Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Re-post of The Rifle on the Wall: A Left Argument for Gun Rights (Reprise)

In light of the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, and because I'm a glutton for punishment, I'm re-posting a link to my left argument for gun rights from 2017. (One among many. See links at end of article)

Some points covered in the article:
The class concept of the state. It's not a neutral arbiter to be trusted with a monopoly of armed power. "The concentration of wealth and the concentration of armed power in the hands of a few, are both bad ideas—and the one has everything to do with the other."

The net effect of eliminating the right of citizens to possess firearms will be to increase the power of the armed capitalist state. Whatever strict gun-control regime is instituted, ruling-class families and institutions will still have all the guns they want.

But what about horrible mass shootings? Recognize that *gun homicides have declined even as gun ownership has increased,*. that mass shootings are a small portion of gun deaths in the US & a lousy index of the social problem of gun violence. But they do grab one’s attention.

For the full argument, go to the article:

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Critical Hour Discussion on Disinformation Bureau "Pause" (5/20/2022)

My Critical Hour discussion yesterday with Wilmer Leon, Garland Nixon, and Ted Rall on the DIsinformation Bureau "pause" caused of course, by *fa right-wing* disinformation. 'Cause the Democratic Party is the left end of the earth.

Critical_Hour_978_seg_4.mp3

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Critical Hour Discussion of Jankowicz, Woodrow Wilson redux, NYT Truth on Ukraine, etc.

My Critical Hour panel yesterday with Garland Nixon & Steve Poikonen, discussing Scary Poppins Jankowicz editing tweets, Woodrow Wilson redux, NYT telling some truth about Ukraine, conservative antiwar voices, etc

Friday, May 13, 2022

Critica Hour discussionm of Hunter Biden, Uk9raine to Russiagate, Scary Poppins Jankowicz at DH mS (5/11/2022)80s ol4

My pl Cri

tical Hour discussion with Garlla0d Nixon on Hunter Biden settlement t is ment, Ukraine war als the culmimnako 6

I tion of Russi8mlagate, Scary0m Poppins Jamnoll4. Lm0kowicz managing disinformation at DHS.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Press TV Discussion of Expanding Israeli Settlements (5/6/2022)

My Press TV appearance on Friday, discussing continuing Israeli settler colonialism. With Daniel Lazare​ 



Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Critical Hour Discussion of PayPal Blocking Consortium News & Other Outlets (5/3/2022)

My appearance on The Critical Hour with WIlmer Leon on May 3rd, discussing my article in Consortium News about the full-court wartime censorship that includes blocking and potentially seizing independent media funds.

Monday, May 2, 2022

What Good Are Notebooks? Life During Wartime Censorship

What Good Are Notebooks? Life During Wartime Censorship

Jim Kavanagh

After seeing the news about, and doing a radio segment on, the new Disinformation Governance Board and PayPal blocking  the accounts of Caleb Maupin, Mnar Adley, Alan MacLeod, and  MintPress News, I now see that PayPal has “permanently limited,” and may seize, the account of Consortium News, “because of”—get this: “potential risk associated with this account.”

This is utterly outrageous, and true political censorship. Consortium News, founded in 1995 by the late, great Robert Parry, and continuing under Joe Lauria, has been and still is one of the most honest, trustworthy, unimpeachable sources of information and analysis in the world—infinitely more trustworthy and unassailable than the NYTs and NPRs of the world. It is completely ridiculous, an obviously hollow pretext, to brand it as a "potential risk" to anything but ignorance.

But, of course, that’s the point: The United States Government and the ideological and financial apparatuses of the state are now blatantly determined to keep you ignorant of anything but what they want you to know. There is a risk: that people will hear something true that smashes the heavily-tinted Overton window. The establishment of a Ministry of Truth within the Department of Homeland Security—a repressive state apparatus—coordinated (and you’d have to be quite a fool to think it’s not coordinated) with the sanctions-come-home blockage of the paltry sums independent journalists’ and media platforms’ barely get by on is part of what is now a full-court censorship offensive.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Critical Hour Discussion of "Disinformation Board," Paypal Block, etc. (4/29/2022)

  • Biden Creates Orwellian "Disinformation Governance Board 
  • PayPal Blocks Multiple Alternative Media Figures Critical Of US Empire Narratives
  • Biden asks Congress for $33 billion to support Ukraine through September
  • Pro-Ukraine Rally Attendees Cheer For Nazi Azov Battalion in NYC
  • US and Pacific allies panic over Solomon Islands-China security deal
with Wilmer Leon, Garland Nixon, and Steve Poikonen


Monday, April 18, 2022

Ukraine Negotiation Kabuki

 Ukraine Negotiation Kabuki

Jim Kavanagh


Though they are not given much of a voice in the mainstream media, many people oppose US/NATO sending more arms to Ukraine and oppose direct Western military intervention, because they see that such actions would only prolong an inevitably lost fight “to the last Ukrainian” and/or they do not think it’s worth risking World War III in order to refuse Ukraine neutrality, Russia’s absorption of Crimea, and the independence of the Donbass republics (LDPR).

