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China’s COVID Uprising
Wed, 07 Dec 2022 05:16:59 +0000

Significant dissent in China reared its head for the first time since the Tiananmen uprising in 1989. In many of China’s major cities, protesters joined hands to denounce the COVID restrictions and, though not in all cases, also denounce the Chinese Communist Party and its leader, Xi Jinping. Western media tended to emphasize the latter More

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If Zelensky Called Taiwan’s President Tsai After Her Electoral Rout …
Wed, 07 Dec 2022 05:11:44 +0000

In recent local elections in Taiwan, the Party of President Tsai Ing-wen, the US-allied, pro-secessionist candidate lost badly. We have obtained a recording of a phone conversation that she received from Ukraine’s Volodymor Zelensky in the wake of that defeat. Zelensky: Tsai, how are you doing£ We have not spoken in months. Sorry for the More

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Rail Workers Shafted Again
Tue, 06 Dec 2022 07:02:18 +0000

“Railroad companies want you to believe they’re interested in safety. From the company’s perspective, accidents and injuries are the result of workers’ behaviors. Workers know they’re caused by hazards like fatigue, short staffing, task overload, excessively long and heavy trains, poor lighting, uneven walking surfaces, and faulty equipment. The railroad shifts the blame for accidents and injuries from the carrier to the workforce, from hazards to behaviors. They blame worker behavior for every accident.” More

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“They’re Militarizing the Cops Again, Hurroo, Hurroo”
Tue, 06 Dec 2022 06:59:42 +0000

Walter Scott ran from a traffic stop after giving the cop his license (April, 2015). The cop commanded “stop,” and then shot him dead. Willie McCoy fell asleep in a Taco Bell drive-thru line (late at night, in February, 2019); the cops open his dooor, order him out (with which he complies), and whip out the handcuffs, to which he says "no." And they shoot him to death as he tries to get away from them. More

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The Wages of Corruption From Iraq to Britain
Tue, 06 Dec 2022 06:59:07 +0000

Can we compare the $2.5 billion stolen in Iraq to the £4 billion worth of useless PPE equipment supplied under dodgy contracts in Britain£ Surely it is understandable that in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, mistakes will be made, argue British government ministers in mitigation of what went on. Don’t believe a word of this. It is precisely during such moments of crisis that the corrupt of the earth spot their opportunity to bypass official scrutiny – due diligence – and launch their plundering expeditions. More

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Letter from London: This Fenced-Off Narrow Space Assigned to Me
Tue, 06 Dec 2022 06:58:47 +0000

Protest when peaceful is a sacred right, and, I grant you, can be obstreperous and noisy. Parliament said noise pollution affects quality of life and has been linked to health problems. John Berger said protest and anger derives from hope.  More

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Stealth Reveal Party: the Unveiling of the B-21
Tue, 06 Dec 2022 06:52:50 +0000

The US military industrial complex has made news with another eye-wateringly expensive product, a near totemic tribute to waste in a time of crisis.  The $700 million B-21 Raider stealth bomber was unveiled by Northrop Grumman Corp. and the United States Air Force on December 2 at Airforce Plant 42 in Palmdale, California. There was More

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The Volatility of US Hegemony in Latin America: Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Haiti, and China 
Tue, 06 Dec 2022 06:50:53 +0000

The US has long considered Latin America and the Caribbean to be its “backyard” under the anachronist 1823 Monroe Doctrine. And even though current US President Biden mistakenly thinks that upgrading the region to the “front yard” makes any difference, Yankee hemispheric hegemony is becoming increasingly volatile. A “Pink Tide” of left electoral victories since More

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Tax the Rich£ We Did That Once
Tue, 06 Dec 2022 06:46:07 +0000

Once upon a time, the United States seriously taxed the nation’s rich. You remember that time£ Probably not. To have a personal memory of that tax-the-rich era, you now have to be well into your seventies. Back at the tail-end of that era, in the early 1960s, America’s richest faced a 91 percent tax rate More

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Irrigation Withdrawals as Ecological Vandalism
Tue, 06 Dec 2022 06:08:43 +0000

In October, irrigators began the annual drawing down of the Deschutes River to the point where fish and other wildlife die or are threatened. Good people have tried to save fish stranded in pools of water. I do not want to denigrate their efforts, but the fact that irrigators are allowed to kill fish as part of More

