I come here from a country whose seven million children, women, and men refuse to die from ignorance, hunger, and thirst any longer. My aspiration is to speak on behalf of my people, on behalf of the disinherited of the world. And to state the reasons for our revolt. – Thomas Sankara (speech at UN More The post The Trial Of Thomas Sankara’s Killers appeared first
Audubon’s portrait of the unassuming Bachman’s Warblers isn’t one of his best works. The little birds just sit there, away from each other, the male posing closer to the center of the picture and the female cowering on a branch right at the bottom, as if aware of her inferior rank in life. Their colors--a subtle symphony of yellow, green, black, and grey—blend
If Colin Powell’s life has meaning, it is as a cautionary tale about the perils of going along to get along. Rarely has history offered such a stark example of a human being offered a clear existential choice between right and wrong. Hardly ever has so much hung in the balance for humanity and for More The post Colin Powell, Moral Weakling appeared first on CounterPunch.org.
What sort of gap exists when it comes to American support for Palestinian rights? Is it a generation gap or perhaps a perceptual gap leading to an argument over what is and is not true? This question was suggested, at least in my mind,  on 28 September 2021 when Vice President Harris (age 56) paid More The post Vice President Harris Confronts a Reality Gap appeared
Events are unfolding at a quickening pace. Facing an alarming escalation in tensions around the world, we are looking to our most respected and renowned thought leaders for an honest assessment of both U.S. foreign and military policy to offer their most current thoughts and insights. We know they have some ideas for improving the More The post What Are the Prospects
It happened three times yesterday, and I only watched or half-watched a few hours of TV news. It happens every day, it seems.  Somebody wonders out loud (yesterday’s most prominent was Alex Witt with Dr. Anthony Fauci) why over 60 million Americans who are eligible to be vaccinated are still refusing — including hospital workers More The post Advice That Kills
“Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty.” – Plato So many millions of people have been duped into believing Donald Trump’s Big Lie that he won the election, it seems as if we’re reliving the North-South hatred over slavery. We know More The post America’s Cold Civil War
So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night I hate to go and leave this pretty sight So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu So long, farewell, au revoir, auf wiedersehen I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye — Goodbye! I’m glad to go, I cannot tell More The post Adieu, Facebook: Irony and the Finale of
We are now witnessing the collapse of a supply chain based on the globalization we were all told would save us money. We’d ship all those low paying jobs away and become a booming service economy. A few facts that demonstrate how this has worked out: The other day there were 76 container ships off More The post Supply Chain Blues: Who’s Pulling Yours?
As Britain prepares to host the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow next month, it is pursuing two contradictory policies that undermine its chances of success. On the one hand, it is seeking a unified global response to the climate crisis with nations agreeing to targets for the reduction of their coal and petroleum emissions. But at the same time, it has joined
“I am not Hamlet. I don’t play a role anymore. My words have nothing more to tell me. “ ― Heiner Müller, Hamletmachine The great European project of never shutting up, an express train of constant babble that has been running full speed since the Renaissance, reached an apogee at the end of the 19th century. More The post Modernity: Never Shutting Up appeared first
The sinking local economy – weighed down by the years of drought, inflation and climate change – has exacerbated the farmers’ problems. Their struggle for survival has become more difficult since the pandemic started, pushing many farmers to the brink of poverty More The post Forlorn Farmers, Fatal Fears appeared first on CounterPunch.org.
It was not for everybody, but the shock advertising tactics of the Australian comedian Dan Ilic made an appropriate point.  Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a famed coal hugger, has vacillated about whether to even go to the climate conference in Glasgow.  Having himself turned the country’s prime ministerial office into an extended advertising
For decades, I kept a poster on my wall that I’d saved from the year I turned 16. In its upper left-hand corner was a black-and-white photo of a white man in a grey suit. Before him spread a cobblestone plaza. All you could see were the man and the stones. Its caption read, “He More The post Seeing the Future appeared first on CounterPunch.org.
