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Commentary

Commentary
The Missing Three-Letter Word in the Iran Crisis
Michael T. Klare: ... It’s always the oil. ... Now, it’s true that the United States no longer relies on imported petroleum for a large share of its energy needs. Thanks to the fracking revolution, the country now gets the bulk of its oil — approximately 75 percent — from domestic sources. ... Key allies in NATO and rivals like China, however, continue to depend on Middle Eastern oil for a significant proportion of their energy needs. ... By continuing to serve as the principal overseer of that flow, Washington enjoys striking geopolitical advantages that its foreign policy elites would no more abandon than they would their country’s nuclear supremacy. ... by providing this service, the United States cements its status as the world’s sole superpower and places every other oil-importing nation — and the world at large — in a condition of dependence on its continued performance of this vital function... Visit Website ]
Jul 18, 2019, 12:00pm

Commentary
De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire
Michael Hudson – Bonnie Faulkner: Imperialism is getting something for nothing. It is a strategy to obtain other countries’ surplus without playing a productive role, but by creating an extractive rentier system. ... An imperialist power obliges other countries to pay tribute. Of course, America doesn’t come right out and tell other countries, “You have to pay us tribute,” like Roman emperors told the provinces they governed. U.S. diplomats simply insist that other countries invest their balance-of-payments inflows and official central-bank savings in US dollars, especially U.S. Treasury IOUs. ... This Treasury-bill standard turns the global monetary and financial system into a tributary system. That is what pays the costs of U.S. military spending, including its 800 military bases throughout the world.,, Visit Website ]
Jul 15, 2019, 3:23pm

Commentary
Why are Anti-Migrant Arguments Pure Hypocrisy?
Andre Vltchek: Europe and North America do not belong to their people. ... They belong to the people from all corners of the globe ... Virtually everything, from theatres, schools, hospitals, parks, railroads, factories and museums, have been built, literally, on the bones and blood of the conquered peoples. ... they looted, killed, enslaved and tortured. They robbed the world of everything, and gave back nothing, except religion and a servile and toxic bunch of ‘elites’, who are continuously plundering their countries ... Europe and North America were built on credit, and now this credit is due ... The Western doctrine is simple and at the same time, absolutely irrational. It is not defined, but if it were, it would read like this: “We can attack, rob, migrate wherever we choose to. Because we are white, Christian people with a superior culture and much better weapons than everyone else. ... Visit Website ]
Jul 14, 2019, 2:54pm

Commentary
Most Veterans Say America’s Wars Are a Waste. No One’s Listening to Them.
Adam Weinstein: There's a widening gap between Washington's bipartisan militarism and veterans' bipartisan war-skepticism. ... Among veterans, 64% say the war in Iraq was not worth fighting considering the costs versus the benefits to the United States, while 33% say it was. The general public’s views are nearly identical: 62% of Americans overall say the Iraq War wasn’t worth it and 32% say it was. Similarly, majorities of both veterans (58%) and the public (59%) say the war in Afghanistan was not worth fighting. About four-in-ten or fewer say it was worth fighting. ... Veterans who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan are no more supportive of those engagements than those who did not serve in these wars. And views do not differ based on rank or combat experience... Visit Website ]
Jul 13, 2019, 3:11pm

Commentary
Chinese Philosophy is Humbly Winning against Western Imperialism in Hong Kong
Jeff J. Brown: Today’s Hong Kong could be represented by the vinegar. ... There is a great allegorical story about Confucius, Laozi – who was the founder of Daoism – and Buddha gathering around a vat of vinegar to taste it. ... Confucius thought the vinegar tasted sour, symbolizing that people needed a system of values and an understanding about how society and government needed to be guided. Buddha tasted bitterness, representing the toils and troubles during our existence on Earth ... Laozi, the original hippie, uber-Mr. Natural, thought the vinegar tasted just grand because that is that way it is supposed to taste ... the West is paying thousands of unemployed people 20-30 euros a day to hit the streets and create havoc. Sensing weakness on the part of the Chinese, due to their adopting ancient Chinese ren, there are reports that the CIA cabal is now paying top dollar to try to destroy Hong Kong’s way of life... In the end, global capitalism will have won a Pyrrhic propaganda battle, but has already long lost its sabotage war to destroy the Chinese’s communist-socialist way of life... Visit Website ]
Jul 9, 2019, 4:58pm