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What Climate Debt Does the North Owe the South£
Tue, 06 Dec 2022 06:06:25 +0000

To keep the planet from overheating, there’s just so much more carbon that humans can pump into the atmosphere. From the onset of the Industrial Revolution until today, humanity has used up approximately 83 percent of its “carbon budget”—the amount of carbon the atmosphere can absorb and not exceed the Paris climate agreement’s aspirational goal More

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A Heart Surgeon in Palestine
Tue, 06 Dec 2022 05:59:43 +0000

Today’s riddle: What’s the name of the Palestinian who is a heart surgeon, who studied in Germany, specialized in the U.S., met Yasser Arafat twice, Hamas’ founder Sheikh Ahmad Yassin once, who saved scores of Palestinian lives, including one deemed a collaborator, saved Israeli soldiers’ lives, was a municipal council member, is married to a More

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Challengers Win Big in UAW Elections; Presidency Headed to Run-Off
Tue, 06 Dec 2022 05:46:10 +0000

What is the mood at United Auto Workers headquarters today£ Day drinking£ Shopping for retirement condos£ Dunning staff for money to try desperately to win the run-off£ Shredding documents£ Reformers in the United Auto Workers are jubilant as they seem set to make a historic change in the top leadership of their union, ending 70 More

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Freedom isn’t Just Another Word For a Job Left to Lose
Tue, 06 Dec 2022 05:20:29 +0000

The editors of the Queens Chronicle admit that it “shouldn’t be surprising when” those who “seem determined to drive businesses out of” New York City “bill themselves as Democratic Socialists, but it still is” (“Another anti-biz bill to nix,” December 1). Their shock evidently isn’t at socialists being anti-business.  The editorial posits that employers being More

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US Railroad Workers ‘Under the Thumb’
Mon, 05 Dec 2022 07:07:17 +0000

Probably the most important US labor event of 2022 has been the 115,000 US railroad workers and their unions attempt to bargain a new contract with the super profitable Railroad companies. As of December 2, 2022, however, that negotiations has not turned out well for the workers. The US government—the Biden administration and Democrat controlled US Congress with the help of virtually all the Republicans—have repeatedly intervened on the side of the management in the negotiations.  More

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The Cruel, Dishonest and Shameful Story of Britain’s Last Colony may be Coming to an End
Mon, 05 Dec 2022 07:03:01 +0000

“The object of the exercise is to get some rocks which will remain ours,” wrote Denis Greenhill, the head of the Colonial Office in 1966 after Britain agreed to provide the US with a military base in the Chagos Archipelago in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The Americans were promised that the islands where the base, Diego Garcia, was to be built would be uninhabited. More

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Labor’s Weakness
Mon, 05 Dec 2022 06:58:10 +0000

The history of the United States includes many, many federal interventions into strikes, boycotts and other labor actions, especially since the industrialization of the nation began in earnest after the Civil War. Given the importance of the railroads to this capitalist episode that not only saw intense industrialization but also an increased concentration of wealth, power and control of the national economy in the hands of a few families, railroad workers experienced this quite intensely. More

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The Volatility of US Hegemony in Latin America: the Pink Tide Surges, 2018-2022
Mon, 05 Dec 2022 06:56:48 +0000

Latin America and the Caribbean have again began to take on a becoming pink complexion, all the more so with June’s historic electoral victory in Colombia over the country’s long-dominant US-backed rightwing and a similar reverse in Brazil in October. These electoral rejections of the rightwing followed left victories last year in Peru, Honduras, and More

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Oy Ye
Mon, 05 Dec 2022 06:56:17 +0000

The problem with political correctness has always been that you were never going to stop people from being offensive, as our system virtually requires people to mistake appearance for reality while not being permitted to talk about it. Browbeating them seemingly worked in the short run of the postwar era, while the economy was booming More

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The United Nations Promise of Peace – Also In Ukraine
Mon, 05 Dec 2022 06:55:30 +0000

The hybrid war in Ukraine has sadly revealed how ineffective the United Nations Organisation has been when it comes to preventing armed conflict or even negotiating a cease-fire when hostilities have broken out. It is not only the fault of the Security Council and General Assembly, but also the fault of the mainstream media that More

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Western Diplomats Offer Rotten Climate Carrot, and Wield Broken Sanctions Stick
Mon, 05 Dec 2022 06:52:19 +0000