Good for all of them.

Among many of those, from left anti-imperialists to paleo-conservative realists, the discourse hinges on forgoing war for diplomacy. Let’s not send more weapons; let’s instead encourage negotiations! Negotiate, don’t escalate.

“Every war ends in negotiations,” they will say, and “we”—the US government and NATO—have to encourage Ukraine to compromise.

This attitude is well summed up in Aaron Maté’s citation of former diplomat Charles Freeman regarding US/NATO’s “disregard for diplomacy”: “Everything we are doing, rather than accelerate an end to the fighting and some compromise, seems to be aimed at prolonging the fighting." This is echoed in Noam Chomsky’s insistence that “the prime focus” should be on “moving towards a possible negotiated settlement that will save Ukrainians from further disaster.”

Here’s the thing, however, that is very important to be clear about in this situation: There is no possibility of “negotiations” or “compromise” in the optimistic sense implied—i.e., talks leading to a deal in which, in some mutually satisfactory way, each side gets and gives up something important to it.

There is no possibility of such “negotiations” or “compromise” because that already happened.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Twitter Censorship, Vaccine Risk, and Myocarditis Mumbo-Jumbo

 Twitter Censorship, Vaccine Risk, and Myocarditis Mumbo-Jumbo

Jim Kavanagh


I received this email from Twitter at 12:56 PM, Thursday, April 7, in response to a Tuesday tweet of mine:


Here is my transgressive tweet in the context of the thread as it displayed on Friday, with Twitter’s warning (It seems to have disappeared since):


The important thing here is, of course, the substance of my tweet, which is neither “misleading” nor “potentially harmful” but true. This incident prompts me to address one of my pet peeves in the vaccine mandate debate (because here, as always, the issue of the vaccine always becomes an issue of a mandate): the conversation in which stating the fact that the mRNA vaccines carry an elevated risk of myocarditis (especially to young males) is met with the riposte that “But Covid carries a greater risk!”—delivered, and usually accepted, as a mic drop that shuts down the concern over the vaccine.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Stop Believing: Be Skeptical of the Civilian-casualty Narrative

Stop Believing:
Be skeptical of the civilian-casualty narrative

 Jim Kavanagh


Moscow Times/TASS / CTK Photo / Vladimir Prycek

As I’ve said before, in a full-scale war, no one gets out with clean hands. In any war, both sides are going to kill some innocent civilians and each side is going to downplay its own excesses and highlight the enemy’s. Though we’d like to, we cannot avoid what we all know is the terrible answer to this question: When has any side in any war stopped fighting because of civilian casualties?

In such a context, by no means should anyone believe either the report or denial of an atrocity on the basis of statements from the warring parties and their interested allies alone. To decide what version of events one thinks is true, it is necessary to critically analyze the versions of the interested parties and seek information from as many independent sources as possible who have demonstrated their honesty, fairness, and reliability in such situations.

We’ve had decades of “aggression and atrocity” lies to justify the U.S. going to war—Vietnam’s attack on U.S. ships in the Tonkin Gulf, Iraqi soldiers dumping babies from incubators in Kuwait, WMDs in Iraq, Viagra-pumped Ghaddafi rapist soldiers in Libya, Syrian government poison gas attacks on their own citizens in Syria, etc. In this very conflict, within the space of ten days, we’ve had a number of blatant lies loudly promoted and then demurely retracted—the ghost fighter pilot of Kiev, the heroic Snake Island martyrs who fought to their death, the vicious Russian tank driver who crushed a car, the non-existent then “dangerous” biological research labs, etc. So, I think it’s imperative that Americans not believe, on first hearing, the atrocity reports coming from the media that peddled and memory-holed all those lies.

