Hunger, disease have killed 85,000 children under 5 during Yemen war, Save the Children says Reply

It’s interesting how the MSM never said a word about the Saudi war in Yemen for years, until MBS bumped off a WaPo journalist, and the media realized they could use anti-Saudi sentiment as a weapon against Trump, which is actually quite helpful if it shifts the discourse away from the previous Russiahate line toward a new Saudihate line.

This is a fortunate turn of events. Now, if only Israel would take a bonesaw to a WaPo journalist.

NBC News/Associated Press.

SANAA, Yemen — An estimated 85,000 children under age 5 may have died of hunger and disease since the outbreak of Yemen’s civil war in 2015, an international aid group said Wednesday.

Save the Children said the “conservative” estimate is based on average mortality rates for Severe Acute Malnutrition, which the U.N. says has afflicted more than 1.3 million children since a Saudi-led coalition went to war with Yemen’s Houthi rebels in March 2015.

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Mass Shootings, State Repression and Gun Laws: Don’t Look to Europe as a Model 2

A reader asked as part of a general discussion of whether the adoption of European (or Japanese) gun laws might reduce the frequency of mass shootings in the United States.

A simple question…..What do you think the government of the USA would do, if the population was totally disarmed, without recourse, and the only people with guns would be government officials and the police? If the government had the power to do *anything* to the US population it wanted? The government with 100% power, and the population with 0% power? Tell me that the US government would not turn into a large version of Pinochet’s Chile, killing, torturing, and disappearing US citizens at will, when all of these policies of Foggy Bottom and the CIA in Chile and elsewhere, were really practice to someday use these same tactics of repression on us?

My response.

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American Civil Liberties Union, RIP Reply

By David E. Berstein

Reason

In the late 1960s, the ACLU was a small but powerful liberal organization devoted to a civil libertarian agenda composed primarily of devotion to freedom of speech, free exercise of religion, and the rights of accused criminals. In the early 1970s, the ACLU’s membership rose from around 70,000 to almost 300,000. Many new members were attracted by the organization’s opposition to the Vietnam War and its high-profile battles with President Nixon, but such members were not committed to the ACLU’s broader civil libertarian agenda. However, the organization’s defense of the KKK’s right to march in Skokie, Illinois, in the late 1970s weeded out some of these fair-weather supporters and attracted some new free speech devotees. But George H. W. Bush’s criticisms of the ACLU during the 1988 presidential campaign again attracted many liberal members not especially devoted to civil liberties.

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Support the Houthis Reply

By Nick Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

Growing up I was obsessed with the counterculture of the 60’s and 70’s, so much so that I now instinctively associate a lot of it with my own childhood even though I grew up in the 90’s and 00’s. Shaved Fish and Let It Bleed play like soundtracks to my teenage years. Some of my first crushes were on righteous babes in arms like Angela Davis and Leila Khaled. And I spent hours pouring over my parents vintage magazines, devouring articles on the Black Panther Party and the Symbionese Liberation Army. What can I say, I was a weird fucking kid. But my fixation with radical chic felt very appropriate during the Orwellian miasma of the Bush years and in some very sad ways, it feels even more appropriate today.

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Clueless About Marxism? Reply

A one who is not a Marxist, I generally find Caleb Maupin to be one of the most articulate advocates for the Marxist position out there today. Notice what he says about the cultural questions

Caleb Maupin is a widely acclaimed speaker, writer, journalist, and political analyst. He has traveled extensively in the Middle East and in Latin America. He was involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement from its early planning stages, and has been involved many struggles for social justice. He is an outspoken advocate of international friendship and cooperation, as well 21st Century Socialism.

Who Is Karl Marx? 1

A speaker from Prager University says no to Karl Marx.

When writing The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx thought he was providing a road to utopia, but everywhere his ideas were tried, they resulted in catastrophe and mass murder. In this video, Paul Kengor, Professor of Political Science at Grove City College, illuminates the life of the mild-mannered 19th Century German whose ideas led to the rise of some of the most brutal dictators in world history.

What was Karl Marx wrong about? Reply

Caleb Maupin is a widely acclaimed speaker, writer, journalist, and political analyst. He has traveled extensively in the Middle East and in Latin America. He was involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement from its early planning stages, and has been involved many struggles for social justice. He is an outspoken advocate of international friendship and cooperation, as well 21st Century Socialism.

