During World War I, British forces sent up hot-air balloons to spy on advancing enemy forces. In recent times, a number of countries, including the US and France, have launched data-gathering balloons. The Chinese military last year reported favorably on many uses for such balloons, including for surveillance, communication, weather information, and
After being besieged relentlessly throughout his 16 months in office, Pedro Castillo was removed from the presidency on December 7 by Peru’s national Congress after he announced a gutting of the institutional order. Castillo’s attempt to dissolve Congress was followed just hours later by the move to “vacate” him, the third attempt during his term, More The
Sixty years ago, a crowd of us young people anxiously massed around a black-and-white TV in my college student union building. The US and the USSR were in an existential standoff. The US had deployed ballistic nuclear missiles in Turkey. When the Soviets responded by placing missiles in Cuba, the US demanded their removal or More The post Nostalgia for the Cuban
Postal jobs have long been a road to the middle-class for Black Americans. The Postal Service began employing Black workers shortly after the Civil War and became a major source of good, middle-class jobs for this share of the workforce in the early 20th century. During the 1940s, civil rights advocacy, combined with wartime needs, More The post Defend the Postal
For a long while now I have been an avid reader of Matthew Stevenson’s myriad and outstanding travel journals detailing his many experiences across the world. He joins an august list of travel literature writers that include Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, V.S. Naipaul, Marco Polo, and Bill Bryson.  Whether by train, car, bus, More The post Ariel
The war in Ukraine did not start on 24 February 2022, but already in February 2014.  The civilian population of the Donbas has endured continued shelling from Ukrainian forces since 2014, notwithstanding the Minsk Agreements.  These attacks on Lugansk and Donetsk significantly increased in January-February 2024, as reported by the OSCE Special Monitoring
This is an urgent bulletin from FOX News (2). I’m Sean HaNutty along with Fucker Gnarlson. We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to announce that Top Gun Maverick has just popped a balloon. Let’s watch it in slow motion for the 6,752nd time. Yes, that’s Top Gun up there, and you see something – it More The post It is Balloon! (1) appeared first on CounterPunch.org.
In 1965, two twenty-somethings, Zoharah Simmons and Michael Simmons, activists seasoned by Mississippi Freedom Summer and Arkansas Black sharecropper organizing, met, completely by chance, at the Atlanta office of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). So began almost 60 – and counting – years of their lives and work together in what was
Timothy Leary at The Ranch, during a 1967 interview with ABCNews. What would Timothy Leary have made of today’s counterculture becoming in some ways like the sole preserve of the right? Was there not something of Leary in the ‘QAnon Shaman’ guy with his painted face and horned hat and tattooed chest at the US Capitol riot on January 6 last year? I don’t believe
On the evening of January 11, 2023, I checked my university email to find The Washington Free Beacon asking me to “comment on” a Title VI complaint that they had knowledge was to be filed against the George Washington University (GW) by pro-Israel advocacy group StandWithUs the following day. The complaint alleges that GW “discriminated against first-year
In 2021, there were 1055 people killed by police in the US. In the same year, 31 people were killed by police in all of Europe (Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Malta, Netherlands, UK, Ireland, Poland, Denmark, and Norway) combined. More The post Roaming Charges: See No Evil appeared first on CounterPunch.org.
What would “police reform” really amount to under the American System of savage race and class disparity and apartheid? As the number of people killed by US police forces continues to rise and averages over eleven hundred per year, the victims disproportionately Black and nonwhite, and as tens of millions of Black Americans are still penned up in hyper-segregated
Nearly a year in, the war in Ukraine has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and brought the world to the brink of, in President Joe Biden’s own words, “Armageddon.” Alongside the literal battlefield, there has been a similarly bitter intellectual battle over the war’s causes. Commentators have rushed to declare the long-criticized policy of More The post
Obviously, if your country has been invaded by a foreign power, putting your 15 commercial nuclear reactors at risk of destruction that could lead to a massive radioactive release, rendering your country and others beyond uninhabitable, there is only one clear solution: load up with more new nuclear power plants. More The post Ukraine’s Reckless Nuclear
Outside Nairobi, we stopped at the escarpment in the Great Rift Valley, which extends nearly 6,000 miles from Mozambique to the Red Sea. From my vantage point, I had a sweeping view of southern Kenya, a vast expanse of green and brown, with distant mountains under a mostly blue sky. To the south, I could see to the Kenyan-Tanzanian borderlands, where I was going.
