Obscured American: Patrick the ex-computer programmer

Last week, a 55-year-old tourist from Texas was killed when he fell onto the subway tracks at 13th Street Station. He and his wife had just visited the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. Going by the station the next day, I half expected to see some sort of memorial, but there were no flowers, cards or candles. I was heading to Kensington, a place I have written about repeatedly, the last time 10 months ago. Continue reading

Basic income: Helicopter money

About 10% of Canadians live in poverty. That figure is even higher in major cities, such as Toronto where the number of children living below the line is nearly 25%. In India, 22% of the people live in poverty. A “guaranteed annual income” (GAI) could wipe out this poverty at a stroke. Continue reading

Memorial Day crocodile tears from those who create wars

A few million Americans may be thinking about it, but won’t be celebrating Memorial Day. For them, there’s not much to celebrate or to remember. Continue reading

Memorializing the horrors of war with 10 must-see war films

Nearly 71 years ago, the United States unleashed atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing more than 200,000 individuals, many of whom were civilians. Continue reading

Will Russia succumb to Washington’s economic attack?

Last Tuesday, State Department deputy propaganda spokesperson Mark Toner reminded US companies that there are economic and reputational risks associated with doing business with Russia until Russia gives Crimea back to Washington’s puppet government in Kiev. Continue reading

Wanted: Daddy or Mommy in Chief

Imagine a want ad for the position of U.S. President: Seeking a Daddy or Mommy to perform the duties of the president of the United States. Based on what we’re witnessing—the venomous, venal, and vehement aspirants presently hardballing shit at one another as well as past and current officeholders—I have an image of the ad and its contents. Continue reading

All the presumptive nominee’s men

For a guy who yells about Washington and Wall Street money in politics, Donald Trump sure has a lot of insiders on his team.

Right after Barack Obama’s election in 2008, I flew off to Australia and New Zealand to attend a conference and take some vacation time. At the end of the long flight, when I got to Sydney, I picked up one of the local newspapers and read that the president-elect had chosen Rahm Emanuel, poster boy for corporate Democrats and the status quo, to be his chief of staff. Continue reading

Will the November US presidential election bring the end of the world?

“We have been watching for nearly a month a steady buildup of American and NATO forces along Russia’s borders—on land, on sea and in the air. There has been nothing like this on Russia’s borders, such an amassing of hostile military force, since the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.” Continue reading

What it takes to be president of the American police state

Anti-big money, antiwar, pro-Constitution, freedom-loving candidates need not apply

Long gone are the days when the path to the White House was open to anyone who met the Constitution’s bare minimum requirements of being a natural born citizen, a resident of the United States for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older. Continue reading

Time to end the ‘hasbara’: Palestinian Media and the search for a common story

Merely being in the company of hundreds of Palestinian journalists and other media professionals from all over the world has been an uplifting experience. For many years, Palestinian media have been on the defensive, unable to articulate a coherent message, torn between factions and desperately trying to fend off the Israeli media campaign, along with its falsifications and unending propaganda or ‘hasbara.’ Continue reading

Freedom Rider: Georgetown should pay for slavery

When the Civil War began in 1861 the total value of enslaved people in the United States was “worth more than all of America’s manufacturing, all of the railroads, all of the productive capacity of the United States put together. Slaves were the single largest, by far, financial asset of property in the entire American economy. The only thing worth more than the slaves in the American economy of the 1850s was the land itself.” Myriad institutions owed their existence to the vast fortunes created by chattel slavery. Continue reading

Elites vs. too much democracy: Andrew Sullivan’s afraid of popular self-government

The trouble with Trump isn't because of too much democracy; it's decades of political malfeasance that have made Americans furious.

British expatriate writer Andrew Sullivan recently returned to the public eye with a piece that has aroused considerable comment, some of it reasonably on point, and some bloviatingly incoherent. Continue reading

Brazil’s coup plotters aimed to block corruption investigation

US-supported coup plotters had multiple aims in mind — replacing democracy with tyranny, weakening or ending social justice programs, instituting neoliberal harshness, and undermining corruption investigations involving 303 of Brazil’s lower house members, 49 of 81 senators, and 37 of the 65-member impeachment commission. Continue reading

South China Sea hypocrisy: Washington’s imperialistic hold on tiny islands

While the Pentagon and US State Department continue to issue forth missives and warnings to China about it activities in staking territorial claims to disputed islands in the South China Sea, Washington has its own sordid history of retaining control of islands claimed by other nations. Continue reading

Enough mind games over EgyptAir flight

Ever since the disappearance of the EgyptAir Airbus A320 en route to Cairo from Paris last Thursday, which we now know crashed into the Mediterranean, the media has been rolling out expert after expert, each with his own theory, and more often than not they are contradictory. Continue reading

Americans are a conquered people: The new serfs

As readers know, I have seen some optimism in voters support for Trump and Sanders as neither are members of the corrupt Republican and Democratic political establishments. Members of both political establishments enrich themselves by betraying the American people and serving only the interest of the One Percent. The American people are being driven into the ground purely for the sake of more mega-billions for a handful of super-rich people. Continue reading

Propaganda countdown to WW III: Armenians in the crosshairs

While the two leaders from Armenia and Azerbaijan met this week and agreed to comply with the treaty set forth that ended their bloody six year war back in 1994, both action on the ground along the Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) Line of Contact as well as the fierce information and propaganda war belie purported reaffirmations made by both nations’ top politicians. No one can take the Vienna talks seriously anymore between Armenia’s President Sargsyan and Azeri President Aliyev for the precise reason that moments after they were agreeing to uphold another ceasefire yet more Azeri gunfire, grenade launchers and mortar fire were killing yet another Armenian soldier. Continue reading

Why did US seize Iran’s $2 billion?

