Here is a nice trial balloon to prepare us for a military confrontation with Russia in Syria. How the world reacts to this balloon will decide whether there will be a wider war in the Middle East. Here is the basic story line. 1. The US does not want a military confrontation with Russia and is trying to avoid it. 2. There could be an inadvertent confrontation that accidentally leads to conflict with Russia. 3. This will be Russia's fault because (a) Moscow likes “escalation dominance” and (b) unlike the US "Russia has never been shy about escalation." Meanwhile, since 9/11 the US has fostered the escalation of military confrontations in 6 countries in the region (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia) and aided and abetted Israel's escalation of conflict with the Palestinians (so that makes 7). Russia has engaged in 1 (counter) escalation in Syria in response to the US entering the civil war and trying to overthrow Russia's ally the legal government of Syria. Make no mistake about it -- the American people really are getting flooded with "fake news" just as the Germans were in 1939 when they read about the Polish invasion of Germany and the German counter attack in self defense, and from the same kinds of sources -- war mongering fascists dressed in the uniforms of democratic patriots: Trump will carry out the grand plans that he inherited from the Obama/Clinton regime that were originally drawn up by the neoliberals of the Bush/Cheney era and have been slowly hatching in the pentagon since the end of WW2.
Friday, June 23, 2017
Sunday, March 6, 2016
Why is Obama deliberately stirring up old Cold War tensions with Russia by ordering saber rattling by the Pentagon and our puppet military alliance Nato? Professor Steven Cohen, writing in The Nation (2-29-16) says Obama is escalating the tensions with Russia in an unprecedented manner not seen since the days of Nazi Germany. These hostile actions are being basically ignored by the mass media and none of the presidential candidates in either party have addressed them in the debates except indirectly (Sanders and Clinton supporting NATO, Trump mentioning he wants to make a "deal" with Putin).
The issue is Obama's decision to increase by 400% military expenditures and deployments on or near the Russian border by the U.S. and NATO. Such a huge concentration of Western military power on the Russian border has not been seen in modern times -- not even at the height of the Cold War. Cohen says Russia will have to respond by its own build up including the positioning of advanced missiles. Thus the whole of Eastern Europe will become a tinderbox increasing the probability of a regional war or worse if some minor incident flares up.
This is, I might add, wholly unnecessary and reckless behavior on the part of Obama and his generals (the type of behavior a future President Cruz or Rubio are characterized of being capable of initiating). Why is this coming at the very time Russia is trying to de-escalate tensions with the U.S.?
The Russians have cooperated with the U.S. on the Iran deal and in trying to bring about a truce in Syria (their intervention was provoked by CIA "covert" weapons deals with jihadists against their ally Assad the legally UN recognized government), and in calming down the situation in Ukraine by a cease fire (another intervention initiated by the U.S.- E.U. role in overthrowing the legally elected government in that country and the installation of an ultraright wing antiRussian
Cohen says the mass media in the U.S. attributes all these international problems to Russian aggression and to Putin's megalomania ["Putin's Russia"]. So while we play around with farcical political debates and a news media that misinforms rather than informs Obama stealthily builds up the aggressive capabilities of U.S. imperialism and, consciously or unconsciously, further endangers the peace of the world and the future of humanity.
The Left is falling down on the job of warning the working class of the dangers it faces in the coming election. HRC has wrapped herself in the Obama legacy and will no doubt continue the march towards more wars and military adventures that the U.S. has embarked upon ever since Korea. The Republican candidates are no different in this respect. Whoever wins in November the big losers will be the working class and the minorities who will continue to be abused and exploited by the U.S. ruling Establishment.
The Left has, however, done its duty in one respect. There is a slight possibility the dire consequences enumerated above could be avoided or alleviated and that would be the election of Bernie Sanders as president. This event would open up progressive political action outside of the control of the Establishment and could lead to a democratic renaissance in the U.S. The Left - Progressive movement has solidly backed Sanders (aside from some fringe elements). Unfortunately, the Left cannot agree on a Plan B. HRC's election would be a victory for the Establishment and there is no Third Party that the Left is willing to unite behind.
This military build up is part of the profit generating foreign policy of the Military Industrial Complex. It justfies the transfer of billions of dollars in "defense" spending to the private coffers of the 1%. What are the chances that HRC will adopt a pro peace agenda and come out against the U.S.- NATO build up in Europe? Sanders is also weak on this issue but he can be more easily pressured to change as cutting the military budget frees up money for the progressive changes to reduce income inequality that he favors and he is not beholden to the Establishment. What is to be done?