The U.S. and Western media have demonstrated that they are interested parties, allies and voices of the Kiev government (ward of the U.S. government), who accept and transmit as true any of that government’s accounts of Russian crimes. Without any further proof, they will maintain the truth of those accounts, until and unless someone else (they will never look) provides irrefutable counter-evidence they cannot ignore. Their attitude, which they have successfully inculcated in most of their American audience, is that what Kiev says can must be taken as true and what Russia says must be taken as false. It is the most dangerous attitude in the world.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

The Battle of Ukraine and the War It’s Part Of

The Battle of Ukraine and the War It’s Part Of

Jim Kavanagh

All-in

Last week,  I wrote that Russia was “on the offensive and impatient” and would “act very soon.” It did, but in a way that far exceeded my expectations. I thought Russia would make a direct military intervention to secure the Lugansk and Donetsk Republics (LDPR) it had newly recognized, and maybe help them to capture the large portion of their claimed territory still controlled by Ukrainian forces—a more offensive and riskier move that, I warned, would make it easier to create a political narrative detrimental to Russia. Unlikely, I thought, that Russia would engage in a military offensive west of Donbass, let alone aimed at Kiev.

Well, as I was writing that, Russia moved in a way that blew through all my—and just about everyone’s—oh-so-shrewd calculations of how oh-so-shrewd Russia’s strategic thinking would be. Russia mounted a broad, full-scale offensive—destroying military facilities throughout Ukraine, seeking to encircle and capture major cities, and moving on the capital itself. This is nothing less than an attempt to achieve major policy changes in Ukraine by military force.

Russia is insisting that Ukraine recognize Crimea as Russian territory, abide by the Minsk agreement (oops, too late) recognize the LDPR, officially renounce joining NATO and remove any extant NATO infrastructure, adopt a neutral stance, and eliminate the fascist political influence (“de-Nazify”).

It is the Battle of Ukraine. This is a demand for a definitive redefinition of the Ukrainian polity that has emerged since 2014. “Regime change,” if you wish, in a substantive sense. The Kiev government and its patron, the US, will not agree, and never would have agreed, to any of it, except by force.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Path to War

Here’s the unfinished post I was composing when I heard the news about Russian "military action" in Ukraine. 

In my previous post on the subject, I said that Russian actions in recognizing the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics (LDNR) had placed the U.S./NATO bloc in a lose-lose situation. I maintain that, but I also realize that the United States has developed quite a propensity to lose in a way that destroys everybody’s chance of “winning” any positive outcome. Think Libya, Syria, Iraq, etc. Further details that have emerged about the Russian-LDNR position indicate how their way forward can be turned into a path toward war and generalized destruction.

In a brief press conference last night, Vladimir Putin clarified the Russian position. First, and of most immediate significance, he confirmed that Russia is recognizing the LDNR republics within their administrative borders, as defined before the conflict broke out in 2014. This includes territory now controlled by Kiev forces, including the port city of Mariupol. He also stated that Ukraine should recognize Crimea as Russian territory, should explicitly renounce any intention of joining NATO, and should “demilitarize”—that is, give up “advanced weaponry.”

While he put no timetable on achieving these goals (“It is impossible to predict the scenario that will unfold”), he also, when asked, did not abjure the use of force (“good should be able to defend itself”). The Russian posture now is on the offensive and impatient. As he keeps saying, Putin feels that Russia has been strung along on Ukraine for eight years, it has amassed the necessary forces, and is in no mood to stand down without definitively resolving the major issues.

The question of LDNR territory poses a significant political quandary for Russia. Russia recognizing and intervening to “protect” the LDNR republics in the territory under they currently control, in order to defend them from the Kiev siege has different political valence than Russia intervening to support an LDNR offensive to capture more territory.

Whether Russia and LDNR are right or wrong in their construal of the new legal status of the republics and their territory, and no matter that it actually fixes limits of military advance, such specifically offensive action will be more easily turned to the political benefit of Kiev/US/NATO.  US/NATO would, of course, pour weapons into the defense of the Kiev lines, and, if it were capable (which it’s not), Kiev could help itself by immediately making the people in those areas the most pampered of its subjects.

And there will be pressure from LDNR militias and from Russian military and political circles to take that offensive action. It’s the logical result of the recognition, and there will never be a better time to do it. If this territorial issue is not resolved, and those limits set, now, for how long will it fester? Precisely, why allow any time for US/NATO weaponry and Kiev social seduction to come in?

