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Archive for January, 2017

Trump Fires Acting Attorney General, Pushes Ahead With Ban On Refugees

Trump Fires Acting Attorney General, Pushes Ahead With Ban On Refugees

US President Donald Trump fired the acting attorney general, Sally Yates, an Obama administration holdover, after she defied instructions to defend Trump’s executive order banning the entry of refugees and visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Yates precipitated the crisis by overruling a finding by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which approved[Read More…]

Netanyahu Steps Up Settlement Construction

Netanyahu Steps Up Settlement Construction

Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has launched a series of provocative moves against the Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and inside Israel itself. His aim is to distract public attention from the corruption probe that could force his resignation and bring down his government. In doing so, he has been emboldened by strong support from the incoming Trump administration.[Read More…]

Protesters marching in Tijuana

Protests In Mexico Continue Against Gas Price Hike, Water Privatization

The gasolinazo protests, which erupted in Mexico early this month over the slashing of gasoline subsidies, continue throughout the country. In Baja California, these protests have coincided with enormous social anger over PAN (National Action Party) state Governor Francisco Vega’s attempt to ram through legislation that would privatize water services and implement severe rate increases, a measure backed by the[Read More…]

Sardar Sarovar Rehabilitation: Supreme Court To appoint High Level Expert Committee

Sardar Sarovar Rehabilitation: Supreme Court To appoint High Level Expert Committee

31st January 2017: The Chief Justice of India, Justice -Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice- Chandrachud & Justice – Ramanna, head the petition related to Sardar Sarovar Affected people from 3 states: Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra & Gujarat, in petition by Narmada BachaoAndolan (NBA). The honorable Court heard Adv. Sanjay Parikh joined by MedhaPatkar for NBA & Adv. Patwalia. The CFJ & other Justices[Read More…]

The Fake News Inquiry: Old Wine In New Bottles

The Fake News Inquiry: Old Wine In New Bottles

London: Any inquiry into fake news is much like having a Royal Commission into the make up and motivation for Halal food. (The latter absurd proposition has been put forth by a few Australian politicians irritated by the Islamist bogeyman.)  Neither mission is particularly helpful, other than to illustrate a mounting ignorance about a phenomenon that always was. In the[Read More…]

Lawsuits Filed Challenging Trump’s Muslim Ban

Lawsuits Filed Challenging Trump’s Muslim Ban

At least two lawsuits were filed Monday (Jan. 30) against against President’s Trump’s Friday’s “Muslim ban” executive order. In Seattle, Washington, State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that he is challenging President Donald Trump’s executive order banning Muslim immigrants and refugees, calling it unconstitutional and asking for a temporary restraining order. In Washington DC, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)[Read More…]

Modus Operandi And Modus Vivendi In Bangladesh

Modus Operandi And Modus Vivendi In Bangladesh

As government leaders sashay between paltering and prevarication—as they’re wont to do around the world—the people get bombarded, often everyday, with a substantive number of stunners. Just like Mr. President in the United States is doing right now and hogging all the klieg lights. But of course it isn’t only the politicians who are adept—or irresistibly tempted—in taking recourse to[Read More…]

The Cauvery Delta Withers

The Cauvery Delta Withers

For many decades now, the delta farmers have been at the receiving end of the water dispute between the two riparian neighborsTamilnadu and Karnataka. This year, along with Cauvery the monsoon also failed them. More than 250 farmers have died over the last three months – some committed suicide while many died of shock and pent-up trauma, according to media reports and farmers associations

Restore The Rule Of Law In Bastar, Demand Concerned Citizens

Restore The Rule Of Law In Bastar, Demand Concerned Citizens

This is an appeal for restoration of the rule of law in Bastar (Chhattisgarh), assured access without interference to any persons concerned with human rights abuses in the area, and action against those guilty of harassing such persons or other violations of human rights. Among other recent incidents of harassment is a brazen attack on Dr. Bela Bhatia, an independent[Read More…]

Trump’s Entry Ban: Linked To The Neo-Con Agenda?

Trump’s Entry Ban: Linked To The Neo-Con Agenda?

President Donald Trump’s ban on nationals from 7 Muslim majority countries in West Asia and North Africa (WANA) entering the United States of America for a period of 90 days has brought to the fore the role and influence of some of the forces that shape US foreign policy in the region. With the exception of one country, the Trump[Read More…]

A Bully Pulpit or A Bully’s Pulpit

A Bully Pulpit or A Bully’s Pulpit

Such a flurry of activity in the first week as executive orders poured out of the Oval Office at a fast and furious pace.  To what end … Yes, a wall is going to be built … except it might be a fence and might not cover the whole stretch.  The chief of the border patrol has resigned/fired over disagreement. [Read More…]

India Diminished

India Diminished

Earlier in Countercurrents, I reviewed Shashi Tharoor’s An Era of Darkness– very favorably.  In that review, I mentioned other books, including Madhusree Mukherjee’s Churchill’s Secret War and Mike Davis’s magisterial Late Victorian Holocausts.  All three books break with the mythology of Pax Britannica and describe its body-count.  A wasteland indeed called peace.  A Pox not a Pax. I wrote the[Read More…]

Kashmir: What Next?

Kashmir: What Next?

It creates a unique situation where the lack of faith in any political ideology creates a huge vacuum which can be easily exploited to foment trouble . A key issue then, is to engage the state youth that accounts for over 60% of the state’s population, with the younger generation taking centre stage in this new political discourse that challenges status quo and proffers a more realistic alternative to fill this void.

Rice threshing near Sangrur, SE Punjab, India. (Photo:  Neil Palmer (CIAT)/flickr/cc)

A Relook At Our Social Programmes

  A decade or two ago, many in the development community acted with the best of intentions, but without the best of evidence. If households lack clean water—help build wells   ; if people suffer ill health—set up health services; if the poor lack capital to start businesses, give them credit. But the actual reality is not simple, it is very[Read More…]

Commutation Of Death Sentence In The Bara Massacre Case: Justice Half Done

Commutation Of Death Sentence In The Bara Massacre Case: Justice Half Done

PUDR welcomes the decision of the President commuting the death sentences of Nanhe Lal Mochi, Veer Kuar Paswan, Krishna Mochi and Dharmender Singh, convicted in the Bara massacre of 1992 for killing 35 members of the Bhumihar caste in Bihar. Commutation in this case, however, is justice half done as the four prisoners will continue to languish in jail indefinitely[Read More…]

Trump Defies Mass Protests Against Anti-immigrant Measures

Trump Defies Mass Protests Against Anti-immigrant Measures

Protests against the Trump administration’s executive order banning travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries and all refugees spread across the country on Sunday, as the Homeland Security Department and immigration authorities continued to detain men, women and children denied entry to the US on the basis of the illegal executive order issued Friday by the new president. Tens of thousands gathered[Read More…]

Chaos At The Airports: Blocking Trump’s Executive Order

Chaos At The Airports: Blocking Trump’s Executive Order

The diary of this particular US administration is bound to be heavy with incident.  Executive orders are now coming out of the Trump administration at pace, and the question of whether they will compel obedience or not looms.  In many parts of the US, the answers have already been determined in advance. As ever, it is the US legal system[Read More…]

Dozens Killed In Yemen In First US Special Forces Raid Under Trump

Dozens Killed In Yemen In First US Special Forces Raid Under Trump

US Special Forces carried out a raid on a number of homes in Yemen’s central Al Baydah Province on Sunday, killing as many as 57 people, including 16 civilians. One American soldier was reported killed. The raid marks President Donald Trump’s first authorized military operation and first military fatality. The last US Special Forces raid in Yemen was in 2014,[Read More…]

President Trump: A Bull In A China Shop?

President Trump: A Bull In A China Shop?

Presidents and Prime Ministers assuming office in mature democratic countries after an election start with a period of honeymoon with the public and the rest of the world. President Kennedy had a long honeymoon and President Hollande a briefer one. Trump has willfully chosen not to have any honeymoon by his pronouncements before the inaugural and the speech he made[Read More…]

Punjab Elections 2017-Saffron Everywhere-Where Are White And Red Colours?

Punjab Elections 2017-Saffron Everywhere-Where Are White And Red Colours?

Looking just at newspaper or electronic media pictures, one finds candidates of all major parties coloured in saffron, by their turbans or by scarfs, to see the difference one has to carefully look at the logos or election symbols on their scarfs, whether these are ‘Hand’, ‘Kamal’ or ‘Jhadu’! One wonders where the white ‘Gandhi’ cap or ‘Nehru Jacket’, which[Read More…]

Divest From War, Invest In People

Divest From War, Invest In People

All Trump, all the time. With a punishing, disorienting barrage of executive orders, President Trump is reversing hard fought gains made in environmental protection, health care, women’s rights, immigration policy, and nuclear weapons reduction–with even more executive orders promised. In his inaugural speech, Trump proclaimed “America First”. The U.S. does rank first in weapon sales, in mass incarceration and in[Read More…]

Black Snakes On The Move: Pipeline Expansion Out of Control

Black Snakes On The Move: Pipeline Expansion Out of Control

A Lakota prophecy tells of a mythic Black Snake that will move underground and bring destruction to the Earth. The “seventh sign” in Hopi prophecy involves the ocean turning black and bringing death to many sea-dwelling creatures. It doesn’t take an over-active imagination to make a connection between these images and oil pipelines and spills. It’s troubling enough that the[Read More…]

Red & Blue: Let’s Make America Great Again!

Red & Blue: Let’s Make America Great Again!

Last night I dreamt of Alan Kurdi. Remember him? …No? Well, I thought so, or rather I was sure that you would have forgotten. After all it’s natural to forget tragedies, pain and death! That is such a natural, lovely, human trait, essential to survive the pain-hole that this world is! It’s been more than a year since Alan’s lifeless[Read More…]

The Culture Of Impunity

The Culture Of Impunity

It is unnerving to even think about the culture of impunity that is taking deep roots all around us. It has not happened overnight but has slowly strengthened itself, step by step, one incident after the next, and has gained enough in size to threaten the very essence of a nation priding itself on its distinct cultural identity. What are[Read More…]

Beyond The Muslim Veil

Beyond The Muslim Veil

   This woman, who is your beloved, is in fact a ray of His light, She is not a mere creature. She is like a creator -Rumi In recent years, due to the global socio-political climate, the phrase “Muslim woman” might conjure an image of a demure un-empowered woman sheltered by her veil Yet this image is not what our[Read More…]

Worsening Inequalities: The Courage To Face The Challenge

Worsening Inequalities: The Courage To Face The Challenge

It is not surprising that the Davos Forum held in the middle of January 2017 chose not to examine the obscene, grotesque, ever widening economic inequalities in the world brought to its attention  by Oxfam, the global aid and development confederation. Oxfam revealed on the 15th of January that “the richest eight tycoons on the planet are worth as much[Read More…]

Don’t Miss “The Speech” by Gary Younge

Don’t Miss “The Speech” by Gary Younge

Gary Younge’s The Speech– released in 2013 by Haymarket Books (updated edition)- is increasingly important in these early days of Trumplandia.  A real account of the lead up to, acceptance, and political trajectory of King’s famous 1963 “I Have a  Dream” speech, the book is a clear reminder of the power of rhetoric but also of the forces of “nullification”[Read More…]

Torture Works…To Produce Fake News (And That’s How We Got Into Iraq)

Torture Works…To Produce Fake News (And That’s How We Got Into Iraq)

I told this story back in 2005 but it is a good story, has held up, and bears repeating now that President Trump is again promoting torture as “effective.” Torture is a good way to get people to tell you what they think you want to hear so that you will stop torturing them. That is, torture may occasionally turn[Read More…]

The God Of Big Things

The God Of Big Things

And so the two of us highly recommend what Arundhati Roy — author of that 1997 Booker Prize for her debut novel, The God of Small Things — suggests is absolutely necessary. That is, that we find some new way of bonding as concerned citizens, so that our movement in solidarity isn’t undermined down the road quite as easily as it has been throughout the very long history of resistance in this troubled world. A huge, monumental undertaking, admittedly, this big bedeviling challenge.

Slumdog Republic

Slumdog Republic

It was always the worst kept secret in India, but has now finally become official – those who run the Republic of India do not need the Public of India at all. What is worse, they in fact see the latter as a grave threat to their very existence. All this was amply evident on Republic Day this year, as[Read More…]

How Poor Women Are Taking Charge Of Their Future

How Poor Women Are Taking Charge Of Their Future

If you’re in trouble, or hurt or need – go to the poor people. They’re the only ones that’ll help – the only ones. ― John Steinbeck The Indian women farmer, almost never publicly acknowledged, reviled by superstition and patriarchy, and increasingly troubled by entrenched social and cultural mores and taboos bears the real burden of farm labour. Nearly 98 million[Read More…]

TISS Students In Solidarity With Adivasis In Bastar, Fighting Against Corporate Loot And State Repression

TISS Students In Solidarity With Adivasis In Bastar, Fighting Against Corporate Loot And State Repression

We, the concerned students of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai condemn the continuing state repression of adivasis and recent attack on human rights activist Bela Bhatia in Bastar, Chhattisgarh. On the 23rd of January, 2017, a group of 30-odd men attacked Bela where they barged into her house in Parpa, near Jagdalpur violently and threatened to burn the[Read More…]

Global Warming: We Are Living In Dangerous Times

Global Warming: We Are Living In Dangerous Times

When Countercurrents.org started 15 years ago CO2 level in the atmosphere was 372 ppm. In the last 15 years it increased only at the rate of less than 2 ppm/year. This year we are seeing a jump of 3.5 ppm over the past year. United Nations climate change secretariat tweeted “January Mauna Loa record shows atmospheric CO2 concentration accelerating, now at[Read More…]

How Do I Know Good Can Overcome Ignorance, Spite And Hate? Because I’ve Seen it

How Do I Know Good Can Overcome Ignorance, Spite And Hate? Because I’ve Seen it

I want to share a story with you today that I’ve not shared before on this blog.  I was moved by something I saw on Twitter to the effect that the future will not remember Trump, but the future will remember the remarkable things done by those mobilising to oppose him.  It really resonated with me.  I wanted to share[Read More…]

Trump Orders Military To Prepare For War

Trump Orders Military To Prepare For War

During a visit to the Pentagon on Friday, President Donald Trump issued an executive action calling for stepped up violence in Syria and a vast expansion of the US military, including its nuclear arsenal, to prepare for war with “near-peer competitors”—a reference to nuclear-armed China and Russia—and “regional challengers,” such as Iran. “I’m signing an executive action to begin a[Read More…]

Communes In Venezuela: Experiments In Direct Democracy

Communes In Venezuela: Experiments In Direct Democracy

Latin America is a witness to experiments by leftward leaning heads of states particularly in Venezuela, Bolivia and Equador. These are often seen as anti-US, anti-market, autocratic and have been demonized in the western media. These shifts happened after growing discontent with devastating effects of neoliberal policies in these countries. New leaders such as Hugo Chavez, Evo Molares and Rafael[Read More…]

 NAPM Condemns State-Sponsored Mob-violence On Bela Bhatia And​ ​Human Rights Activists, Academics And Adivasis In Bastar

 NAPM Condemns State-Sponsored Mob-violence On Bela Bhatia And​ ​Human Rights Activists, Academics And Adivasis In Bastar

The National Alliance of People’s Movements strongly condemns the multiple, brazen acts of intimidation directed at well-known academic and activist Bela Bhatia in Bastar including the most recent attack a few days back at her house in Parpa village by a belligerent mob of 30 goons. Clearly, this direct ultimatum and threat to Bela to “leave Parpa (Bastar) within 24[Read More…]

Photo by Katie Bordner / Flickr.

