After 16 years and $1tn spent, there is no end to the fighting – but western intervention has resulted in Afghanistan becoming the world’s first true narco-state. By Alfred W McCoy After fighting the longest war in its history, the US stands at the brink of defeat in Afghanistan. How could this be possible? How could the world’s sole superpower have battled continuously for more than 16 years – deploying more than 100,000 troops at the conflict’s peak, sacrificing the lives of nearly 2,300 soldiers, spending more than $1tn (£740bn) on its military operations, lavishing a record $100bn more on “nation-building”, … Continue reading How the heroin trade explains the US-UK failure in Afghanistan
by John W. Whitehead, Guest Waking Times “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” ― Frédéric Bastiat, French economist Americans can no longer afford to get sick and there’s a reason why. That’s because a growing number of Americans are struggling to stretch their dollars far enough to pay their bills, get out of debt and ensure that if and when an illness arises, it doesn’t bankrupt them. This is a reality that … Continue reading FINANCIAL TYRANNY: ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ ARE THE NEW PERMANENT UNDERCLASS IN AMERICA
Posted by Soren Dreier Author: James Petras America has the greatest inequalities, highest mortality rate, most regressive taxes, and largest public subsidies for bankers and billionaires of any developed capitalist country. In this essay we will discuss the socio-economic roots of inequalities and the relation between the concentration of wealth and the downward mobility of the working and salaried classes. How the Billionaires become Billionaires One of the most likely sources of billionaire wealth is through tax evasion in all of its guises and forms. Contrary to the propaganda pushed by the business press, between 67% and 72% percent of corporations had … Continue reading HOW BILLIONAIRES BECOME BILLIONAIRES
Joining a gang seemed like the best way to evade violence for women in El Salvador, but in many cases it only put them more squarely in danger. by LAUREN MARKHAM Valentina, a chubby 17-year-old wearing hot-pink spandex shorts, pink Converse, pigtails, and heavy eyeliner, sat on a cement bench in the back of a courtyard, hunched over a cell phone she had half-concealed between her knees. The sounds of traffic, birds trilling, and the music of street vendors carried over the wall rimmed with razor wire. “I’m in for extortion,” she told me, licking a bright blue ice cream … Continue reading THE GIRL GANGS OF EL SALVADOR
Miners at Heworth Colliery near Newcastle, compare wage slips, 21 October 1950. Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty The assumption that you own the contents of your pay-packet, although almost universal, is demonstrably confused Philip Goff is associate professor in philosophy at the Central European University in Budapest. His research interest is in consciousness and he blogs at Conscience and Consciousness. Some radical libertarians hold that all taxation is immoral, on the grounds that it amounts to the state stealing the money of private citizens. This is an extreme position, but the sense that tax involves the government taking ‘our money’ is ubiquitous, and … Continue reading Is taxation theft?
Images from the raid, where the Zambian, despite having one hand already cuffed, resists arrest. Busting open the black-market ivory trade in Malawi and Zambia by Joseph Haldeman In a pink motel room just a few miles from the Zambia–Malawi border in landlocked Southeastern Africa, two European men count stacks of local currency across a floral bedspread: 10,000, 20,000, 30,000, 40,000, 50,000 Zambian kwacha, which comes out to roughly $5,000. A third man watches like a casino pit boss from a plastic armchair, his foot resting on a giant suitcase. He’s a wealthy Zambian with a body builder’s physique, gold jewelry and designer pink polo shirt. … Continue reading Going Undercover With Africa’s Premier Anti-Poaching Unit
Picture series details life inside the notorious Bloodline gang, which is part of the Latin Kings organisations Members are seen brandishing drugs and guns in the chilling photos The group was founded in the 1950s and evolved into a huge criminal enterprise The series also reveals the unity and respect that members show each other By Dave Burke For Mailonline A photographer has documented the lives of one of the biggest and most feared gangs in the US, giving chilling insight into their violent world. The images show gang members holding guns and drugs, as well as mourning friends killed in … Continue reading Inside one of America’s most feared street gangs: Guns, drugs and violence are part of everyday life for the Bloodline gangsters