Assessing Donald Trump and His Critics Reply

One of the best assessments of Trump and his opponents I’ve seen to date, from our own Tron Bolome.

“For all the hysteria and bluster, Trump has mostly only delivered on the traditionally leftist side of his platform – trade protectionism, ending the Korean war(!) and preventing us from getting into any new ones, tolerating legal weed, and now prison reform, among other things.

The “right wing” policies that actually passed are conventional beltway bullshit…tax cuts and corp deregulation, ignoring environmental concerns, etc. Nothing has really happened on healthcare, but I don’t think the Republicans have the will, plan, or support for any major overhaul anyway.

The real nationalist stuff the left constantly panics about is mostly rhetorical bluster. He either can’t or won’t deliver on serious, consequential border control, the wall, etc. in a way that would halt or slow the demographic sea change which dooms both the Republican party and classical liberalism, which everyone knows is the real issue here. Trump just speaks with undisguised contempt for the progressive religion, which sends true-believers into apoplectic frenzy, because like in all holy superstitions, open sacrilegious blasphemy jeopardizes the effect of coercive group think.

In reality, his words are mostly junk food thrown to his base without much meat. But the Republicans have never been serious about border control because the capitalists who fund them don’t give a flying fuck about the historic American nation, the people that live in it, or any other human value that can’t be exploited for votes, money, or power. The evil fascist nazi leader’s immigration policy amounts to not blatantly allowing open borders as stated policy.

The other right-wing issues he’s passed are irreverent fluff…no more sex changes on the tax payer dime in the military? Woopety fuckin doo. It was dumb policy but irrelevant, and I could give a fuck what other bizarre indignities willing zog slaves subject themselves to.

So Trump is actually something of a moderate centrist if you look past the bluster, judged even by today’s standards. As opposed to what? A neolib war hawk that replaces idpol grievance mongering for working class advocacy? Fuck that. My biggest fear for Trump was that he would pick a fight with some tinpot dictator in a coke fueled juvenile rage over a personal slight, and here he is talking about how him and Kim Jung Un “fell in love” (lmfao!!!!). With Hillbitch we might be at DefCon 4 in a standoff with the Russians in Syria, with Israel and Iran involved. 1A and 2A would be aggressively attacked in the courts and legislature.

My biggest takeaway from the Trump adventure is concluding once and for all that the modern left is ignorant, fanatical, superstitious, intolerant, gullible, authoritarian, ironically extremely racist, sadistic, totally out of touch with reality, hopelessly corrupted, and very dangerous anywhere near power.”

My own two cents worth.

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Keith Preston: US begins to view Saudi Arabia as a liability 1

Press TV. Listen here.

The United States is beginning to view Saudi Arabia as a “liability” that could complicate international relations, says a political analyst in Virginia.

“The policymakers in the United States have apparently decided that the Saudis have become too much of a liability and are trying to rein in some of the excessive behavior of the Saudis,” said Keith Preston, chief editor and director of Attackthesystem.com.

“The level of state repression that exists in Saudi Arabia is very extreme and always has been. That’s well known,” he said.

The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the gruesome murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul last month, The Washington Post reported.

Sources close to the spy agency said it had assessed the evidence in detail.

The Washington Post, which Khashoggi worked for, said the CIA assessment was based partly on a phone call made by the crown prince’s brother, Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the US.

Prince Khalid allegedly called Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of bin Salman, at the direction of his brother and told him to go to the Saudi diplomatic mission while giving him assurances that he would be safe there. Khashoggi, 59, was killed in the consulate in Istanbul on October 2. His body has not been found.

“It’s always been known that the Saudi Arabia murders political dissidents,” Preston said, adding, “so it’s not that anything unusual has happened.”

What came as a shock to US officials is that the Saudis murdered a political dissident that happened to live in the United States and wrote for The Washington Post and other major American newspapers, the analyst pointed out.

“It’s been very difficult for the Saudis to simply slip this under the rug,” he said.

Khashoggi’s murder has also brought the world’s attention to the Saudi war crimes in Yemen, where about 56,000 Yemenis have been killed since the start of the war in 2015.

This file photo taken on October 06, 2018 shows a Yemeni child suffering from malnutrition being weighed at a treatment center in a hospital in the capital Sana’a. (Photo by AFP)

Preston said the Saudi war has created such a serious international crisis that the American media and policy makers can no longer simply ignore.