The death of Tyre Nichols will be added to a long list of Black, Brown and White U.S. citizens innocently subjected to overwhelming force by those entrusted to protect them. The video of the young man being beaten by five Black policemen will lead to renewed cries of “Enough, enough.” Calls for local, state, and More The post Tyre Nichols and the Need for a Cultural
Forever Chemicals are found everywhere from the depths of the Mariana Trench to the mountaintop of Mt. Everest. Following 80 years of manufacturing various PFAS chemicals, the world is swimming in chemical permanence. And yes, it is a toxic price society pays for modern-day conveniences — made easy! But maybe it would be better if More The post Forever
For years, there has been much consternation and news coverage over the southern border. The former president—Biden’s predecessor—and his inane and racist “Build the wall” campaign had his supporters in a state of disquiet. He actually and openly admitted that he used it at a rally and the crowd loved it, so he just kept More The post The Migrant “Crisis” and
Murder is something that comes easily to capitalists, and their political system is caked with the blood of ordinary workers whose lives fall apart under the hammer blows of oppression. In the eternal quest for cheap oil and colossal profits, power-hungry elites drain our planet of its living sap, justifying their destruction of our environment More The post
The fundamental right to vote has been a core value of Black politics since the colonial era — and so has the effort to suppress that vote right up to the present moment. In fact, the history of the suppression of Black voters is a first-rate horror story that as yet shows no sign of More The post Racial Justice, Voting Rights, and Authoritarianism appeared first
We all need physical safety before we can do anything else. Without a roof over our heads, that sense of security is impossible. And with two small children in tow, things get scary. And after fleeing a dangerous domestic situation with my baby and 9-year-old son, with no home but the small moving truck I More The post Don’t Let Politicians Cut Housing Aid appeared
Regardless of whether economic conditions are good or bad, Black jobseekers are less likely to find work. From 1963 to 2022, the Black unemployment rate has been roughly twice the White unemployment rate. There have been times when the Black-to-White unemployment-rate ratio was somewhat higher and times when it was somewhat lower, but the average More The
Joe Oliveira and his coworkers relied greatly on donations of food and gift cards after going on an unfair labor practice strike against multibillion-dollar specialty steelmaker ATI in 2021. They cut household expenses to the bone, burned through their savings despite the public’s generous support of their cause, and held fundraisers to help one another
The first time I remember seeing a desert and beholding its stillness and vastness was in 1963 through a window at the airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Our family was on its way to Peshawar, Pakistan (then West Pakistan). I was eight years old and was actually more impressed with the scimitars and machine guns More The post The Colonization of Deserts from Arabia
America, America . . . God kicks thee in the head. The twisted irony here — the irony of the brutal murder of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee last month — is that his killers were the ones hired and trained to keep the city safe. Instead, they created half an hour of hell for More The post Uh Oh, Here Comes the Occupying Army appeared first on CounterPunch.org.