Take Notice, Trump: We Are Not Protestors—We Are Protectors

On Friday, Jan. 20, Donald Trump took the presidential oath of office before a crowd best described as puny compared to the estimated 1.8 million people who attended Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration. The following day, the world erupted as millions of people joined demonstrations in major cities across the United States and the world to express their commitment to opposing[Read More…]

Don’t Let Trump Distract You: Public Comment On DAPL Is Now Open

Don’t Let Trump Distract You: Public Comment On DAPL Is Now Open

It’s been a tumultuous few days for anyone following the ongoing battle against the Dakota Access pipeline. Within the course of just over a week, the project’s backers tried to get a judge to cancel environmental review of the project, environmental review officially began, and, on Jan. 24, President Trump issued a memorandum calling for the Army Corps of Engineers[Read More…]

Killing The TPP: Trump’s Executive Action

Killing The TPP: Trump’s Executive Action

One of the conspicuous absences from the sound and fury last weekend’s protests was the impending executive act of President Donald Trump affirming the US exit from the Trans-Partnership Agreement.  Not that that was much in doubt: it had not been ratified nor voted upon in Congress, and that particular body had been cooling towards it. It was a blow[Read More…]

On Email Hacking Allegations, West Establishment says Trust Torturers, Distrust Torture-Whistleblowers

On Email Hacking Allegations, West Establishment says Trust Torturers, Distrust Torture-Whistleblowers

  British mainstream paper the Daily Mail reported that former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, says he can attest first hand that the Clinton/Podesta materials handed to Wikileaks were leaked from a Washington insider, not stolen by Russia. But the Daily Mail, knowing the majority of people won’t read into the article, says, in the large, bold-lettered article summary beneath the[Read More…]

Hundreds, Including Journalists, Charged With Rioting In Wake Of Inauguration Protest

Hundreds, Including Journalists, Charged With Rioting In Wake Of Inauguration Protest

Two hundred and thirty-five people were arrested by police last Friday morning during protests in Washington D.C. at the inauguration of Donald Trump. The protests were described by participants as both “anti-capitalist” and “anti- fascist.” Those arrested, composed largely of politically unaffiliated individuals, were first surrounded and indiscriminately detained at the intersection of 11th and K Street. There riot police[Read More…]

White House To Issue Executive Order On “Safe Zones” In Syria, Ban On Muslim Immigrants And Refugees

White House To Issue Executive Order On “Safe Zones” In Syria, Ban On Muslim Immigrants And Refugees

US President Donald Trump declared in an extended interview with ABC News broadcast Wednesday that he will sign an executive order directing authorities to implement US controlled “safe zones” in Syria. The order would also block the entry of refugees and immigrants from a number of majority Muslim countries, including Syria. During the presidential campaign, Trump called for a complete[Read More…]

A boy looks at U.S. workers building a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall at Sunland Park, U.S. opposite the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

Breakdown In Mexico-US Relations As Trump Threatens Trade War

On Wednesday Donald Trump announced the construction of a wall along the US’s southern border, provoking a diplomatic crisis without precedent in the modern history of US-Mexico relations. When Trump repeated his ultimatum that Mexico pay for the cost of construction, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto cancelled a visit to the White House that had been planned for January 31.[Read More…]

The British Government Has Colluded With Monsanto And Should Be Held Accountable In The International Criminal Court 

The British Government Has Colluded With Monsanto And Should Be Held Accountable In The International Criminal Court 

“The British Government has colluded with Monsanto and should be held accountable in the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity and ecocide.” Dr Rosemary Mason. The British public and the environment are being poisoned with a deadly cocktail of 320 pesticides. Moreover, Wales has become a storage dump for Monsanto’s most toxic chemicals. These are the[Read More…]

#BeTheChange: It Is About Growing In Years, Not About Getting Old!

#BeTheChange: It Is About Growing In Years, Not About Getting Old!

 (CNS): As fertility rates decline and life expectancy increases, the number of senior citizens is growing globally. Among the 7.3 billion people worldwide in 2015, an estimated 617.1 million, were aged 65 years or more. The Asia Pacific region is ageing rapidly and South-East Asia’s elderly numbers are growing fast at around 5% a year – between now and 2030[Read More…]

Australia Day Is Invasion Day: Will Australia Join A Trump US War  On China?

Australia Day Is Invasion Day: Will Australia Join A Trump US War  On China?

Racist White Australia celebrates Australia Day on Invasion Day, the anniversary of the British invasion of Australia on 26 January 1788 and commencement of the ongoing Aboriginal Genocide. Australia has invaded 85 countries, has participated in all post-1950 US Asian wars, and as a US lackey is currently helping the serial war criminal US invade 7 impoverished Muslim countries. China[Read More…]

Doomsday Clock Now Two And A Half Minutes To Midnight

Doomsday Clock Now Two And A Half Minutes To Midnight

The symbolic Doomsday Clock inched closer to midnight on Thursday, and we have President Donald Trump largely to thank for the ominous development. At the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Thursday morning, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists‘ Science and Security Board moved the hands of the iconic clock 30 seconds closer to “midnight,” or the end of[Read More…]

Antarctic Tipping Points For A Multi-Metre Sea Level Rise

Antarctic Tipping Points For A Multi-Metre Sea Level Rise

OVERVIEW The Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has most likely been destabilized and ice retreat is unstoppable for the current conditions. No further acceleration in climate change is necessary to trigger the collapse of the rest of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet on decadal time scales. Antarctica has the potential to contribute more than a metre[Read More…]

Republic Day, Sovereignty And The Youth

Republic Day, Sovereignty And The Youth

            The Constitution of India was adopted on 26th Jan 1950 and we entered the world stage as a sovereign republic. Ever since 26 January is celebrated as the Republic Day, a celebration of our sovereignty. Vibrant tableaus of various states and departments are part of the parade. But predominantly it is a celebration of the display of military[Read More…]

Blindness At Davos

Blindness At Davos

Davos The World Economic Forum (WEF), a Swiss non-profit foundation for public-private cooperation “committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas”, met in Davos from 17-20 January, as it does every year, in an ambience of high-level meetings interspersed by opulent partying. It[Read More…]

White Silence Equals Violence: Awaiting A Verdict

White Silence Equals Violence: Awaiting A Verdict

This morning, here in Minneapolis, six jurors decided beyond a reasonable doubt that I am guilty as charged and my co-defendant, Dan Wilsonwas found innocent.  The court case stems from an action protesting the execution of Jamar Clark, age 24, who died in the early morning of November 15, 2015 outside a north Minneapolis apartment complex. Two Minneapolis police officers,[Read More…]

The movie Salt of the Earth made a comeback by the 1970s after it was banned in the United States during the 1950s and into the 1960s...

Reflections On The Movie ‘Salt Of The Earth’ And A 1999 Book Titled The Suppression Of Salt Of The Earth by James J. Lorence …

As a university professor and a white male, I teach a course on “Race and Ethnic Diversity,” and have taught over 40 semesters of this course over the past 12 ½ years in rural Indiana. While looking at a number of white ethnic groups as well as a number of ethnic groups of color in the course — I argue[Read More…]

One Pound Capitalism, a Pinch of Democracy, and Misfortune Stuffed Chapatis./ By Priti Gulati Cox

11/8: America’s Got President & India’s Got No Cash

It was about 8:00 on the morning of November 9 in Mumbai, India. I sat down with the internet to talk with my husband Stan in Kansas, where it was 7:30 pm November 8. Like many other now-shell-shocked Americans, he was watching what we thought would be the finally-final episode of America’s Got President. The look on his face said[Read More…]

Brexit And The UK Supreme Court

Brexit And The UK Supreme Court

It was predicted, it was warned against, and it happened: Prime Minister Theresa May’s government cannot commence the official process for leaving the European Union without parliamentary approval. In upholding the decision of the lower court Parliament, deemed the sovereign voice of the UK, was again affirmed as ultimate arbiter, the historical figure of force that cannot be bypassed.  This[Read More…]

The Paris Peace Conference:  Signaling An End To A Western-Dominated Era?

The Paris Peace Conference:  Signaling An End To A Western-Dominated Era?

No, it was not just ‘another Middle East peace conference,’ as a columnist in Israeli ‘Jerusalem Post’ attempted to depict the Paris Peace Conference held on January 15, with top official representations from 70 countries attending.  If it was, indeed, just ‘another peace conference’, representatives from the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority (PA) would have attended as well. Instead, it was[Read More…]

 In Less Than 30 Years Obama Will Be Tried For Millions Of Unlawful Deaths In A Court Of A New UN

 In Less Than 30 Years Obama Will Be Tried For Millions Of Unlawful Deaths In A Court Of A New UN

If former President Obama lives to a healthy elderly age in more harmonious world than today’s, in all probability he will face trial for a million unlawful deaths, injuries, deformities, and mega destruction. Ex US Attorney General Ramsey Clark reminds us that the Nuremberg Principles of International Law long enshrined in the UN Charter, are by Article Six of the[Read More…]

Trump Executive Orders Approve Dakota, Keystone Pipelines

Trump Executive Orders Approve Dakota, Keystone Pipelines

President Donald Trump has ordered US government agencies to expedite approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, running roughshod over opposition by environmentalists and Native American tribes. The Dakota Access Pipe Line (DAPL) has encountered impassioned opposition, with thousands gathering despite the deep freeze of the North Dakota winter to block completion of the 1,200-mile-long pipeline, which is[Read More…]

Fact Finding Report On Attack On Lawyers In Chhattisgarh Released

Fact Finding Report On Attack On Lawyers In Chhattisgarh Released

On 24th January, 2017 a demonstration and Hall meeting was organized by the INDIAN ASSOCIATION OF PEOPLE’S LAWYERS (IAPL) in Mumbai to mark the “International Day of the Endangered Lawyer”. A fact finding report by IAPL (see attachment) “on the attack of Lawyers in Chhattisgarh” was released by Advocate Mihir Desai. While releasing the report, Advocate Desai mentioned that though[Read More…]

Priyanka Alone Can Not Revive Congress

Priyanka Alone Can Not Revive Congress

Just days ahead of UP assembly elections, speculations of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s ascendance within the party is gaining momentum. So far, the Gandhi scion has delimited role to the family seats (Rae Barelli & Amethi) only. But amid growing urgency of revival, Congress high command is getting impatient with every passing hour. The party which was once recognized as the[Read More…]

Time Pass: Youth, Class And Politics Of Waiting In India

Time Pass: Youth, Class And Politics Of Waiting In India

  Youth is considered an important juncture in human life. This phase is a bridge between childhood and maturity.  After completing formal education, young people spend their time swinging between employment and unemployment. This phase gives them ample time to understand the society around them according to their own thinking, background and surroundings and thus, plan for their future. It is[Read More…]

Recent Attacks On Bela Bhatia And Abusive Responses By IG Kalluri In Bastar

Recent Attacks On Bela Bhatia And Abusive Responses By IG Kalluri In Bastar

Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression condemns the recent attack against Bela Bhatia, a researcher and activist, based in Bastar, Chhattisgarh. On the 23rd of January, 2017, a group of 30-odd men attacked Bela near her house. They barged into her house violently, and threatened to burn the building down if she did not leave immediately. The mob also[Read More…]

The encampments at Standing Rock worked to keep prayer and nonviolence at the center of their actions. Photo by Joe Zummo.

Nonviolent Action Is Extremely Powerful

Nonviolent action is extremely powerful. Unfortunately, however, activists do not always understand why nonviolence is so powerful and they design ‘direct actions’ that are virtually powerless. I would like to start by posing two questions. Why is nonviolent action so powerful? And why is using it strategically so transformative? When an activist group is working on an issue – such[Read More…]

A Letter To Two Presidents

A Letter To Two Presidents

January 20th is unique … unique in that it has been inauguration day in the U.S. since 1937.  Thus it is on this day the people have two presidents, one before noon and the incoming one after.  This letter then is addressed to two presidents starting with President Barack H. Obama who ends his term of office. I Mr. President [Read More…]

Photo by Rob Wilson.

The Never-Ending Indian Wars: Spotlight Returns To Standing Rock

The world has been shocked by North Dakota’s violent reaction to the anti-oil pipeline resistance at Standing Rock. For the better part of a year, people have watched via social media, then increasingly on conventional media outlets, as heavily armed law enforcement officers and private contractors attacked unarmed civilians with rubber bullets, mace, tear gas, batons, and water cannons in[Read More…]

10 Ways Vancouver Created A Greener, More Efficient Transportation System

10 Ways Vancouver Created A Greener, More Efficient Transportation System

In 2012, the city of Vancouver in Canada’s British Columbia province set a lofty transportation goal — for people to make more than 50 percent of their trips in the city by foot, bicycle, and public transit by 2020. In 2015, the city had already met its target. As the short video by Streetfilms below shows, the city accomplished this through a multi-modal approach by making sustainable[Read More…]

Resistance

Resistance

The first response to inhumanity is shame. The sustained response—resistance. The way of compassion embraces both compassionate denouncement and compassionate affirmation. Compassionate denouncement deconstructs life denying, denigrating and destroying wrongdoing, so that it will, thereby, be exposed to universal view for what it is. Compassionate denouncement declares itself free from propaganda. Compassionate affirmation recognizes, respects and celebrates what is authentic;[Read More…]

Betsy DeVos And Blackwater

Betsy DeVos And Blackwater

Blackwater founder Erik Prince, who has been called “America’s most notorious mercenary” by author and journalist Jeremy Scahill, has emerged as an influential advisor to the incoming Donald Trump regime. Prince is also the brother of Betsy DeVos, who is in the process of being confirmed as secretary of education — and an advocate for the privatization of public schools.[Read More…]

The U.S. Voters’ Rights Amendment: Explained

The U.S. Voters’ Rights Amendment: Explained

The 2016 election just cost $5 billion and produced two major candidates who were despised by a majority of the People. Given the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, 45 percent of voting-age Americans did not cast a ballot, and only 46.5 percent of those who did vote choose Trump. Almost three million more voters selected Clinton over Trump,[Read More…]

I Was Kidnapped To Subvert Bhangar Movement: KN Ramachandran

I Was Kidnapped To Subvert Bhangar Movement: KN Ramachandran

When I reached Kolkata station on 22nd January from Lucknow by Nangal Dam to Kolkata Express at 5.15 pm and was walking to the place where our comrades were waiting, 5-6 men overpowered me, closed my mouth , blind folded and took in a Tata Sumi for an hour to one building in the outskirts of the city I presume.[Read More…]

Trump Uses Executive Orders To Impose Hiring And Regulatory Freezes

Trump Uses Executive Orders To Impose Hiring And Regulatory Freezes

In the first days of his presidency, Donald Trump has issued a series of executive orders and memoranda that outline his administration’s far-right agenda: economic nationalism and war abroad; attacks on living standards and democratic rights at home. On Friday, immediately following his inauguration, Trump issued an executive order weakening the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The order,[Read More…]

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Indian Constitution Unriddled : Search For Sources

Indian Constitution Unriddled : Search For Sources

  (“Indian Constitution Unriddled :Search for Sources” is a monumental work published by Purogami Prakashana , Hubli, in 2015 March. The volume is compiled by late Sri SG Nadgir and Dr. KS Sharma, and published to mark the birth centenary of the former, a renowned teacher. What follows here is the Foreword to the book by Dr.KS Sharma, eminent Professor of[Read More…]

Revolt Is The Only Barrier To A Fascist America

Revolt Is The Only Barrier To A Fascist America

This is a transcript of a talk Chris Hedges gave at the Inaugurate the Resistance rally in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. The ruling elites, terrified by the mobilization of the left in the 1960s, or by what [political scientist] Samuel P. Huntington called America’s “excess of democracy,” built counter-institutions to delegitimize and marginalize critics of corporate capitalism and imperialism. They[Read More…]

Why Ban Mobile Internet In Kashmir?

