Venezuela Wins Simply by Holding an Election

These days, even the holding of an election is a contest between the Venezuelan people and the United States government. Since Chávez became the president, the United States government and its allies have tried to destabilize Venezuela’s government, including by direct efforts at regime change. When it became clear that Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution, which he led, had strong popular support and could not be defeated at the ballot box, the U.S. government and its allies pushed to delegitimize Venezuela’s political sovereignty.

The Smearing of Robert Fisk…Now That He Can’t Defend Himself

Something remarkable even by the usually dismal standards of the stenographic media blue-tick brigade has been happening in the past few days. Leading journalists in the corporate media have suddenly felt the urgent need not only to criticise the late, much-respected foreign correspondent Robert Fisk, but to pile in against him, using the most outrageous smears imaginable. He is suddenly a fraud, a fabulist, a fantasist, a liar.

How the Market Destroys the Lifeworld

The Chicago School of Economics has not only furnished the unbroken success of the hegemonic ideology of neoliberalism and the three great evils of the 1980s – Ronald Reagan, Maggie Thatcher, and Augusto Pinochet – it has also supplied us with l’idée fixe of behavioural economics. The belief is that when it comes to crucial [...]

Moving Past Apartheid: One-State is not Ideal Justice, but It is Just and Possible

Once again, Europe’s top diplomats expressed their ‘deep concern’ regarding Israel’s ongoing illegal settlement expansion, again evoking the maxim that Israeli actions “threaten the viability of the two-state solution”. This position was communicated by EU Foreign Affairs Chief, Josep Borrell, on November 19, during a video-conference with Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister, Riyad al-Maliki. All Israeli [...]

Doctored Indignation: Australia-China Relations

Clay foot diplomacy is all the rage in Canberra, and the Australian government has become a solid practitioner. Having stuck its neck out across continents and seas to proclaim the need to investigate China over the origins of the novel coronavirus, the Morrison government now finds itself in the tightest of corners. Very much one [...]

A New Us Policy Toward Venezuela: What’s In It For President Biden?

A new president for the USA, a new leaf, new opportunities for a better world. If that is in the mind of soon to be USA President Joe Biden and his millions of followers, then he would do well to distance himself as far as he can from the ill-conceived, badly intentioned policies of his [...]

What It Means to Fall on a Failing Planet

We’re now living in an age of opacity, as Rudy Giuliani pointed out in a courtroom recently. Here was the exchange: “‘In the plaintiffs’ counties, they were denied the opportunity to have an unobstructed observation and ensure opacity,’ Giuliani said. ‘I’m not quite sure I know what opacity means. It probably means you can see, [...]

Looking Inward: Can We Win? Or Will We Defeat Ourselves?

By win, I mean win it all, not win a little. Win a new world. Win new defining social institutions. Win an end to injustice, inequality, subordination, and domination. Win an end to class, gender, sex, race, and all hierarchies that position some people above and other people below. Win equity. Win solidarity. Win diversity. [...]

The Damage Done

Being home to the largest Superfund site in the nation, Montanans know that the cost of trying to clean up an environment damaged by resource extraction is vastly higher than the cost of preventing the damage in the first place. We also know that after spending hundreds of millions of dollars and decades of effort, [...]

Haiti: Protests, Repression Mark Police Chief’s First Week

On November 18, the 217th anniversary of the Battle of Vertières where Haitians delivered a fatal blow to Napoleon’s troops during their struggle for independence, thousands took to the streets across the country to protest rising insecurity and government inaction. Anti-government actions took place in Cap-Haitien, Gonaïves, l’Estère, Saint-Marc, Delmas, Tabarre, Port-au-Prince,Cayes, Jérémie, Mirebalais, and [...]

What to Look for in the November Jobs Report

The resurgence of the pandemic is likely to be the biggest factor driving labor market performance in November, especially in a context where most of the CARES Act supports have ended. We are likely to see weak, if any, job growth for the month as the areas most affected by the spread, such as restaurants [...]