At this point it seems likely that “negotiations” between Democratic Congressional leaders and Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema over President Biden’s Build Back Better bill will drag on indefinitely. Or until progressives either give in to their demands, or Democrats lose Congress in the mid-term election, whichever comes first. The problem
A recent Wall Street Journal article painted recent pandemic-driven declines in men’s postsecondary enrollment as an escalating crisis with “no reversal. . .in sight.”  Responding a few days later in the New York Times, Kevin Carey wrote that the picture is a more complex with “women keep playing catch-up in an economy structured to favor More The post Young
Last Sunday, a 94-year-old woman held a small European flag in her hand as she wheeled her wheelchair through Warsaw among thousands of demonstrators protesting against the reform of the Polish judiciary and her government’s confrontation with the European Union. That lady, who in 1944 was a young fighter in the Warsaw Uprising against Nazism, More
You’d have to be of a certain age to remember what it was like to have passenger rail service on the southern route through Montana. But if you ever got a chance to ride those rails 50 years ago, the memory of enjoying an absolutely beautiful, effortless, and relaxed trip across Montana’s vast expanses of More The post The Virtues of Passenger Rail for Rural America
The Israel lobby appears to be readying for a campaign to root out leftwing academics in the UK critical of Israel’s continuing oppression of the Palestinian people – echoing its efforts against the previous leader of Britain’s Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn. More The post After Corbyn, Israel Lobby Turns Its Guns on UK Academia appeared first on CounterPunch.org.
The rich have always flaunted their wealth. It was rarely good enough to enjoy financial success, you had to be conspicuous about it. They build enormous homes for everyone to gawk at. They throw lavish parties. They commission paintings, statues, biographies. They endow institutions so that their names can live on in granite forever. At More The post The Embarrassment
The number of strikes and of striking workers might be far higher if more workers were unionized. Non-union workers like McGrath and Ragland hired by historically anti-union companies like Walmart might have been able to organize their fellow workers instead of resorting to individual resignations. While viral social media posts of quitting are impactful
I didn’t expect to write again about Powell being reappointed as Fed chair, I had expected that Biden would have made a pick by now, but here we are. Now that Larry Summers has condemned the “woke” Fed for failing to crack down on inflation, it seems worth recapping what is at issue. What we More The post Jerome Powell and the Federal Reserve Board appeared first on
It was such a noble public health dream, even if rather hazy to begin with. Run down SARS-CoV-2. Suppress it. Crush it. Or just “flatten the curve”, which could have meant versions of all the above. This created a climate of numerical sensitivity: a few case infections here, a few cases there, would warrant immediate, sharp More The post Funeral Rites for COVID
The billionaire founders of KKR, America’s first nationally celebrated “private equity” giant, have just announced they’re stepping down as the company’s co-CEOs. Henry Kravis, now 77, and George Roberts, 78, helped found KKR in 1976. They opened up shop with $120,000 in capital to invest. Their KKR portfolio currently holds assets valued not all that More
I’m an animal activist who wants to believe in God, but has a hard time getting past what’s known in theological circles as the problem of evil. Specifically, it’s difficult for me to reconcile the existence of God with wild animal suffering not caused by humans. So I decided to ask scholars, clergy, and other More The post Reconciling God with Wild Animal Suffering
A year ago, when I examined the lessons of hatred and political violence in the US, I made note of the ugly role dehumanization and hate played in the alt-right’s support of Donald Trump. I was inspired, in part, by thinking about what Matthew Shepard would have experienced had he lived to see the full-force More The post Is Trump’s Violent Dishonesty Inexorable?
