Fountain of Light
From Buddha to AI?
Martin LeFevre: It's said that after 50 years of teaching, only two of the Buddha's pupils, Sariputta and Mogallanna, really understood him. Yet from that small beginning came a creative explosion, one whose fading perfume still lingers in India today, 2500 years after Siddhartha's death... Beyond cultures, traditions and the sadly cyclic ages of man, what was Siddhartha trying to convey? Is it available to ordinary people today, whatever their religious background and tradition, or the absence of one? ...
May 23, 2015, 3:43pm
Memorial Day Dishonor and Disgrace
Stephen Lendman: General Smedley Butler was right. War is a racket - based on Big Lies, waged for wealth, power and dominance... Wars have nothing to do with upholding democratic values, humanitarian intervention or fighting for peace, stability and security... They have everything to do with conquest, colonization and control - forcing one nation's will on others, stealing resources and exploiting populations... America dishonors its war dead - sacrificed on the alter of greed and lust for power...
May 23, 2015, 2:53pm
Trade Is War
Excerpt from Book: "Tandon - a Ugandan expert on international relations, politics and economics-argues that the "soft power" exerted by international powers through economic channels is anything but soft-and that free trade (or the refusal to adopt free trade policies) leads to physical violence, especially for poorer countries... (Example Monsanto)...
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May 23, 2015, 1:14pm
Israel Seeks International Law Rewrite
Israel and its supporters are leading a charge to rewrite how international law defines crimes against humanity to create more leeway for military attacks that kill large numbers of civilians, a bitterly ironic development, says Lawrence Davidson...
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May 23, 2015, 10:38am
Robert J. Conley's "Wil Usdi" - Child of the Eastern Cherokees
Charles R. Larson: William Holland Thomas was a vital figure in the survival of the Eastern Branch of the Cherokee Indians.. At a time when Native Americans could not own land in America (yes, you read that correctly), Thomas purchased vast tracts of land, which he held for them, until they could later be legitimized as Cherokee property... He was certain, for example, that "Indians were more human than were the whites."...
May 22, 2015, 10:23am
Human Vision and Creativeness
Martin LeFevre: Finally, a mainstream columnist has written the truth about the invasion of Iraq. Nobel Laureate economist Paul Krugman's recent piece, "Errors and Lies," gives an honest and accurate portrayal of how the war was perpetrated by the Bush-Cheney Administration, with the complicity of the American media, and people...
May 21, 2015, 8:42am
A neoliberal train wreck?
The media coverage of the deadly Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia, which killed eight people and injured more than 200, focused on the engineer, but there is a long history of cutbacks and cost-cutting that set the stage for this catastrophe... U.S. RAILROADS are not the dying proposition that they are often portrayed to be--especially by political leaders looking to slash funding...
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May 20, 2015, 3:44pm
Fear Has Always Been the Big F-Word
David Macaray: It has long been said (maybe the renowned sociologist Vance Packard said it first) that Madison Avenue's advertising campaigns pivot around man's conscious or subconscious fears. Fear is the catalyst. Indeed, man's fears, insecurities and regrets are what make possible the Art of the Sale...
May 19, 2015, 2:39pm
Ex Machina: A Deeply Misanthropic Movie
Martin LeFevre: Spoiler Alert: Though "Ex Machina" is a philosophical and spiritual mess, I still recommend it, both as a riveting movie, and for the questions it raises, despite the wrongheaded answers it provides. Watch the interview with the writer-director if you like, but don't read this review before seeing the film. Save and read it afterward!... The most important line in the twisted Turing Test (Can a computer fool a human into thinking it's human?), which is the basis of Ex Machina...
May 18, 2015, 5:32pm
The Fetishization of Revenge
From surveillance to torture to assassination, the US acts as it wishes in relation to its citizenry (to say nothing of the rest of the world). In this light, it's not hard to see where the American love affair with the death penalty comes from at the administrative level... What's even more disturbing is the fetishization of revenge that the American people take part in by endorsing the government's right to kill its citizens...
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May 18, 2015, 2:34pm
The Deep Folly of an Unnecessary War - Vietnam
Today, 40 years after the American war in Vietnam ended in ignominious defeat, the traces of that terrible conflict are disappearing... This shift from warring enemies to cooperative partners over the past 40 years should lead to solemn reflection... This development highlights the unnecessary nature - indeed, the tragedy - of America's vastly destructive war in Vietnam. It also underscores the deeper folly of relying on war to cope with international issues...
May 18, 2015, 2:17pm
Leave No Stone Unturned
Martin LeFevre: Three white teenagers rode their bikes down to the creek about 60 meters downstream. The older two looked like they were still in junior high school, about 14. The youngest boy was no more than 12. The leader waved when I did, but you could tell they were up to no good...
May 16, 2015, 4:47pm
Racism Directed at the Oval Office
James Hoover: It's been a hard eight years in the limelight for the Obamas. Black stereotypes have been stretched to the limits by conservative forces - politicians and media - whether it's political opponents - actually the whole of the GOP, the Koch brothers, or Fox News and allies... But racism from mass media sources must be covert...
May 16, 2015, 3:27pm
Celebrating Real Heroes Like the One We've Just Lost - Kwementyaye Randall
John Pilger: If you want to meet the best Australians, meet Indigenous men and women who understand this extraordinary country and have fought for the rights of the world's oldest culture. Theirs is a struggle more selfless, heroic and enduring than any historical adventure non-Indigenous Australians are required incessantly to celebrate...
May 15, 2015, 2:41pm
When a Black Mayor Killed Black People
Margaret Kimberley: On May 13, 1985, Wilson Goode, the first black mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, burned down a neighborhood occupied by other black people... Black Americans have precious little to show for the thousands of black mayors, congress people, and city and state legislators elected to office since the 1960s... The disasters of mass incarceration, police murder... have all taken place on their watch...
May 14, 2015, 4:25pm