Why Ban Mobile Internet In Kashmir?

  Businesses and public sector services across Kashmir  were badly hit, & still as the ban on Internet services — especially prepaid 2G, 3G mobile internet service — remains suspended for the seventh month in a row. The ban is likely to be effective for some more time. As the authorities are in no mood to restore it. Education, banking,[Read More…]

The Chicago Women's March was so large that no one photograph or photographer could have covered the vastness of it (estimated by TV news at a quarter million people, and possibly much more). Above, part of the crowd on Michigan Ave. looking north from the Art Institute (to the right in the photo). Substance photo by Susan Zupan.

Chicago Women’s March… More Than 250,000 People, Majority Of Them Women, On The Move Against Trump And Trumpism…

The Women’s March of January 21, 2017, was too large for anyone to “cover” as a reporter or photographer. This is one participant’s report, view and experience from the streets of Chicago during the January 21, 2017 Women’s March. My report is presented mostly as a snapshot of the people, posters and chants encountered. I did not hear even one[Read More…]

Trump: The Defeat Of Science

Trump: The Defeat Of Science

Defeats are supposed to teach people how to do better; in theory. In practice, it often happens that defeats teach people how to become masters in blame-shifting. With some exceptions, this seems to have been the main result of the recent defeat of the Democrats in the 2016 presidential election, where we saw a truly spasmodic search for culprits: Putin,[Read More…]

The Revolt Of The Intelligence Community: Future Battles With President Donald Trump

The Revolt Of The Intelligence Community: Future Battles With President Donald Trump

Factionalism and fury are basic ingredients of the US Republic. Designed as a classic response to the lynch mob fantasy of direct democracy, and the weakness of unaccountable monarchy, those behind the US constitution contrived a select form of paternal snobbery: letting groups fight it out in the amphitheatre of politics. Such a battle would always adhere to certain demarcations[Read More…]

Obama Legacy, Racism And Trump Victory in America

Obama Legacy, Racism And Trump Victory in America

As there’re multiple causes and factors behind most events, so is Donald Trump’s election victory not attributable to any single factor. However, there is always the “most important factor” behind everything. Here, neo-fascist racism played the most important role in the election of Trump. One may attribute his victory to the so-called Obama Legacy or Factor. We know Trump is[Read More…]

US National Intelligence Council Predicts Indo-Pakistan Nuclear War In 2028

US National Intelligence Council Predicts Indo-Pakistan Nuclear War In 2028

The US National Intelligence Council has predicted a nuclear war between India and Pakistan in 2028. The prediction came in the Council report released recently under the title: Global Trends: Paradox of Progress. Every four years since 1997, the National Intelligence Council has published an unclassified strategic assessment of how key trends and uncertainties might shape the world over the[Read More…]

Sports And Security: Manchester United’s Counter-Terrorism Chief

Sports And Security: Manchester United’s Counter-Terrorism Chief

It seemed an unnecessarily grand gesture, but the English Premier league discovered last week that Manchester United had appointed its own counterterrorism manager.  The person is said to be a former inspector from Greater Manchester Police’s specialist research unit.  As with everything else in matters of security, such a move will stir and spark discussion: if they have one, why[Read More…]

How Do We Assist Those Not As Fortunate As Ourselves?

How Do We Assist Those Not As Fortunate As Ourselves?

How about a mother urging her young, emaciated, malnourished and scrawny son to put his mouth up to a cow’s dirty vagina so as to drink her urine since it will be the only liquid that he will get that day? Then he does it to stay alive. How can we, half a world away, help? How can we possibly[Read More…]

As Jallikattu Is Permitted, Demands To Permit Kambala Buffalo Races Rise In Karnataka

As Jallikattu Is Permitted, Demands To Permit Kambala Buffalo Races Rise In Karnataka

Consequent upon the central Government’s move to bring an ordinance on Jallikattu, the traditional bull-taming sport of Tamil nadu following statewide protests, A chorus has begun in the neighbouring state, Karnataka. A social media campaign to save Kambala, the traditional buffalo racing held in the costal districts of Karnataka started a few days ago. There is an attempt to project[Read More…]

Narrative Of Contestation: Shahnaz Bashir’s ‘The Half Mother’

Narrative Of Contestation: Shahnaz Bashir’s ‘The Half Mother’

The armed conflict in Kashmir appears unrelenting, having already taken a heavy toll on human life. The magnitude of the suffering brought about by the conflict is unprecedented. Shahnaz Bashir is one of the emerging indigenous voices, we have witnessed in the recent years, who have taken it upon themselves to narrate and to “write back to the centre.” That[Read More…]

The Fascination With Ram Rajya

The Fascination With Ram Rajya

In his recent speech in a rally at Faizabad, PM Modi stated, “…When people asked Mahatma Gandhi how good governance should be, he would reply in one word, a welfare state should be like Ram Rajya…”. This fascination with equating ‘good governance’ with ‘Ram Rajya’ is not new, so much so that the two are almost used interchangeably. It would[Read More…]

Appearance Of Military Officers During Trump’s Inaugural Address Still Unexplained

Appearance Of Military Officers During Trump’s Inaugural Address Still Unexplained

A strange and disturbing sequence took place behind President Donald Trump as he delivered his inaugural address Friday, which has gone virtually without comment in the news media. Early in his address, ten military officers walked up and stood behind the president so they would prominently appear with Trump in the camera shots beamed across the US and the world.[Read More…]

Bangalore Protests Against Trumpism

Bangalore Protests Against Trumpism

#ResistTrump event in Bangalore was a phenomenal success. and one would specially thank the following who made this #ResistTrump special & unique by sending voice & mail messages to be played and read out at the protest venue in Bangalore. Binu Mathew (Editor Counter Currents, Kerala), B.Buresha (Cine Director and Theatre Dreamer from Bangalore Karnataka, Who organises Workers in Entertainment[Read More…]

Social Activist Bela Bhatia Attacked At Home In Bastar, Asked To Leave In 24 Hours

Social Activist Bela Bhatia Attacked At Home In Bastar, Asked To Leave In 24 Hours

Just a couple of days after she helped a team of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to investigate complaints of rapes by the security forces near Bijapur (South Chhattisgarh), Bela Bhatia was told by a mob of goons to leave her house in Parpa village outside Jagdalpur or face the consequences. Already two days ago, goons had come to[Read More…]

Trump’s Inaugural Address: Neoliberal Anti-Christ Donald Trump’s “America First” Trumps Jesus’ “Love Thy Neighbour”

Trump’s Inaugural Address: Neoliberal Anti-Christ Donald Trump’s “America First” Trumps Jesus’ “Love Thy Neighbour”

US President Donald  Trump’s Inaugural Address was a mish-mash of populist rhetoric, unachievable promises, lying by commission and egregious lying by omission, most notably over the 1.7 million Americans who die preventably each year in the neoliberal US Corporatocracy.  Crucially, espousal of “America First” by an anti-Christ Donald Trump contradicts the “Love thy neighbour” imperative of that wonderful Palestinian humanitarian[Read More…]

Ignored Ironies: Women, Protest And Donald Trump

Ignored Ironies: Women, Protest And Donald Trump

  The USA has Urinary Trump Infection. Protest sign, San Francisco Women’s Rally, Jan 21, 2017 San Francisco: The man, called Bruce, goes by the name of DJ Chocolate Starfish.  He is energetically occupying himself in the corner of a room on the third floor of the often noisy San Francisco Public library, eyes moving with frenzied delight at the mixed[Read More…]

Development And India: Why GM Mustard Really Matters 

Development And India: Why GM Mustard Really Matters 

  The push to commercialise the growing of genetically modified (GM) mustard in India is currently held up in court due to a lawsuit by Aruna Rodrigues. The next hearing is due in February. Rodrigues has indicated at length that, to date, procedures and tests have been corrupted by fraudulent practices, conflicts of interests and gross regulatory delinquency. Dr Deepak[Read More…]

Photo by Ryan McGuire

Rebuilding Activism From The Ground Up

I. I recognized a familiar sound I’d just finished working with a personal training client near Central Park before hopping on a downtown R train. Over my shoulder was a canvas bag holding five “FOR packs.” Each of these packs contained food and supplies for homeless women on the streets of Manhattan. FOR is the moniker I bestowed upon this[Read More…]

Moving Successfully Towards Future Improvements In A Distressed World

Moving Successfully Towards Future Improvements In A Distressed World

In my view, there is no major significant difference between legal, illegal or other immigrants (i.e., those with Visa or Green Card status) coming from out-of-state into my region. Indeed, I would be willing to endure the hard trek into the USA from a southern country if I lived in a region wherein there were drug cartels, no jobs, little[Read More…]

Strategic Disinvestment of Bharat Earth Movers Limited Will Compromise India’s Security

Strategic Disinvestment of Bharat Earth Movers Limited Will Compromise India’s Security

There appears to be little justification for the proposed “strategic disinvestment” of 26% equity in BEML. On the other hand, such disinvestment will reduce India’s self-reliance in the defence sector (and other core sectors) and increase dependence on private business entities for national security. It will place vital manufacture in the hands of private entities which are primarily profit-based, not above colluding with foreign business interests which are against India’s security, and raising the cost of products which will adversely affect the defence budget and defence preparedness

Busting The Busts Of Churchill:  Why Reading “An Era Of Darkness” By Shashi Tharoor Is Necessary

Busting The Busts Of Churchill:  Why Reading “An Era Of Darkness” By Shashi Tharoor Is Necessary

 Writers are every now and again given a gift from the “news,” a nugget that serves to be an easy opening gambit.  The 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, delivered a perfect one recently by installing a bust of Churchill in the Oval Office. One would indeed get this impression from the typical romantic (and racist) hagiographies that[Read More…]

One Does Not Hate When One Can Despise

One Does Not Hate When One Can Despise

When I find myself in times of trouble, I’m less interested in Mother Mary’s wisdom than I am in Joe Hill’s: Don’t mourn; organize. There’s a sense in which Trump’s election is a surprise, similar to how we somehow seem to be continually surprised when easily predictable negative consequences of this way of life come to pass. So we’re surprised when[Read More…]

Trump's inauguration speech had unsettling echoes of 1930s Germany. (Photo: Stephen Melkisethian/flickr/cc)

Translating Trump’s Inaugural Speech From the Original German

Donald Trump’s inaugural speech, like the candidate himself, was a chain of falsehoods, saber-rattling and scary Neofascist uber-nationalism. But it could be difficult to follow because so much of it seemed stolen from the mass politics of the 1930s in central and southern Europe. So here is a plain English translation of some key passages. Today’s ceremony, however, has very[Read More…]

Defending Civil Resistance Under International Law

Defending Civil Resistance Under International Law

Since the Reagan administration’s ascent to power in 1981, thousands of American citizens have engaged in various forms of non-violent civil resistance activities in order to protest against distinct elements of U.S. foreign policy that violate basic principles of international law. These citizen protests have led to numerous arrests and prosecutions by federal, state, and local governments around the country.[Read More…]

Modi Cult Building Is Part Of Hindu Rashtra Building

Modi Cult Building Is Part Of Hindu Rashtra Building

There has been a universal belief among the modern historians and political scientists that history does not repeat ever. But recent happenings in the ‘largest’ democracy, India and the ‘greatest’ democracy, USA seem to have presented a challenge to the above dictum. It was in the mid-20th Century that world witnessed the rise of totalitarian ideologies like Nazism and Fascism[Read More…]

A Reply To The Times of India

A Reply To The Times of India

On the eve of the budget session and state elections the newspaper industry has made out a case for financial sops, including exemptions from the forthcoming Goods and Services tax, and higher government advertisement rates. The pretext is the losses it claims it faces as a result of paying journalists and other employees fair wages. This is a case of[Read More…]

The Birth Of Trumpland: Notes On An Inauguration

The Birth Of Trumpland: Notes On An Inauguration

San Francisco: With the country ridden by woe and revulsion; with the discontent so profound and vicious, the Trump presidency began.  It did so by way of comparison – of the chalk-cheese variety.  In 2008, when the shining armour of Knight Obama took centre stage, there were sighs, ecstatic releases, heavy exhalations of hope.  The theme, then, to start this presidency:[Read More…]

Is President Trump Going To Be Hoodwinked By Netanyahu Like Barack Obama?

Is President Trump Going To Be Hoodwinked By Netanyahu Like Barack Obama?

If President Trump doesn’t watch out, he is going to be Netanyahu’s chump, says Thomas L. Friedman from the New York Times.[1] Trump’s statements about the abstention of the latest UNSC-vote by the US and his appointments for the ambassadorship to David Friedman or his son-in-law Kushner in the White House are causing serious fears. He seems ideologically so close[Read More…]

Democrats’ Lack Of Protest Under Obama More Likely An Expression Of Ignorance Than Hypocrisy

Democrats’ Lack Of Protest Under Obama More Likely An Expression Of Ignorance Than Hypocrisy

As Democrats express disgust at and prepare massive protests against Trump on his inauguration day (as was also done regarding Bush Jr.), respected analysts detail how the public has been kept ignorant of Obama’s actual policies and instead exposed to sycophantic praise, distortion, and omission regarding his actions. John Pilger quotes a typical example of Obama’s treatment in Western neoliberal[Read More…]

Trolling Of Zaira Wasim: Why The Selective Generalisation?

Trolling Of Zaira Wasim: Why The Selective Generalisation?