East Paradise Grazing Plan Seeks to Expand Livestock Production

Below are my comments concerning the expansion of grazing of the East Paradise Grazing Allotments. This is some of the most important wildlife habitat north of Yellowstone NP. Readers are encouraged to write the District Ranger supporting ALT 1 the No Livestock Grazing option. Please put East Paradise Range Allotment Management Plan in the subject [...]

Transition Heartache

Transition Heartache (With apologies to Billie Holiday) Transition heartache, president-elect Transition heartache, you’re the one Obama sent I hoped and I prayed, that you’d win the day But now that you’re here, my love’s gone ‘way With Blinkin and Haines, more warships and drones With Kerry there’s oil, and more fracking I moan, Now every [...]

Clare Grady at 100 Seconds To Midnight

The blood that we poured at Kings Bay Naval Base? I’m part of a community where blood is used as a symbol of atonement. It cuts through intellectual brain fog. It’s also not a big deal, the blood’s drawn by a nurse, and it’s stored carefully. We took a little of our blood in small bottles, and we took hammers – household hammers – and spray-paint and bolt cutters and banners – we brought three to Kings Bay.

Labor’s Continuing Corbyn “Antisemitism” Saga

The fallout regarding the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report on antisemitism in the Labour party continues, as do its repercussions for the former leader Jeremy Corbyn. I discussed the report in a previous CounterPunch post, pointing out that while it didn’t uphold the claim by the Jewish Labour Movement, which issued the first [...]

Covid-19, Schools and the Digital Divide

On November 19th, Mayor Bill de Blasio closed New York’s public schools. He has been joined by other mayors and education officials throughout the country struggle over whether to keep their local schools open for in-class or offer only remote learning. The Covid-19 pandemic has entered yet another wave and, as of mid-November, over 11 [...]

US Plot Relying on Extradition Targets Peace in Colombia

For 50 years Colombian governments and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) fought a civil war; 200,000 lives were lost. After four years of negotiations, the two sides signed a peace agreement that took effect in November 2016. Now the agreement is in trouble, mainly at the hands of rightwing extremists led by former [...]

Biden and the Lost Art of Political Cabinetry

The worst president in U.S. history and the worst Cabinet in U.S. history will soon be succeeded by Joe Biden and the promise of the best and most effective Cabinet in recent time.  Biden’s success will ultimately be determined by the political posture of Senator Mitch McConnell, but the initial appointments to his administration point [...]

A New Technology That Will Dangerously Expand Government Spying on Citizens

If you’re worried about the capability of government to conduct surveillance of citizens engaged in political assembly and protest, or even just personal activity, then you should be aware the technological capability of government surveillance is about to expand exponentially. The US Air Force’s Research Lab (yes, it has its own lab) has recently signed [...]

One of the Best Ways to Protect Biodiversity is to Preserve Indigenous Languages

One million animal and plant species face extinction due to human activity, according to the United Nations. Now, think about cultural production—art and literature that we have invested to address the extinction of just a handful of species (passenger pigeon included). Quite a bit actually. The extinction of one million species feels rather abstract, beyond [...]

Another Slow Recovery from Economic Disaster

The lesson learned from the Great Recession was that the initial stimulus was far too small. The subsequent austerity during the recovery directly obstructed a return to full employment. There had been hopes that a Biden administration would quickly implement an aggressive stimulus. In addition to measures to control the pandemic, the hoped-for stimulus would [...]

Joe Biden and the American Shame of War

Sadly, my generation had to relearn the lessons of Vietnam in Iraq and Afghanistan. But in coming to terms with our defeat, we have a chance to ensure that we do not sacrifice future generations to such folly. – Timothy Kudo, Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, from a NYC op-ed I’m sure President-Elect Joe Biden had some [...]

Why the Cosmic Kite Never Fell: Soccer and Diego Maradona

In Argentina, beatification and canonisation can happen to living figures. Unlike the officialdom of the Catholic Church, the processes take place in accordance with an insurgent popular will. The death of various public figures – Carlos Gardel for tango; Evita Perón for politics; Diego Maradona for football – merely reassures them the status of popular [...]