Commentary
The American Dream Drives a Tank Down Pennsylvania Ave.
Ron Jacobs: Frat boys, yahoos from Mayberry towns, and rich men filled with hate and puffed up with empty egos push their agenda of white is right even though its wrong. The only stripes that really matter in the flag flown from Iwo Jima to Baghdad are the white ones. ... Black, brown and red-toned people have known this since the day they opened their eyes. ... Corporate America makes a killing. Corporate America is a killer. ... Morality is defined by the ability to make a profit. Sociopathy is the name of the game. ... Tanks driving up Pennsylvania Avenue is not the definition of freedom. Overpriced death planes doing tricks in the sky above the Reflecting Pool is not justice for all. ... Visit Website ]
Jul 4, 2019, 4:39pm

Commentary
Why is the Ruling Class Putting Up With the Idiot-King?
Bruce Lerro: As we know, the Idiot King is full of surprises. If you were a member of the ruling class would you be pleased with his performance? In the space of less than two years Trump has alienated Europe as Italy, Germany and even England are turning towards Russia and China for resources. He has wrecked relations with China. ... Look at the neoliberal press. They work for the ruling class. Yet day after day they respectfully report on his escapades, treat him with respect in public even though they loathe and despise him. ... The ruling class has never understood the system from which their wealth derives. Capitalism has been in a decedent phase since the 1880s or so ... We can now say without any hyperbole or dogma “name one capitalist country that works”. ... The ruling class is lost... Visit Website ]
Jun 11, 2019, 4:10pm

Commentary
Walmart: A Study in Wretched Excess
David Macaray: Walmart, Inc. is the largest private employer in the United States ... (but) its record isn’t unblemished ... After having set up shop in Germany in 1997, the retailing juggernaut was forced to withdraw in 2006, abandoning the country’s lucrative $370 billion retail market ... Though no one can say precisely why the venture failed, there’s no shortage of theories. ... One issue was the chanting. ... Walmart employees are required to stand in formation and chant, “WALMART! WALMART! WALMART!” while performing synchronized calisthenics ... Another issue was the smiling. Walmart requires its checkout people to flash smiles at customers after bagging their purchases. ... The third issue was the “ethics problem.” ... required its employees to spy on fellow workers (and report any misconduct)... Visit Website ]
Jun 5, 2019, 4:35pm

Commentary
There Are Cameras Everywhere. It’s Time to Reject the Surveillance State.
William Rivers Pitt: “There are an estimated 30 million surveillance cameras now deployed in the United States shooting 4 billion hours of footage a week,” reported Popular Mechanics 10 years ago. Five years later, according to The New York Times, “there were 245 million professionally installed surveillance cameras around the world.” Today, five years later, they’re talking about 30,000 spy cameras in the city of Chicago alone. ... The Cameras Everywhere craze came to full bloom after September 11, when fear of the “other” transformed into fear of everything. This fear was fed and nurtured through the oppressive onslaught of cynical politicians and ratings-hungry news networks. ... “In 2013, Seattle police installed surveillance cameras and a network that could track wireless devices throughout downtown,” ... After unwanted publicity, they turned it off. Now the city is paying $150,000 to physically tear it down.”... Visit Website ]
Jun 2, 2019, 2:59pm

Commentary
Society Is In Decay–When the Worst Is First and the Best Is Last
Ralph Nader: If you want to see where a country’s priorities lie, look at how it allocates its money ... While teachers and nurses earn comparatively little for performing critical jobs, corporate bosses including those who pollute our planet and bankrupt defenseless families, make millions more ... The monetary imbalance is especially jarring when it comes to hawks who beat the drums of war. ... Do you remember anyone who opposed the catastrophic Iraq War getting such lucrative rewards? ... The unknown and unrecognized people who harvest our food are on the lowest rung of the income ladder despite the critical role they play in our lives. Near the top of the income ladder are people who gamble on the prices of food via the commodities market and those who drain the nutrients out of natural foods and sell the junk food that remains, with a dose of harmful additives... Visit Website ]
Jun 1, 2019, 5:08pm

