Monday, July 16, 2018

Putin/Trump Meeting: A Chance to Reset Relations

"That order includes Russia playing a central role, instead of being treated like a pariah or a second-rate has-been." This is the point. The US has treated Russia as a pariah since the end of the Soviet Union and provoked everyone of the problems with Russia by first meddling in Russian elections in the 90s (and those of many other countries before and since), supporting an anti-Russian coup in Ukraine, and putting NATO on Russia's borders after having promised not to do so. So Putin is criticized for giving us back a dose of our own medicine. Despite this propaganda article in the NYT, which lacks any objectivity or truthful attempt to explain Russian foreign policy, the whole world will benefit by this meeting between Trump and Putin if a lessening of needlessly hostile intentions results -- despite the attempts to increase tensions by the leftover war hawks in the Republican and Democratic party establishments.

About this article

By attacking Europe and starting a trade war with America’s closest allies, President Trump has already advanced the agenda of President Vladimir V. Putin, analysts say.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Gangster-Like US Attitude Reveals Real Intentions of Talks With North Korea

"Washington insists that North Korea disclose all the details of its nuclear weapons program, dismantle its facilities and let outside inspectors verify the steps. The idea is to remove all the North’s nuclear weapons and its ability to build more, before offering any significant rewards. The North has long rejected such an approach, instead demanding that the United States take reciprocal measures in each “phased” step it takes toward denuclearization." In other words, the US demands complete capitulation from the North while the North offers tit for tat. It's obvious the US isn't serious about these negotiations, it's all a stunt to later declare we tried a peaceful approach but the North was unreasonable and duplicitous. The American leopard hasn't changed its spots.
About this article
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry accused the Trump administration of pushing a “gangster-like demand for denuclearization.” But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the talks “productive.”

Friday, June 29, 2018

Maoism 101

"Still, Mr. Feng’s lectures can have the feel of a different era. In describing Mao’s views on revolution, for example, he rails against imperialist forces and “bureaucratic capitalism” for “ruthlessly exploiting laboring people.”" Too bad Mr. Feng doesn't live in Trump's USA which is free of bureaucrats and working people are not exploited and are paid a living wage so that food stamps, housing assistance, unemployment insurance, and welfare are unnecessary.

About this article
Ideological classes have long been a part of the college curriculum in China. But they are more important than ever to the Communist Party, even if many students say they are numbing propaganda.


Monday, June 25, 2018

Bedouins and Ethnic Cleansing

Ethnic cleansing at work: the Arabs will be moved to make way for Israeli settlers and to break up the West Bank and prevent a "two state solution" --
''Yet the new site offers only one-16th of an acre for each family — a fraction of what Bedouins from the tribe were granted in the late 1990s when they were displaced by the expansion of Maale Adumim. Oddly, the Supreme Court’s ruling claimed that there would be a place for their herds to graze — though the government had already acknowledged the opposite.'' They will be removed and their way of life destroyed --Untermenchen. Right wing settlers have joined the Supreme Court and the Court no longer is a safeguard which follows the law but has become partisan. This is happening to our Supreme Court too which is on the road to rehabilitate the Dred Scott Decision.
About this article
Israel has long wanted to clear the West Bank of Bedouin herders near Jerusalem to make room for Jewish settlements. It could happen any day.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Charles Krauthammer, R.I.P.

Mr. Krauthammer's personal trajectory in overcoming adversity is admirable and he serves as a role model in that respect but "Aligning himself with most conservatives, Mr. Krauthammer was gung-ho about going to war with Iraq in 2003, arguing for replacing Saddam Hussein with a democratic government, and he expressed few compunctions about torturing suspected terrorists." I cannot help but think anyone with his influence on the national scene who was "gung-ho" for war and soft on "torture" was anything other than a malign influence on our culture and an enemy of the concept of universal human rights. It is regretful that he espoused such negative values and found an audience appreciative of them. It is to be hoped that his correct observation “Get your politics wrong, however, and everything stands to be swept away" will be the fate of his world view.
About this article
A former liberal, he abandoned psychiatry for journalism and overcame tragedy to become an independent-minded political commentator.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Bernie, a socialist Brutus?

If this analysis is correct any attempt to reform the Democratic Party and wean it away from Wall Street is in vain.
But I'm not sure about contrasting Debs with Sanders. Different times. Debs was the head of a mass Socialist Party and the product of a militant working class environment quite conversant and supportive of Marxism while Sanders has none of this background as his "socialism" is the Denmark variety and he is a US Senator representing a leftist petty bourgeois no...
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About this article
Sen. Bernie Sanders, once an independent maverick, has been politically neutered by the Democratic Party establishment and is becoming a parody of himself.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

New American Empire?

The point here is that Trump is no fool: the US is without rival as the #1 support of the world capitalist system and he can do pretty much what he wants vis a vis the "allies" and China. The old world order blew up in the 2008 financial meltdown and Trump is reconstructing it as a "wheel" -- the US as a hub and other countries as separate spokes economically dependent on the hub -- thus groups such as the G7 are not needed -- the US will be like Rome -- each "country" will be in a one to one relationship with the US as an economic province of our empire and that will be the new world order -- international organizations will be symbolic at best and power will reside in the imperial hub: omnes viae Romam ducunt.
About this article
As horrified as we may be at Trump’s uncouth antics, it is important to understand the tectonic shifts underpinning them