“That’s unbelievable,” my father-in-law wrote me from Ireland after watching me give a statistic-heavy webinar on the advances for the poor in Nicaragua since 2007. “I know, right?” I replied. “No, I mean it’s actually unbelievable,” he wrote back. “For cynical people like me, our faith in humanity has been undermined. The story of a More The post Nicaragua
Since WWII behavior of the German people throughout the Nazi era has been a moral mystery to many Americans.  That party never won an election let alone a plurality of voters but with Hitler’s coup, representative government became a memory.  Hitler authorized his own tyranny and ruled by terror but the degree to which Germans More The post Good Americans appeared
Since the late 1970s I’ve been actively involved in issues that relate directly to protecting forest ecosystems in the Northern Rockies bioregion. I still marvel at the beauty and God-given miracles that can be found everywhere among the trees and animals that live there. Everyone can experience this same forest magic without paying a fee. More The post Stop
Image by Li-An Lim. The upcoming UN climate conference (COP 26) will happen amid an escalating climate crisis. After past conferences failed to prevent today's unfolding disaster, it's safe to assume that the 26th COP will follow in the ineffectual footsteps of the previous 25 UN climate summits. Nevertheless, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Stealing trees is as old as the King’s timber reserves. The sanctions for such sylvan thievery have always been harsh. In medieval England, it meant public torture and slow death. In the US, the levy was a kind of financial death penalty –triple damages plus serious jail time. A few years ago, two tree poachers […] To read this article, log in here or Subscribe
As Biden vows to keep the ports of LA and Long Beach running 24/7, likely gutting labor rules to in the process in effort to speed the import of cheap goods from China and South Korea, it's hard not to reach the conclusion that the most pressing supply chain issue is housing, where there's not a single state in the US where an employee who works a 40-hour can afford a
In scenes that evoked the history of U.S. slave catchers, Border Patrol agents on horseback used their reins as whips to beat the refugees they chased down and captured. Eager to join the racist frenzy, Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the National Guard and Texas police to form a miles-long “steel wall” of patrol cars and military vehicles to block migrants
President Biden took a predictable hit on the Afghan crisis, but the war’s flawed beginnings and mis-guided execution were caused by many of his current critics who were pitchmen for deepening our involvement. This fiasco lasted twenty years because all presidents and power players were vested in this atrocity, willing to cover up its failure with deceptions
Jair Messias Bolsonaro is widely known for his sociopathic views and attempts to put them into action. He’s so given to bizarre statements that they tend to focus attention on him and distract from the fact that the appalling environmental and human rights situation of Brazil today (people scavenging through animal carcasses for food, is just one example)
Recently Norman Ornstein told Salon’s Chauncy de Vega that the United States is mired in a crisis of democracy that shows parallels with Germany’s descent into Nazism during the 1930s. Ornstein is right to worry about the nation’s ongoing lethal rightward drift beyond “normal” bourgeois democracy. That is how the United States’ political life is More The
There’s a lot to be said about teeth. Like, that not having them can be a real problem.  Since one out of five American seniors has lost all their natural teeth, this is no minor statistical blip of an irritation. It is a BIG issue. So that’s why, for months, Senator Bernie Sanders has told More The post Toothless: the Build Back Better Bill’s Dental Coverage appeared
On October 8, a terrible blast struck the worshippers attending Friday noon prayers at the Gozar-e-Sayed Abad Mosque in the Khan Abad district of Bandar, the capital of Kunduz, one of Afghanistan’s largest cities in its northern belt. This is a mosque frequented by Shia Muslims, who were referred to as “our compatriots” by Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah
What would you call a society in which everybody is an equal, everyone gets a fair chance, but is at the same time cruel and destructive in a way never before seen in history? The new Korean series Squid Game models this kind of social situation in an abstract way: It depicts a scenario in which debt-ridden More The post Squid Game, Capitalist Game appeared first
The evidence surrounds most of us, no matter where we live—city, suburb or country. Europe, Asia and the Americas. The concept we understood to be the USA is unraveling in a manner many might never have considered. I’ve always been a bit of a pessimist despite a reasonably cheery disposition. The fact of an economy More The post The American Way—2021 appeared
In any election, anywhere, 90% of the voters agreeing on any anything would be rare indeed. But, that is exactly what happened Sunday when John Deere workers voted down the agreement negotiated by the United Auto Workers (UAW) and John Deere management, an agreement workers said was slanted to the interest of corporate profit at the expense More The post Corporations
This summer we witnessed, with brutal clarity, the Beginning of the End: the end of Earth as we know it — a world of lush forests, bountiful croplands, livable cities, and survivable coastlines. In its place, we saw the early manifestations of a climate-damaged planet, with scorched forests, parched fields, scalding cities, and storm-wracked coastlines.