Saturday, February 20, 2016
Forbes magazine ("the capitalist tool") doesn't always paint a rosy picture of capitalism, except (as does The Wall Street Journal) in its editorial and opinion fluff. But capitalists want the actual lowdown on how the system is working and where it's going and Forbes job is give them the info they need to pace their bets.
Working people and progressives can bet the capitalists are not betting on Bernie Sanders, the money bags crowd is betting on Clinton (with few exceptions) all the way. Some of Clinton's ideas are even too pro-capitalist for Forbes!
The magazine recently held a "healthcare summit" as big capital is aware the cost of drugs is getting out of hand and is ultimately unsustainable. They certainly don't want some social democratic president mucking around with their system so they want to control the proposals that will have to be made to make the system work for more people and still allow them to reap ill gotten gains.
Hillary Clinton has two proposals on the table which Forbes doesn't particularly like
because while they make modest changes in the health care system they end up giving poor people the short end of the stick and benefit the rich. But that is the very problem that has to be solved! Creating a system that doesn't let people die because they are poor. As usual Clinton's supporters don't really understand whose side she is on, they are the same as Trump supporters in this respect; even some of those on the authentic Left -- Communists and Socialists -- don't understand she represents the interests of monopoly capitalism better than any Republican could.
Well what are her proposals to better the system (she totally rejects the Medicare for all ideas of Sanders)?. Her position is not "Medicare for All" but "Medicaid for More." Medicaid is cheaper and doesn't have all the benefits of Medicare so health care won't cost so much if poor senior citizens who are Medicare due to their ages are switched over to Medicaid leaving only the wealthier seniors on Medicare. That's right folks, the first would be female U.S. President is a grinch!
Here is how Forbes puts it: "How do we fix pharmaceutical pricing? Hillary Clinton's idea of making drug firms pay a tax if they don't spend enough on R&D probably wouldn't lower prices. And her other idea of making seniors who are eligible for both Medicare (health care for seniors) and Medicaid (the program for the poor) take Medicaid would result in savings, but it could also mean giving rich people better health insurance than poor people." Forbes is being nice in using "could" for "would."
So there it is: Clinton the "progressive," the "realist," proposing the same old same old; let's "solve" our drug pricing problems by tossing the poor under the truck and not bothering the rich. Wake up dupes! We have one chance this year to actually make a change in the system and that's to vote for someone 90% of the political class and the corporate media oppose, the ONLY candidate that actually represents the vast majority of the American people and is not a cat's paw for then wealthy 1%. It's time for all unions and people's movements to turn their backs on their faux progressive leaderships who have sided with Clinton and the 1% and support Bernie Sanders -- your grandchildren will be grateful for having a future.
Monday, February 8, 2016
If a culture with a male preference has devastating effects on girls imagine living in one where parents sexually mutilate them and/or kill them if they get sexually abused! We have a long way to go before the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights is taken seriously by all (any?) of the governments of the world. Seriously, any government in violation of Human Rights should lose its vote in the General Assembly until it corrects or really takes meaningful steps to correct the violation. How about a female General Secretary?
While most studies of parental sex discrimination explore the devastating social and demographic effects of a cultural preference for boys, a new study examines its…
Sunday, February 7, 2016
NORTH KOREA LAUNCHES SATELLITE U.S. FREAKS OUT
"Although North Korea can learn much about the technology to build ballistic missiles from satellite launches, putting a satellite into orbit does not guarantee an ability to deliver a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile. North Korea has never tested a ballistic-missile version of its Unha-series rockets. " Buried away in the article is the most important information. All the clamor over the DPKR space progra...
Saturday, February 6, 2016
"It's a public health issue that Texas women struggle to achieve their reproductive goals." Mildly and diplomatically put since this is a study by a Texas state university. The real conclusion of the study is that the women of Texas have no rights to control their own bodies with regard to their reproductive functions except those granted to them by Republican men who run the state government -- and where the Federal government has protected these rights the Texas government will try and abort them. The women of Texas should rise up and cast these men into the toilet bowl of history and flush them away in the next election. Feel the bern.--tr
The public defunding of Planned Parenthood in Texas may have led to a decrease in highly effective forms…
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Negative publicity reduces police motivation but does not result in depolicing
Links to some of the most interesting science stories reported this week relating to both political and social affairs and health news from which everyone may benefit. You can comment on these reports at the end of the round up.
