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Education is the foundation of political change. In this section we provide news and analyses of current events that you won’t likely read or hear in the corporate media. Our sources are from organizations and independent media outlets free of corporate and government propaganda. We strongly encourage you to share these articles by email and social media so that together we create an echo chamber that overcomes the influence of the oligarchy. You will find large social media sharing buttons on the left side of each article when you open the article to read.

The Volatility Of US Hegemony In Latin America, Part II

The US has long considered Latin America and the Caribbean to be its “backyard” under the anachronist 1823 Monroe Doctrine. And even though current US President Biden mistakenly thinks that upgrading the region to the “front yard” makes any difference, Yankee hemispheric hegemony is becoming increasingly volatile. A “Pink Tide” of left electoral victories since 2018 have swept Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Honduras, Chile, Columbia, and Brazil. At the same time, China has emerged as an economic presence while tumultuously inflationary winds blow in the world economy. In this larger context, the socialist triad of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua are addressed below along with the importance of Haiti. Henry Kissinger once quipped: "To be an enemy of the US is dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal."

An African View On Ukraine

First, let me say, it is very important to understand that no war is good. It is impossible not to be moved by the outrageousness of warfare. They grow some fears of civilians who are trapped between choices that are not their own, but was make very complicated historical processes that appear to be simple. The war in Ukraine is not merely about NATO, or about ethnicity. It is about many things. Every war must end at some point. And the diplomas must restart must come in.  Africa and the Russian people share a history of struggle. When the African people were fighting for their independence for their liberation, those who are condemning Russia today, we are not with them [then]. They were on the other side. They never took our site. Not that our side was wrong. Our side was right.

Evangelical Lobbying Threatens Supreme Court’s Independence

Recent exposés have uncovered an emerging pattern of improper lobbying of right-wing Supreme Court justices by wealthy evangelicals. They reveal serious threats to the independence of the judiciary. But equally alarming is that the Supreme Court is unconstrained by a code of judicial ethics. From 1995 to 2018, the right-wing evangelical nonprofit Faith and Action executed “Operation Higher Court.” It was an organized and systematic campaign “to wine, dine and entertain conservative Supreme Court justices while pushing conservative positions” on social issues pending before the court, *Politico* reports. Faith and Action “would rehearse lines” in order “to influence the justices while steering clear of the specifics of cases pending before the court.”

New York Times Has Found New Neo-Nazi Troops To Lionize In Ukraine

The New York Times has found another neo-Nazi militia to fawn over in Ukraine. The Bratstvo battalion “gave access to the New York Times to report on two recent riverine operations,” which culminated in a piece (11/21/22) headlined “On the River at Night, Ambushing Russians.” Since the US-backed Maidan coup in 2014, establishment media have either minimized the far-right ideology that guides many Ukrainian nationalist detachments or ignored it  completely. Anti-war outlets, including FAIR (1/28/22, 3/22/22), have repeatedly highlighted this dynamic—particularly regarding corporate media’s lionization of the Azov battalion, once widely recognized by Western media as a fascist militia, now sold to the public as a reformed far-right group that gallantly defends the sovereignty of a democratic Ukraine.

Zero Covid And The Protests In China

Establishment media have seized on protests over Covid lockdowns to rehearse their favourite anti-China narratives. Ever since the world’s first Covid outbreak in Wuhan, the virus has been used as a stick to beat China. Donald Trump cynically portrayed the pandemic as a Chinese weapon — “the worst attack we’ve ever had on our country … worse than Pearl Harbour.” Trump’s ravings were seldom taken seriously even by US allies. But the resurrection of the “lab leak” conspiracy theory by the Joe Biden administration made it respectable, and the judgement of a World Health Organisation scientific team, that the virus likely evolved in bats and was “extremely unlikely” to have originated in a laboratory, was howled down.

Mali’s Break With France Is A Symptom Of Cracks In The Transatlantic Alliance

On 21 November 2022, Mali’s interim prime minister, Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga, issued a statement on social media announcing the government’s decision ‘to ban, with immediate effect, all activities carried out by [French] NGOs operating in Mali’. This announcement came a few days after the French government cut Official Development Aid (ODA) to Mali, alleging that Mali’s government is ‘allied to Wagner’s Russian mercenaries’ (referring to the Russian private military company, the Wagner Group). Colonel Maïga called the French claims ‘fanciful allegations’ and a ‘subterfuge intended to deceive and manipulate national and international public opinion for the purpose of destabilising and isolating Mali’. This is the latest expression of a new mood that has gripped the areas of northern Africa where France once wielded colonial rule.

China’s Leadership Shines Bright In Asia’s Moment

Asia possesses many of the world's largest and fastest-growing economies. In this era of growing discord and crisis in the West, the majority of nations around the world are looking to Asia to set a different example. The region took center stage in the week of November 11 to 18 as the emerging economies of Cambodia, Indonesia, and Thailand hosted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, the G20, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting respectively. These important exchanges provided numerous opportunities for major countries to assert their leadership on the world stage. And in this regard, it was China that shined the brightest. One of the highlights was Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in Bali, Indonesia ahead of the convening of the G20 summit.