Social networking sites and media channels are buzzing with the slogan: “We are with her”. Yes, I am talking about Zaira Wasim, who by her achievement made her parents and entire Kashmir very proud. However it remains particularly unknown that who in Kashmir is against her? Although many have expressed their anger about her meeting with Mehbooba Mufti, but that[Read More…]

Individual Responsibility

Individual Responsibility

The duty of individuals living under an unjust government. There are many governments today that can be described unjust, and some that even deserve to be called fascist. What is the duty of the individual citizen, living under such a government? What was the duty of a German, living under Hitler? The thoughts of Thoreau, Tolstoy, Gandhi and Martin Luther[Read More…]

Photo by ChrisA1995

Inauguration Day: A Good Day For A Walk In The Woods

Not since the Civil War has an American presidential Inauguration Day been so fraught with fear and dread (on February 23, 1861, Abraham Lincoln traveled to his inauguration under military guard, arriving in Washington, D.C., in disguise). The incoming president is the most unpopular of any to assume office since modern polling began. In a single news cycle this past[Read More…]

A Look At What Works And — And Doesn’t — In The World Of Conservation

A Look At What Works And — And Doesn’t — In The World Of Conservation

For public land managers, policy-makers, natural resource specialists, farmers, ranchers and others in the business of protecting and renewing the world’s diverse ecosystems, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of studies and strategies. How does a person determine which solutions will yield the best results in any given situation? What Works in Conservation 2017, a free online book just[Read More…]

UK Wind Generated More Electricity Than Coal In 2016

UK Wind Generated More Electricity Than Coal In 2016

The milestone is a first for the UK and reflects a collapse in coal generation, which contributed just 9.2% of UK electricity last year, with 11.5% from wind. The coal decline saw its output fall to the lowest level since 1935. It also means CO2 emissions from UK power generation will have fallen by around 20% in 2016, as coal was largely[Read More…]

US consumprtion effects on threats to biodiversity

Reducing Consumption And Local Exchange Better Than “Sustainable Consumption”

While it is clear that global trade play a major role as a driver of destruction of biodiversity there is no way “consumers” in the US or other developed economies can be expected to take responsibility for the effect on biodiversity of their consumption. It is a tall order even for the companies trading or the retailers selling the products.[Read More…]

Myanmar: A scribe’s Murder And Its Aftermath

Myanmar: A scribe’s Murder And Its Aftermath

Guwahati: Killing of media persons in the Indian subcontinent is no unusual happening as it annually losses around ten journalists to assailants. India, Pakistan and Afghanistan often lead the list of victims with additional inputs from Bangladesh and Myanmar, where Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Tibet (under China) and Nepal normally maintain their no-journo killing index. Myanmar (also known as Burma[Read More…]

U.S. Senators Are Even More Neoconservative Than Are Trump’s Appointees 

U.S. Senators Are Even More Neoconservative Than Are Trump’s Appointees 

  The confirmation hearings for the members of incoming President Donald Trump’s national-security team showed that neoconservatism dominates the U.S. government today: neoconservatism didn’t end after George W. Bush’s alleged certainty that “Saddam’s WMD” existed in 2002, turned out to have been merely an excuse — not an authentic reason — to invade Iraq, and so to spread death and[Read More…]

Three Denials And Discussion Denied

Three Denials And Discussion Denied

The denial of clemency for Leonard Peltier — courtesy of Obama — inspired me to write this piece, along with the denial of Climate Change on the part of the new U.S. Administration. But the Big Denial not talked about much is the one which is embraced by well-meaning, highly educated and deeply experienced activists and concerned citizens, along with[Read More…]

TOI Editorial On Indian Newspaper Industry Smells Like Match-Fixing

TOI Editorial On Indian Newspaper Industry Smells Like Match-Fixing

With reference to the unsigned editorial ‘Indian Newspaper industry: Red Ink splashed across the bottom line’ (TOI, Jan 19, 2017), a case is being made out for concessions to the newspaper industry on the grounds that it is in the doldrums and is beleaguered by various burdens, including that of wage board wages, GST, DAVP, etc. Without mentioning the recent[Read More…]

US Senate Panel Rubber Stamps “Mad Dog” Mattis For Pentagon Chief

US Senate Panel Rubber Stamps “Mad Dog” Mattis For Pentagon Chief

The Senate Armed Services Committee gave near-unanimous approval Wednesday to Donald Trump’s choice to head the Pentagon, voting by 26-1 to approve retired Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis as the next secretary of defense. The nomination now goes to the full Senate for a confirmation vote, expected this week, as soon as Trump is inaugurated and submits the nomination officially.[Read More…]

Thank You Haymarket Books!

Thank You Haymarket Books!

A visit to the bookstore provokes in me two opposite emotions- euphoria and anxiety. I get euphoric by the thought that the production and ingestion of knowledge is still an important thing for some segment of society. Snippets, lies, and fake news are not the only “data” that exists. I get euphoric also by the tantalizing thought that if given[Read More…]

2014 Was Hottest Year Ever Recorded. Then It Was 2015. Now It’s 2016.

2014 Was Hottest Year Ever Recorded. Then It Was 2015. Now It’s 2016.

For the third year in a row, the world experienced its warmest year on the books, global scientists have determined. The new assessments come from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the UK’s Met Office, as well as the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which relies in part on data from those[Read More…]

Scoundrels Of Patriotism: The Freeing Of Chelsea Manning

Scoundrels Of Patriotism: The Freeing Of Chelsea Manning

‘Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.’ Samuel Johnson, Apr 7, 1775 in Boswell’s Life of Johnson. He might have had a sharp attack of conscience, but President Barack Obama decided, in the flickering days of his administration, to do good by Chelsea Manning, forever linked to WikiLeaks and the disclosure of US military war logs and 250,000 state[Read More…]

If We’re Honest, We All Know Trump’s America

If We’re Honest, We All Know Trump’s America

When a local organizer for a new adult education project in Austin, Texas, asked me to teach a course on politics in January, it was tempting to focus on the potentially disastrous short-term consequences of the election. Instead, I decided to frame the course around the disastrous long-term forces that shape the contemporary United States, no matter who is in[Read More…]

The Legacy Of Iran’s Powerful Cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

The Legacy Of Iran’s Powerful Cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, one of the main pillars of the Islamic Republic of Iran, died on January 8, 2017, in Tehran. The Islamic government announced the cause of his death as heart attack, but some other sources have claimed he was killed by the agents within the clerical regime. According to one source, he was suffocated in a Sa’dabad[Read More…]

The Three-Way Tug Of War That’s Pulling Syria Apart

The Three-Way Tug Of War That’s Pulling Syria Apart

Last month, the Islamic State recaptured Palmyra from where it was evicted by the Syrian army only in March; and this week, the Islamic State has launched a fierce assault in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, near Syria’s border with Iraq, and has successfully managed to surround the military airport, thus cutting off food supplies to the besieged city.[Read More…]

Ayyankali: Pioneer Of Radical Revolt Against Brahmanism In Kerala

Ayyankali: Pioneer Of Radical Revolt Against Brahmanism In Kerala

Ayyankali, the Dalit firebrand in Kerala who fought Caste apartheid through innovation and resistance that inspires even till today. A contemporary of Ambedkar he was born into the Pulaya community in Thiruvananthapuram. He burned with the injustices his community faced. Dalits were landless and exploited, punished for crossing into caste hindu areas, and both men and women were targets of[Read More…]

Another Adivasi Student Suicide Marks Rohith Vemula’s Death Anniversary

Another Adivasi Student Suicide Marks Rohith Vemula’s Death Anniversary

Rohith Vemula’s suicide a year ago shook the country. The circumstances of his death left no doubt that it was an institutional murder committed through continuous harassment, and not a simple suicide. It exposed how the culture of caste discrimination was alive and kicking in Indian campuses despite being outlawed by the Constitution. Though it was no secret even before[Read More…]

Amelie The Amoeba: How Things Grow

Amelie The Amoeba: How Things Grow

This academic year, I gave a lesson on the growth mechanism of complex systems. It is a fascinating subject that can be applied to several fields, from biology to economics. Since the students I was talking to were not specializing in complex systems (they were students of geology), I used a light tone and used “Amelie the Amoeba” an image[Read More…]

Yemen War Death Toll Reaches 10,000

Yemen War Death Toll Reaches 10,000

  The UN envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, has said that the death toll in the Yemeni war had reached 10,000, up from the previous figure of 7,000. The UN envoy’s statement came after his talks in Aden with the Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Hadi who rejected the UN peace plan. “A peace agreement, including a well-articulated security[Read More…]

Yemen: Obama’s Parting Gift To Terror

Yemen: Obama’s Parting Gift To Terror

Barack Obama saved his parting gift to terror, his worst crime, for last, the War on the Yemeni People. Obama’s last war has institutionalized a failed state and which will continue to inflict terror and suffering on 25 million Yemenis for generations to come. When the Saudi army began its aggression against Yemen, Obama seemed only a reluctant partner, but[Read More…]

Post-Truth Is A ‘Relative’ Concept; India Experiencing It For Years

Post-Truth Is A ‘Relative’ Concept; India Experiencing It For Years

  The pendulum swings both ways. Big things or changes in socialactions and behaviour of human beings, in its true macro sense, do not happen within a year. To a section of observers of the social and political developments around the world, post-truth did largely manifest in 2016. It would be a mistake to assume similar interpretations of the post-truth[Read More…]

Modis Operandi: When India Went ‘Keshless’

Modis Operandi: When India Went ‘Keshless’

Much later, historians in the 22nd Century would call it a ‘close shave’ for Indian democracy and a ‘hair razing’ experience for millions of citizens. And yet, when it happened real-time -everyone was simply lost for words. The year was 2018 and in an emotional address on primetime TV, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had exhorted his countrymen to[Read More…]

Behind The Hype Of E-Commerce

Behind The Hype Of E-Commerce

One is at a loss for words to describe the rise and rise of e-commerce in the eyes of the ruling and middle classes as well as the mainstream media. Not a day passes without the sector capturing the headlines and prominent space. Words like e-commerce, start-ups, and digital India, and brands like Flipkart, Amazon, Ola, and Uber have become[Read More…]

NATO And Obsolescence: Donald Trump And The History Of An Alliance

NATO And Obsolescence: Donald Trump And The History Of An Alliance

It should be a point of some delicious reflection for peace activists who have fought for decades against the nature of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.  It brought the US deep into West European affairs, turning European states into garrisons.  It involved the stationing of nuclear weapons. It compelled member states to go to war if the security of any[Read More…]

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

The historical roots and the continuing theoretical basis of the modern liberal, liberal democratic and neo-liberal — states can be traced to the economic and the consequent political and intellectual developments of, what is known as, the long 18th century (1685-1815) in Europe beginning with Thomas Hobbes, as far as the history of political theory is concerned, though his major[Read More…]

Nationalism And The Egalitarian Alternatives

Nationalism And The Egalitarian Alternatives

  As Benedict Anderson has rightly pointed out in The Imagined Communalities, the concept of nationalism as a new identity criterion and as a hegemonic ideology “was born in an age when Enlightenment and revolutions were destroying the legitimacy of divinely ordained hierarchical dynastic realm”. In fact the basis of the secular allegiance in place of the old religious-feudal is[Read More…]

Still No Justice For Pakistani Shipyard Workers

Still No Justice For Pakistani Shipyard Workers

On November 1 of last year, a horrific fire at the Gadani shipbreaking yard in the Pakistani province of Balochistan claimed the lives of at least 32 workers, leaving scores of others with life-altering injuries, including severe burns. In the more than two months since the accident, government officials have turned a blind eye to the long-suffering workers’ demands for[Read More…]

The Balancing Act Is Over: What Elor Azaria Taught Us About Israel 

The Balancing Act Is Over: What Elor Azaria Taught Us About Israel 

For some, the ‘manslaughter’ conviction – following the murder by Israeli army medic, Elor Azaria, of already incapacitated Palestinian man, Fattah al-Sharif – is finally settling a protracted debate regarding where Israelis stand on Palestinian human rights. Nearly 70 percent of the Israeli public supports calls to pardon the convicted soldier, who is largely perceived among Israelis as the “child[Read More…]

A Year Of Continued Denial Of Justice For Rohith Vemula

A Year Of Continued Denial Of Justice For Rohith Vemula

Hyderabad / New Delhi, January 17th 2016 : It’s a year since Rohith Vemula gave up his life in the struggle against caste discrimination and Brahminical prejudices and practices dominating spaces of Higher education in the country. His death caused a major uproar in the country and gave strength to students coming forward resisting the same and to various ongoing[Read More…]

Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning’s Sentence

Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning’s Sentence

President Barack Obama has commuted noted whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence, and Manning will be released on May 17 of this year. Human rights defenders, government watchdogs, and LGBTQ advocates have long been pushing Obama to commute Manning’s 35-year sentence, particularly as Manning, who is transgender and is being denied appropriate healthcare in military prison, has attempted suicide twice in[Read More…]

Iraqi Civilian Death Toll Mounts As Fighting Intensifies In Mosul

Iraqi Civilian Death Toll Mounts As Fighting Intensifies In Mosul

Fighting has intensified in Mosul over the past two weeks as Iraqi government forces, backed by US-led air strikes, have pushed forward to the Tigris River in their efforts to recapture the country’s second-largest city from Islamic State. The US-backed offensive is having a devastating impact on the civilian population, which numbered over 1 million when operations began in October.[Read More…]

"The issues are, in a sense, the easy part," says Michael Gecan, co-director of the Industrial Areas Foundation. "Power is organized people and organized money." (Cartoon: Mr. Fish / Truthdig)

Building The Institutions For Revolt

Politics is a game of fear. Those who do not have the ability to make power elites afraid do not succeed. All of the movements that opened up the democratic space in America—the abolitionists, the suffragists, the labor movement, the communists, the socialists, the anarchists and the civil rights movement—developed a critical mass and militancy that forced the centers of[Read More…]

Remembering MLK

Remembering MLK

We all need to rise up and have the courage that M. L. King, Jr. had. I am humbled by his writings because they remind me that I have to even stretch further than I have on behalf of social and environmental justice. My “sin” or “wrong” (since I don’t like the word “sin” due to its religious implications —[Read More…]

Photo By Varkey Parakkal/From Wikimedia Commons/Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Agasthyakoodamtrek.jpg

No Entry For Women To Agasthyamala! The Reasons Given Are An Insult

It is unfortunate that the Kerala Forest Department is continuing the practice of denying entry for women to the Agasthyamala. The Forest Secretary gave an explanation referring to somebody’s fancy religious sentiment and you have explained it as due to the lack of toilet facilities and the threat of wild animals which only amounted to adding insult to injury as it is oblivious to the fact that women visit and stay even in dense forests as researchers, photographers, foresters or as tourists, and that numerous women have scaled Everest.

