Monday, May 7, 2018

1937’s Revenge

Why an Imbalanced Global Economy is a Recipe for Disaster

In the 1930s, it was countries that grew apart and unequal. Germany owed too much money to Britain and France — much more than it could ever repay. The reparations broke its economy, shattered the lives of its people, drove them into penury. Hungry, resentful, embittered, enraged, what happened next? They turned to the most strident and bombastic strongman they could find. They sought in his arms what had been taken from them, at root — dignity, a sense of belonging, pride, meaning. But instead of seeking those in healthy, positive, beneficial ways, they sought them in destructive, negative, and violent ones — turning on their neighbors, scapegoating Jews, immigrants, gays, minorities. And thus the seeds of atrocity and war were laid by the hand of austerity, indebtedness, and stagnation. Read More

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Gazan Gandhis: Gaza Bleeds Alone as ‘Liberals’ and ‘Progressives’ Go Mute

Does no State or Head of State have the intestinal fortitude to speak out?

Three more Palestinians were killed and 611 wounded last Friday, when tens of thousands of Gazans continued their largely non-violent protests at the Gaza-Israel border.

Yet as the casualty count keeps climbing – nearly 45 dead and over 5,500 wounded – the deafening silence also continues. Tellingly, many of those who long chastised Palestinians for using armed resistance against the Israeli occupation are nowhere to be found, while children, journalists, women and men are all targeted by hundreds of Israeli snipers who dot the Gaza border.

Israeli officials are adamant. The likes of Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, perceives his war against the unarmed protesters as a war on terrorists. He believes that “there are no innocents in Gaza.” While the Israeli mindset is not in the least surprising, it is emboldened by the lack of meaningful action, or outright international silence to the atrocities taking place at the border.

The International Criminal Court (ICC), aside from frequent statements laced with ambiguous legal jargon, has been quite useless thus far. Its Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, derided Israel’s killings in a recent statement, but also distorted facts in her attempt at ‘even-handed language’, to the delight of Israeli media.


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Paris to decide fate of 'mega' gold mine in forests of French Guiana

Environmentalists and indigenous chiefs have vehemently opposed the “mega-mine”, warning of serious risks of pollution in the basin of the Mana river which flows through indigenous land, and damage to the area’s biodiversity.

Opponents have particularly expressed concerns over the 57,000 tonnes of explosives, 46,500 tonnes of cyanides and 142m litres of fuel WWF estimated the company will use over the mine’s 12-year lifespan. Montagne d’Or has contested the figures.

Christophe Pierre, a 24-year-old indigenous activist from the village of Terre Rouge about 100km away from the proposed mine is unyielding.

“The project is intolerable and not negotiable,” he said. “It impedes on our living space. There is hunting land nearby and pre-Colombian sites were found next to the proposed mine.

“We never gave up our sovereignty on this land. The French state does not recognise our presence prior to its arrival but this has been our land for thousands for years.” Read More

Friday, April 20, 2018

We should be horrified, and we are not anymore

What You Need To Know About The Massive National School Walkout On Friday

Lane Murdock, a 16-year-old sophomore from Ridgefield, Connecticut, launched the National School Walkout.

She was disturbed by her own reaction — or lack thereof — to the February massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

“When I found out about the shooting at MSD, I remember I didn’t have a huge reaction. And because of that, I knew I needed to change myself, and we needed to change this country,” Lane said.

“We should be horrified, and we’re not anymore. It’s American culture.” Lane Murdock

Read More

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Dreaming Beyond Capitalism: a Culture Without Fear

First Nation tribes from North America coined a term to describe the ‘disease of the white man’ – wetiko. In their understanding, wetiko consists of two essential characteristics: chronic inability for empathy and an egoistic fixation on ones own personal benefit and profit. The First Peoples used this word specifically because they could not fathom any other explanation for the behavior of the European colonialists. While often declared as unchangeable psychological features of humanity, greed, selfishness and violent impulses may in fact not be our “human nature” as many claim, but rather the outcome of our alienation under capitalist conditions. Marx said, “Social being determines consciousness.”[ii] According to epigenetic research, our genetic programming contains many different possibilities of existence. Whether wetiko takes holds of our psyche or we become compassionate strongly depends on the social structures we live in. We only consider egoism, hatred and brutality to be “normal” because over the past few thousand years our civilization has been conditioned in this way – basing its economy on war, its social organization on domination and conformity, its religion on punishment, damnation and sin, its education on coercion, its security on the elimination of the supposed enemy, its very image of love on fear of loss. Read More

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Will Israel pay a price for its latest Gaza massacre?

The Electronic Intifada

Palestinians are calling for escalating global campaigns to isolate Israel after its army killed 16 people in the Gaza Strip and wounded almost 1,500 others.

Meanwhile, Israel has rejected calls for an international investigation and its defense minister has commended soldiers on Friday’s slaughter.

“Evoking memories of the South African apartheid regime’s massacre of peaceful protesters in Sharpeville in 1960, Israel’s military committed a new massacre against Palestinian civilians as they were peacefully commemorating Palestinian Land Day,” the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) said Monday.

The BNC, the steering group for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, urged people around the world to “mainstream the demand for all private and public entities in your country to end all cooperation and/or trade with the Israeli military and ‘security sector.’”

It also calls for heightened campaigns targeting companies and financial institutions complicit in Israel’s crimes. Read More

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

It is expensive to be poor

But who made the "Poor' poor? Or to put it another way, was where did all the money go?

Poverty is a shortage of money.

Johnson seemed to have established the principle that it is the responsibility of government to intervene on behalf of the disadvantaged and deprived. But there was never enough money for the fight against poverty, and Johnson found himself increasingly distracted by another and deadlier war—the one in Vietnam. Although underfunded, the War on Poverty still managed to provoke an intense backlash from conservative intellectuals and politicians.

In their view, government programs could do nothing to help the poor because poverty arises from the twisted psychology of the poor themselves. By the Reagan era, it had become a cornerstone of conservative ideology that poverty is caused not by low wages or a lack of jobs and education, but by the bad attitudes and faulty lifestyles of the poor.

Picking up on this theory, pundits and politicians have bemoaned the character failings and bad habits of the poor for at least the past 50 years. In their view, the poor are shiftless, irresponsible, and prone to addiction. They have too many children and fail to get married. So if they suffer from grievous material deprivation, if they run out of money between paychecks, if they do not always have food on their tables—then they have no one to blame but themselves. Read More