International

  • Casualties of War November 16, 2017           “The first casualty when war comes is the truth.” – Sen Hiram Johnson (R-CA) (1917)     As Barataria has noted before, the United States appears to be at war. This war, primarily with Putin’s Russia, is a new kind of war with weaponized disinformation and division. It is important to note, however, that the US is far from the only target, nor is it entirely innocent. More critically there are actors within the US who are exploiting the war for their own benefit – a new kind of war profiteering for a new kind of war. It is easy to compare this to McCarthyism, but the implications are potentially more vast. Sen Hiram Johnson (R-CA)                     Senator Hiram Johnson made his famous quote when the US was ... Read More
  • Over a Million Protesters March in Barcelona to Call for the Release of Catalan Political Prisoners November 14, 2017 On Saturday, over a million Catalans marched in Barcelona to call for the release of the Catalan political prisoners recently imprisoned by Spain. The demonstration was given the name of “National Day for Liberty,” aiming for the same level of attendance and international impact as the yearly celebrations for Catalonia’s September 11th National Day. The demonstration filled more than three kilometers (almost 2 miles) of one of the Catalan capital’s main thoroughfares. Almost a thousand buses loaded with independentists from across the country headed to the protest in Barcelona. At the front of the demonstration, a banner held by family members of the Catalan political prisoners and the organizers read, “Freedom for political prisoners, we are the Republic.” Attendance exceeded the ... Read More
  • Have We Learned Nothing??? November 13, 2017 If you thought the white supremacist/nationalist movement was unique to the United States, think again.  This weekend, some 60,000 people marched in Warsaw, Poland, celebrating Poland’s Independence Day, flying in from various points in Europe:  Slovakia, Sweden, Spain and Hungary.  But more than celebrating the day Poland gained its freedom from a century of foreign rule in 1918, the march was to promote the idea of white supremacy, of hatred … of evil. Marchers carried signs reading … Europe Will Be White Clean Blood White Europe Of Brotherly Nations Pray for Islamic Holocaust That last one stops my heart … “Pray for Islamic Holocaust” … this from people who are descended from people, some of whom were no doubt victims of Hitler’s Holocaust!!!  Chants of “Pure ... Read More
  • Trump has Exhausted my Thesaurus November 13, 2017 Donald Trump is not the first or last politician who is, has, or will lie.  The accepted cliché of the dishonest pol is the conventional wisdom generally used as a hammer to bludgeon ideas or legislators with whom we disagree. We have all heard it, “all politicians lie!” Donald Trump has offered something new, a politician who volunteers untruth. Maybe borne from his need to entertain, fill a celebrity fulfillment gene, or just for giggles, it has become his calling card. In any event, if disingenuousness were a valued piece of art, Trump would be Picasso.  Generally, fabrications by the anti-iconoclast are crafted for strategic advantage or something more elementary– hiding the truth. That takes this conversation into an area that has been ... Read More
  • Australia sells weapons to countries like Saudi Arabia, that perpetrate human rights abuses November 13, 2017 It’s a nearly impossible task to discover exactly what Australia is selling and to whom because the federal government refuses to say, but nuggets of information make it clear that Canberra is aggressively selling weapons and defence equipment to countries involved in conflicts where human rights abuses are being perpetrated. In his seminal 2011 book on the global arms trade The Shadow World, journalist Andrew Feinstein exposes the fallacies of a nation’s expanding defence sector. “The arms industry’s economic contribution is undermined by the frequency with which its main players around the world, Lockheed Martin, BAE, Boeing, Northrop Grumman … are implicated in grand corruption, inefficiency and wastage of public resources,” he wrote. Feinstein concludes that the arms trade “often makes us poorer, not richer, ... Read More
  • Roy Moore — The ‘Values’ Candidate November 12, 2017 In just over a month, December 12th, the people of Alabama will go to the polls to elect a senator to replace former Senator Jeff Sessions who is now the U.S. Attorney General.  There are two major candidates, former Judge Roy Moore, who was twice thrown off the bench for failing to uphold the law, and Democratic candidate Doug Jones.  Now, if you are not familiar with Mr. Moore’s history, please take a look at my last post about him, written last month. Roy Moore’s boat, once again, should have just sunk, but I am not so sure.  The details, according to The Washington Post … Leigh Corfman says she was 14 years old when an older man approached her outside a ... Read More
  • Good People November 11, 2017 A lot has been said about this off-year election and the incredible sweep in Virginia. It’s important, because something is in the works. But what, exactly? Can Democrats capitalize on it nationally and apply a formula for sure victory in 2018 and beyond? The short answer is “No.” There is no formula. If you look at who won and why, at least in the key swing elections, there is only one thing which is consistent. Good, hard-working people who were genuine and decent won consistently. Politics? Whatever. Ralph Northam won big. Way bigger than expected. There’s no doubt that turnout elevated the Democrats to a key win, at least in Virginia. In the more urban Northern Virginia, basically DC suburbs, Democratic governor candidate ... Read More
  • The Crime of Voting November 10, 2017 Cries of shame on EU neutrality are unfounded While I was in Spain last week the Flemish nationalist politician and deputy prime minister of Belgium, Jan Jambon, along with the former Belgian prime minister, Elio Di Rupo, condemned Spain for its handling of the crisis, including the imprisonment of regional politicians. The leader of the biggest party in the Belgian government N-VA leader, Bart De Wever went much further, saying that Spain’s ruling People’s Party – which was founded by a former Franco minister – was a prisoner of its own history. “You know where the past of the People’s Party is, and ever more its present, and it is Franco, it is repression, it is jailing people because of their opinion, ... Read More
  • We Have to Raise the Bar  November 10, 2017 I listened to President Trump last night address the South Korean National Assembly, regaling them with both praises of their native golfers and horror stories. The problem is the world is so jaded by the constant prevarication of this president you must question every word. There lies the rub of the American psyche, we do not know when our leader is auditioning a line for the TV program in his head or telling the truth. Leaving out the anecdotes about babies in buckets and a commercial for one of his golf courses, Mr. Trump read the scrolling words on his teleprompter and did not embarrass the country. What a low bar we have set and accepted. America is reduced to holding ... Read More
  • When Is The Right Time To Discuss Gun Control? The Answer Is Anytime You Can October 4, 2017 The NRA and its ‘bought-and-paid-for’ politicians, including leaders of both chambers of Congress, as well as the ‘man’ in the White House, have been busily telling us that it is a sacrilege, that it is profane, for us to discuss the need for stronger gun legislation at this time. They are dead wrong. Two blogger-friends have expounded on the need to have this discussion NOW, and I am re-blogging both, for they are both excellent pieces. Please, whether you agree or disagree that we have a gun-addiction problem in this country, take the time to read and ponder Keith and Gronda’s words, both of whom I agree with wholeheartedly. Thank you, Keith and Gronda, for your work, and permission to ... Read More