Global Sea Ice Hits Lowest Levels ‘Probably In Millenia’

Global Sea Ice Hits Lowest Levels ‘Probably In Millenia’

Global sea ice levels are at their lowest in recorded history, according to new statistics from the U.S. National Snow & Ice Data Center. In the Arctic, the loss is due to climate change and extreme weather events that are likely influenced by global warming, while the changes in the Antarctic may be attributed to natural variability, the center said.[Read More…]

Pathological Terror: Health Fears Ahead of Trump’s Inauguration

Pathological Terror: Health Fears Ahead of Trump’s Inauguration

“Ain’t going to let no ego maniac turn me around, turn me around, keep on walking, keep on talking going to build ourselves a brand-new world.” Joan Baez, San Francisco, Jan 15, 2017 San Francisco.: The City Hall gleamed in the crisp air of an unusually wintry day in San Francisco, where gatherings ahead of the inauguration of the US[Read More…]

Photo: Joe Brusky/Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/40969298@N05/14035912283/in/photostream/

‘The Power To Create A New World’: Trump And The Environmental Challenge Ahead

  The catastrophic climate change is no longer a subject for argument, at least on a mainstream level within the science community. Yet, as temperatures continue to rise, American efforts to combat global warming, sadly seem to decline. President Elect, Donald Trump is more concerned by the economic cost of combating global warming, and has repeatedly rejected United States’ role[Read More…]

Thanking Obama or The Best Slaves Are The Ones Who Thank Their Masters

Thanking Obama or The Best Slaves Are The Ones Who Thank Their Masters

As President Obama takes his last lap around the governing field before turning it over to Donald Trump LLC many liberals and some deluded “leftists” have taken to thanking him for his eight years of service to the 1%. The best that can be said from a Marxist perspective is that there have been worse presidents (we are about to[Read More…]

Vedanta Company Gets Proxy Mining  Licence In Odisha

Vedanta Company Gets Proxy Mining  Licence In Odisha

This is about an incident happened in the year 1995. One Kondh tribal lady courageously came in front of the armed police forces and blocked their entry into the hamlet. The police force was there to evacuate the tribal villagers for a mining company. Villagers were blocking the road. The then Superintendent of Police warned the villagers to leave the[Read More…]

Divided America: Root Causes And The Road Ahead

Divided America: Root Causes And The Road Ahead

US Culture Clashes and the Return to “Clash of Civilizations” Theory Based on the bourgeois ideals and value system of the Enlightenment, Western open societies are culturally pluralistic but have limits in social cohesion owing to the hierarchical structure created by the political economy of capitalism. Symptomatic of the market economy, social differentiation and exclusion are a permanent fixture regardless[Read More…]

African Americans Who Now Betray King’s Condemnation Of Wars Will One Day Lead A Nice New USA

African Americans Who Now Betray King’s Condemnation Of Wars Will One Day Lead A Nice New USA

Sometime during the next twenty-five years, as the United States slowly begins to lose economic, political, cultural and communications hegemony over the rest of the world, a much nicer, peaceful, pleasant, prosperous, free and expressively energetic America will begin to take shape and will trend toward seeking the unity, harmony and enjoyment found in its African American communities Sometime during[Read More…]

Anti-National RSS: Documentary Evidences From RSS Archives

Anti-National RSS: Documentary Evidences From RSS Archives

Friends from India and abroad who are concerned about the increasing threats to the democratic-secular Indian polity from the Hindutva organizations have been feeling the need for a concise document on the anti-national game-plan of the RSS and other like-minded offshoots. The need of such a document is rightly felt for countering the Hindutva propaganda at all levels. The following[Read More…]

First Permanent Deployment Of US Troops On Russian Border Since Cold War

First Permanent Deployment Of US Troops On Russian Border Since Cold War

Some 4,000 US troops, together with tanks, artillery and armored vehicles, arrived in Poland over the weekend, further escalating tensions with Russia ahead of the January 20 inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump. It is the largest US troop deployment in Europe since the Cold War. The troops will be dispersed over seven Eastern European countries, including the Baltic states[Read More…]

We Breathe Polluted Air Beyond Permissible Standards Across India

We Breathe Polluted Air Beyond Permissible Standards Across India

Every single day, we in India who walk the streets of our country, India, breathe polluted air way beyond permissible standards for our health. Several reports had been published over the years about the abysmal state of air pollution in New Delhi, the capital. A few government interventions like taking vehicles of over 15 years off the streets and making[Read More…]

Alancier’s Meryl Streep Moment In An Age Of Shameful Silence

Alancier’s Meryl Streep Moment In An Age Of Shameful Silence

Malyalam movie actor Alancier Lay Lopez’s one man act at the bus stand premises of Kasaragod is being equated with the Meryl Streep moments at the golden globe award venue- where the much reputed charismatic actress takes a dig at the United State’s president elect Donald Trump for his disrespectful imitation of a journalist at the time of his presidential[Read More…]

Chennai Poromboke Paadal ft. TM Krishna

Chennai Poromboke Paadal ft. TM Krishna

Poromboke is an old Tamil word meaning shared-use community resources like waterbodies, seashore and grazing lands that are not assessed for tax purposes. Today, it has become a bad word used to describe worthless people or places. Chennai Poromboke Paadal is part of a campaign to reclaim the word and restore its worth. Credits: Featuring TM Krishna Concept: Nityanand Jayaraman[Read More…]

Lessons On Analysis, Experience And Instinct For The Modi Government, Courtesy Aristotle

Lessons On Analysis, Experience And Instinct For The Modi Government, Courtesy Aristotle

I stumbled upon a book about Alexander the Great and his strategies on the battlefield. I was not particularly keen to finish the book, instead my curiosity took me to research about his teacher Aristotle, who claimed by many, is the reason for Alexander’s success. The western philosopher who was highly influential in the middle ages (5th to 15th century)[Read More…]

Neoliberals Know The Price Of Everything And The Value Of Nothing

Neoliberals Know The Price Of Everything And The Value Of Nothing

My father likes to say that some people know the price of everything and the value of nothing. The same could be said of the neoliberals of the world, who–in case you missed my previous piece–are now transcendent in most policy circles across the world. To review, the neoliberal agenda is one of deregulation, unfettered trade, fiscal austerity (with the[Read More…]

De-[Constructing] Growth: Decoupling Profits From Unsustainable Production

De-[Constructing] Growth: Decoupling Profits From Unsustainable Production

Degrowth has been described as a “movement” rather than an ideology1, and as such it presents several variations. For some of its proponents, degrowth is a proxy for sustainable consumption, and to a lesser extent production2. A second group of degrowth advocates are those for whom an emerging discussion of “sufficiency” as a societal norm is taking shape, as a[Read More…]

The Thorniest Policy-Question That President Trump Will Face

The Thorniest Policy-Question That President Trump Will Face

A decision must be made at the start of Donald Trump’s Presidency on one issue, which will shape both his foreign and domestic policies, and so his entire Presidency. Mark Strauss, the Editor of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, headlined on 8 September 2014, “Nukes Are Cannibalizing The U.S. Defense Budget”, and he raised the question of why nuclear forces are “cannibalizing the U.S.[Read More…]

Activists Must Do More Than Mobilize, Part I

Activists Must Do More Than Mobilize, Part I

Written by Rachel Olivia O’Connor (drawing upon C.S. Lewis) When concerned citizens mobilize, most often they assemble on the basis of morality. Yes, the issue of survival frequently comes to the fore, but there’s almost always — with that — a voicing or thinking of what’s right and wrong vis-a-vis what’s taking place. Tainted water in Flint? Intentionally exposing citizens[Read More…]

It’s Not A Level Playing Field. It’s A Jigsaw Puzzle With A Lot Of Missing Pieces

It’s Not A Level Playing Field. It’s A Jigsaw Puzzle With A Lot Of Missing Pieces

“I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.” – Stephen Jay Gould Re-read that Gould quote. Read it aloud, in fact.  Breaking news: It’s not a level playing field.  More accurate analogy: An enormous jigsaw puzzle with[Read More…]

Modi’s Man-Made Calamity:  How Many Will Die?

Modi’s Man-Made Calamity:  How Many Will Die?

At this point, every sane and responsible person in India should be asking:  How many tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or millions of people in India are going to die from hunger, starvation, malnutrition and disease as a result of Modi’s demonetisation? Reports from the rural and semi-rural areas of India, from towns and villages, already indicate that[Read More…]

Populism And The Rise Of The Demagogues

Populism And The Rise Of The Demagogues

While the winter, outside, descends in all its severity, thoughts go to all those people who now have to face the cold, under miserable conditions. Thoughts go to war refugees who are left to their fate, the Greek islands, the Balkans and other places, where political Europe does not want to burn their hands and would rather look away. Politics[Read More…]

We Must Not Demonize And Threaten Russia

We Must Not Demonize And Threaten Russia

Eisenhower’s warning In his famous farwell address, US President Dwight Eisenhower eloquently described the terrible effects of an overgrown military-industrial complex. Here are his words: “We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions…. This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence, economic,[Read More…]

The Paris Conference Must Send A Strong Message From The World To Israel!

The Paris Conference Must Send A Strong Message From The World To Israel!

  Many believed in the Middle East that the Paris conference held today, Jan. 15, on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the participation of 70 countries and international organisations could be a final attempt by the international community to resolve the conflict in Palestine based on two-state solution. The conference came after several developments, the most important of it is the[Read More…]

Photo by John Vetterli

Today’s Terminal Social Malady

The state of the planet The hope of the fifties as soured to the despair of this century. Why is rarely asked. But more important and difficult, is to feel hopeful again, to see a better life ahead that’s peaceful, calm, and joyous, but presently the future looks not only foreboding but hopeless for many if not most of the[Read More…]

Prime Minister – Your Replacement By Displacement On Khadi Calendar Does Not Make Sense

Prime Minister – Your Replacement By Displacement On Khadi Calendar Does Not Make Sense

Prime Minister – recently you replaced Gandhi with your own image on the Khadi and Village Calendar. We see this as an attempt at Modi-fication of Gandhi rather than Gandhi-isation of Modi. You seem to be projecting your own image by the act of replacement. In no way you seem to be the kind of person who can replace the[Read More…]

Traitors In Britain’s Leadership

Traitors In Britain’s Leadership

When a UK Prime Minister, such as the Conservative David Cameron, does the work of a foreign power, working for that foreign power and against UK’s democratic ideals, and also against the interests and values (such as equal-rights, and UK’s sovereign independence) which are held by the UK public, then that UK Prime Minister is perpetrating treason, whatever else it[Read More…]

An Uncertain Future Follows Obama’s Farewell

An Uncertain Future Follows Obama’s Farewell

President Obama’s farewell address focusing on the state of our democracy offered a lofty perspective coupled with a homily on the responsibility of citizenship. Thrown in were elements of legacy seized upon by numerous commentators from the left and right. The trouble is an aloof president on a lofty perch is unlikely to get much of anything done in the[Read More…]

The Transpositions In Trump-Land Are Irrevocable If We Let Them Complete Themselves

The Transpositions In Trump-Land Are Irrevocable If We Let Them Complete Themselves

Politics and power create curious albeit predictable transpositions. Misogynist and Paleolithic conservatives transpose themselves into self-described beacons of hope for women as they simultaneously deride Islam for its differential treatment of women and launch an attack on women’s freedom and rights in the United States.  As they deride Democrats for pandering to Wall Street, they promote the richest cabinet in[Read More…]

Obama Expands NSA Spying

Obama Expands NSA Spying

With the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump only days away, the Obama administration announced on Thursday a vast expansion of the spying power of American intelligence agencies. Under the new rules, the National Security Agency (NSA) can now share raw bulk data consisting of private communications with 16 other intelligence agencies, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.[Read More…]

Notebandi Takes The Sauce Out Of Nashik’s Tomatoes

Notebandi Takes The Sauce Out Of Nashik’s Tomatoes

Farmers in Maharashtra’s Nashik district – where one in every four tomatoes in India comes from – are destroying standing crops on a scale never seen before, following persistent rock-bottom prices since the November 8 demonetisation

Can Commons Thinking Drive A New Health System?

Can Commons Thinking Drive A New Health System?

Cat Johnson: What would it take to move from planetary imbalance into a state of sustained health and healing? In a recent report, Jamie Harvie, Executive Director of the Institute for a Sustainable Future and founder of the Commons Health Network, argues that we need a new health system, one based on a “profound appreciation of the complexity and interconnectedness of life across[Read More…]

Modi Replacing Gandhi As The Image Of Khadi Angers India

Modi Replacing Gandhi As The Image Of Khadi Angers India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has replaced father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi as the 2017 face of the government’s traditional handloom and cotton industry. The image of the bespectacled Gandhi, wearing a loincloth and sitting cross-legged at a spinning wheel, is one of India’s most iconic and has long been used to promote the khadi, or homespun cotton, industry. The[Read More…]

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Bourgeois Democracy Faces Threat From Within: Perceive Davos-Elites  

Bourgeois Democracy Faces Threat From Within: Perceive Davos-Elites  

Bourgeois democracy is facing threat from within. It’s the perception of the world elites. The elites are going to gather in Davos, a snow covered village in Switzerland, in their annual moot – the World Economic Forum (WEF); and their annual flagship report – The Global Risks Report 2017 (GSR) – prepared on the basis of perception of hundreds of[Read More…]

Trump Team Targets Iran

Trump Team Targets Iran

  Saudi Arabia dominates above all other nations as a supplier of suicide bombers, and its royal family dominates as the world’s top financial backer of Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups, but incoming President Donald Trump has chosen to lead his national-security team, only people who blame Iran and not Saudi Arabia, as being the main source of international[Read More…]

Trump Means War

Trump Means War

  On Saturday afternoon, January 7, 2017, I attended an indoor rally entitled United Against Trump at the Women’s Building in San Francisco.  The room was packed to the rafters.  The spirit of resistance was high.  There were inspiring speeches on defending immigrants, on fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline, on fighting for health care, on taxing the rich.  There were[Read More…]

Between And Betwixt Freedom And Fear In Bangladesh

Between And Betwixt Freedom And Fear In Bangladesh

  Since women and men don’t live by bread alone it obviously follows that they can’t live only by economics either. And even that is coming under pressure for any number of causes in recent times. Humans, by nature and as has been repeatedly proven over historical time, seek after a point certain intangibles and perhaps even the metaphysical, verging[Read More…]

From Official Policy To Mainstream Discourse: Propaganda In The Making

From Official Policy To Mainstream Discourse: Propaganda In The Making

The Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act (CDPA), passed last December 8th by Barack Obama, was first presented to the US Congress on March 16th. This effort in information warfare was in the making long before the mainstream media campaign against “fake news”,or serious allegations of Russian meddling in US elections, started. This is an analysis of how foreign and domestic[Read More…]

Kashmir: Valley Of Wildfires

Kashmir: Valley Of Wildfires

Wildfires have become a global phenomenon, increasing in frequency with each passing year. The year 2016 gave frightening memories to Indian forests, with Uttarakhand facing enormous devastation due to wildfires. Later in the year, Jammu and Kashmir witnessed many wildfires, throughout summer and autumn. The gravity of devastation can be better guaged by Parliamentary Standing Committee Report, presenting a gist[Read More…]