A bipartisan group of US senators introduced a bill Thursday that would halt US arms exports to Saudi Arabia as a response to the “barbaric” murder of Khashoggi and the “indiscriminate” bombing of Yemen.

Eight million people are affected by severe food shortages in Yemen and up to 14 million — or half of its population — are at risk of famine, UN officials have warned.

 

Maybe It’s Time for America to Split Up 1

Whenever a Republican president is in office, I see articles like this coming from the liberal side, and when a Democrat is in office, I see similar articles coming from conservatives. But these ideas never seem to gain any traction. Too many on the right are attached to nationalism (“USA! USA!”) and imperialism (what is euphemistically called “a strong national defense”). Too many on the left are attached to the idea of a global social democracy and “human rights imperialism,” or simply paralyzed by fear of the idea that some backwoods counties might do something un-progressive.

Sasha Issenberg

New York Mag

The year is 2019. California’s new governor, Gavin Newsom, recently elected on a platform that included support for the creation of a single-payer health-care system, now must figure out how to enact it. A prior nonpartisan analysis priced it at $400 billion per year — twice the state’s current budget. There appears to be no way to finance such a plan without staggering new taxes, making California a magnet for those with chronic illnesses just as its tax rates send younger, healthier Californians house-hunting in Nevada and big tech employers consider leaving the state.

But Newsom is not alone. Other governors have made similar promises, and Newsom calls together the executives of the most ideologically like-minded states — Oregon, Washington, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland. What if they banded to create a sole unified single-payer health-care system, spreading risk around a much larger pool of potential patients while creating uniformity across some of the country’s wealthiest states?

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Trump endorses bipartisan criminal-justice reform bill 2

This legislation is a very important step forward, though not nearly as bold as it needs to be. Although undoing the police state that has been built up over the past 50 years will certainly take time and require a great deal of comprehensive reform. Not exactly the fascism Trump was supposed to bring. Apparently, a ruling class consensus is developing that the prison-industrial complex has become too much of a cost liability (even if a few Know-Nothings are still dragging their feet).

By Seung Min Kim

President Trump threw his support Wednesday behind legislation that would loosen some mandatory minimum sentencing laws — a measure backed by powerful Senate Republicans and Democrats, but which could run into opposition from some tough-on-crime conservatives.

At an afternoon event at the White House, Trump officially endorsed the First Step Act, which he said included “reasonable sentencing reforms while keeping dangerous and violent criminals off our streets.” He urged lawmakers to send him a bill, saying: “I’ll be waiting with a pen.”

“Today’s announcement shows that true bipartisanship is possible,” Trump said. “This is a big breakthrough for a lot of people. . . . They’ve been talking about this for many, many years.”

The compromise criminal justice measure, which was hammered out in principle over the summer by a bipartisan group of senators, adds four provisions to a House-passed bill that focused on reducing prisoner recidivism.

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A Marxist View of the Capitalist Co-option of the Populist Left 3

A writer named Don Hamerquist, who appears to be a Marxist-Leninist with left-communist or autonomous Marxist leanings, has a new three part essay on the “antifascist” blog Three Way Fight that is considerably more insightful that what I usually find coming from that milieu. The essay is available here, here, and here.

The essay makes the following arguments.

1) The difficulties that global capitalism has experienced over the past decade have generated a backlash against neoliberalism in the forms of populist movements from both the left and right.

2) The “capitalist class” in the Western nations has attempted to co-opt left-wing populism by pitting it against right-wing populism in a supposed battle for “democracy” and “liberalism” against “authoritarianism” or “fascism.” Hamerquist also recognizes that Russia is a player within the framework of global capitalism, not a genuine opposition nation, but one that is being used as a scapegoat or whipping boy by Western liberals.

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The Four Schools of Thought on American Foreign Policy 1

I am inclined toward the view that much of the Trump administration’s approach to foreign policy can be understood in terms of the traditional elite, with their Hamiltonian perspective, attempting to reassert themselves against the Wilsonian view of the liberal internationalists and neoconservatives that has been dominant in recent decades. Of course, my own approach would be more in the Jeffersonian vein.

By Jake Meador

Mere Orthodoxy

Given President Obama’s speech at the UN this morning, today seems like a good day to pass this article around. WRM has a nice summary of the four schools of thought in American foreign policy over at Via Meadia (I’ve bolded his description of the four approaches) :

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New York City Raids Condo Building in Crackdown on Airbnb Rentals 2

I invite any system-lovers who may be reading to explain exactly how it is that we don’t live in a police state.

