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When a newspaper has arrived at the point of praising war criminals while deluding itself that it is holding the powerful to account, I know that it’s not a newspaper that I want to keep receiving.
Farewell to the Guardian

The "right to self-determination" as promulgated by much of the left is in fact nothing more than mindless cheerleading for bourgeois nationalism. By contrast, socialists like Karl Marx and Rosa Luxemburg argued that it was necessary to analyze the political, economic, and class content of nationalist movements on their individual merits, and support them only if they were progressive.
Thinking About Self-Determination


Mysterious George - Photo by Ulli Diemer

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No doubt things look pretty rosy from the salad bars of the “upscale restaurants” in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, where foreign journalists like Geoffrey York rub shoulders with “swarms of Western advisers and consultants” (Obscure little country becomes big success). Too bad it didn’t occur to Mr. York to find out how the people of Kyrgyzstan are faring under the marvellous “market reforms” which have turned the country into “the darling of the world’s economic reformers”.
Things are good for everyone – except the vast majority/em>

Who knew? The Nazi Holocaust, according to Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney, could have been prevented if only Germany hadn't suffered from an excess of freedom of speech. So much for the established historical view, according to which Germany was set on the road to totalitarian horror by a right-wing government which passed a series of emergency laws that abolished freedom of speech, outlawed all opposition, jailed critics, and set up a secret police apparatus to spy on the entire population, all in the name of “public safety.”
The biggest threat to a free society is freedom of speech, says Canada’s Public Safety Minister

Selected Letters
A-Z by Title

Against Censorship
Believe it or not, some of us would rather not have customs officials and cops deciding what we can read or look at. We’d rather decide for ourselves.
Anti-Chomksy fictions
Unable to refute Chomsky’s arguments, his critics resort to fabrications and slander.
Broadcast licenses for religious groups
A democratic, pluralistic society is possible only if there exists the opportunity for on-going dialogue and debate among the many different points of view existing in society.
The Buzz Hargrove election controversy
Is the NDP so wonderful that we’ll lose our souls if we don’t support everything the NDP does, no matter how ill-advised it may be?
The “cost” of software piracy
Money that isn’t spent on software isn’t ‘lost’ to the economy – it is spent on something else.
Cuba’s Invasion Fears
The U.S. administration continues to display pathological hatred toward the Cuban government, which it has been continuously working to overthrow since 1959, with tactics which range from a total economic embargo (still in effect), through crop poisonings, to attempted assassinations.
Debating the NDP
The Left has been trying to “move the NDP to the left” since 1933, achieving pretty much the same result as a dog chasing its tail.
The end of carding?
The Ontario government has announced that it intends to bring in regulations to stop the police practice of stopping people at random and demanding their information.
Falsifying history
The voters rejected free trade – and got it anyway. That’s how our democracy works.
Farewell to the Guardian
When a newspaper has arrived at the point of praising war criminals while deluding itself that it is holding the powerful to account, I know that it’s not a newspaper that I want to keep receiving.
Flatly Outrageous
The Fraser Institute, like the Flat Earth Society, clings to an obsolete world-view in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Foreign Funding for Canadian Political Parties
How about an inquiry into the campaign funds which the Liberal and Progressive Conservative Parties receive, year after year, from American-owned companies?
The futile war on drugs and prostitution
Our obsessive and utterly futile ‘war’ against drugs is turning tens of thousands of people into ‘criminals’ and corrupting our entire society.
Globe’s pro-Israel stance reeks of double standards and historical amnesia
The conditions in Gaza resemble nothing so much as the Warsaw ghetto after the German conquest of Poland.
Health Care monopoly
The evidence shows that the private sector is far more bureaucratic and much less efficient than the public sector when it comes to providing health care.
Interventions
When Indonesia invaded East Timor, the United States rushed to provide aid to the invader.
Israel’s attack on the UN post in Lebanon
Israel’s leaders can afford to ignore to world outrage. Israel’s superpower patron, the United States, supports everything Israel does and keeps supplying money and arms, while the U.S. and Canadian media provide uncritical support.
Keep stressing the issue of democracy
The issue of democracy, or the lack of it, connects, or has the potential to connect, many struggles and movements.
A manufactured crisis in education
This is a government which openly stated that it intended to create a crisis in education, and then went ahead and did so.
The Meaning of Democracy
When the corporate media talk about democracy, what they have in mind is a safe election every four years or so in which voters choose between corporate-dominated parties whose policies are virtually indistinguishable on all fundamental issues.
Monogamous Voles
If only a tiny minority of mammals are monogamous, then presumably non-monogamous behaviour offers an evolutionary advantage.
The myth of a free market in publishing and high-tech
The high-tech industries owe their existence not to ‘free enterprise’, but to massive levels of government subsidies and intervention.
Neocon con game
Neo-con con game: First starve the public sector of resources so it can’t act, then blame it for not acting.
Opposing Censorship
The question is: who is to decide a particular piece of art is good or bad, whether it is exploitative or non-exploitative, whether it should be banned or not? Surely the answer must be that no one should have the power to make such decisions for other people.
Polluted Logic
The idea of letting companies buy their way out of complying with the law is an idea with vast untapped potential.
Psychotherapist Out of Touch
In this psychotherapist’s emotionally constipated vision of family life, there is no room for spontaneous physical expressions of affection.
The reliable tyrant
Saddam Hussein was a truly nasty piece of work when he was in power, but his methods, including mass murder and torture, didn’t stop the U.S. from supporting him enthusiastically throughout the 1980s, the period of his greatest crimes.
Rosa Luxemburg
Rosa Luxemburg’s revolutionary perspective includes supporting pressure for reforms within capitalism, but she is utterly clear that reforms cannot bring about fundamental change, that socialism can only come about through revolution.
Self-determination for whom?
Do the Cree of Northern Quebec have the right to self-determination? If some regions of Quebec want to stay part of Canada, do they have the right to self-determination?
Smearing Noam Chomsky
The deliberate use of outrageous lies to smear others is a favourite tactic of hate propagandists.
The Star’s biased reporting
George Orwell would be impressed. Residents of the community are illegitimate intruders at a public meeting to discuss the future of their community. Outsiders brought in to tell them that resistance is futile are the forces of legitimacy.
Taking the company helicopter to the cottage
A case of misappropriating corporate resources for personal use.
Things are good for everyone in Kyrgystan – except the vast majority
Capitalist success! Everybody is better off, except for the people.
Why Does the CBC Always Turn to American Experts?
The CBC can’t seem to air any discussion of any issue without turning to American experts.
Why doesn’t Saddam use his alleged weapons of mass destruction if he has them?
If Saddam Hussein actually had weapons of mass destruction, why wouldn’t he use them now, when his back is against the wall?
Yes Means No?
Puritans may not like it, but some people actually enjoy sex under circumstances that puritans don’t approve of.

Trout River Pond - Photo by Ulli Diemer

Trout River Pond, Newfoundland. Photo by Ulli Diemer.