Protest Against Demonetisation In Mumbai And Nagpur

Protest Against Demonetisation In Mumbai And Nagpur

Communist Party of India (CPI) organized Hisab do ,Jawwab do dharana in front front of RBI offices at Mumbai and Nagpur. The entire country is in the grip of crisis caused by demonetization, dramatically announceed on 8th November, 2016. Farmers, student’s workers of Nagpur and Mumbai joined raising slogans against demonetization. It was a huge gathering of 1000 people in[Read More…]

Bahujan Revolutionary King Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj

Bahujan Revolutionary King Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj

Bahujan Revolutionary Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, The King of common people. Rajarshi Chatrapati Shahu Maharaj was a true visionary social reformer. His simple living, remarkable efforts for the welfare of backward classes and his genuine contributions to educational, social and even agricultural reforms like water harvesting will always guide us towards doing better things for our nation. Shahuji Maharaj’s contribution[Read More…]

Dossiers, Make Believe And Fantasy: The CIA, Trump And Unverified News

Dossiers, Make Believe And Fantasy: The CIA, Trump And Unverified News

London: Morning breakfast news on the BBC’s Radio Four on Friday was a delightful affair filled with discussions on Russia (when do we not talk about that busy, stirring Bear these days?), Donald Trump, dossiers and the intelligence fraternity. Did it even matter that various sources have been unverified, subject matter lumped together in cumbersome conversations on fake news, sexual frolics[Read More…]

Obama’s Stellar Effort To Preserve Our Cultural Heritage in Syria

Obama’s Stellar Effort To Preserve Our Cultural Heritage in Syria

The National Museum, Damascus: President Obama’s Syria legacy is already being widely debated. In 2009 the former Southside Chicago community organizer and Law Professor entered the White House promising a new direction and vision in the Middle East from that of his predecessor and pledging “a new way forward.” “A New Beginning” is the name of the speech he delivered on[Read More…]

Anti-racist Jewish Humanitarians Oppose Apartheid Israel & Support UN Security Council Resolution 2334

Anti-racist Jewish Humanitarians Oppose Apartheid Israel & Support UN Security Council Resolution 2334

The persecution of Jews in Europe that culminated in the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million Jews killed by violence or deprivation) means that anti-racist Jews are inescapably obliged to oppose race-based Apartheid, disempowerment, dispossession, expulsion, ethnic cleansing  and genocide. Accordingly, numerous anti-racist Jews have come out to back UN Security Council  Resolution 2334 (2016) that explicitly condemns such war crimes[Read More…]

Helping Traumatized Youth

Helping Traumatized Youth

I recently applied for a position of Youth Counselor for traumatized youngsters living at a Residential Treatment Center in Sonoma County, California. I submitted a resume which I can’t but help feel puts me way at the head of the pack of candidates. But no one’s replied to date to my outreach. Don’t know, but the silence might have something[Read More…]

Freeland – Aimed At Putin? Or Trump?

Freeland – Aimed At Putin? Or Trump?

The CBC today (Tuesday, January 10, 2016) presented the news concerning Chrystia Freeland’s new appointment as Foreign Affairs Minister for Canada’s Trudeau government, noting mainly that she was on the sanctions list from Russia. The announcer also noted that she is of Ukrainian background and is very opposed to Russia’s supposed actions in Ukraine. I say supposed because the descriptor[Read More…]

Eight Years A President: What Did The Hope And Change Champion Achieve?

Eight Years A President: What Did The Hope And Change Champion Achieve?

The decisive victory of Senator Barack Obama over veteran Republican Senator John McCain in the fiercely fought 2008 US Presidential election proved to the world that America is truly exceptional. In a country built on the foundation of slavery and shrouded in segregation until the 1960s, the spectacular rise of an African-American to the zenith was a testament to the[Read More…]

Rally To Close Guantanamo At U.S. Supreme Court

Rally To Close Guantanamo At U.S. Supreme Court

On January 11, 2017, a coalition of human rights activists, torture survivors, Guantanamo attorneys, 9/11 family members, and members of diverse faith communities held a “Rally to Close Guantanamo” outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. The rally was followed by a march to the Senate Building where the confirmation hearing of Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General was[Read More…]

Protesters call for the liberation of Oscar López River in Washington D.C. in October 2016. (Photo by Matt Peppe)

Political Prisoners Remain Behind Bars As Obama’s Term Nears End

In the last full week of Barack Obama’s eight year tenure as President of the United States of America, dozens of political prisoners still sit in cages across the nation’s prisons, rotting away as Obama consciously chooses not to exercise the power to simply free them with the stroke of a pen. Many activists for Puerto Rican independence, Native American[Read More…]

Liquid Modernity: Zygmunt Bauman And The Rootless Condition

Liquid Modernity: Zygmunt Bauman And The Rootless Condition

“It was the rational world of modern civilization that made the Holocaust unthinkable.”-Zygmunt Bauman Modernity, as the late Zygmunt Bauman noted in his magisterially provocative Modernity and the Holocaust (1989) has not necessarily entailed enlightenment, the liberation from immaturity.  Since the cave dweller existence, humanity has retained traditional forms of savagery.  What mattered was the sheer lethality of it all,[Read More…]

Mexican Protests Continue As Consumer Prices Rise

Mexican Protests Continue As Consumer Prices Rise

  In the face of continuing protests, marches and occupations in Mexico, the ruling class is looking for political and economic alternatives to Peña Nieto as his political partners, the right-wing National Action Party (PAN) and the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), distance themselves from the gas subsidy cuts in the face of widespread public opposition. Wednesday marked the[Read More…]

Why Surveillance Is A Big Deal!

Why Surveillance Is A Big Deal!

Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar headed three-judge bench asked, “Surveillance to what. Is it a big deal?” This seemingly innocent question posed on January 5, 2017 merits considered reply. The other two judges were Justice N V Ramana and Justice D Y Chandrachud. According to Concise Oxford Dictionary, surveillance means ‘close observation, especially of a suspected person’. Isn’t surveillance dehumanizing?[Read More…]

Confusion About ‘Nation-State’ Is Dangerous For Sikhs

Confusion About ‘Nation-State’ Is Dangerous For Sikhs

  Of late, some thinkers of the Sikhs, a minority constituting less than two per cent of India’s population, are praising and advocating for a separate ‘nation-state’ as the best political solution for the emancipation of the besieged community. Such thinkers go to the extent of harrying and hounding those Sikh intellectuals who oppose the concept of ‘nation-state’, a Western[Read More…]

“The Love For Your Underwear Is Not Patriotism”: Malayalam Actor Alancier’s Plea For Communal Harmony

“The Love For Your Underwear Is Not Patriotism”: Malayalam Actor Alancier’s Plea For Communal Harmony

Malayalam actor Alancier Ley Lopez made a unique plea for communal harmony in a one man protest show in Kasarkod, Kerala. He staged the show to express his protest against  BJP-RSS’s vicious targetting of Malayalam filmmaker Kamal. BJP state general secretary had ordered Kamal to leave the country, just because he happens to be a Muslim. At about 4.30 PM[Read More…]

Enough Fearmongering: Only One Democratic State Is Possible In Palestine And Israel

Enough Fearmongering: Only One Democratic State Is Possible In Palestine And Israel

  Long before December 28, when Secretary of State, John Kerry took the podium at the Dean Acheson Auditorium in Washington DC to pontificate on the uncertain future of the two-state solution and the need to save Israel from itself, the subject of a Palestinian state has been paramount. In fact, unlike common belief, the push to establish a Palestinian and a[Read More…]

Fury At Azaria Verdict Is Israel’s Trump Moment

Fury At Azaria Verdict Is Israel’s Trump Moment

  Nazareth: The United Kingdom has Brexit. The United States, an incoming president Trump. And Israel now has Elor Azaria. It may not have the same ring, but ultimately the turning point could prove as decisive. Two fallacious narratives have greeted the army medic’s manslaughter conviction last week, after he was filmed firing a bullet into the head of a[Read More…]

How Anti-Capitalists Can Seize The Moment As Trump Enters The White House

How Anti-Capitalists Can Seize The Moment As Trump Enters The White House

In 2000, I was 17 years old. I didn’t know the first thing about politics, history, or social change. My first preference in the U.S. Presidential Election was for George W. Bush.[i] Somehow in my ignorance I had figured out that the Democrats were the more popular party, and I reviled what was popular. The President for the last eight[Read More…]

The Politics On West Pakistan Refugees

The Politics On West Pakistan Refugees

Mr. K.B.Jandial, the former top bureaucrat of J&K State, has written an article on the controversial decision of the State to issue domicile certificates to West Pakistan Refugees which was published in daily ‘Rising Kashmir’ of 4th Jannuary 2017 (http://www.risingkashmir.com/article/straight-talknever-ceasing-controversies-in-kashmir). The author is short on facts and wrong in conclusion on many facets of this important matter and hence this[Read More…]

UN System Owes Sri Lankan Tamils Remedial Justice

UN System Owes Sri Lankan Tamils Remedial Justice

“In the end, it comes down to values, as was said so many times today. We want the world our children inherit to be defined by the values enshrined in the UN Charter: peace, justice, respect, human rights, tolerance and solidarity.”  ANTÓNIO GUTERRES – New UN Secretary General It is very sad that UN an international institution particularly was initiated[Read More…]

System Failure In Kashmir

System Failure In Kashmir

Just a foot of snow throws life out of gear which is a system failure due tolack of accountability at the top management level Kashmir has seen many heavy snowfalls in the past. In fact, sometimes even three feet of snow has accumulated in a day or so. Because of massive and sudden snow falls in the past the government[Read More…]

Demonetisation, WW2 Bengal Famine And Horrendous Indian Avoidable Mortality Then And Now

Demonetisation, WW2 Bengal Famine And Horrendous Indian Avoidable Mortality Then And Now

  The demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is disproportionately impacting the poor of India. Presently 4.5 million Indians die avoidably from deprivation each year and demonetisation will make this worse by increasing poverty, deprivation and disempowerment. Indians must reject this callous and deadly attack on the poor, reject deadly[Read More…]

Does Israel Exist As A Nation State?

Does Israel Exist As A Nation State?

  Criticism of Israel’s actions, which are finally being countered by international pressure, may have one built-in failure — critics are dealing with the wrong Israel. To whom are the United Nations and the U.S. Secretary of State addressing? They may direct speech to leaders of a nation called Israel; but is there a nation called Israel? Not according to[Read More…]

2017: The Year When The World Economy Starts Coming Apart

2017: The Year When The World Economy Starts Coming Apart

Some people would argue that 2016 was the year that the world economy started to come apart, with the passage of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. Whether or not the “coming apart” process started in 2016, in my opinion we are going to see many more steps in this direction in 2017. Let me explain a few of[Read More…]

Ticking Carbon Clock Warns We Have One Year To Avert Climate Catastrophe

Ticking Carbon Clock Warns We Have One Year To Avert Climate Catastrophe

Our window of time to act on climate may be shrinking even faster than previously thought. We may only have one year remaining before we lock in 1.5ºC of warming—the ideal goal outlined in the Paris climate agreement—after which we’ll see catastrophic and irreversible climate shifts, many experts have warned. That’s according to the ticking carbon budget clock created by[Read More…]

Obama Is A Disaster!

Obama Is A Disaster!

My book “Tackling America’s Toughest Questions” (Clarity Press: 2009) set forth a comprehensive analysis and critique of all the hideous atrocities President Bush Jr et al inflicted upon international law, human rights law, the U.S. Constitution, and innocent human beings, especially Third World People of Color, starting from when Bush Jr et al. stole the U.S. Presidency from the American[Read More…]

The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men | Mickey Z. interviews Robert Jensen

The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men | Mickey Z. interviews Robert Jensen

“It seemed that there was a need for a book that laid out the problem of patriarchy in plain language.” (Robert Jensen) While we’ve never met in person, Robert Jensen and I have known each other (in that internet kind of way) for decades. We have friends in common, often wrote on similar topics for the same websites, and even[Read More…]

Globalist Leaders Ensure North American Integration Mechanisms Remain In Place

Globalist Leaders Ensure North American Integration Mechanisms Remain In Place

As Donald Trump prepares to become U.S. president on Jan. 20, the future of NAFTA is in doubt. He has promised to either renegotiate or withdraw from the trade agreement. Despite the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, there are still many different existing North American integration mechanisms that remain in place. Over the last year, the globalists have quietly[Read More…]

Man The Maker Of His Destiny – Swami Vivekananda

Man The Maker Of His Destiny – Swami Vivekananda

(These are days when science and superstition are  mixed up, so are religion and superstition,   often with the support of the powers that be. Hi-tech youth schooled in sciences are also caught in irrational beliefs.  Science learning and scientific outlook are disjointed. In this context, at a time when his birthday is celebrated on january12,  it is instructive to recall[Read More…]

The Arrest Of Advocate Murugan And Charging Him With UAPA Is Condemned

The Arrest Of Advocate Murugan And Charging Him With UAPA Is Condemned

Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights – Tamil Nadu, (CPDR-TN) strongly condemns the arrest of Advocate Murugan, Secretary Centre for Protection of Civil Liberties (CPCL), on 8th January by the Tamilnadu Q branch police. The police had gone to his house in the early morning 4 o’clock, in the pretext of search operations with the search warrant order from Karur[Read More…]

Syria And The Antiwar Movement

Syria And The Antiwar Movement

While everyone agrees that Syria is a humanitarian disaster, there has been a complete fracturing of the left when it comes to analyzing the conflict. Unfortunately, the debates have been unusually vicious and sectarian making rational discussion difficult. The specifics of Syria account for only a part of the viciousness of the debate. At heart are differences in conception of[Read More…]

Mexican Government, Trade Unions Mobilize Against Protests To Pave The Way For Trump

Mexican Government, Trade Unions Mobilize Against Protests To Pave The Way For Trump

Mass protests in Mexico and the looming inauguration of Donald Trump as US president are adding to uncertainty in the Mexican ruling class and among foreign investors over fears of growing social unrest and economic crisis. Ongoing demonstrations continued across Mexico this weekend as Mexicans continue to reject the government’s gas subsidy cut.

Regenerative Agriculture: Our Best Shot At Cooling The Planet?

Regenerative Agriculture: Our Best Shot At Cooling The Planet?

It’s getting hot out there. For a stretch of 16 months running through August 2016, new global temperature records were set every month.[1] Ice cover in the Arctic sea hit a new low this past summer, at 525,000 square miles less than normal.[2] And apparently we’re not doing much to stop it: according to Professor Kevin Anderson, one of Britain’s[Read More…]

Another Mass U.S Shooting: Wars And Consequences

Another Mass U.S Shooting: Wars And Consequences

Yet another mass shooting in the U.S., this time at Ft. Lauderdale airport, Florida’s second largest.  A certain Esteban Santiago flew from Alaska changing planes en route at Minneapolis.  Arriving, he headed to the baggage collection area, claimed his suitcase, opened it in the privacy of a toilet, removed a gun, methodically loaded it, and began shooting in the baggage[Read More…]

What Is To Be A Muslim In America Today?