By Josh Barnabel

Wall Street

A team of New York City law-enforcement officers swarmed a Manhattan condominium last month, issuing 27 notices of violations for illegal hotel use in one of the largest crackdowns on short-term rentals such as those listed on Airbnb.

The raid at the Atelier, a 46-story Midtown luxury tower, may be a sign of what’s to come. New York and other cities are seeking to limit short-term rentals that can run afoul of local laws designed to limit hotel-style stays in residential buildings.

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Anarchist News Podcast 89, 11.9.2018 Reply

This is a pretty good episode of A-News, which includes a discussion of the diversity of anarchist thought, populism, rural anarchist activism, and yours truly even gets a mention at one point. Listen here.

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Welcome to the anews podcast. This is episode 88 for November 2, 2018. This podcast covers anarchist activity, ideas, and conversations from the previous week on anarchistnews.org.

Editorial: No one wants to see parents dance, by chisel
TOTW: No Fly Zones, with Aragorn! and Sport
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Has the Government Declared War on Trans People? 4

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

Has the government declared war on trans people? That’s the million dollar question and its one I still don’t have a clear answer to. As some of you may already know, several weeks ago a memo being circulated by the Department of Health and Human Services was leaked exposing a plan by the Trump administration in league with their supposed enemies in the Deep State to officially establish gender as being defined exclusively by ones genitalia at birth. This would essentially erase people like me and leave us at the mercy of a bevy of bureaucratic tyrants from the prison industrial complex to its child abusing cousins in the tenured snake pits of the public school system.

When I first heard about the memo, released by the New York Times, I was skeptical for a number of reasons, most of them having to do with the foul circus of the midterms. Was the memo leaked by Trump’s frenemies in the Steady State in an attempt to use identity politics to shore up the youth vote for their allies in the Democratic Party? Or did Trump leak the memo himself to excite those fun-policing tranny-bashers, the Evangelicals, knowing they’d need the Spanish Fly of state sanctioned child abuse to get hard enough to vote for their local philandering whore-mongers in the GOP and, by proxy, our own philandering whore-monger in chief? Was this memo for real or was it just more hot air to fill Trump’s leaky balloon?

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We should chop America up into 7 different countries. Seriously. Reply

Only 7? Sounds a bit moderate. It’s interesting how these ideas keep getting circulated but never really catch on beyond the margins. Are that many people really that unhappy with the system? Or are political partisans really just equivalents of sports fans (with “extremists” like the Antifa and Alt-Right merely assuming the role of the football hooligans)?.

By Bonnie Kristian

The Week

Look, we had a good run.

Well, maybe “good” isn’t quite the right word … but certainly it’s been interesting. These United States were a grand experiment. But the experiment has gotten out of hand. It’s time to peacefully dissolve the union.

I know, I know. This is not what good Americans are supposed to suggest. “Four score and seven years ago” and all that. But to borrow a lesser-known phrase from that brief address, it seems to me we have tested whether this nation “can long endure,” and increasingly it is clear it cannot. It’s just not working. Do you really disagree? Do you like the way things are?

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PayPal is canceling accounts used by the Proud Boys, Gavin McInnes, and antifa groups Reply

The repression of dissenters continues. It’s also interesting how the System has zero regard for any of these “extremist” groups who constantly hate on each other. In the ruling class’ perfect world, every one of them would be dead. Yet, if you point this out to sectarians, partisans, tribalists, and cultists on the Left and Right, they usually respond with “moral equivalence” arguments (i..e special pleading) which usually amount to “We’re not assholes like THOSE people…” (even if they usually are).

By Colin Lecher

The Verge

PayPal said today that it will cancel accounts used by far-right group the Proud Boys as well as multiple accounts from anti-fascist groups.

The move will make it much harder for the groups to raise money online. The decision is the latest act of “de-platforming” by the tech industry, which has been grappling with how to effectively handle users that promote hateful or violent ideologies. The news was first reported by BuzzFeed News’s Blake Montgomery.

The ban will include the Proud Boys account as well as an account used by its founder, Gavin McInnes, PayPal said. The company is also canceling accounts for Atlanta Antifa, Antifa Sacramento, and the Anti-Fascist Network. PayPal had previously canceled accounts for Antifa Philadelphia, Antifa Arkansas, Belfast Antifa, and Rose City Antifa. The company also canceled an account used by Tommy Robinson, former leader of the far-right group the English Defence League.

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