My sense is that Russia/LDNR will act very soon. Russia cares a lot more about resolving the situation than avoiding somewhat more of a political attack that it will get anyway. This means an offensive, initiated by them against Kiev forces. This will result in tremendous pressure for US/NATO to join in the defense of Kiev, and if they do—even in the guise of undeclared, not-really-there special forces or stand-off missile attacks—that will result in European and/or American casualties and attacks on any launching platforms., anywhere  If necessary, in such a fight, Russia will strike behind the lines, including at Kiev itself—not to take over the country, but to disrupt the leadership and create a crisis that forces withdrawal from the LDNR territories. If it doesn’t force direct US/NATO attack on Russian territory. The danger of war is real and imminent, and no one can be sure how bad it will get.

This is only in relation to the territorial issue. The other issues—renouncing NATO membership, restricting advanced weaponry, etc.—are at least as imperative for Russia, and can easily lead down the same path to war.

Russia knows very well the hurt it will suffer. The Europeans should. The Americans do not.

It is important for Americans to realize that Russia is not bluffing, and will not back down. The card of escalation dominance that the United States has played for decades no longer intimidates Russia, which, certainly in this theater, has a better version of it in its own hand. There will be peace when there is a political resolution that satisfies Russia’s concerns—before or after a deadly military conflict.

—-interrupted by news of Russian military action in Ukraine—

Related articles: The Battle of Ukraine and the War It’s Part Of New World Order. The US Lost.  From 2014: Charge of the Right Brigade: Ukraine and the Dynamics of Capitalist InsurrectionGood for the Gander: Ukraine's Demise Accelerates. From 2018: The Warm War: Russiamania At The Boiling Point.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

New World Order. The U.S. Lost.


https://twitter.com/RealPepeEscobar/status/1495856808832950281?s=20&t=LUsE89mgfjLNmfsf8xEdLQ

Let’s realize how profoundly the game has changed. Russia’s recognition of, and immediate activation of military support for, the Donetsk and Luagansk People’s Republics (DPR/LDR) has created a situation in which the United States (and its cat’s paw, NATO) can do nothing but lose. Indeed, it has already lost. The present situation, as of yesterday, created by Russian action, demonstrates that the US/NATO unipolar control of the world is over. It has nothing but threats that are ignored, the hollow bluffs of a bully who is losing control of the schoolyard and can do nothing that won’t hurt him more than anyone he threatens. 

Something enormous just ended. Let’s go to the videotape to see what that is.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Shallow Marxist Trashing of Truckers

Mao Zedong quote: As for people who are politically backward, Communists  should not...

There’s a talking point being passed around by certain self-identified marxists and socialists, dismissing the truckers who are resisting vaccine mandates because they are not “workers” but “owner-operators” who, since they “own” their own trucks are actually small capitalists and therefore not worthy of class solidarity. Indeed, they can be treated as class enemies.

It’s hard to conjure up a shallower, more self-defeating use of marxist language.

These truckers “own their own trucks” the way most struggling families own their own homes—they own a debt, which makes them more economically insecure, and places a further burden on them to work harder for the banks and finance companies that are always one step away from depriving them of their livelihood. What kind of self-sabotaging “socialist” political paradigm would dismiss all homeowners as petit-bourgeois class enemies rather than approach them with solidarity, working hard to ally with their concrete struggles and persuade them to ally with the more general socialist project—since they are in fact indispensable to it?

“Owner-operator,” “contractor,” “self-employed”—all these ambiguous class locations are the constructs of neo-liberalism, which has reveled in confusing class relations by hiding the power of big capital behind a sea of socially-weakened, infinitely-at-risk, “entrepreneurs.” The project of neo-liberal capitalism has been to destroy jobs themselves, to dispense with any smattering of job security, and to abolish all concepts of capital’s relation to, let alone responsibility to, labor. It’s precisely neo-liberalism’s wet dream to turn the working-class into a mass of incipient "entrepreneurs," every one dreaming to hit the Shark Tank jackpot in a social economy that dooms most of them to failure. For a non-shallow marxism, it’s should be seen as a reversion to a modern version of piece-work. You know, like the nineteenth-century women sent home to work on their sewing machines. Owner-operators.

So, when a diverse and united group of workers actually stands up in solidarity and collective action to resist an injustice for the whole of society—which is what they (and I) consider these mandates to be (argue that if you want, without the faux-marxist diversions)—it is utterly foolish, and destructive of any chance of developing a class-based revolutionary politics, for judgemental “leftists,” using the shallowest of marxist rhetoric, to reject and shit on them for occupying the social position neo-liberal capitalism has forced them into, for not being the abstract “worker” they are supposed to be.