What Is To Be A Muslim In America Today?

Can one define what a Muslim is in the wake of the decision that President-elect Trump wants to take to ban all Muslims from entering America? The late Edward Said—were he still alive—may attempt an answer to the question I pose here as he did in the late seventies but I gather it will not be sufficient in that we[Read More…]

Om Puri: An Appreciation

Om Puri: An Appreciation

Om Puri, one of India’s most celebrated actors, was found dead at his Mumbai home last week, apparently of natural causes. The 66-year-old Puri leaves behind an enduring legacy, having starred in some of Indian cinema’s most remarkable films. In his prime, Puri was among the principal actors associated with Parallel Cinema, a film movement in India that was beginning[Read More…]

Open Letter To Chief Justice Of India On The Arrest Of Activists Of The Telangana Democratic Front

Open Letter To Chief Justice Of India On The Arrest Of Activists Of The Telangana Democratic Front

In continuation with our previous two petitions dated 22nd February 2016 and 26th February 2016, we wish to draw you attention to the consistent erosion of rule of law and constitutional freedoms in Chhattisgarh in the wake of continuing attacks on civil rights defenders by the state police and administration in close collusion with the vigilante groups like the Samajik Ekta Manch and AGNI. In the most recent case of attack, on 25th December, 2016 a 7 member fact finding team was arrested by the Telangana police at Dummaguddem village of Bhadrachalam district at 6 pm and handed over to the Sukma Police (Chhattisgarh State).

Cashless Is Not Casteless

Cashless Is Not Casteless

A Cashless, Corruption-free, Cow-friendly India that also Cares for the Poor. As the Narendra Modi regime shoots forth silken promises like buttered popcorn from a hot oven – it is time to remember India’s long history of using colourful fiction to rip-off the public and carry out caste oppression. Let me explain. For over a millennium one of the recurring[Read More…]

Carbon Capture Finally Cracked? Why You Can’t Fight Climate Change With Coke or Pepsi

Carbon Capture Finally Cracked? Why You Can’t Fight Climate Change With Coke or Pepsi

Some time ago, I found myself trying to explain to a journalist why I opposed CO2 mining in Tuscany. I said something like, “it makes no sense that the regional government spends money to reduce CO2 emissions and, at the same time, allows this company to extract CO2 that, otherwise, would stay underground.” “But”, the journalist said, “I have interviewed[Read More…]

Squeeze And Wiggle: Transport Chaos In London

Squeeze And Wiggle: Transport Chaos In London

London.: It has the air of being a well minted yet distinctly first world problem: inconvenienced commuters in one of the world’s first true megalopolises, gnashing their teeth as they are pushed and grounded together during the rush hour.  All because of a strike by station workers on the London Underground, which supplies the arterial blood for commuter traffic in[Read More…]

The encampments at Standing Rock worked to keep prayer and nonviolence at the center of their actions. Photo by Joe Zummo.

Standing Rock And The Return Of The Nonviolent Campaign

Nonviolent campaigns are often dramatic and catch the attention of millions—think of Standing Rock water protectors resolute in the face of a brutal police force. All the more puzzling that the concept of a “nonviolent campaign” is little known and often ignored when people talk about how to mobilize power, for example, to prevent Donald Trump from erasing gains made[Read More…]

Laudato Si Supplement

Laudato Si Supplement

  At the time of Jesus’ birth, the earth’s entire population was just 300 million, smaller than the U.S. by itself today. About 45 million of those people, including Jesus himself, lived in the Roman Empire, whose borders stretched in Jesus’ time from modern-day Portugal in the west to Turkey in the east. It is estimated that the population of the world reached[Read More…]

Russia:Enemy Of Western Democracy?

Russia:Enemy Of Western Democracy?

There is a great deal of continuity in Russian history from the reign of Peter the Great until the present. There was clear discontinuity during the Bolshevik Revolution and the brief period when V. I. Lenin was in power, but then the USSR reverted to some very traditional practices in domestic and especially foreign affairs. Just as Tsars Peter the[Read More…]

Policy Making As Violence – The Case Of The Carmichael Mine

Policy Making As Violence – The Case Of The Carmichael Mine

There’s violence, ­­­and then there’s violence. A few years ago, one of my more eccentric friends swept aside my idea of a peace conference in favour of a violence festival. “C’mon mate, we love violence”, he opined, “we can’t get enough of it. Just take a look at what’s on TV”. He had a point, although I hastened to add[Read More…]

Fifth Indo-Pak Peace Calendar Launched In Toba Tek Singh

Fifth Indo-Pak Peace Calendar Launched In Toba Tek Singh

Toba Tek Singh: On January 8, Aaghaz-e-Dosti, a joint Indo-Pak Friendship initiative, launched its 5th Indo-Pak Peace Calendar in Toba Tek Singh in collaboration with Youth for Human Rights Pakistan. Aaghaz-e-Dosti has started series of calendar launch on 1st January from Lahore and in the series, these Peace Calendars will be launched in several others cities of Pakistan and India[Read More…]

NHRC Indicts Chhattisgarh Police For Sexual Violence Against Adivasi Women In Bastar

NHRC Indicts Chhattisgarh Police For Sexual Violence Against Adivasi Women In Bastar

WSS welcomes the decisive intervention of the National Human Rights Commission in cases of sexual violence against Adivasi women by police and security forces engaged in anti-Maoist operations in Chhattisgarh. Validating our assertion that sexual violence is being used as a weapon of war in Bastar, the Commission has held the State government “vicariously liable” for gross violations of human[Read More…]

Watch Dangal, Uncover The Logic Of Contemporary Right-Wing Ideology!

Watch Dangal, Uncover The Logic Of Contemporary Right-Wing Ideology!

  Dangal has captured the imagination of an average middle-class Indian. Yes! It is a fantastic movie. Yes! There should be positive reviews of the movie. Obviously, both critiquing and praising. It is indeed a good movie which has a lot to say about contemporary Indian social reality. Unlike the social media proclamations of Dangal, what fascinated me is the[Read More…]

Why Opinion Polls Heavily Favoring BJP May Be A Good News For Mayawati

Why Opinion Polls Heavily Favoring BJP May Be A Good News For Mayawati

BJP is winning UP – according to India Today-Axis Survey released on Jan 4. Riding on a strong Modi factor, BJP would be doing better than Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), if the Survey done from October to December is to be believed. On the other hand, ABP News-Lokniti-CSDS poll released on same day projected a hung[Read More…]

Four Dead, 1,000 Arrested As Demonstrations Continue Across Mexico

Four Dead, 1,000 Arrested As Demonstrations Continue Across Mexico

  The Mexican government on Thursday declared that it would not rescind its gasoline subsidy cut, as clashes at protests against the measure in recent days left four dead, dozens hurt and over 1,000 arrested. The cut, known as the gasolinazo, will result in a 20 percent gas price hike in the coming year. Although Mexico is a leading oil[Read More…]

2016 Goes Down As Hottest Year On Record

2016 Goes Down As Hottest Year On Record

Earth is “on the edge.” So declared the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) Thursday, announcing that 2016 was the warmest year on record. The first global assessment of last year’s temperatures finds that 2016 broke the record set in 2015 by close to 0.2°C , with last year’s record having broken the record set in 2014. According to meteorologist[Read More…]

Cities Of Sickness: Pollution, Dementia And The Modern Condition

Cities Of Sickness: Pollution, Dementia And The Modern Condition

London: The journey from Tooting to the British Library tends to be a crowded affair at the best of times.  Humans mash in ungainly fashion on the London Underground, though not mosh, as they tend to in Tokyo under almost brutal supervision. In the course of the walk, a breakfast of muffins and takeaway coffee is flavoured by furious fume blasts[Read More…]

Senate Democrats Introduce Bill To Block Trump Muslim Registry

Senate Democrats Introduce Bill To Block Trump Muslim Registry

On January 5, 2017, nine Democratic senators filed a bill blocking the executive branch from registering people based on religion, race, gender, age, national origin or nationality. “Contrary to the President-elect’s beliefs, America’s diversity is not a threat — it is, in fact, our greatest strength,” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) was quoted by The Hill as saying. He added that “if our incoming[Read More…]

The Anti-Russian Warmongering Is As Bad As The Anti-Iraq Warmongering Of 2003

The Anti-Russian Warmongering Is As Bad As The Anti-Iraq Warmongering Of 2003

I graduated from the exact same PHD Program at Harvard that produced Kissinger and Brzezinski before me. They gave me Kissinger’s old office at Harvard’s Center for International Affairs. I also went through the exact same Soviet/Russian Studies Program at Harvard that produced Brzezinski before me, and passed my PHD Oral/General Examinations in Soviet Politics and Russian History under Adam[Read More…]

The Insane Circus Now Going On In Washington Is A Sad Parody Of Joseph McCarthy

The Insane Circus Now Going On In Washington Is A Sad Parody Of Joseph McCarthy

The single most important point to keep in mind about the “Russians did it” three-ring circus underway in Washington – after the essential fact that still no proof has been provided to support accusations coming from the highest level – is that there is no issue around the contrived notion of interfering in an American election or endangering American security.[Read More…]

US Corporate Press Selectively Publicizes Disagreements Between CIA, President

US Corporate Press Selectively Publicizes Disagreements Between CIA, President

The US corporate press was abuzz with front page, top stories today about the disagreement between incoming president Trump and some figures from the CIA and other intelligence agencies regarding the leaking of facts about Hillary Clinton, which some in the US speculate caused her to lose the election. Some US establishment figures claim the information was stolen and released[Read More…]

Strikes Spread In Mexico, Thousands Of Police Deployed To Capital

Strikes Spread In Mexico, Thousands Of Police Deployed To Capital

Police made up to 600 arrests throughout Mexico yesterday as protests continued against President Enrique Pena Nieto’s cut to gas subsidies, known colloquially as the gasolinazo. One police officer was killed during confrontations in an impoverished neighborhood of Mexico City, and the mayor deployed 9,000 police to guard commercial centers throughout the city. Yesterday also saw indications that localized protests[Read More…]

The Welcome Condemnation Of Israeli Settlement Expansion

The Welcome Condemnation Of Israeli Settlement Expansion

On December 23, 2016 the UN Security Council by a vote of 14-0 adopted Resolution 2334, notably with the United States abstaining, condemning Israeli settlement expansion. It was treated as big news in the West because the Obama presidency had finally in its last weeks in office refused to use its veto to protect Israel from UN censure. Especially in[Read More…]

On Trump’s Plan To Replace Obamacare

On Trump’s Plan To Replace Obamacare

  Critics of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, or Obamacare) have openly advocated the full repeal of the legislation since its implementation some years ago. It is no secret that Trump has advocated for a full repeal as well. Given his tendency to renege on his word, however, it remains uncertain whether the president-elect will, in fact,[Read More…]

Why Is The Indian Government Wary Of Dialogue With Movement Leaders In Kashmir?

Why Is The Indian Government Wary Of Dialogue With Movement Leaders In Kashmir?

Co-Written by Dr. P.S. Sahni&Shobha Aggarwal “We, all of us, have to hang down our heads in shame for all the follies and crimes that are taking place in Kashmir today … we ourselves have forfeited the trust of the people of the Kashmir valley … India’s democracy can never sustain itself by stamping the jackboot on the people …[Read More…]

Book Review-Inside The Secret World Of BJP’s Digital Army

Book Review-Inside The Secret World Of BJP’s Digital Army

Name of the Book: I am a Troll: Inside the secret world of the BJPs digital army Author: Swati Chaturvedi Publisher: Juggernaut Books An earlier article titled ‘Saffron heads with Neutral masks: Spreading disharmony through Social Media’ argued that the Social media spaces are being increasingly used by right wing groups to promote messages of hatred, bigotry and fanaticism. It[Read More…]

U.S. Special Operations Forces Deploy To 138 Nations, 70% Of The World’s Countries

U.S. Special Operations Forces Deploy To 138 Nations, 70% Of The World’s Countries

They could be found on the outskirts of Sirte, Libya, supporting local militia fighters, and in Mukalla, Yemen, backing troops from the United Arab Emirates.  At Saakow, a remote outpost in southern Somalia, they assisted local commandos in killing several members of the terror group al-Shabab.  Around the cities of Jarabulus and Al-Rai in northern Syria, they partnered with both Turkish soldiers and Syrian[Read More…]

The War On Experts: Brexit, Populism And Sir Ivan Rogers’ Resignation

The War On Experts: Brexit, Populism And Sir Ivan Rogers’ Resignation

London: Populism has a much needed place in political arrangements, the necessary, disruptive gust that keeps the complacent from losing touch. For one, it often threatens to destroy those arrangements altogether, or at the very least provide a blustery challenge. This, however, comes with its costs, notably in the modern State.  For one, it promises a mixture of bloodletting and indifference[Read More…]

Will A Gandhi Like Figure Emerge To Fight Demonetisation?

Will A Gandhi Like Figure Emerge To Fight Demonetisation?