I generally admire Eric Draitser’s knowledgeable, sharp-edged commentaries on international affairs, which are equally critical of U.S. imperialism and other forms of colonial and neocolonial oppression. Nevertheless, something bizarre happens in Eric’s review of War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict by Medea Benjamin and Nicholas
Rep. Barbara Lee, 76, announced Jan. 11 that she’s running for the Democratic Party nomination to succeed 89-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein (whose memory is but a memory). Southern California Congresswoman Katie Porter, 40, had previously announced, and pompous, sanctimonious Rep. Adam Schiff 62, entered the race soon after Lee.  Schiff, a closeted
When Republican President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, he called on Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans.” He also acknowledged that Black Americans had shown “courage and perseverance” when our country had failed to live up to its own ideals. Today, even
The 50th anniversary edition of SDS, the classic story of the 1960s Students for a Democratic Society, has just been published, with a new introduction by me, and an enlarged index in which many modern-day politicos will find their names.  A handsome paperbound edition, a hefty 769 pages for only $24.95, it was published as More The post SDS Redux…No,
Many years ago, so I remember as if it were yesterday, I went to one of those small Chelsea galleries on an upper floor off of tenth avenue, looked at an image parodying Andy Warhol’s Brillo Box and laughed aloud. And was jokingly rebuked: ’Don’t you know that this is an art gallery?’, the person More The post William Anthony (1934-2022) RIP appeared first on CounterPunch.org.
A few weeks after Emmanuel Macron became president, one of his supporters, the current chairman of the National Assembly foreign affairs committee, summed up the economic and social orientation to come: ‘Objectively, the problems of this country require solutions favourable to high earners’ (1). Since then, the privileged have shown their gratitude
The spin by mainstream economists and business pundits is in: ‘soft landing’ & no recession 2023. But consider this: after the 2020 US economy crash and the US $8 trillion fiscal-monetary stimulus ($4T by Fed and $4T in Covid relief programs and Investment subsidies for corporations by Congress), the US economy grew only 5.4% YoY More The post The ‘Soft
With oceans, countries, populations, and governments inundated by a plague of plastic worldwide, it may be useful to focus on the single-use plastic bag choices made by two cities, in the same U.S. state, located at a distance of only 64 miles (104 km) from each other. Both Santa Fe and Albuquerque share many qualities More The post Our Planet Versus Plastic Bags:
“(My father) challenged militarism and sought to eradicate it. He worked to end poverty, as caused by extreme capitalism and materialism. We need to know the authentic King…The Inconvenient King.” – Dr.  Bernice King January brings many things, sometimes even…. snow. Since Covid is officially “done with us” (though it really isn’t) the Maine Agricultural
When Tyre Nichols woke up the morning of the last day of his life, I feel certain that he wasn’t thinking about racism or the chance that it might be his end, though he’d likely had “the talk” from his parents at an early age. He’d pushed it back, seeking peace and joy in a More The post Goodbye, Tyre appeared first on CounterPunch.org.
It is jarring to refer to Jeff Beck, guitarist supreme, in the past tense. When a prominent musician dies, the overdone, rote homages pour out. In Beck’s case, these tributes have been entirely apropos. He occupied a crucial, genre-busting slot of musical history. I had not given Jeff Beck much notice these past decades. Yet, More The post Jeff Beck, Now and Then
Within the military-industrial complex, there are no incentives to do the right thing.  Those few who have a conscience and speak out honorably are punished, including truth-tellers in the enlisted ranks like Chelsea Manning and Daniel Hale. Even being an officer doesn’t make you immune.  For his temerity in resisting the Vietnam War, David M. Shoup, a retired
It seems to be a case of little provision for so much supposed effect. The debates, the squabbles, the to-and-fro about supplying Ukraine with tanks from Western arsenals has served to confirm one thing: this is an ever-broadening war between the West against Russia with Ukraine an experimental proxy convinced it will win through. Efforts to limit the deepening
The 7th Summit Meeting of the Community of Latin and America States (CELAC) took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina on January 23. In their Declaration, representatives of 33 member nations, including 14 presidents, paid homage to integration, unity, and “political economic, social, and cultural diversity among member states.” They agreed “by consensus”
The US has become a shooting gallery (New York Times, January 24, 2023). Here is a list of mass shootings in the US since the 1920s. Mass shootings involve 3 or 4 deaths and often additional injuries among survivors. The list is quite telling, and the list makes the shootout at the OK Corral look like child’s play and there More The post An Evidence-Based Look