This is the second part in a series about a journey across what used to be called Macedonia, which is now divided among Albania, North Macedonia, Greece, and Turkey. When not reading my fireside books, I was plotting my train journey for the next day by consulting an old Cook’s Continental Timetable (if the trains More The post Macedonian Ramble: the Ghost Train
Morning listening on October 13.  Australia’s Radio National.  Members of the Morrison government are doing their interview rounds with the host, Fran Kelly.  We enter a time warp, speeding away into another dimension where planet Earth, and Australia, look different. The first interview, with Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie, is filled with the sort
Monday, October 11, marked the official closure of the U.N. Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen (also known as the Group of Experts or GEE). For nearly four years, this investigative group examined alleged human rights abuses suffered by Yemenis whose basic rights to food, shelter, safety, health care and education were horribly violated, all More The post Abandoning
The shit is hitting the fan in Berkeley, again. The city, which is notorious for not thinking clearly or honorably about People’s Park and its legacy, announced plans recently to install a public toilet on Haste Street directly in front of a legendary mural that Osha Neumann and O’Brien Thiele painted 45 years ago. The More The post Another Shit Storm in Berkeley
This year’s Social Security Trustees’ report includes some fairly large changes from last year, not because of the pandemic, surprisingly, but because of changes to economic projections. Although two of the Trustee positions remain vacant, the Trustees agree that the program’s future is still mostly sound. According to their report, if nothing changes,
On September 10, 2021, during an important diplomatic meeting that occurred by telephone, U.S. President Joseph Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping affirmed the necessity of a better relationship between their two nations. According to the official Chinese summary, Xi said that “when China and the United States cooperate, the two countries and the world
In his latest book, The Stupidity of War: American Foreign Policy and the Case for Complacency, American political scientist John Mueller demonstrates that since the end of World War II, American policymakers have developed a kind of addiction to threat inflation by “routinely elevating the problematic to the dire… focused on problems, or monsters, that
A cursory glance at the ‘State of the World’ reveals what a mess things are: from the environmental emergency and war to injustice and poverty, a tightly woven man-made mess of interconnected issues, unprecedented in scale. The greatest crisis of all, however, is humanity, and the culture that we, specifically ‘The West’, have built and More The post Discontent
There is much room to improve labor standards of temporary workers at tech firms. The National Employment Law Project and Temp Workers for Justice have produced a report that lays out the problem and future solutions. Dave DeSario is one of the co-authors of this report. The report’s other authors are Ben Gwin, United HCL Workers of Pittsburgh, and 
The elevation of Donald Trump onto the national political stage in 2016 provoked a heated debate among centrist and left-wing commentators that has yet to be resolved (and likely never will be): do Trump and the Republican Party today represent a recrudescence of fascism, or is this a flawed historical analogy? Writers like Timothy Snyder More The post Resisting
By Ebony Slaughter-Johnson Texas’s cruel new anti-abortion law is more than just an unconstitutional restriction on reproductive choice. It’s also an egregious new frontier in late capitalism. In addition to banning abortion beyond six weeks into pregnancy, the Texas law allows private citizens to sue anyone who helps a person abort a pregnancy, promising
Joe Manchin claims that the $3.5 Build Back Better Act would create an “entitlement society.” Yet it is the wealthy who are entitled to pay lower tax rates than poor and middle class citizens. Manchin is one of the 4% of “moderate” Senate Democrats, along with Kyrsten Sinema, who blocks the bill’s passage. Late last More The post Build Back Better Against People
That’s the conclusion of two rising young stars in the corporate crime academic world – Iowa Law School Professor Mihailis Diamantis and Michigan Ross School of Business Professor Will Thomas in a new article titled – But We Haven’t Got Corporate Criminal Law! “For more than a century, pearl-clutching abolitionists have decried the conceptual puzzles More
The Build Back Better agenda under negotiation in Congress includes sweeping public investments to make our economy more equitable, sustainable, and resilient in the face of future crises. Another major potential benefit: several tax reforms on the table to help pay for the plan would also reduce economic inequality and curb harmful corporate behavior.
