One doesn’t expect to find humor in it, but I found myself roaring with laughter while reading an article, in the February 5 online issue, by Alexander J. Motyl, “Goodbye, Putin: Why the President’s Days Are Numbered.” Continue reading

Landmark federal court decision: Will it speed Diablo nuke’s demise?

New revelations about earthquake dangers have shaken the future of California’s Diablo Canyon nukes. Continue reading

Another year, another ‘terror’ ‘crisis’

Yeah, I have to keep using scare quotes, because they’re a reflection of this country and its insistence on finding a terrorist around every corner. Continue reading

We are all zombies

The most heinous thing a human can do is eat another human. Fear of cannibalism along with the other two great taboos, incest and inter-family violence, are the bedrocks of human culture. Without these taboos there is no human civilization, yet zombie cannibals are everywhere, from the most popular TV shows in the US and Europe to the most played PC games. Everywhere we look there is a zombie dragging his feet looking for human prey. The ubiquitous nature of this meme of semi-human creatures that survive only by breaking the most fundamental of human taboos is a clear indicator of a collective cultural pathology Continue reading

Ebola update: Global vaccination

Last October, during America’s Ebola scare, I wrote an article that questioned the motives behind the Obama administration’s decision to not ban flights traveling out of Ebola-stricken countries. Specifically, I questioned the conflict-of-interest connections between the Council on Foreign Relations, the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Bill Gates’ corporate-philanthropic investments. More specifically, I questioned whether the potential outbreak was being mismanaged by the Obama administration in order to justify global health regulations proposed by the CFR and to amass profits in Gates’ pharmaceutical and vaccine sales. Continue reading

American defense contractors are now health care providers

Tracking patient data like tracking a missile

“Defense contractor” is no longer a valid term for US weapons makers. Continue reading

The awesome life of an American congressman

We could go on about the inherent contradiction of “Downton Abbey” as the biggest hit on public television—that a series about a fading, genteel (and Gentile) British aristocracy and its servants dominates the schedule of a broadcasting service mandated to promote diversity and give a voice to the underrepresented. And sometime soon, we will talk about precisely that and more. Continue reading

The imperial president—no limits on executive power

President Obama has reminded us on several occasions that what separates us from the rest of humanity and makes us “exceptional” is that we are a nation of laws and we live by the rule of law. Continue reading

Greece alone cannot do it; austerity victims of the world, unite!

Regardless of the outcome of the newly-elected Greek government’s debt negotiations with representatives of Europe’s big finance, the mere fact of the left-leaning Syriza Party’s ride to power on a groundswell of the Greek people’s anger over the neoliberal austerity measures deserves to be celebrated by austerity victims everywhere. More than anything else, Syriza’s electoral victory represents a clear indication that, when mobilized, people can bring about change. Continue reading

Swimming with the sharks: Goldman Sachs, school districts, and capital appreciation bonds

Remember when Goldman Sachs—dubbed by Matt Taibbi the Vampire Squid—sold derivatives to Greece so the government could conceal its debt, then bet against that debt, driving it up? It seems that the ubiquitous investment bank has also put the squeeze on California and its school districts. Not that Goldman was alone in this; but the unscrupulous practices of the bank once called the undisputed king of the municipal bond business epitomize the culture of greed that has ensnared students and future generations in unrepayable debt. Continue reading

Western ‘mediators’ are biased toward Kiev putschists

Gone are the days when certain Western nations possessed bona fide credentials as impartial mediators of conflicts. Today, even the Swiss, long regarded as neutral, are anything but, judging from their cooperation agreements with such NATO contrivances the as Partnership for Peace (PfP) and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). Continue reading

Planetary suicide

Every so often a nonfiction book comes along that, because of its objective, comprehensive coverage of a hot topic, should be carefully read with a highlighter in hand by everyone. That new book is “Unprecedented” by David Ray Griffin. Continue reading

Guess whose children’s feet would be in those boots on the ground

Brrr. I’ve got the polar vortex blues. We, the Sisterhood, denounce this Siberian Express and talk about moving to a warmer zip code. Continue reading

The logic of the imperial security state

What to think of a policy that bombs countries and leaves them to their fate? Most observers of US foreign policy since 2001 regard this policy as a failure. They look upon the ruins of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and see no victory parade, no reconstruction, no stable government, no democracy, and no human rights. Continue reading

Greece surrenders to Troika

Instead of renouncing its odious debt and walking away, Athens agreed to pay bankers first, maintain austerity, and let long-suffering Greeks continue taking the hindmost. Continue reading

Whatever became of economists and the American economy?