A dear friend of mine from USA sent me this mail regarding the demonetisation in India. Somebody in your country needs to organize something like Gandhi’s salt march against the monetary situation. They need to go to government sites and protest peacefully. Look at Boston. If we can do this, so can people in India! Mobilize, I recommend! This is[Read More…]

Holiness’ “Holy” Act: An Archbishop, Reportedly, Initiates Onslaught On The “Sinful” Venezuela

Holiness’ “Holy” Act: An Archbishop, Reportedly, Initiates Onslaught On The “Sinful” Venezuela

The following news-report by Fox News says: “On New Year’s Day, priests across Venezuela reportedly were instructed by Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, the archbishop of Caracas, to read […] a text during the homily encouraging parishioners to take a stand for democracy and not be intimidated by the socialist rule of Nicolas Maduro.” The January 4, 2017 datelined news-report says:[Read More…]

From Agriculture To Demonetisation: Not ‘Make in India’ But Made In Washington

From Agriculture To Demonetisation: Not ‘Make in India’ But Made In Washington

A version of the following piece was originally published in June 2016. However, since then, India’s PM Narendra Modi has embarked on a ‘demonetisation’ policy, which saw around 85 percent of India’s bank notes becoming invalid overnight. Emerging evidence indicates that demonetisation was not done to curb corruption, ‘black money’ or terrorism, the reasons originally given. That was a smokescreen.[Read More…]

Notes On Modern Day Capitalism

Notes On Modern Day Capitalism

              The current economic crisis has been interpreted variously. To most of the analysts it is merely a crisis of the new globalized financial system and the absence of any effective global regulatory mechanism. Another variant of the theme points the finger to the policy of completely freeing the American corporate, especially the financial corporate, oligarchy of any regulatory[Read More…]

Scarce Minerals Are Running Out: Mining Quotas Are Needed

Scarce Minerals Are Running Out: Mining Quotas Are Needed

  To ensure that sufficient zinc, molybdenum and antimony are available for our greatgrandchildren’s generation, we need an international mineral resources agreement. Molybdenum is essential for the manufacture of high-grade stainless steels, but at present molybdenum is hardly recycled. Yet unless reuse of molybdenum is dramatically increased, the extractable reserves of molybdenum on Earth will run out in about eighty[Read More…]

By Willy Stöwer, died on 31st May 1931 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

3 Ways To Recognize An Emergency In 2017

Let’s say you were strolling down the street when you spied a small child who had drifted away from his family. As motor vehicles streamed by at illegal speeds, the lad was getting perilously close to the curb. What would you do? Conjure up a potentially viral tweet Fastidiously apply for a permit to stage a rescue Become the change[Read More…]

A Blessing In Disguise?  The Trump Presidency And Palestine

A Blessing In Disguise?  The Trump Presidency And Palestine

  Israel is dizzy. January 20th has been like another Christmas Day and Donald Trump is jolly old Santa Claus bearing gifts. The writing is already on the wall as President-elect Trump has appointed an extremist, David Friedman, as the next US Ambassador to Israel who intends to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and who supports[Read More…]

Hacking or Leak And Expelling Diplomats

Hacking or Leak And Expelling Diplomats

  In the U.S., the big news lately has been the expulsion last week of 35 Russian diplomats in retaliation for alleged Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee that revealed a corrupt leadership. The claimed hacking was on May 16, 2016 and the information released just prior to the Democratic Convention held July 25 – 28, 2016. How it[Read More…]

Aping Washington: Tony Abbott, Israel And Australian Foreign Policy

Aping Washington: Tony Abbott, Israel And Australian Foreign Policy

He is one of Australia’s truly singular politicians, relentlessly zealous, hewn from the granite of an older fanaticism. Despise him, loathe him, but consider him for one fundamental point: he has escaped the management artists, the curbing focus groups, and the broad political classes in a way unusual for the modern Australian politician. Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has[Read More…]

The Fear Of Bhangar: A Case Against Power Grid And High Voltage Transmission Line

The Fear Of Bhangar: A Case Against Power Grid And High Voltage Transmission Line

People of the villages Khamarait, Machhi Bhanga, Tona, Gazipur etc. of Polerhat 2 Panchayet in Bhangar Assembly Constituency are very agitated. According to them, they are facing desperate situation due to the Government decision to set-up a Power Grid (440/220 KV) in that area. The Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (A Govt. of India Enterprise, PGCIL) is constructing the[Read More…]

Farmlands ‘Developed’ A Bit More Into Farmer Graveyards In 2015

Farmlands ‘Developed’ A Bit More Into Farmer Graveyards In 2015

How does one deal with a 42% spike in suicides by farmers/cultivators in a country where “development” has been the buzzword for the last couple of years? If the question isn’t creepy enough to send a shiver down one’s spine, consider that “Bankruptcy or Indebtedness” and “Farming Related Issues”, i.e. non-personal reasons, account for 58.2% of these suicides. No pretensions[Read More…]

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Dangal: An Overrated Movie Of Ideals

Dangal: An Overrated Movie Of Ideals

Primary job of any movie is to act as an anchor of conscience in a given society. This could be intrinsic or could be methodical. The purpose of movie or any art is to leave an impression, possibly a desirable one, on the minds of audience. Stronger the mark of impression, stronger the attachment to the movie and stronger the[Read More…]

Understanding Kashmiri Aspirations

Understanding Kashmiri Aspirations

The motivators of various initiatives to bring peace to Kashmir first need to understand the sentiments and the aspirations of Kashmiris An unprecedented uprising has just somewhat abated after five months. The uprising which had been triggered by the killing of a local militant leader of Tral, Burhan Wani had acted as a Tsunami sweeping away everything in its path.[Read More…]

Tribalism, Nationalism And Fascism

Tribalism, Nationalism And Fascism

Fascism appeals directly to the lowest human emotions. Fascism calls up the devils of tribalism and nationalism. Therefore it is fundamentally antisocial and destructive. At the same time, the low, emotional appeal of fascism has led to its political success

Hiding head in sand

Ending Ostrich Syndrome

  “President Obama had tears in his eyes in January, 2016, calling for relief from record breaking shootings and killings in the U.S. Yet 2016 became a record breaking year for U.S. export of weapons to other countries.  The U.S. is responsible for nearly 33% of worldwide weapon exports—by far the top arms exporter on the planet.” — Kathy Kelly,[Read More…]

The Biggest Underreported Stories Of 2016

The Biggest Underreported Stories Of 2016

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society…is the true ruling power…we are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed…it is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” Thus wrote Edward Bernays in his book[Read More…]

Cathy Breen with close friends in Baghdad

What Will Baghdad Face In 2017?

January 2, 2017: Being stuck in traffic is daily fare in Baghdad. While checkpoints have been dramatically reduced in recent times, and the number of concrete walls appear markedly decreased, traffic jams still defy description. It doesn’t help in the least that everyone is leaning on their horns. A half-a-million taxis roam around Baghdad spewing pollution as they look for[Read More…]

Photo by John Vetterli

Positive Thinking In A Dark Age

I recall a Buddhist parable involving a stick that appears from a distance to be a snake, causing fear to rise in the perceiver. As the perception shifts upon closer examination, the fear subsides and the relieved hiker continues down the path. Understanding and awareness have a lot to do with how we feel and how we act. As hosts[Read More…]

Doomed And Duplicitous Education System In Kashmir

Doomed And Duplicitous Education System In Kashmir

‘And just because you have colleges and universities doesn’t mean you have education.’ – Malcolm X Public Education System is a mechanism of delivering education to the children of the community at public expense. This includes of a chain of schools and pre-colleges delivering free education to the citizenry, throughout the hinterlands of a country. Due to a variety of[Read More…]

Three Remaining Cultural Activists Of Kabir Kala Manch Granted Bail

Three Remaining Cultural Activists Of Kabir Kala Manch Granted Bail

The Kabir Kala Manch (KKM), a Pune based cultural troupe made up of Dalit and working class musicians and poets came together after the anti-Muslim Gujarat pogroms of 2002. Their songs became more militant due to the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of anti-Dalit atrocities at Ramabai Nagar in 1997 and Khairlanji in 2006. Some of these songs and performances[Read More…]

Demonetisation: Beware Of Digital Dictatorship

Demonetisation: Beware Of Digital Dictatorship

As 2017 begins and we flounder in our mad rush to force all of India into a digital economy overnight, it is worth pausing and reflecting on what the digital economy is, who controls the platforms and lines as well as some basic concepts about money and technology which have moulded our lives and freedoms, based on patented systems that[Read More…]

Caste Question In India: As I understand It

Caste Question In India: As I understand It

What follows is not meant to be an academic analysis of caste and its operation in India. Such an analysis has been done time again by experts who have studied the operation of caste in India in great depth and are thus qualified to engage in a worthwhile discussion in the matter. What follows is, thus, my personal understanding of[Read More…]

 The Standing Rock DAPL Protest: 2016’s Arduous Journey Back To The Future

 The Standing Rock DAPL Protest: 2016’s Arduous Journey Back To The Future

Before the Standing Rock Sioux’s historic protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline (NODAPL) fades from the world’s collective memory – and the next tumultuous phase begins for the world to continue to address Climate Change and how to more quickly convert from fossil fuels to renewable energies – it’s essential to pause and reconsider what exactly happened during the closing[Read More…]

Standing Rock: A Template For Resistance

Standing Rock: A Template For Resistance

A little after Thanksgiving break, I got a message from my friend Deborah Duguid-May, who is a priest at Trinity Episcopal Church here in Rochester, NY. She wanted to know if I’d join her and eight other Episcopalians (a group including three priests and two teenagers) on a trip to Standing Rock, North Dakota. We would leave on Sunday December[Read More…]

The State Of The State Of Syria

The State Of The State Of Syria

Significant developments took place regarding Syria in December 2016. The partial cease-fire brokered, or rather, brokered and imposed, by Russia and Turkey, with Iran’s concurrence, on President Basher al Assad and a part of his foes, known as ‘moderates’, might mark a turning point in Syria’s tortuous and painful journey since 2011. Left to himself, Assad would have preferred to[Read More…]

What Should Parents Do?

What Should Parents Do?

There’s an illusion of choice in the U.S., when it comes to securing information about current events. Specifically, there are approximately 1,500 newspapers, 1,100 magazines, 9000 radio stations, 1,500 TV stations, and over 2,400 publishers, BUT… they are owned by only six corporations! Furthermore, a mere 272 executives (calling the shots for those corporations) control 90% of what something like[Read More…]

Great Bahujan Revolutionary Woman Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule

Great Bahujan Revolutionary Woman Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule

We salute Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule on her 186th Birth anniversary (3 Jan 1831 – 10 Mar 1897). EDUCATIONIST, REFORMER, POETESS A WOMEN OF THE PAST, WHO PAVED WAY FOR THE PRESENT, BY EMBODYING THE FUTURE. Savitribai Phule a true feminist who worked towards abolishing discrimination and unfair treatment of people based on Religion, Caste, Race and Gender. She who became[Read More…]

The Rohingya Open Letter And Search For A Permanent Solution

The Rohingya Open Letter And Search For A Permanent Solution

2016 did not end completely hopelessly. In late December,15 Nobel Laureates including Professor Mohammed Yunus and 12 global leaders wrote an Open Letter to the President of the United Nations Security Councils (UNSC) and its members decrying the Rohingya carnage in Myanmar that are“amounting to ethnic cleansing” and that the crisis has “the potential for genocide” and that it “has[Read More…]

Illustration by Marco Cibola

Pacifism (???)

I grew up in a Quaker pacifist family. Many Quaker children have a problem to express anger or contention since it is strongly inculcated to “forgive and forget,” assist others like murderers, “love thy neighbor as thine self,” avoid warfare in any form (even in small squabbles with family members when a sibling grabs your toy with which you were[Read More…]

Ensure Democracy In JNU

Ensure Democracy In JNU

A Statement by Professors and former Professors of JNU on the recent events in JNU We former faculty members of Jawaharlal Nehru University are writing to express our shock and dismay at recent developments in the university. We have taught for long years in JNU, a university that has been known for its academic excellence the world over, and whose[Read More…]

One of more than 750 crosses carried in a Chicago rally commemorating homicide victims on New Years Eve/ Photo By Ed Juillard

Eternal Hostility: A New Year’s Resolution

  January 1, 2017: This New Year’s Eve, 750 heavy wooden crosses were distributed to a gathering of Chicagoans commemorating the victims of gun violence killed in 2016. Rev. Michael Pfleger and the Faith Community of St. Sabina Parish had issued a call to carry crosses constructed by Greg Zanis. The crosses, uniform in size, presented the name and age[Read More…]

Protest outside AIPAC Convention,  Washington 2015

Kerry’s Speech And The Fate Of Israel

  John Kerry’s speech of December 28th, 2016 is an eye-opening indictment of Israel. Though prolix and padded with platitudes, its meat is a long overdue j’accuse. Much of the world has long viewed the Jewish state as a serial landgrabbing killer. Indirectly, Kerry converged with this near consensus, “the settler agenda is defining the future of Israel. And their[Read More…]

Turkey Attacks Kurd, Government Forces in Syria, Mulls Ground Assault

NATO’s Playbook Of Proxy Wars In The Middle East

Since the times of the Soviet-Afghan jihad, during the eighties, it has been the fail-safe game plan of the master strategists at NATO to raise money from the oil-rich emirates of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Kuwait; then buy billions of dollars’ worth of weapons from the arms’ markets of the Eastern Europe; and then provide those weapons and guerilla[Read More…]

False Unities: Brexit In The New Year

False Unities: Brexit In The New Year

London: The pile of detritus in Tooting had been growing ahead of the New Year’s Eve gatherings. The pubs were initiating their usual trick of closure and charging for tickets in the hope of getting some ruddy cash ahead of 2017.  In parts of London, an air of dark pessimism lingered like a cold fog.  Ominously, bad weather threatened Heathrow at[Read More…]

Is It A Bird or Is it A Plane? Homeschooling

Is It A Bird or Is it A Plane? Homeschooling

Of late I, have been reading many articles on ‘Homeschooling’ – which term when written like this seems to have acquired the status of legitimacy instead of being wrong spelling. The need for a hyphen is apparently no longer felt. ‘Home’ and ‘School’ are evidently no longer two different places, either geographically, physically or emotionally. The latest of these articles[Read More…]

Modi’s New Year Eve Speech: What Comes Next?

Modi’s New Year Eve Speech: What Comes Next?

I read George Orwell’s ‘1984’ in 1985 when I was a 15 year old. Although the ‘Big Brother’ appearing on screens to announce what people should be doing looked like a science fiction in an 80s India, it  made  a nightmarish impact on me, even when I was awake. As a 15 year old I never thought that it could[Read More…]

Demonetisation: Bhasmasur’s Dance Of Death

Demonetisation: Bhasmasur’s Dance Of Death

As per mythology, one demon king, Bhasmasur had undertaken tapas to attract the attention of Shiva. His tapas was so powerful that earth and heaven were shaken and pleased with his devotion, Parameshwar appeared before him. Bhasmasur asked for a boon from Shiva, that he should have the power to destroy anything he lays his hands up on. Having promised,[Read More…]

Digital Fiance Must Be Humane If It Is To Succeed

Digital Fiance Must Be Humane If It Is To Succeed

We will have to sign off 2016 with a cultural baggage of a new vocabulary which elderly  and illiterate  Indians   may not be comfortable with , but have to embrace it    in order to honour the government since  the new rules of democracy leave them with little choice. . Most of the conversations in the new year we   will have[Read More…]

US Government Collecting Social Media Accounts Of Visitors To Country

US Government Collecting Social Media Accounts Of Visitors To Country

The US government has begun requesting foreign travelers to submit their social media information to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) before traveling into the country. The practice is claimed to be part of broader efforts to identify potential “terrorist threats.” The request is part of the online Electronic System for Travel Authorization, a visa waiver application that many visitors must[Read More…]

Taiwan: Ignorance, Danger Of War And A High School Nazi Parade

Taiwan: Ignorance, Danger Of War And A High School Nazi Parade

At the end of December 2016, both Taiwan and the world were shaken to the core, when images appeared inthe local press and online, depicting students paradingin Nazi uniforms proudly raising their hands in salute, an act banned in most of countries of the world. Mail Online reported: “A school in Taiwan has been condemned after students waved Nazi flags[Read More…]

A Response To The Fallback Argument Of Likudniks

A Response To The Fallback Argument Of Likudniks

  As Israel’s myriad human rights abuses and contraventions of international law have become impossible to deny, one argument that apologists for Israel routinely fall back on is: While Israel has engaged in human rights and other abuses, other countries commit far worse abuses. Therefore, it is wrong – and possibly indicative of anti-Semitism – to focus excessively on Israel’s[Read More…]

Fidel

Fidel

  Fidel shows the way the world moves, and the path to be trodden. In this January day, the first day of the year, lessons from Fidel are to be reiterated, are to be spread around with renewed vigor. Revolution unrolled its flag of victory over Havana in a similar January day in 1959, and a long, arduous journey began.[Read More…]