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.
Following its failed crypto scheme, authoritarian president Nayib Bukele’s cash-strapped government is making moves to reverse El Salvador’s metal mining ban. Its reintroduction would be a disaster for the nation’s already contaminated water supply. Salvadorans participate in a protest against mining outside the Legislative Assembly in San Salvador
In the midst of Britain’s biggest wave of industrial action in years, the gang turn their attention to the long and bloodied history of strikes. Who do we find on the picket line? Nadia, Keir and Jeremy explore a lineage that stretches back hundreds of years, from matchgirls to miners, from 1840s century Chartists to 2020s university lecturers, from smoggy cities
Matt Karp on class dealignment and why the Left’s weakening connection to blue-collar workers isn’t a problem we can wish away. Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at North Coast Air aeronautical services at Erie International Airport on October 20, 2020 in Erie, Pennsylvania. (Jeff Swensen / Getty Images) In a recent article, Chris Maisano raises some
French president Emmanuel Macron plans to hike the retirement age to 64, sparking massive protests. The government claims the current retirement age is unsustainable: but what French workers really can’t afford is to work till they drop. Placards with the face of Emmanuel Macron being held during the march against pension reform in Paris, France, on January
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
In Russia, mounting authoritarianism and the wartime crackdown on dissent have hobbled trade unions. A five-day strike by food couriers showed that at least some workers are refusing to be muzzled. Yandex.Eats food delivery couriers push their scooters along a pedestrian bridge in Moscow on April 30, 2021. (Natalia Kolesnikova / AFP via Getty Images) In
House Republicans have wasted no time in red-baiting the Left, and the centrist leadership of the Democratic Party has apparently been happy to join them. Representative Nancy Pelosi during an event to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on February 2, 2023. (Ting Shen / Bloomberg
Rosa Parks was born on this day in 1913. Far from being a face of respectability politics, she was a defiant and seasoned working-class organizer who despised the cringing submission that Jim Crow induced and who doggedly fought oppression in all its forms. Rosa Parks speaking at the conclusion of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery civil rights march, with Reverend
Rian Johnson and Natasha Lyonne’s new detective show, Poker Face, is a brilliant working-class riff on Knives Out. Natasha Lyonne in Poker Face. (Paramount, 2023) It’s a relief to watch Poker Face, the new hit mystery series created by Rian Johnson of Knives Out and Glass Onion fame, currently airing on Peacock. Not just because it’s a delightful show, made
Following every juicy, unhinged twist and turn of Rod Dreher’s writing is trash TV for leftist intellectuals. Rod Dreher. (Elekes Andor / Wikimedia Commons) For some time, I have been trying to figure out exactly how to describe the quality of horrified fascination that the right-wing writer Rod Dreher evokes for so many of the people I know — many of them the
J. D. Vance, the faux-populist senator from Ohio, says that Donald Trump “kept the peace” as president. He has a short memory. Ohio senator J. D. Vance speaking in Columbus, Ohio. (Sarah L. Voisin / the Washington Post via Getty Images) In an op-ed this week for the Wall Street Journal, Ohio senator J. D. Vance praises Donald Trump’s record as president and endorses
Content note: suicide, self-harm. In response to Scotland passing a law (subsequently blocked by Westminster) that allowed 16-year-olds to change their legal gender, the mainstream media has began furiously writing articles attacking the law. The Daily Telegraph published a piece claiming that the law would allow teenagers to “have irreversible surgeries”,
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
Israel’s air strikes on Iran highlight the risk that Israeli bellicosity and Biden administration fecklessness could combine to produce a disastrous regional war in the Middle East. Eli Cohen, Israel's foreign minister, speaks at a news conference with Antony Blinken, US secretary of state, in Jerusalem, Israel, on January 30, 2023. (Kobi Wolf / Bloomberg
The City University of New York is the crown jewel of the city’s once-robust welfare state, a vital resource for working-class New Yorkers. Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul are starving it. Ahead of the final state budget, over a thousand New Yorkers including students, faculty, staff, and supporters of City University of New York (CUNY) and State University
A raid by Israeli forces in the Palestinian city of Jenin on 26 January has sparked fear in the occupied West Bank and beyond. Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians, including two children, bringing back traumatic memories of battles, invasions and massacres in the city. Jenin holds significance for Palestinians as a symbol of resistance against occupation.
In 2020, Quaker Oats and its parent company, PepsiCo, announced the retirement of the Aunt Jemima brand for their syrup and pancake mix. The move was a response to backlash against the negative “Mammy” stereotype the brand invoked. But the discourse being what it is, there was inevitably a backlash to the backlash, with some […]
Emmanuel Macron plans to raise France’s retirement age — but this Tuesday, well over a million people mobilized against him. One of the biggest social movements in years, it has a chance to deal a decisive blow to attacks on welfare. Protesters march through the streets of Paris as part of a nationwide protest and strike against President Macron's pension reform
In 1946 when he proposed the creation of a national health service to parliament, Labour health minister Nye Bevan set out one fundamental principle: “Medical treatment,” he said, “should be made available to rich and poor alike in accordance with medical need and no other criteria. The essence of a satisfactory health service is that the rich and poor are treated
On the evening of June 14, 2017, an electrical fire broke out on the fourth floor of a West London high-rise apartment block. This fire grew and took hold on the cladding that had been added to the exterior as part of a revamp a few years before. The cladding had a core equivalent to […]
When Alexander Darwall brought a legal case to get wild camping banned on Dartmoor, complaining about mess apparently made by campers on his land, he perhaps didn’t anticipate campaigners talking about re-enacting the Kinder Scout trespass in order to get the decision overturned. Darwall bought the 1,619-hectare (4,000-acre) Blachford estate on southern
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
The Bush administration’s war on terror meted out unthinkable violence in the Middle East while imposing an atmosphere of repression and nativism at home. It was the perfectly malignant petri dish for helping produce Donald Trump. George W, Bush speaking at campaign rally in Burbank, CA in 2000. (Joe Sohm / Visions of America / Universal Images Group via Getty
With its upstart golf league, LIV Golf, Saudi Arabia has picked a fight with the American golf establishment. And because that establishment has stiffed so many pro golfers for so long, the Saudis appear to be winning. Brooks Koepka plays his shot from the 16th tee as former US president Donald Trump looks on during day one of the LIV Golf Invitational Bedminster
Picture this: a UK capital city in the grip of a private rental crisis. Contributing factors include: gentrification, a developer influx, a growing student population and the overhang of the Covid-19 pandemic. No, not London, but Belfast.  In the past few years, the price of private rent in Northern Ireland’s capital has skyrocketed. ONS figures reveal a
In several Canadian provinces, burned-out health care workers are leaving in droves, a result of wage suppression and attacks on workers. The fight for labor rights is key to fixing Canada’s health care crisis. Ontario's pediatric care crisis had the Sick Kids Critical Care Unit busy moving children between hospitals and making space for the most severe cases.
Pension reform is a long-time dream of the French right who dislike the amount France pays out in pensions and who see the system as unsustainable in the face of an ageing population. In 1993, the country’s Gaullist (France’s rightwing tradition established by Charles de Gaulle) prime minister Édouard Balladur increased the number of years of social security