In 1965, Ho Chi Minh described U.S. President Lyndon Johnson’s half-baked $1 billion gift to the Vietnamese – and simultaneous threat of endless bombing – as a “rotten carrot and broken stick.” The National Liberation Front’s aim was to achieve full-fledged sovereignty in a unified country by defeating the world’s most powerful army, an awesome More

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User Group Pie: The Folly of Collaboration
Mon, 05 Dec 2022 06:50:14 +0000

With encouragement from both corporate foundations and the U.S. Forest Service, many “conservation groups” have adopted the collaboration model for conflict resolution. In each of these collaborations, local wilderness proponents and opponents negotiate the fate of our remaining unprotected wildlands. The general public is excluded in favor of “local stakeholders”, even though public lands “belong” More

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Gallic Rebuke: France and the US Rules-based Order
Mon, 05 Dec 2022 06:50:07 +0000

Gérard Araud was not mincing his words.  As France’s former ambassador to Washington, he had seen enough.  At a November 14 panel hosted by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft titled “Is America Ready for a Multipolar Word£”, Araud decried the “economic warfare” being waged by the United States against China, expressing the view that More

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Railway Vote Benefits One of the Least Deserving Industries
Mon, 05 Dec 2022 06:45:48 +0000

The Biden Administration and Congressional Democrats purport to be pro-union, but in their desperation to prevent a rail strike they fail to understand something fundamental about collective bargaining: Sometimes workers have to inconvenience the public in order to achieve their legitimate goals. A strike is a form of disruption. It is designed to put direct More

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Don’t Mess With the Constitution
Mon, 05 Dec 2022 06:38:24 +0000

“The house of delusions is cheap to build but drafty to live in.” –A.E. Houseman, English poet (1859-1936) Trump touched the Constitution, a third rail that set off political sparks in both parties. “A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in More

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Echoes of Chile’s Past
Mon, 05 Dec 2022 06:22:52 +0000

Fifty years ago, in late 1972, I was one of a multitude of Chileans who lined the streets of Santiago to support President Salvador Allende as he embarked on a trip abroad to tell the world about how his homeland was advancing toward socialism using democratic means—an unprecedented revolutionary process that was under siege from More

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COP27 Continues the Climate Summit Ritual of Words Without Action
Sun, 04 Dec 2022 06:51:13 +0000

Image by Xavier Balderas Cejudo.

This has become, sadly, a yearly ritual by now. The world’s governments gather together to discuss what should be done about global warming, and finish their time together by issuing statements of concern while doing little concrete to actually solve the problem. And so it is with COP27.

The 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to use the formal name for COP27, ended with what has the appearance of a breakthrough: An agreement on the establishment of a “loss and damage” fund for Global South countries severely affected by weather and environmental disasters triggered by global warming, and for which they bear almost no responsibility. This finally fulfills a pledge made at the 2009 Climate Summit in Copenhagen.

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Latin America’s New Left
Sun, 04 Dec 2022 06:37:32 +0000

Lula's victory speech. (TeleSur).

The celebrations in the streets of Cauca on June 19th when returns showed that Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez won the presidential election, or in Sao Paulo October 30th with Lula’s victory over Jair Bolsonaro, or in Tegucigalpa last November with the triumph of Xiomara Castro have one thing in common: For a brief moment, the unbridled joy of beating a repressive right took hold of the people, and dreams of freedom temporarily banished the realities of daily life.

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Fascism: Israeli Style
Fri, 02 Dec 2022 07:02:03 +0000

Israelis dismiss charges of “apartheid against Palestinians” as anti-Semitic propaganda, but Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government will confirm the apartheid nature of the regime, and will provide hints of fascism, Israeli-style.  Netanyahu is not a fascist, but he is a racist and he is considering appointing to his government people who are dangerous racists.  No government in Israel over the past seven decades has had government appointees so alien to the ideals that accompanied the creation of Israel. More

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New Portland Police Oversight Board, Could be Strongest in the Nation and Create a National Model
Fri, 02 Dec 2022 07:00:31 +0000

In the Black Lives Matter uprising of summer 2020, no city was more nationally prominent than Portland. Nightly protests drew thousands to the blocks around police headquarters, city hall and the federal courthouse. Donald Trump called Portland “a beehive of anarchists” and dispatched federal troops to the city, only fueling protest numbers. Attorney General Bill Barr designated Portland, along with Seattle and New York, as “anarchist jurisdictions.” More

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