According to the official economic fairy tale, the US economy has been in recovery since June 2009. Continue reading

After six years in office, Obama believes to have seen ‘the great light’

On his way from Jerusalem to Damascus, Saul of Tarsus (Christianity’s Saint Paul), the Jewish-Roman persecutor of Jesus’ early disciples, saw a “great light” which blinded him and threw him off his horse. A light which transfigured his life, and made him perhaps the most important personage in the Apostolic Age (First Century); a fundamental figure in Old Christianity. Continue reading

The Front Page Rule

After a week here in FMC Lexington Satellite camp, a federal prison in Kentucky, I started catching up on national and international news via back issues of USA Today available in the prison library, and an “In Brief” item, on p. 2A of the Jan. 30 weekend edition, caught my eye. It briefly described a protest in Washington, D.C., in which members of the antiwar group “Code Pink” interrupted a U.S. Senate Armed Services budget hearing chaired by Senator John McCain. The protesters approached a witness table where Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright and George Schulz were seated. One of their signs called Henry Kissinger a war criminal. “McCain,” the article continued, “blurted out, ‘Get out of here, you low-life scum.’” Continue reading

Historical cycles: are we doomed to repeat the past?

Few people have not heard the above quote, but is the reason history repeats itself because we fail to learn from it, or because history follows an unbreakable pattern we are doomed to repeat? The answer is crucial since, by all indicators, we are about to repeat the classic pattern of social collapse. This would explain why your government is preparing for the worst. Continue reading

Preventing dissent

How Britain’s new police state will radicalise us all

In the UK, an insidious secret network of violent extremists is plotting to subvert democracy. The members of this network detest our way of life, and hate our freedoms. Walking amongst us, this dangerous fifth column is exploiting the very laws we hold dear to campaign for the establishment of an extremist, totalitarian state that would police every aspect of our lives based on a fanatical ideology that is devoid of reason. Continue reading

CIA bought up its own WMD-related weapons in Iraq

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has successfully spun a story to, among other media outlets, The New York Times, that claims that in its highly-classified Operation AVARICE it bought from the black market in Iraq weapons of mass destruction components, including nerve-agent rockets. AVARICE is said to have started in 2005 and ended in 2006. The CIA claimed the U.S. destroyed 400 Borak rockets, procured in the 1980s, that were capable of carrying chemical weapons. Continue reading

Germany’s balancing act

Angela Merkel, Germany’s conservative chancellor, is steering a cautious course between two conflicting needs. Continue reading

Beyond the market-state: decentralising power in a sharing society

In an era of politics characterised by unconstrained corporate lobbying, a well-oiled ‘revolving door’ between industry and government, and an endless stream of campaign contributions from dirty oil and other lucrative industries, is the long-championed ideal of a truly democratic state now a lost cause? Should concerned citizens and activists turn their attention instead to establishing sustainable economic alternatives within their towns and communities? Or should we all be doing much more to ensure that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” as Abraham Lincoln once avowed? Continue reading

Tick tock: The world blunders 2 minutes closer to doomsday

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved the hands of the “Doomsday Clock” two minutes closer to midnight. After 3 years at 11:55, the new edition published in January shows the hands of the clock at 11:57, with the dire warning, “It Is 3 Minutes to Midnight.” Continue reading

Elimination of ‘public option’ threw consumers to the insurance wolves

Big firms and their campaign cash found a friend in Joe Lieberman

When members of Congress caved to demands from the insurance industry and ditched their plan to establish a “public option” health plan, the lawmakers also ditched one of their favorite talking points, that a government-run plan was necessary to “keep insurers honest.” Continue reading