Commentary
How About a Peace Race Instead of an Arms Race?
Lawrence Wittner: This situation represents a double tragedy. First, in a world bristling with weapons of vast destructive power, it threatens the annihilation of the human race. Second, as vast resources are poured into war and preparations for it, a host of other problems―poverty, environmental catastrophe, access to education and healthcare, and more―fail to be adequately addressed. ... But these circumstances can be changed ... Seymour Melman, a professor of industrial engineering at Columbia University and a peace activist, responded by writing The Peace Race, a mass market paperback published in 1961. The book argued that military spending was undermining the U.S. economy and other key aspects of American life, and that it should be replaced by a combination of economic aid abroad and increased public spending at home ... came to the attention of the new U.S. President, John F. Kennedy ... his address to the United Nations to challenge the Russians “not to an arms race, but to a peace race.”... Visit Website ]
May 29, 2019, 2:31pm

Commentary
It is the Indifference of Israelis that is Killing People
Andre Vltchek: Of course, the more ‘democratic’ Israel really is, the more shameful the state into which it reduces the Palestinians, other Arabs and, in fact, the entire region. Israeli citizens are continuously voting in the governments that are locking millions inside the camps. ... Israel is a European ‘outpost’ in the Middle East. The mindset of most of its inhabitants is predominantly European. ... Palestinians do not exist. Arabs exist mainly as a nuisance. Non-European Jews are good for cleaning latrines. ... it is an apartheid state, the same as the West, which treats the entire planet in an apartheid-style manner. ... And, like in the West, its people know nothing, want to know nothing, care about nothing except themselves... Visit Website ]
May 28, 2019, 11:18am

Commentary
The Mass Media Is Poisoning Us With Hate
Chris Hedges: Our opinions and prejudices are skillfully catered to and reinforced, with the aid of a detailed digital analysis of our proclivities and habits, and then sold back to us. The result, Matt Taibbi writes, is “packaged anger just for you.” ... The fact that on most big issues the two major political parties are in agreement is ignored. ... The media model not only sets demographic against demographic, it mutes and destroys investigations into corporate systems of oppression and genuine dissent. ... We tell you about somebody you don’t like. We keep telling you about it over and over to dominate the ratings.’ ” ... The result, Taibbi argues, is a marketing strategy that fosters addictive and aggressive behavior. ... The template for news, Taibbi writes, is professional wrestling... Visit Website ]
May 27, 2019, 4:40pm

Commentary
Overcoming a History of Bias in a Budding Industry
Bianca Flowers: The marijuana industry is blossoming, along with multiple challenges to correcting decades of injustice around the plant. ... Hemp and marijuana have ballooned into multi-billion-dollar industries worldwide. As more states dismantle prohibition policies to give the green light on recreational use and sale, billions of investment dollars are pouring into cannabis companies from corporations and business leaders. ... But Clarenda and Malcolm Anderson, both African American and owners of Green Heffa Farms, say that discriminatory lending practices by financial institutions has been a huge barrier for them and other black people wanting to take advantage of the business opportunities burgeoning around this much-maligned plant. ... The irony of people of color being shut out of emerging business opportunities generated by a plant long associated with racist policing has not gone unnoticed... Visit Website ]
May 25, 2019, 2:19pm

Commentary
Debunking Myths about Wealth and Race
Josh Hoxie: Falsehood No. 1: Black and Latinx families have less money because they’re led by single parents. ... single-parent white families have twice as much wealth as two-parent black and Latinx families ... Falsehood No. 2: Black people are poor because they’re less educated. ... black families led by college graduates “have about 33 percent less wealth than white families whose heads dropped out of high school.” ... Falsehood No.3: Black people don’t work or are bad with money. ... white families actually spend more and save less than black families with the same income. Yet white families have way more wealth than black families with the same income. ... What's going on: The simplest answer is a history of oppression and inherited advantage. The impacts of slavery, sharecropping, Jim Crow, white capping, red lining, mass incarceration, and predatory subprime lending, among many other things, are still very much with us... Visit Website ]
May 20, 2019, 10:56am


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