Stuck Again

The daily lives of Americans are multi-cultural and have been for a generation. Growing up in the 1960s my parents told my sister and I that we were lucky to live in the Bay Area because it had people from all over the world. This is true everywhere now. The economic paradox from which this [...]

Restoring Democracy, Strengthening the Right to Vote

As Americans look forward to a new era without Donald Trump, one thing stands out: the gap between the real and the ideal in American-style democracy is far larger than any of us cared to imagine. Trump leaves quite a legacy: presidential power grabbing and loyalty testing running rampant, Congress mired in deadlock and unable [...]

What is War?

On Marc Levy’s  “Medic In The Green Time” What is war? Let me propose the following undoubtedly imperfect definitions. War is dehumanization by the violent crimes of mass murder and the efforts to destroy civil societies. Offensive war is the crime of making war to dominate another civil society. Defensive war is the tragedy of [...]

We Know Joe

We know this man Joe Biden. We know the politics he champions. We know his corporate and financial backers. We know what we’re up against. Barack Obama and the Clintons operated in the same neoliberal and essentially reactionary sphere. The faces in power may be female, Black, Latino and gay, but the policies are designed to keep the power from the people, the money from the vast numbers of working people, and the war machine’s troops around the globe. We cannot afford to get fooled again.

Trump’s Worst Crime Must Not be Forgotten

It is, unfortunately, unlikely that Trump will ever stand trial but, if he does, then his complicity in the ethnic cleansing of the Syrian Kurds should top the charge sheet. This was an act of evil in itself and also the betrayal of an ally since American-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters had led the counter-attack against Isis, closing in on its last strongholds just as Turkey invaded Afrin.

Some Liberals and Arms-Control Experts are Cheering for War Profiteers to Be in Biden’s Cabinet

No matter who ends up winning Senate confirmation for top positions on President Biden’s “national security” team, an ominous dynamic is already underway. Some foreign-policy specialists with progressive reputations are voicing support and evasive praise for prospective Cabinet members — as though spinning through revolving doors to broker lucrative Pentagon contracts is not a conflict of interest, and as though advocating for an aggressive U.S. military posture is fine.

A Near Miss with Despotic Selfishness

Donald Trump’s presidential days are numbered and the latest campaign in the culture war for control of the American lifestyle is drawing down to a shaky truce. The campaign waged by the Trump forces was particularly ugly. For the sake of ideologically shaped prejudices, which cut the believer loose from social responsibility, we got the [...]

Dispossession and Imperialism Repackaged as “Feeding the World”

The world is fast losing farms and farmers through the concentration of land into the hands of rich and powerful land speculators and agribusiness corporations. Smallholder farmers are being criminalised and even made to disappear when it comes to the struggle for land. They are constantly exposed to systematic expulsion. In 2014, the Oakland Institute found that institutional [...]

Don’t Fall for Pimping Pompeo’s Promises

For centuries now the Iranians have been great chess players!!! More on that later. The extra-judicial assassination of Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s top nuclear scientist, is but another act of terror in an uptick in U.S. and Israeli military operations against the Iranian regime and its citizens. As the countdown to the January 20, 2021 [...]

What Are We Gonna Do Now to Save Our Democracy?

“Are you done with that dumpling?” – Words Trump is said to have whispered in Obama’s ear about Angela Merkel, during the presidential transition period of 2016 Now that polls have closed and the votes have been counted and the only thing left to do is wait for Donald J. Trump to concede defeat, and [...]

SF’s New DA, Chesa Boudin, Battles Criminal Injustice System on Two Fronts 

San Francisco District Attorney, Chesa Boudin, 40, is battling the criminal injustice system in his own balliwick where cops have literally been getting away with murder, and where they have also aimed to sabotage the orderly workings of law enforcement. Boudin is battling much the same system of injustice, thousands of miles from home at Shawangunk [...]