Electra by Cacoyannis, 1962 Last night, January 30, 2023, Turner Classical Movies Channel showed Electra, the tragic play of Euripides from the 1962 black and white film production by the Greek filmmaker Michael Cacoyannis. The first time I saw this unforgettable film-play was at the National Gallery in Washington, DC, on December 11, 1999. Elektra, More
When the Democratic National Committee convenes its winter meeting on Thursday in Philadelphia, a key agenda item will be rubber-stamping Joe Biden’s manipulation of next year’s presidential primaries. There’ll be speeches galore, including one by Biden as a prelude to his expected announcement that he’ll seek a second term. The gathering will exude confidence,
Most of the data going into the new year suggest that the economy and the labor market are still looking very healthy. The big question in the January report will be whether the labor market has settled into a place where job and wage growth are both slow enough to be consistent with the Fed’s More The post What to Expect in the January Jobs Report appeared first on
Americans tuning into the television news on January 8th eyed a disturbingly recognizable scene. In an “eerily familiar” moment of “déjà vu,” just two years and two days after the January 6th Capitol insurrection in Washington, D.C., a mob of thousands stormed government buildings in the capital city of another country — Brazil. In Brasilia, More The post
“As this child came forth to meet the abrupt forces of life, there grew within him a new awareness of a selfhood, and a breathless discovery that he had within himself a stature and wisdom that expanded and contracted even as do the shadows that are influenced by the sun and clouds.” – Virginia M. More The post Frank Kunert’s ès Cuisine Photographic
What re we to think about the value of international law? It is certainly useful for defining the rules of international behavior―rules that are essential to a civilized world. Addressing the UN Security Council recently, the UN Secretary General declared that “the rule of law is all that stands between peace and stability” and “a brutal struggle for power
“We live in a surveillance state founded on a partnership between government and the technology industry.”— Law Professor Avidan Y. Cover It’s a pretty good bet that the surveillance state will be keeping a close watch on anyone seen as a threat to the government’s chokehold on power. [Click to Tweet] In this age of More The post How Police Use Public-Private
Montanans have already had a very brutal lesson in deregulation and its unintended consequences. The great idea of the Legislature in the late ’90s was to deregulate our utilities under the “free market” theory that competition would lead to lower prices. HAHAHA! We went from the lowest cost power in the region to the highest More The post Deregulation
Commentators speculate how the American president’s promise – endorsed by the country as enthusiastically as Zelensky himself– of M1 Abram tanks to Ukraine will affect the war that grinds on in Ukraine. Many assume that gifts of fighter jets will follow shortly. What disturbs me is the semantics of Biden’s announcement of the gift, rationalized More The post
Given President Biden’s decision to send 31 of its top-ranked M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, it is clear that the Pentagon has decided to escalate its war against Russia. Biden’s decision was followed by Germany’s decision to deliver 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks to Ukraine. I’ll guarantee you there isn’t a Russian alive who doesn’t More The post The Pentagon’s Perpetual
Republican leaders have a death penalty problem. During a time when researchers called 2022 the “year of the botched execution” and when several states have had to place a moratorium on executions amidst failed protocols, several Republic leaders are seeking to expand capital punishment. It is no surprise that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is pro-death
“A melon-cup that no longer resembles a melon-cup and people still say, “A melon-cup! A melon-cup!” – Confucius We read with stupefaction the recent declarations of the head of the Southern Command of the USA Armed Forces, General Laura Richardson to the Atlantic Council think tank about the Latin American region. In language devoid of More The
“If you want to get along, go along” — Sam Rayburn, 1882-1961, three-time Democratic House speaker If there’s a symbol of the Republican Party today, it’s heralded replicant Rep. George Santos of New York, known resume creator. If that, indeed, is his real name. He’s right out of the 1982 cult dystopian movie “Blade Runner,” More The post  Danger Ahead:
Everyone knows that Television was instrumental in creating New York’s punk scene —  that CBGB’s would not have existed as a venue without their intervention — but ever since their debut Marquee Moon came out in 1977, critics wondered if there was anything punk about the band at all. Maybe that’s why, for all the classic punk records released in the late seventies,
