News and Commentary
From Around the Web – 18 February 2016
Turkey v Islamic State v the Kurds: What’s going on? – BBC News – Although military affiliates of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) have been some of the most stalwart and effective opponents of Daesh (the Islamic State), Turkey has chosen to focus their efforts on destroying the Kurdish freedom movement. The United States’ support of these efforts is unconscionable. This article from BBC News from a few months ago gives a decent overview of the situation.
Thomas Piketty on the rise of Bernie Sanders: the US enters a new political era | The Guardian – French Economist Thomas Piketty writes that the Vermont senator’s success so far demonstrates the end of the politico-ideological cycle opened by the victory of Ronald Reagan at the 1980 elections.
Bernie Sanders’ Phantom Movement – Chris Hedges – Truthdig – Hedges argues that no movement or political revolution will ever be built within the confines of the Democratic Party. And the repeated failure of the American left to grasp the duplicitous game being played by the political elites has effectively neutered it as a political force.
China’s currency reserves plunged in January – BBC News – China still has the world’s biggest reserve of foreign currency holdings. But that has declined by $420 billion over six months and stands at the lowest level in nearly four years. This is the most underreported and significant economic news of 2016, thus far.
Can the U.S. escape the slump? | SocialistWorker.org – Lee Sustar looks at the prospects for the U.S. economy amid global instability.
Greatest Threat to Free Speech in the West: Criminalizing Activism Against Israeli Occupation | The Intercept – Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Fishman report that there is a coordinated and well-financed campaign led by Israel and its supporters to criminalize political activism against Israeli occupation, based on the fear that the worldwide campaign of Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment is succeeding.
The end of capitalism has begun | Books | The Guardian – Paul Mason posits that Capitalism will not be abolished by forced-march techniques, but by creating something more dynamic that exists, at first, almost unseen within the old system, but which will break through, reshaping the economy around new values and behaviors.
More money for Wall Street, more problems for Chicago’s schools | Chicago Reader – From Ben Joravsky: “It seems the mayor and his council allies remain defiantly determined to waste money, raise taxes, and plunge Chicago Public Schools into bankruptcy.”
EFF to Support Apple in Encryption Battle | Electronic Frontier Foundation – “For the first time, the government is requesting Apple write brand new code that eliminates key features of iPhone security—security features that protect us all. Essentially, the government is asking Apple to create a master key so that it can open a single phone. And once that master key is created, we’re certain that our government will ask for it again and again, for other phones, and turn this power against any software or device that has the audacity to offer strong security.”
Unless It Changes, Capitalism Will Starve Humanity By 2050 – Forbes – Drew Hansen, writing for that hotbed of Socialist thought, Forbes, says that corporate capitalism is committed to the relentless pursuit of growth, even if it ravages the planet and threatens human health.
A Muslim Reflects on Charlie
Food Blogger Sadia Jabeen writes about what it is like to be Muslim in the wake of the Paris attack.
“When I first heard the news about the events in Paris this week I felt a real sadness at the loss of life. Nobody should expect to be gunned down in their place of work. Again I felt that sense of dread and worry. Who was going to be made to pay for the crimes of the people they had never met or had anything to do with? Were we going to see a further rise of racism and Islamophobia? Where will it end? Unfortunately I wasn’t wrong…”
Read the full essay: I have been very quiet online since the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices and here’s why | Make Tea & Cake, Not War.