Is the Nationalist Tide Receding?

Nationalism—placing the interests of one’s own nation above the interests of other nations—has been a powerful force in world affairs for centuries. But it seemed on the wane after 1945, when the vast devastation of World War II—a conflict fostered by rightwing, nationalist demagogues—convinced people around the globe of the necessity to transcend nationalism and [...]

Federal Grazing Fees: the Hidden Subsidy

I’m writing in response to Greta Anderson’s recent post titled “What does coexistence with large carnivores actually mean?”  Greta highlights the fallacy that “coexistence” between public lands ranchers and wolves is fair to both wolves and ranchers.  Whereas, in actual practice the long-term “existence” of ranchers is favored over the existence of wolves, and is [...]

Open Letter to My Landlord: The Word of the Month is “Renegotiation”

Dear Randall Group/CTL Management, (Please forward to corporate, as far up the chain as possible.) First of all, in this household, we’ve long ago stopped responding to your bizarre annual surveys where you ask whether your tenants are content, without ever mentioning the elephant in the living room.  You give us options to rate how content [...]

The Planet Cannot Heal Until We Rip the Mask Off the West’s War Machine

Making political sense of the world can be tricky unless one understands the role of the state in capitalist societies. The state is not primarily there to represent voters or uphold democratic rights and values; it is a vehicle for facilitating and legitimating the concentration of wealth and power into fewer and fewer hands.

Shrinking the Pentagon

Defense spending increased sharply in the Trump years and is now substantially higher than it was during the Korean or Vietnam War eras or during the massive military buildup President Ronald Reagan oversaw in the 1980s. Today, it consumes well over half of the nation’s discretionary budget, which just happens to also pay for a wide array of urgently needed priorities ranging from housing, job training, and alternative energy programs to public health and infrastructure building.

Will the World Community Condemn the Murder of Iran’s Nuclear Scientist?

Israel used all four years of Trump’s presidency to entrench its systems of occupation and apartheid. Now that Joe Biden has won the U.S. election, the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, likely by Israel with the go-ahead from the US administration, is a desperate attempt to use Trump’s last days in office to sabotage Biden’s chances of successful diplomacy with Iran. Biden, Congress and the world community can’t let that happen.

“Live Without Dead Time:” Guy Debord’s Last Shot

Debord believed that the Left had betrayed the working class in accepting the so called ‘post war consensus’, which insisted on the ‘logic of the market.’ By accepting the promise of jobs over power, the Left had failed those they were supposed to represent and condemned them to irreversible enslavement. And not just the working class, for now all of society was caught up in a rampant consumerism from which there was no escape.

The Center Cannot Hold: Biden and the Challenge for Progressives

The election is over and Trump, with or without conceding, will leave the White House. The jubilant Democrats cheer on the president-elect as he convenes his center-right administration. The disaster of four more years of Trumpogarchy was indeed incomprehensible. Having the old, corrupt party machine back in power has never felt this good. The centrist and corporate Democrats were quick to gloat and declare themselves vindicated.

The Rich are Cheering Wall Street’s Latest Records. Americans of Modest Means are Draining 401(k)s

The all-time record highs that Wall Street has registered this week have given some Americans — the nation’s already rich — considerable cause for celebration. And the rest of the nation? Tens of millions of Americans are paying precious little attention to the chirpy tale of Wall Street’s ticker. The simple reason: They own no [...]

The Subaltern Hero: Maradona’s Legacy

Having been brought up in a family with one part of it having British ancestry (my father’s), I developed a fondness for English football (the child in me), very difficult to banish later on in years as I began to have strong left wing political leanings and a postcolonial politics. As a result, my feeling [...]

Legacy

 I used to think during the frightening presidency of Donald Trump that I should buy a gun just in case his anti-Semitic “very fine people” came after me. After all, I’m Jewish. Trump, who’s been pissing on us for four years, bequeathed to us the legitimatization of white supremacists, white nationalists, Nazis and other armed [...]

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