L.A. Times’ Distorted Report on USAID

The Los Angeles Times doesn't have a firm grasp on the meaning the word "empire," which applies much more accurately to U.S.'s role in these foreign relationships outside its soil. A fact that might be better understood by the reader if L.A. Times' Richter had bothered to mention USAID's sordid history of bolstering U.S. imperial goals, and also fails to mention how for decades USAID has undermined popular democratic organizing in Third World countries. Perhaps, if Los Angeles Times mention any TRUTH, it might make USAID critics look rational, or even seen as defenders of democracy. Which is, of course, crazy–if your worldview requires that a belief that U.S. interests are synonymous with democracy as FAIR, the national U.S. media watch group, bluntly puts.

Good-bye Dubai and Arabs: Bombing Iran would leave Entire Gulf States Region virtually Uninhabitable

US-NATO and Israel are suffering from insanity beyond description. Think “Fukushima x 10”: Bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities would leave the entire Gulf State region virtually uninhabitable. It would be a planetary genocidal event: A lot of the radiation would also enter the jet stream, which would then carry it around the globe, depositing it as nuclear fallout everywhere. No nation, no body of water, would be spared. It takes but “one” inhaled or ingested “hot” particle to produce a life-threatening cancer. The writer asks whether absolute insanity has infected the minds of the Western powers to such a degree that they actually would attack Iran, and in so doing destroy the entire Gulf State region, further irradiate the entire planet and themselves, and quite possibly set off World War III or whether this is all just smoke-and-mirrors, scare tactics and rhetoric, and saner minds will in fact prevail.

Mr. Flipflop, Bill Clinton: The Unimportance of Being Earnest

Bill Clinton announced in an op-ed published early this year in the Washington Post that he opposes Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, a bill he signed into law when he was president, which is now being overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. He says “the law is itself discriminatory”, which is now causing a lot of debate in a nation evolving into accepting same-sex marriage. Grosso wonders what is next on Clinton's rethinking and flipflop tour. NAFTA? Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act? East Timor?

Cheaters and the sinister normalisation of our surveillance society

With zero outrage, a hit TV show turns snooping on private citizens into entertainment. How little we value our liberties. Cheaters' popularity is a sign that the war on privacy has largely been won by the other side - the Luciferian and Orwellian Masterminds. Glorifying militarism, surveillance videos, bugged text messages and transcripts from eavesdropped phone calls designed to normalize the surveillance society, inviting and programming ordinary citizens to accept and even embrace the role of surveillance and spying in their daily private lives. Alarmingly, this vastly influential American TV show cum social media hub cum product empire, and much of what is being shown in the mainstream media and from Hollywood, often seem to get an advantage in securing investment and a market niche – as that they are in harmony with the U.S. government's agenda, are normalizing the idea that surveillance and intrusion are facts of everyday life. Even more sad, if the story is entertaining enough, Americans no longer seem to care that their fourth amendment rights are in shreds as award-winning author, investigative journalist and Rhodes Scholar, Naomi Wolf writes.

Nicolás Maduro is Venezuela’s vote for Chávismo, Close election means No Room For Complacency

Hugo Chávez's economic policies were successful but a close vote means the new president cannot become complacent.

Margaret Thatcher and the globalization of mediocrity

In a globalized world of globalized human values, the death of any human being, whatever their political and economic beliefs, should surely be a tragedy, not least for the family concerned. We obviously do not live in a world of globalized values - the street parties, with champagne corks flying, the banners "the cow is dead", reference to "the bitch" and "the witch", are surely unnecessary, mean, low and irreverent manifestations of the worst kind of gloating and revenge - over a dead body. But does it really surprise anyone that such mediocrity, such an absence of decency, should manifest itself in a world whose children have on average witnessed 100,000 scenes of extreme violence on TV by the time they are 12 years old, in a world in which education systems have collapsed to the point where students beat teachers, where standards of good writing and even correct speech have disappeared?

Understanding the Venezuelan Presidential Election Outcome

The reason for the close election results were due to multiple reasons. Maduro’s campaign itself had its challenges and weaknesses. Unlike Capriles, who had already run in February (in primaries), and in October, then in December to win as governor of Miranda, Maduro had never campaigned before. He had little time to learn how to do it, and to consolidate himself as a possible leader in people’s eyes. Once the elections were called and Capriles registered as a candidate, he went on the offensive. After initially screwing up and insenstiveily doubting the timing of Chavez’s death, he then ignored Chavez altogether (a good tactical decision for him) and attacked Maduro and the government again and again. While he insulted and lied about every aspect and person in the government he could, at the same time his advisers seem to have given him acting classes, as he began to impersonate Chavez in every which way. In his speeches, he talked liked Chavez, he told anecdotes like Chavez, he tried to sound sincere, as Chavez had been, and he promised to do the same things the revolution was already doing, such as build 200,000 houses a year, and increase the minimum wage.

The State-controlled Corporatist Kleptocracy as “Protection” Racket: Chapters in the History of Daylight Robbery

Coolidge once said, "the business of America is business". It is easy to forget that the US was actually founded on the basis of a kind of white (in that sense "enlightened"), oligarchic absolutism. If a policy or action of government cannot be expressed in terms of someone's maximum private profit then it is indefensible in the US. The conditions of the Maastricht Treaty establishing the euro and the ECB are an attempt to impose those same ideological and political constraints on the European Union enforced by adoption of the Federal Reserve Act in the US. The Federal Reserve is essentially a technology for naturalising usury and endowing it with supernatural legitimacy. But just as it has been argued in some quarters that the US Federal Reserve triggered the Great Depression-- for the benefit of the tiny bank of banking trusts-- the European Central Bank, urged by the right-wing government in Berlin, is being pressured to follow the same rapine policies as the FED is pursuing today.

The Disobedience Revolution

Cuba has been able to resist innumerable aggressions by the U.S. government: mercenary invasions like the Bay of Pigs, terrorist acts against commercial flights, cargo ships, hospitals, schools, hotels and other civilian facilities; more than 600 attempts on the life of Fidel Castro and other revolutionary leaders, as well as the longest economic, financial and trade blockade ever imposed on a nation in history. All of this along with a sustained disinformation campaign in the U.S. and world corporate media. The victory of Cubans over the Batista dictatorship by means of a popular armed struggle inspired patriots in many countries on the continent to take the same road to the liberation of their countries from foreign domination.

Cyprus is to Russia what Mauritius is to India

by Chitra Subramaniam Duella March 28, 2013 (TSR) - Billions of frozen euros, hundred years of history and a lot of water and oil fields around for everyone to drown in...

From Cypriots’ View: Eurogroup deal designed to kill off Cyprus, not cure it

Mar. 26, 2013 (TSR) - MANY said that Cyprus secured the best possible deal under the circumstances during the 10-hour negotiations in Brussels but this is of little comfort...

Little Credibility: U.S. Coverage of Iranian-Latin American Relations

by Michael Corcoran February 27, 2013 (TSR) - Last January, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took a weeklong tour of Latin America, visiting Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and finally Ecuador. In Caracas,...