Political Articles from 2018
The Coming Collapse
by Chris Hedges
Posted June 5, 2018
As a foreign correspondent I covered collapsed societies, including the former Yugoslavia. It is impossible for any doomed population to grasp how fragile the decayed financial, social and political system is on the eve of implosion.
All the harbingers of collapse are visible: crumbling infrastructure; chronic underemployment and unemployment; the indiscriminate use of lethal force by police; political paralysis and stagnation; an economy built on the scaffolding of debt; nihilistic mass shootings in schools, universities, workplaces, malls, concert venues and movie theaters; opioid overdoses that kill some 64,000 people a year; an epidemic of suicides; unsustainable military expansion; gambling as a desperate tool of economic development and government revenue; the capture of power by a tiny, corrupt clique; censorship; the physical diminishing of public institutions ranging from schools and libraries to courts and medical facilities; the incessant bombardment by electronic hallucinations to divert us from the depressing sight that has become America and keep us trapped in illusions.
We suffer the usual pathologies of impending death. I would be happy to be wrong. But I have seen this before. I know the warning signs. All I can say is get ready. More…
California Senate votes to restore net neutrality
By Makena Kelly
Posted June 4, 2018
The California Senate voted on Wednesday to approve a bill that would reinstate the net neutrality regulations repealed by the Federal Communications Commission in December.
The bill, S.B. 822, authored by Sen. Scott Wiener (D–San Francisco), was introduced in March and passed through three committees, all along party-lines. The bill was approved 23–12 and will now head to the state Assembly.
After the FCC moved to eliminate net neutrality rules, states began implementing their own measures. In January, over 20 attorneys general sued the commission before the order was even published. Some governors attempted to use executive orders, while others worked with legislators. California’s bill to restore protections in the state is one of the toughest responses to the FCC’s rollback. More…
“Declaration of Independents”: A Candidate’s Scathing Indictment of Two-Party Duopoly
by Cathy Stewart
Posted May 28, 2018
Independents and the political establishment are keeping a close eye on what is happening in Kansas this year. Greg Orman, a successful business leader and entrepreneur, is running as an independent for governor of Kansas in one of the highest profile independent gubernatorial races in the country.
In 2014, Greg made national political headlines in his first independent run. He challenged incumbent Senator Pat Roberts in a race that was neck and neck. The Democratic challenger, Chad Taylor, dropped out, recognizing that Greg had a better opportunity to win. Greg earned 42% of the vote, not enough to win.
He went on to write, A Declaration of Independents: How We Can Break the Two-Party Stranglehold and Restore the American Dream, the current selection of the Politics for the People (P4P) Book Club. More…
When Zionism Rubs Up Against Reality
by Stanley L. Cohen
Posted May 25, 2018
Israel is good at what it does. Damn good. No, not its slaughter, torture and endless detention and land theft; these are givens. A dark, very public, almost proud record of “achievement” that stands essentially unparalleled when it comes to recent contempt for international norm and law.
Like those before, what it really excels at is the grand lie… the convenient historical rewrite; the excuse; the ability to recast yesterday, today and surely tomorrow as so much a duty-bound journey in which no outrage is beyond the pale, no crime too extreme, no offense too offensive. Always, of course, cast in the talisman of survival. It’s a skill… a dodgy political art-form that converts inconvenient truth into self serving dogma with all too predictable deadly consequence. More…
The Friendly Mask Of The Orwellian Oligarchy Is Slipping Off
by Caitlin Johnstone
Posted May 24, 2018
It really couldn’t be more fitting that the US now has an actual, literal torturer as the head of the CIA. It also couldn’t be more fitting that it has a reality TV star billionaire President, an Iraq-raping Bush-era neoconservative psychopath as National Security Advisor, a former defense industry director as Secretary of Defense, a former Goldman Sachs executive as Secretary Treasurer, and a former Rothschild, Inc. executive as Secretary of Commerce. These positions have always facilitated torture, oppression, war profiteering and Wall Street greed; the only thing that has changed is that they now have a more honest face on them.
The mask of the nationless Orwellian oligarchy which dominates our world is slipping off all over the place. More…
China Invades Saudi Oil Realm: PetroDollar Kill
By Jim Willie CB
Posted May 24, 2018
Further Chinese investment across the Arab oil region is extremely evident, and in considerable volume. The extent, range, and depth has never been seen before. It extends from Algeria and Libya in North Africa to Iraq and Kuwait in the land mass, to United Arab Emirates in the Gulf region. The diversification includes port construction, oil production, building refineries, stakes in concessions, and provision of drill equipment. Such is without precedent.
In typical Chinese manner, they sow the seeds of commerce, which produce jobs and economic growth, leading to more wealth and a better standard of living. The US approach for too long has been to foment discord, to sell weapons, and to observe economic destruction, with resentment in residue. In the process of the Chinese invasion into the petro fields, the US and European firms are gradually seeing encroachment on their turf, which had been securely held for decades. But they still have significant presence.
It is easy to see that each Arab nation will be nudged into accepting RMB payment in oil shipments. They must comply with the wishes of their investment partner. The end result will be the death of the Petro-Dollar defacto standard by a thousand dragon cuts. It is assured. The demise will be slow at first, then occur suddenly. More…
I Am Julian Assange
Raúl Ilargi Meijer
Posted May 22, 2018
Julian Assange appears to be painfully close to being unceremoniously thrown out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. If that happens, the consequences for journalism, for freedom of speech, and for press freedom, will resound around the world for a very long time. It is very unwise for anyone who values truth and freedom to underestimate the repercussions of this.
In essence, Assange is not different from any journalist working for a major paper or news channel. The difference is he published what they will not because they want to stay in power. The Washington Post today would never do an investigation such as Watergate, and that’s where WikiLeaks came in.
Julian is not wanted because he’s a spy, or even because he published a number of documents whose publication was inconvenient for certain people. He is wanted because he is so damn smart, which makes him very good and terribly effective at what he does. He’s on a most wanted list not for what he’s already published, but for what he might yet publish in the future. More…
Speaker Ryan Dives In to Save NAFTA
by Lori Wallach
Posted May 21, 2018
Against all odds, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations launched by the Trump administration in August 2017 were heading towards an outcome that could have generated support from Democrats in Congress, unions, and Public Citizen. NAFTA’s job outsourcing incentives and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) regime were on their way out. The timeline to finish talks for a vote to occur this year was looming in June, due to the requirements of Fast Track negotiating authority.
That includes elimination of investor-state dispute settlement, which makes it less risky and cheaper for corporations to outsource jobs. ISDS empowers multinational corporations to sue governments before a panel of three corporate lawyers. These lawyers can award the corporations unlimited sums to be paid by taxpayers, including for the loss of expected future profits over claims that domestic laws violate their NAFTA rights. The decisions are not subject to outside appeal.
The system operates like free risk insurance subsidizing outsourcing. Already under NAFTA nearly $400 million has been paid to corporations after attacks on environmental and health policies. In a sign of panic that the NAFTA countries were poised to agree, corporations launched a big dollar MSNBC and Fox ad campaign in defense of ISDS. More…
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