“A shadow government has conquered twenty-first-century Washington. We have the makings of a thug state of the first order.” No two sentences more clearly and disturbingly summarize what Tom Engelhardt’s Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World is about: a Leviathan national-security state rampaging around the world in pursuit of perfect security and creating chaos wherever it puts its grotesque girth down.
Greece’s ruling ostensibly left-wing Syriza party signed a “status of forces” accord with Israel on July 19. The Jerusalem Post explains that the agreement “offers legal defense to both militaries ...
Enrique Ferro's insight:
Critics note that Syriza first compromised its fundamental economic values, agreeing to a Troika-imposed crippling austerity deal that the IMF (which profits off of Greece’s odious debt) openly admitted would not work and that a prominent economics professor warned will make it simply “impossible” for Greece to pay off its large debts. The Syriza government made this decision in spite of the fact that almost two-thirds of the Greek population explicitly voted against austerity in an historic referendum in early July.
Now critics say Syriza has compromised its supposed support for the Palestinians, signing an agreement with the very military that occupies them—and not just any agreement, but an agreement that only the US, Israel’s closet ally, has signed.
Bland's death over a routine traffic stop is beyond monstrous. It is indicative of a country in which lawlessness is now integral to the police state, and extreme violence is the new norm for a society fed by the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, the incarceration state, the drug wars, and the increasing militarization of everything, including the war on black youth.
El Salvador has one of the strictest and most archaic anti-abortion laws in the world; it has a total ban on abortion, even in cases of rape, incest, and medical emergencies. Women who have miscarriages or stillborn births are confronted with suspicion from authorities. The legal system has an built-in "presumption of guilt," making it virtually impossible for women to prove their innocence.
Enrique Ferro's insight:
El Salvador has one of the strictest and most archaic anti-abortion laws in the world; it has a total ban on abortion, even in cases of rape, incest, and medical emergencies. Women who have miscarriages or stillborn births are confronted with suspicion from authorities. The legal system has an built-in "presumption of guilt," making it virtually impossible for women to prove their innocence. Instead, these women are charged with manslaughter and imprisoned. All too often Salvadoran women are forced to live a life of overwhelming stigmatization and marginalization.
The tide is turning against the Houthis and troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the south of Yemen. But they and their adversaries now face a tipping point in the four-month-old civil war.
Diamonds discovered in the frozen lava of the Tolbachik volcano in Kamchatka have geological and mineralogical characteristics so unique , that Russian scientists, thrilled with the finding, had to classify the gems as a completely new type of diamond.
The 13 passages take you, in Galeano-esque fashion, from the Opium Wars to Darwin's finches. It's great stuff from a man to whom history regularly whispered its secrets and it's excerpted from his late-in-life masterpiece, his history of humanity in 366 episodes, Mirrors.
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