Well the FBI director and other right-wingers have had their say about the "Ferguson Effect" but the scientific study above shows how wrong they are. There has been no increase in crime as a result of protests against the police killing unarmed minority people and acts of racial profiling. If anything is specifically responsible for the statistically insignificant "crime increase" it's the cut in funding for public safety due to austerity measures in response to capitalism's ongoing decline.
Despite the fact that scientists have shown that the foods provided at fast food restaurants are antithetical to children's health the government has failed to issue regulations preventing fast food companies from luring children to their dens by offering toys as incentives by means of ads aired on federally regulated airwaves.
The gist is to use your opponent's moral system not your own when you frame your arguments to persuade them to adopt your position. This is not "new" it is an old lawyers trick as well as a technique of rhetoric and debate. If someone quotes the Bible to support his position, then find a quote that supports your position and try and convince him what you believe is really biblical. This article further expains how this method works. Socialists should bone up on Adam Smith.
New hope for couch potatoes!
This research indicates that as CO2 increases in the oceans the food chain will collapse from top to bottom. Larger marine life forms will disappear along with animals that need shells to survive. Micro organisms will increase however. Future oceans will be thinned or without life forms currently abundant. Every bit of gas, oil, and coal we use hastens the day!
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Friday, October 16, 2015
Asian Diary by Jack Clontz
Jack Clontz is an Asian Language and Culture specialist. His observations of current events may be of interest to PA readers with a special interest in Asia. Comments on his observations are welcomed since some of his opinions are controversial and will no doubt be contested by some readers. We are publishing his reflections to stimulate thinking and hopefully discussion.
Re: the TPP agreement. At least Thailand did not become involved as originally envisaged. The pharma agreements will bring about hundreds of thousands of deaths.
Did you notice the Chinese recipient (out of three) of the Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology? That was one case in which Chinese traditional medicine made an extremely significant contribution to world medicine instead of killing huge numbers of people and other animals. It was also a unique contribution to science from the darkest days of Mao's lunatic policies in which millions died in his full knowledge.
Even towards the end of the Vietnam war, this medicine's efficacy was known. The Vietnamese people, especially those fighting, desperately needed protection against malaria. Because of ideological opposition, Vietnam was denied the medicine and the PRC continued to deny it to the Vietnamese people for many years, especially in the wake of Deng's criminal war against Vietnam in which the PRC was actually defeated with the concomitant loss of tens of thousands on both sides and great destruction along both sides of the border.
Just this week in the Russian euphoria over the bombing campaign in Syria, the Russian Federations's defense minister chortled that the USSR was responsible for the defeat of the USA in Vietnam through air power. What he was actually referring to was the shooting down of huge numbers of US planes (though amateur civilian crews shot down most of the jets fighter bombers like McCain's), especially the Nixon-Kissinger criminal "Arc-Light" heavy bombers during the Christmas madness just before the USA threw in the towel. We know now that most of the missile crews were Soviets, or at least commanded by Soviets, just as in Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis (the sole American plane shot down with the pilot dying during the crisis was shot down by a Soviet crew--the Cuban missiles did not have the altitude range to hit the American reconnaissance aircraft). A contribution was also made by the use of Soviet "trawlers" just off the coast of Guam spotting the take off of the Arc Light bombers, where all of them originated at Anderson Air Base (there is a memorial to them at the entrance to the base), Guam and radioed this message to the Vietnamese. We also now know that North Korean jet fighter pilots engaged in aerial combat with the American planes with, as you know, the North Koreans following the Soviet line in spite of all that had happened.
I resent the Russian claims about Vietnam, since I think they are exaggerated and take credit from the Vietnamese people for their incredible achievement in defeating French, American and Chinese imperialism while greatly hampering Japanese imperialism at one point and forestalling Thai imperialism.
On the other hand, the PRC was incensed by the very cruel treatment of the Vietnamese Chinese by the Vietnamese. A very large proportion of the many thousands of Vietnamese boat people, many of whom died and all of whom greatly suffered, were ethnic Chinese. Surprisingly, the PRC has countenanced Vietnamese imperialism in Laos and Cambodia, though both have been sycophantic followers and supporters, especially Cambodia, of the PRC internationally, especially in ASEAN.
The Chinese anti-malaria drug is artemisinin.
