Legalization of prostitution is not a solution for the empowerment of women. In The “Whoredom of the Left,” Hedges explains that “prostitution is the quintessential expression of global capitalism.” Just as pimps own and profit from their property, we are all disposable property to our corporate overlords. The corporate State debases and degrades, it renders us impoverished and powerless, to service the corporate elite. When we are no longer of use, we are discarded as human refuse. If we accept prostitution as legal, as Germany has done, if we accept it as permissible in a civil society, we will take one step closer to the “global plantation” being constructed by the powerful. The fight against prostitution is the fight against a dehumanizing neoliberalism. It may begin with the subjugation of impoverished girls and women, but it will not end there.
Obama’s time as leader of the US is coming to an end, in fact, his term concludes next year. Future presidential hopefuls have already joined the race to the White House. What will Obama’s legacy be? Will the new, as yet unknown, leader of America make any difference? These and other important questions were posed to prominent historian, author of bestsellers on US foreign policies, William Blum in an interview with RT.
Blum makes it very clear that he doubts that US foreign policy will change at all, regardless of who is in the White House. Indeed, Obama has shown us this.
In his book Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower outlines how The US has a history of bombing other countries. It does not matter whether there is a republican or a democrat in office, US policies do not change. In a chapter of this book entitled “United States bombings of other countries” Blum presents the long list of countries bombed by the United Sates since World War II.
Last year I published a post entitled “Outing The Bots” about the amusing outcomes of trying to chat with bots. As I had pointed out back then, my interest was piqued as I read that apparently Princeton’s “Eugene Gootsman” had passed the legendary Turing test. As it turns out, there was rightfully a hot debate around the veracity of such a claim. At that time I wanted to have a chat with Eugene myself, but sadly “he” was offline. I just checked back and “he” still appears to be offline as “his” Princeton webpage still states “I’LL BE BACK!” At the time I thought “Great, and so will I, and I intend to out you in less than 5 minutes!” It appears that I will have to wait a bit longer. I repeat what I thought then: “Yes, I’m a ‘luddist,’ and no, I do not have any machine friends.”
The Orlando mass shooting may have everything to do with the all-too-common anti-LGBT attitudes.
In America, where the National Rifle Association owns a political party and there are so many mass shootings that only some of them make the national news, there are two kinds of mass killers: soft-spoken, mixed-up white loners who deserve a measure of sympathy, and evil Middle Eastern terrorists who do not.
Memorial Day is over. You had your barbeque. Now, you can stop thinking about America’s wars and the casualties from them for another year. As for me, I only wish it were so.
It’s been Memorial Day for me ever since I first met Tomas Young. And in truth, it should have felt that way from the moment I hunkered down in Somalia in 1993 and the firing began. After all, we’ve been at war across the Greater Middle East ever since. But somehow it was Tomas who, in 2013, first brought my own experience in the U.S. military home to me in ways I hadn’t been able to do on my own.
May 3, will mark the 90th anniversary of the birth the anti-establishment American poet Allen Ginsberg. To commemorate this important day, I share with you a post that was originally published last year. Ginsberg was one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation and the counterculture that followed. He actively spoke out against militarism, economic materialism and sexual repression. His epic poem, “Howl”, in which he condemned the damaging forces of capitalism and conformity, gave rise to widespread publicity because it led to an obscenity trial in San Francisco. While the court ruling by Judge Clayton W. Horn concluded that “Howl” was not obscene, the trial served as a catalyst. Ginsberg developed a lifelong passion for First Amendment issues, both on a personal level and more broadly for political activism. He spoke out on such controversial issues as the Vietnam War and gay rights.
Part II of “Howl” is about the state of industrial civilization, characterized in the poem as “Moloch,” the Biblical idol in Leviticus to whom the Canaanites sacrificed children. Ginsberg employs metaphor and symbolism to make strong social and political critique of the power authorities of institutions like higher education, mental health, and public safety. The social forces that cause the hardship, violence, and addiction in the lives of those whom Ginsberg describes as the “best minds,” are not individually named. Instead, he refers to these destructive social forces as “Moloch”. Beyond the biblical reference, Ginsberg reveals a monster of mental consciousness that preys on us all.
On May 19th, 1920, Montréal radio station XWA broadcast the first regularly scheduled radio programming in North America and, quite possibly, the world. To honour this important date, I share with you a repost on this topic.
The call letters XWA refer to Experimental Wireless Apparatus. In November of 1920, the call letters were changed to CFCF, arguably referring to “Canada’s First. Canada’s Finest.” While the call letters and frequencies changed over the last 95 years, what remains constant is the historical significance of radio broadcasts for the dissemination of information. However, it was not very long before issues of copyright, censorship and, of course, profit and corporate sponsorship overwhelmed any discussion of the importance of informing people. Even in the early 20th century, modern media and the psychosphere were bound to have a contentious relationship.
Still, before the internet (and since) there have been significant contributions to social change by radio, especially pirate stations. Of particular interest to me today are Radio libertaire …
My favorite scene in the film Fargo, which turned 20 years old this March, comes near the very end of the movie. Fans who have known and loved Fargo for the last two decades understand that picking a favorite scene is about as difficult as choosing from the deliciously Midwestern buffet that our heroine Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) lingers over as she ponders the murder mystery at the movie’s core. But I always choose the second-to-last scene of Fargo as the one that demonstrates the movie’s greatness.
In it, Marge drives down a frigid highway in her cruiser, with Gaear Grimsrud (Peter Stormare), the career criminal she has just arrested, sitting silently in the back. She has witnessed the carnage he is responsible for and knows he has taken at least five lives in the last few days. If Fargo were a standard-issue police procedural, we would be treated to a scene of a troubled, alpha-male detective berating a perp, verbally and perhaps physically abusing a man who has, in the logic of the movies, proven himself to be inhuman. In typical cop stories, the troubled detective—the man who, as Raymond Chandler put it, “is not himself mean” but must go “down these mean streets,” even if they’re only the mean streets of small-town Minnesota—has to lecture the criminal to reassure himself that his own sometimes-violent masculinity does not stem from the same logic the “bad guy” operates from, that his way of life has not been sullied, and that he could never do what this man did.
Yesterday marked the 130th anniversary of the Chicago Haymarket massacre. In memory of the victims of this tragedy and to highlight the continued importance of May 1st, International Labour Dar, I share with you a repost on the subject from last year.
While May 1st has long been a day to celebrate the arrival of spring, it was only after the May 4th, 1886 Haymarket massacre in Chicago that this date became established as International Labor Day. Thus, originally, a day of pagan celebration for emergence of life after a long winter, this day now stands to celebrate labour and to take to the streets in pursuit of furthering the rights of workers.
On May 1, 1886, Chicago unionists, socialists, anarchists, and other workers came together in the city centre to support a movement for an eight-hour workday. On this day, some 35,000 workers walked off their jobs to protest work conditions. In the following days approximately ten thousand more workers joined them, forming crowds that would travel to various workplaces to urge fellow workers to strike. On May 3, at the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, police shot at strikers, killing one person and wounding others. In reaction to this police brutality, anarchists called for a protest meeting to take place the following day, May 4, at the West Randolph Street Haymarket.