North Korea is carrying out one missile test after another lately, at the same time indicating (or is it?) interest in talks with South Korea about reducing tensions. Late last month North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles from railways over the Sea of Japan, violating UN prohibitions and raising alarm bells in nearby countries. More The post
The Pentagon issued its annual report recently on suicide in the military, and it provides us with very sad news. Despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars on programs to stem this crisis, the suicide rate for active-duty U.S. troops rose to 28.7 per 100,000 during 2020, up from 26.3 per 100,000 the previous year. More The post Military Suicide: One More
It’s too easy, right? Too simple — shoving Christopher Columbus off the historical honor roll, pulling down his statues, yanking his “day” away from him and renaming it in honor of the people he murdered, kidnapped, turned into property? Or is Indigenous Peoples Day seen by the world as simply a starting point, a launching More The post A Zen Koan on Columbus Day
Now that the Saudi Lobby has successfully torpedoed the UN’s investigation into war crimes in Yemen, their next target will be California Democratic Representative Ro Khanna’s amendment to the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act.  Khanna’s amendment was accepted by the House of Representatives.  If incorporated in the final version of the NDAA, Khanna’s
From the beginning of his acting career, Mr. Hanks seems to have lacked an appreciation for the life experience of the average, working, non-starring actor. When his entrepreneurial drive took him to the next stage — movie and TV producer — did Thomas J. Hanks’s capacity for empathy grow or shrivel? More The post Tom Hanks: The Trojan Horse in a Citadel of Labor
In 1788, Thomas Jefferson wrote to Edward Carrington, a fellow Virginian soldier and statesman, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) and Karl Marx (1818-1883) offered different but complementary, if less critical, notions of progress. “Truth, in the great practical concerns
How is it that the US lost its war with Afghanistan? This will be debated for years. The question is part of a larger question: how is it that this greatest of all superpowers has not gained clear victory in any major war since 1945?  In addition to this general question there are factors that apply only to the Afghan war. One peculiarity is how that war began. More
A substantive and non-neoliberal Universal Basic Income (UBI) could substantially improve people’s lives, is feasible and possible and can be a step towards a revolutionary transformation of a society towards participatory socialism. There is no conflict with related proposals for Universal Basic Services, a UBS, or with a Guaranteed Jobs Program. 
I know what it means to be watched all too carefully, a phenomenon that’s only grown worse in the war-on-terror years. I’m a strange combination, I suspect, being both a military spouse and an anti-war-on-terror activist. As I’ve discovered, the two sit uncomfortably in what still passes for one life. In this country in these More The post Eyes Are Always on You:
When Bobby Kennedy went after organized crime in the early 1960s, one of the things he learned was that the Mafia had a series of rituals new members went through to declare their loyalty and promise they’d never turn away from their new benefactors.  Once in, they’d be showered with money and protection, but they More The post Krysten Sinema is the Epitome of Political
When I read the account (“Canada invited Chelsea Manning to country just so she could be thrown out”, Guardian, October 7, 2021) of the planned removal of Chelsea Manning from Canada, should she show up at a hearing in Montreal, I thought of how welcoming Canada had been to war resisters during the Vietnam War. Manning More The post Canada Then and Now appeared
Biden has assembled a hard-line national security team on China, particularly at the National Security Council.  National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, his deputy Kurt Campbell, and the director of the China staff Rush Doshi are hard-liners vis-a-vis Beijing.  The new deputy assistant of defense for Indo-Pacific security, Ely Ratner, is a Sullivan
The UK’s annual Conservative party conference was held last week. Unlike the fairly contentious Labour party conference the week before, where its leader Keir Starmer left behind him a slew of broken promises and betrayals of ordinary members and the unions as he pushed the party rightwards into the arms of a played-out Blairism, Boris “BoJo” Johnson encountered
Activists harass White House officials and senators as they eat dinner at restaurants. Another senator was recently stalked into the ladies’ room, where her pursuers shouted derision at her stall. Many other politicians have suffered protest demonstrations at their homes. Now that they’re beleaguered, this may be the perfect time to convince lawmakers