It is a complete abandonment of marxism/communism 101: A mass, left, working-class movement, which we lack, has to be built with the working-class we have, not the one we wish for.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Campaign to Deplatorm Joe Rogan is Hypocritical, Reactionary, and a Danger to Society

Watch this clip (If it’s not immediately deleted) and read the whole thread from Glenn Greenwald. Then tell me the campaign to deplatform Joe Rogan is not the culmination of a hypocritical, reactionary drive to prevent any scientific or political conversation that strays outside the establishment-approved narrative. It has nothing to do with the purported reasons for outrage, which are a phony crock of shit.

Anyone who goes along with this campaign is a fooal and a danger to society. This crap is literally destroying the possibility of reasonable social exchange.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Pawn Takes Pawn: The Joe Rogan Brouhaha

I've watched a few Joe Rogan episodes, on a range of subjects that are usually not overtly political but almost always interesting—from the CIA connection to the Manson family to possible sites of Atlantis. I don't know that I've watched a single episode the whole way through. They're usually very long! They are precisely long-form conversations in which Rogan allows guests to speak and explain themselves in a way you hardly ever see anywhere else in the media.

Rogan is intellectually curious and intelligently inquisitive, open-minded, fair, and intellectually honest. I do not and would not go to him for my politics, and I don't know how deep his politics are, but the notion that he's some kind of right-wing lunatic is ludicrous. He was a Bernie supporter, ffs! The demand to cancel Rogan, coming from an aging, politically-shallow and inconsistent hippie who did not want the “faggot behind the fuckin’ cash register..handl[ing] your potatoes” In the late 80s, and did want to support the USA/Patriot Act, which meant “we’re going to have to relinquish some of our freedoms for a short period of time” in the 2000s (a “shredding of the constitution” for which, take note, he was called out in Countepunch),  is particularly precious.

I doubt Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, or most of the people railing against Rogan now have ever seen more than five minutes of one of his interviews. They are exactly the kinds of conversations that everyone keeps saying we need. I struggle to think of an example of something as silly, capricious, and politically senseless and pernicious as trying to prevent everyone from seeing Joe Rogan’s interviews. Closest I can come: It’s like cancelling Larry King or Phil Donahue. What the fuck have we come to that anybody thinks this is some kind of progressive necessity?

I haven't seen the Robert Malone or Peter McCullough conversations that everybody's so worked up about, but what's upsetting to the powers-that-be is precisely that Rogan allowed scientists like them to explain themselves in their own terms at some length. They are, after all, indisputably qualified scientists who have at least as much authority to speak on Covid vaccines and treatments as the approved mainstream “experts,” who have been wrong about…well, everything. The powers-that-be aren't seeking to deplatform Joe Rogan in order to protect you from "misinformation," but because they don't want you to see and hear alternative explanations that you may find cogent, and might lead you to see how dishonest and incompetent they have been.

Nobody's deplatforming Rogan to protect you; they—people with a lot more power than Rogan, Young, or Mitchell—are doing it to close off scientific and political debate, and to protect themselves. What kind of fool do you have to be not to recognize this?

Fools like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell are really Rockin’ in  the Hedge Fund World, pawns in a game run by players like Blackrock (which actually owns Neil Young’s music), the object of which is to further tighten establishment control of discourse and to destroy the possibility of reasonable scientific and political conversation.

The call to deplatform Rogan is reactionary and ridiculous. If you join in, especially if you've never seen one of his conversations, you are a foolish pawn in a reactionary and ridiculous game that is helping to destroy our society.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Fauci's Follies, Covid Policy, and the Left

My conversation with Edward Curtin about our fellow high school alumnus, Anthony Fauci, and the confusions, contradictions, and harms of the coronavirus policies he has promoted.


Monday, January 17, 2022

Press TV Discussion of Syria's Situation (1/16/2022)

Here's my appearance on PressTV yesterday, discussing the good and bad news about Syria's situation. According to the host, I didn't leave any questions unanswered.



Monday, January 10, 2022

PressTV Discussion of Continuing Saudi War on Yemen (1/8/2022)

Saudi Arabia has upped the ante in the war on Yemen by conducting a new round of airstrikes against various areas across the war-wracked Arab country, as Riyadh and its regional allies press ahead with their devastating war and brutal siege against the Yemeni nation. Discussion with Jim Kavanagh and Elijah J. Magnier

https://www.urmedium.com/c/presstv/101801

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

PressTV Discussion on the Anniversary of the Soleimani Assassination (1-2-2022)

In this edition of Spotlight, we have conducted an interview with Syed Mohsin Abbas and Jim Kavanagh on the occasion of the second anniversary of the assassination of Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani by the United States.



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