Coup attempts have gone viral this winter season in Latin America. The contagion spread first to Argentina, then Peru, and finally Brazil on January 8. In addition, Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua continue to suffer from long-term US regime-change efforts. Coverage of this political pandemic by the US liberal press (i.e., the preponderance of mainstream
I used to love the way words clinked together to make sense. Images didn’t really get a look-in once I’d learned how to read. It was like I’d cracked the code and was in. I liked reading both tabloid and broadsheet newspapers. And if information wasn’t enough, I also liked cadence. Life in my early More The post Letter from London: Words and Pictures  appeared
I need to vent, because we need better ventilation. The World Health Organization now recommends masking “for anyone in a crowded, enclosed, or poorly ventilated space.”  But few of us know the quality of ventilation in our spaces. Those who can afford it might use a portable CO2 monitor as a proxy for this, since More The post Venting About Ventilation
“Of course,” the late P.J. O’Rourke wrote in Parliament of Whores, by way of explaining why government is boring, “politicians don’t tell the truth …. But neither do politicians tell huge, entertaining whoppers: ‘Why, send yours truly to Capitol Hill, and I’ll ship the swag home in boxcar lots. …
Candace Owens is leading the fake news charge that George Floyd died of a fentanyl overdose rather than by police murder. There is a lot of money to be made from peddling such a narrative. Perhaps it doesn’t need to be said to this audience but such a claim has already been proven false by More The post George Floyd and the Lumpenproletariat appeared first on CounterPunch.org.
There are currently only two Jewish heads of state in the world. The first, not surprisingly, leads Israel. The second is Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine. They don’t get along. Religious affiliation by itself does not determine political or military alliances. Plenty of wars have pitted Christians against Christians and Moslems against Moslems.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was bipartisan legislation signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1969 to ensure federal agencies consider the environmental impacts of their actions and decisions. With rivers on fire and smog blacking out urban skies the public demanded action. Described as “sunshine in government,” NEPA’s purpose
Fragmentation is a particular curse of the modern world. We live in a bewildering array of systems and networks, of groupings and cultures. In market society we are continually being sold one thing or another. The grabs for our attention and focus are seemingly infinite. There is not much to bring us together as people, More The post Overcoming Social Fragmentation
Once again, the GOP supermajority/Freedom Caucus is taking a run at criminalizing doctors who provide medical aid to a dying patient, enabling that person to end his or her own suffering, and life, with a self-administered medication prescribed by the physician. SB 210 is the bullet that ends the statutory approach to medical aid in More The post Medical Aid
No one knows how the war in Ukraine will end, but there is one post-war certainty: there will be a prolonged and costly Cold War between the United States and Russia.  In an interview with David Ignatius of the Washington Post, who has been doing the bidding of the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency for several decades, Secretary of State Antony Blinken
The hustles of our Sam Bankman-Frieds and Elizabeth Holmeses can certainly make for entertaining reading. But Freya Berry, a veteran corporate fraud investigator, seestheir scams “as not as unusual as you might think” — and not as entertaining either. With “rewards high” and “penalties higher,” she notes, corporate miscreants “go to great pains to conceal”
“For how long will I be in captivity? After so many years, where are the state and the people of Israel?” These were the words, uttered in Hebrew, of a person believed to be Avera Mengistu, an Israeli soldier of Ethiopian origin who was captured and held in Gaza in 2014. Footage of Mengistu, looking More The post A State for Some of Its Citizens: Captured Black Soldier’s
It is showdown time. Senator Bernie Sanders, new chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee versus Big Pharma. The self-described “democratic socialist” from a safe seat in Vermont has long been a Big Pharma nemesis. He has issued detailed critiques of what others have called a “Pay or Die” industry coddled by More The post Drug Price
The transformation of Ukraine into untarnished, saintly victim, symbol of democracy and civil society savaged by brutish Russia, has been nothing less than remarkable.  The endemic corruption of a state captured by oligarchic tendencies and its own breed of kleptocrats has somehow gone by the wayside, only interrupted by the occasional symbolic purge
I had a passing moment of wonder the other day – as I read about the latest . . . you know, mass shootings. Troubled souls with guns. Big problem. My thought was simply this: What if . . .? And then I lapsed into uncertainty. What if    . . . violence were not the More The post Disarming, and Empowering, Lost Souls appeared first on CounterPunch.org.