What looked to be a new window of detente between the US and Iran, following the signing of the Joint Comprehensive plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program has quickly turned opaque. A US decree was issued to seize $2 billion in assets belonging to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), holding Iran financially responsible for the 1983 bombing that killed 241 Marines at their barracks in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. The funds in question have been blocked since the civilian trial in the bombing began in 2011, but awaited the final legal touch to bless the blatant theft. This came when the US Supreme Court recently upheld the Congress bill, with the approval of President Barack Obama. Continue reading

Hillary Clinton is the most qualified to head the Evil Empire

I’ve run for political office a few times myself, and even though I have always met constitutional qualifications, I always have been told that I was not “qualified.” Continue reading

History must not repeat itself: How the Democrats could lose the presidency—again

In 1967, the United States was digging itself deeper into the war in Vietnam. Continue reading

Extrajudicially held Guantanamo detainee to be released

Guantanamo remains a black hole of US extrajudicial viciousness, hundreds of innocent men and boys (all Muslims, most sold for bounty) held lawlessly since January 2002—denied due process and judicial fairness. Continue reading

Short lifespan of American Demo-Republicanism

It doesn’t seem so long ago when an ambitious political couple holding preteen Chelsea Clinton by the hand was moving from the governor’s mansion in Little Rock, Arkansas, to the august quarters of the White House in D.C. A young Democratic president had just defeated Ronald Reagan’s heir, Papa Bush, and a prophetic populist with a Texan twang, Ross Perot, in the colorful presidential fray of 1992. Continue reading

Why hating the media could make the difference in November

The winning candidate may be the one who most successfully stirs the public's mistrust of journalists and journalism.

As the political pundits keep reminding us, this might be called the “hate” election. Both major parties’ presumptive nominees, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, have historically high net unfavorable ratings—so high that voters are said to be casting their ballots against a candidate rather than in favor of one. The question seems to be: Who do you hate less? Continue reading

Death threats received by woman for wearing America Was Never Great hat

American exceptionalism, the “indispensable nation,” an “empire of liberty,” the “leader of the free world,” a “shining city on a hill,” and other patriotic slogans mask hard truths about the most ruthlessly dangerous regime in world history. Continue reading

Eurovision a U.S. propaganda tool against Russia

Eurovision, the annual European song competition that launched the careers of the Swedish group Abba and Canada’s Celine Dion, has become nothing more than a propaganda tool of the United States. Continue reading

Obscured American: Michael the Philly Jesus

Philly is blessed with a generous allotment of public space at its very center. On any day of the week, weather permitting, there are throngs of people at Love Park, Dillworth Park and near the Clothespin. Around this 45-foot-tall sculpture by Claes Oldenburg, I’ve seen an assortment of petty hustlers selling everything from loosies to oddball T-shirts, such as one that said, “IF YOU SMELL SOMETHING STINKING . . . IT’S ILL-ADELPHIA BECAUSE WE’RE THE SH!T. Black Israelites can often be found nearby. Wearing studded wrist bands, studded belts and studded vests over studded, knee-length, fringe tunics, they rail against white people and gays. I’ve seen these guys not just in Philly, but Washington D.C. and Minneapolis. Continue reading

Gurus of the progressive community . . . Chomsky and Goodman

There was a time when I, like tens of thousands of my progressive partners, held Noam Chomsky and Amy Goodman in awe. After all, Amy informed us and Noam spoke for us, coherently explaining the issues. However, as I became more aware and more informed, I realized that there were great differences between their thinking and mine. Continue reading

Presidential campaign computer networks become national security systems

By simple fiat, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper has designated the computer systems and networks used by the top three presidential campaigns as being of “national security interest.” The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and FBI have directed the presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump to accede to the dictates of the national security state to protect their computer systems from unnamed “foreign hackers.” Continue reading

Democrats can’t unite unless Wasserman Schultz goes!

The Democratic National Committee chair has thrown fuel on the flames of infighting just as the party faces a critical November election.

To paraphrase the words of that Scottish master Robert Burns, the best laid plans of mice, men—and women—go often astray, or “gang aft agley,” as they say in the Highlands. No one knows this better than Hillary Rodham Clinton. Continue reading

Can Russia survive Washington’s attack?

It is not only American generals who are irresponsible and declare on the basis of no evidence whatsoever that “Russia is an existential threat to the United States” and also to the Baltic states, Poland, Georgia, Ukraine, and all of Europe. British generals also participate in the warmongering. UK retired general and former NATO commander Sir Richard Shirreff, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander in Europe until 2014, has just declared that nuclear war with Russia is “entirely plausible” within the year. Continue reading

Daddy knows best

According to this article, Obama’s advice to the graduates was admonitory. Though he never mentioned Donald Trump, his message was: Do not elect Trump. His seriousness was palpable, with the addition of “as I can be” to his customary “let me be [as] clear.” Continue reading

What about violence from the Clinton campaign?

Some roughhousing at a Democratic Party convention in Nevada over the weekend shocked party leaders and the mainstream media. The official custodians of propriety demand that Sanders control his followers and denounce their actions. The double standard on this issue is simply appalling since the Clinton campaign represents failed policies that got 350,000 killed and future plans (the “no fly zone” for Syria) that will cost even more lives. Continue reading