In the Spanish-speaking world, there is a very peculiar children’s song: “Let’s Tell Lies”. Through the hilarious repetition of verses and a catchy melody, there is a succession of absurd situations that delight children. Comedy is an exercise where reality is alienated so that laughter is achieved. The song made us remember what took place in recent days in the United States Senate, during a hearing with the ineffable Elliott Abrams -who despite greatly resembling a known villain of a children’s program who unsuccessfully chases blue pixies, continues to be Donald Trump’s macabre political operator. That country’s Senate asked Abrams for explanations and answers for the inefficiency of this erratic strategy to achieve a change of government in Venezuela. The performance they carried out in the Senate goes beyond the limits of comedy in order to play the role of a tragedy of enormous dimensions. It is a two-fold tragedy.
Almost every day on public radio or public television, I hear reports about how fake news is undermining our democracy. These high-minded reporters and anchors seem truly to believe that a feverish menace is overwhelming the minds of once-sensible people. This story is itself fake news for several obvious reasons. We’ve never had more good information than we have now; people are as well-informed as they want to be. There will always be outlets purveying lies; that is the nature of communication. And the insistence on the “fake news” issue is an effort to assign Trump’s victory not to those who brought it to us (the electorate, and the incompetence of the Clinton campaign) but on some nefarious agents.
Thirteen years ago on December 9, the world lost one of the few remaining investigative truth tellers. Gary Webb, formerly of the San Jose Mercury News ,authored one of the most epic series outlining the cooperation of the CIA and cocaine traffickers from the US backed anti-communist CONTRA rebels. While the circumstances of his death are highly suspect of foul play, his series ‘Dark Alliance’ exposed in tremendous detail as to how the most destructive drug, crack cocaine, was introduced to black neighborhoods in America.
By Thomas Piketty , Jeffrey Sachs , Heiner Flassbeck , Dani Rodrik and Simon Wren-Lewis in The Nation - The never-ending austerity that Europe is force-feeding the Greek people is simply not working. Now Greece has loudly said no more. As most of the world knew it would, the financial demands made by Europe have crushed the Greek economy, led to mass unemployment, a collapse of the banking system, made the external debt crisis far worse, with the debt problem escalating to an unpayable 175 percent of GDP. The economy now lies broken with tax receipts nose-diving, output and employment depressed, and businesses starved of capital. The humanitarian impact has been colossal—40 percent of children now live in poverty, infant mortality is sky-rocketing and youth unemployment is close to 50 percent.