Continuing violation of the human rights of targeted populations by powerful states and how to demand accountability.  Oral statement of 28 January 2023 at the Opening of the International People’s Tribunal on U.S. Imperialism and Sanctions. The scourge of unilateral coercive measures (UCM’s) on the enjoyment of human rights by billions of human beings
The Origins of Atomic Theory The dangerous life of the atom and its nucleus is a recent phenomenon. The ancient Greeks invented the atom and developed a theory about it. Out of the ideas of natural philosophers like Thales, Anaximander, Pythagoras, Parmenides, Empedocles, and Anaxagoras, there emerged in the second half of the fifth century More The post From
Declassified US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents from the 1980s reveal that the Agency expected that Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), future President of South Africa, would die in prison. The CIA hoped that the Ronald Reagan administration (1981-89) would be able to co-opt the African National Congress (ANC), of which Mandela was a leading figure,
“Black policemen were another matter. We used to say, ‘If you must call a policeman,”–for we hardly ever did–“for God’s sake, try to make sure it’s a White one.” A black policeman could completely demolish you. He knew far more about you than a White policeman could and you were without defenses before this Black […] To read this article, log in here or subscribe
It spread through our living unit in a matter of weeks. We were sick, and most of us knew it was probably COVID. A staff member that worked in the prison’s Correctional Industries Laundry Service had tested positive and been placed on leave. Prisoners knew they were sick, but no one wanted to report the […] To read this article, log in here or subscribe here.
Many liberals adhere to a false-equivalency discourse in which they endlessly suggest that violence, extremism, demagoguery, and cult-like behavior at work in American society are committed by both the right and the left, as if one balances off the other. This conveniently leaves the center and liberals as the only voices of reason and moderation, willing
Not content with limiting abortion, restricting the franchise for Black and brown people, ostracizing trans athletes, silencing discussion of gay issues in schools, criminalizing public protest, alienating the state’s biggest private employer (Disney), and kidnapping lawful asylum seekers in San Antonio and flying them to Martha’s Vineyard, DeSantis
“It seems to be easier for us today to imagine the thoroughgoing deterioration of the earth and then of nature than the breakdown of late capitalism” Fredric Jameson, The Seeds of Time, 1994 What kind of culture is it which pushes distraction, in its ordinary selection even of news, to the point where there is hardly More The post Kill Capitalism Before It Kills
Earlier this week, while driving across the Oregon outback, I switched on the radio hoping to pick up a recorded sermon by one of the great old-time evangelists of the 50s and 60s on a subject like demonic possession and communism that you often find lurking on the far end of the dial. But the only channel with a static-free signal was pumping out the Glenn Beck Show,
Sensurround sound in a two-inch wall I was waiting for the communist call I dared to ask for sunshine, and I got World War III I’m looking over the wall, and they’re looking at me! – John Lydon, Sex Pistols, 1977 Most Americans would likely be surprised to know that, according to a respected international More The post Capitalism is Antithetical to
Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman is Emeritus Professor of War Studies at King’s College London and the author of numerous books on war and history, including (of interest to Americans) Kennedy’s Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam (2002) and The Future of War: A History (2017). He began teaching at King’s in 1982 and retired in More The post The Ambiguities
In January of every year for the past 75 years the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists publishes an updated setting of the Doomsday Clock. The clock is a metaphor for how close or far humanity is from the brink. Coincidentally, on the heels of the resetting of the world-famous clock this year, Julian Cribb, who More The post Doomsday Clock Jitters and “How to Fix a