Democrats, Then Republicans Smite Rail Labor

While Railroad Workers United (RWU) finds it despicable – but not surprising – that both political parties opted to side with Big Business over working people yesterday and vote against the interests of railroad workers - not once, but twice, within hours. We suffered a one-two punch at the hands of, first the Democratic Party; the second served up by the Republicans. First, responding to the wishes of President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the House voted to legislate a contract that the majority of U.S. freight rail workers had previously voted to reject. The Senate would quickly follow suit. In effect, their actions simply overrode our voices and desires. Rail workers – like all workers – should have the right to bargain collectively and to freely engage in strike activity if and when the members see fit and when they democratically elect to do so.

The Volatility Of US Hegemony In Latin America, Part I

Latin America and the Caribbean have again began to take on a becoming pink complexion, all the more so with June’s historic electoral victory in Colombia over the country’s long-dominant US-backed rightwing and a similar reverse in Brazil in October. These electoral rejections of the rightwing followed left victories last year in Peru, Honduras, and Chile. And those, in turn, came after similar routs in Bolivia in 2020, Argentina in 2019, and Mexico in 2018.  This electoral wave, according to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, speaking at the Climate Summit in November, “open[s] a new geopolitical age to Latin America.” This “Pink Tide” challenges US hemispheric hegemony, whose pedigree dates back to the 1823 Monroe Doctrine.

Maligned In Western Media, Donbass Forces Are Defending Their Future

Smeared, stigmatized, and lied about in Western media propaganda, the mostly Russian-speaking people of the Donbass region were being slaughtered by the thousands in a brutal war of “ethnic cleansing” launched against them by the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv, which the U.S. installed after the CIA overthrew Ukraine’s legally elected president in a 2014 coup. Although the Donbass people had been pleading for Russian military aid to defend them against the increasingly murderous military assaults by the Ukraine government forces, which killed more than 14,000 of their people, Russian President Vladimir Putin declined to intervene. Instead, he tried to broker a peace agreement between the warring parties.

NATO Members Discuss Ways To Confront China At Bucharest Summit

NATO foreign ministers on Wednesday discussed ways to confront what they call the “challenge” posed by China as Secretary of State Antony Blinken is trying to convince alliance members to take a more hawkish stance toward Beijing. “What we talked about today is . . . working to adapt in concrete ways to meet the challenge,” Blinken said after the meeting. He said ways that European countries could take action against China is to use “export controls” to protect sensitive technology. The North Atlantic military alliance officially declared in a strategy document back in June that China poses “systemic challenges.” Blinken said that he now sees a “growing convergence” on how NATO and the EU view China, although some European countries are reluctant to go along with the policies the US is pursuing.

The US Military Is Poisoning Okinawa

An Okinawan group of activists and physicians known as the Liaison to Protect the Lives of Citizens Against PFAS Contamination has taken the extraordinary step of collecting and analyzing blood samples from 387 residents of the tiny island who live near several U.S. military installations. The results confirm the worst fears of Okinawans regarding the military’s reckless use of PFAS over the last 50 years. Average blood levels for three PFAS compounds: PFOS, PFOA, and PFHxS, were about 25 nanograms per milliliter, (ng/mL), or parts per billion, for those tested from the cities of Ginowan, Kin Town, and Chatan. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is located in Ginowan.

Is The ‘Conscience Of The Congress’ Unconscious?

In the 1960s, Rep. Charles Diggs (D-Mich.) established the Democracy Select Committee (DSC) to bring the nine elected African American House members together.  They were organized in order to help them strategize around their common issues and develop policy initiatives that would address the problems facing their African American constituents. “The sooner we get organized for group action, the more effective we can become,” Diggs said. The operative words in Diggs’ statement are “group”, “action” and “effective”. Is the current iteration of the CBC as a group taking effective action? By the beginning of the 92nd Congress, (1971-1973) the number of African American Representatives had risen from nine to 13. Rep. Louis Stokes (D-Ohio) said, “In addition to representing our individual districts, we had to assume the onerous burden of acting as congressman-at-large for unrepresented people around America.”

We’ve (Probably) Averted A Rail Strike – Now What?

What I can share is that we have almost certainly averted the chance of a legal, national rail strike. The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to step in and force rail laborers to accept the tentative agreement brokered by the White House in September. The House also passed legislation guaranteeing seven days of paid sick leave. The Senate likely votes Thursday on that legislation. We’ve seen an interesting range of politicians speak out about Congress’ intervention into this strike. As you could expect, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., spoke out against any legislation that would not deliver paid sick leave to rail workers. But so too did Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Whether they will merely tweet about sick leave or actually vote to ensure it is another question.

Campaigners Warn Against Corporate Capture Of UN Plastic Treaty Talks

Representatives of almost 200 nations began a meeting in Uruguay on 28 November to address the scourge of plastic pollution. At the five day-long talks, delegates in the seaside city of Punta Del Este are charting a path to the first global plastics treaty. Plastics are implicated in the multiple environmental crises the world faces. They are proving deeply damaging to marine and terrestrial life, meaning they are contributing to both the biodiversity and ocean crises. Moreover, plastics are made from fossil fuels and generate greenhouse gases throughout their life cycles. So as Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the Nairobi-based United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said at the start of the Uruguay talks: A plastic crisis is also a climate crisis. Plastic has a heavy carbon footprint and a heavy chemical footprint.
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