Notice that the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation has saved many thousands of lives through its support of work involving this drug and is engaged in fundamental research (artemisinin is not now often used as a monotherapeutic medicine) in malaria. A handful of French, American and Thai medical scientists are at work on these questions at Mahidol University in Bangkok. They are desperately working to stave off the spread of malaria with parasites carried by three or four species of mosquitoes serving as vectors, which weirdly originate only in one area in northern Cambodia near the Thai border. The mosquitoes have now spread to the area of the refugee camps in Burma along the Thai border. The medical scientists are desperately afraid this drug-resistant form of malaria will spread through Burma with its horrible (though improved in some areas) conditions and thence to Bangladesh and the Indian subcontinent with millions of death certain under the conditions obtaining in India, Bangladesh and parts of Pakistan. Capitalism saves the world?
By far the best hospital in northern Thailand is the McCormick Hospital run by American medical missionaries. Decades ago they forswore proselytizing in recognition of the fact that the vast majority of Thai Buddhists (about 97 percent of the population, it seems) would never become Christians because to do so would be tantamount to becoming non-Thai. The inroads made by evangelical Christian missionaries, often from Australia, have been amongst the northern hill tribes, who are badly treated and are not allowed to become Thai citizens. There are Roman Catholic converts, mostly educated Thais, in Bangkok and sometimes elsewhere, but they are few in numbers. Most Roman Catholics in Thailand have Vietnamese or ancestral Portuguese connections.
Incidentally, Vietnamese students in universities in Thailand are outstanding and make Thai students look very bad in comparison. They are disciplined and learn quickly. Many are already very proficient in English before they come and learn Thai quickly. I have talked to their university teachers in some cases. They are often invidiously compared with foreign students from Burma and such places as Nepal or Sikkim.
Did you know a Thai foreign minister, a Muslim from the northern part of southern Thailand (not a Muslim majority area), in the coup-government involved in throwing over Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006 apologized to the Vietnamese for Thai participation in the Vietnam War? Quite amazing, actually, but nothing really came of it.
Submitted by Thomas Riggins
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Austerity Measures Linked to Increase in Suicides: Science News Round Up
Below you will find links to some of the most interesting science stories reported this week relating to both political and social affairs and health news from which everyone may benefit. You can comment on these reports at the end of the round up.
"These results have profound health and economic policy implications and raise substantial questions on the prolonged application of fiscal austerity without any safety nets...." Thousands of young people (ages 10-24) as well as the elderly (age 65+) are killing themselves out of desperation due to the imposition of austerity measures on people in the EU. These measures cause a rise in unemployment, a cut in pensions and other effects bringing about extreme hardships. Capitalism's Profit Before People drive is causing widespread misery throughout the EU (and not only there).
Emissions targets are out of reach without a massive technological shift in Europe's basic industries
Unless there is a serious retooling the industrial base in Europe to halt massive pollution it will be impossible to reach the emissions reduction goals set for midcentury. It is possible to save the climate but will private profit driven industries actually make the changes needed? Will bourgeois governments force them to do so? If not capitalism will destroy us all sooner rather than later.
This article shows that when women's health care clinics are closed as a result of the Republican assault on the constitutional right to abortion large numbers of women can no longer receive the preventive care necessary to detect cancers and other illnesses. The claim that other clinics and health services will cover those formerly receiving treatment at the closed clinics is not true. Republican politicians, in their attacks on Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, are engaged in a massive assault on women's health, especially the health of lower income and minority women, and their policies will lead to needless deaths that preventive medical care could have avoided. These reckless unremorseful mysogynists must be removed from power.
A study of 50 major cities shows that urban school districts are failing to provide
a basic education to many students especially low income and minority students.
It is the responsibility of the state to provide proper educational opportunities to all students and in failing to educate low income and minority students the state is perpetuating institutional racism. Parents, students, and teachers and their unions will have to organize to remove from office those racist politicians who refuse to fully upgrade and fund equal education for all.
“Expectant mothers who live near active natural gas wells operated by the fracking industry in Pennsylvania are at an increased risk of giving birth prematurely and for having high-risk pregnancies, new research suggests.” What else needs to be said to convince the state not to issue tracking permits! The scientists suggest that state officials “consider” these finding when giving out permits. Who can tell? Maybe it is just a coincidence.
The first ancient human genome from Africa to be sequenced has revealed that a wave of migration back into Africa from Western Eurasia around 3,000 years ago was up to twice as significant as previously thought, and affected the genetic make-up of populations across the entire African continent. (Science Daily)