United States

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The couple from Chapel Hill never saw a photo,
From their wedding,
Because it just arrived,
Upon their murder.
So if you want young people to die,
shot in the head, in a grave,
keep yourselves polarized,
keep fighting for your side.
Keep up with proxy wars,
And real wars.
But if you have a tendency,
Upon the death of the young,
To feel a little sick,
To see through sleepless eyes,
Their love,
As they gaze into each others’ eyes,
For the last time,
If their religion, if their skin tone,
Matters not to you,
Then show it,
Every day, in every way,
In your empathy and solidarity,
With those who are different in your midst.
There is no other way to build the world,
And there never has been.…

{ 2 comments }

DEMOCRACY’S PARADOX

by mgopin on December 2, 2014 · 0 comments

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(reflections on the 2010 decade’s upward tick of liberal idea dissemination, coinciding with the upward tick of reactionary trends in democratic voting)

The weakness of democracy:
The ballot box,
For it is a private space of,
Exposed tribalism.
This is a paradox for,
Democracy was meant as an antidote to tribalism.
The strength of democracy:
Agreed upon rights,
Agreed upon universal commitments,
Based on the unshakeable rule of law.
This has upended,
Tribalism’s death grip on history.
This is also a paradox of human nature.
What is to be done next?…

{ 0 comments }

Nationalism and Groupthink

by mgopin on October 17, 2014 · 3 comments

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The root of this maddening reversal of the military is irrational thinking of the body politic, and the human illness of groupthink, which is in essence the scourge of nationalism and nationalist thinking. otherwise intelligent, thoughtful even nice people, becoming monstrous because the political establishment, having gotten into power through racial or national flag waving, told them that the violent path was the only one–until the day, that is, that they shrugged their shoulders, and said it was NOT the only path. Like America and the Communist domino effect in Vietnam. The outdated philosophy here, or brain fart, is nationalism. Rational self-interest is fine, but the only rational future is in the liberal, socially contracted state, without the flag-waving brain distortions.…

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Kurds call to arms as Islamic State closes in on Syrian town.
There is going to be a massacre in the large city of Kobani in Syria, and ISIS is closing in with tanks. Tanks! Hard to spot those with stealth fighters??? Someone please explain.

Kurds Call to Arms as Islamic State Closes in on Syrian Town, Reuters

A statement issued by the YPG, the main Kurdish armed group, vowed “never ending” resistance to Islamic State in its advance on Kobani. “Every street and house will be a grave for them.”

“Our call to all the young men and women of Kurdistan … is to come to be part of this resistance.”

YPG Syria

(Photo: Basnews)

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My new article is now published on Truthout.
Please check this whole article out from here, and appreciate your comments.
I will share the excerpt below as well.

 

Poverty-In-America

Tithing, tax Time and Specialization

It is time for a tax on all the professions of modern society. Every professional, every organization of professionals, must be called upon to devise a way to help with up to ten percent of one’s time, an individual or family, with the special tool of prosperity unique to each specialty. Dentists must devise a way to provide some dental help, investors a way to help with savings and even donated investments or stocks that can benefit a family… There is not a profession in our world that cannot devise a creative way to donate time to the improvement of a needy life. This is the way that all ships will rise, and poverty

{ 1 comment }

Counterterrorism

by mgopin on August 21, 2014 · 5 comments

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The purpose of terrorism is to provoke a response. The purpose of the provocation of response is to create martyrs. The purpose of the creation of martyrs is an army of enthusiastic especially young men in search of glory and sex. The purpose of the creation of an army is the replacement of old political order with a new order.

The purpose of counterterrorism should be the defense of one’s population, even better, the defense of all life. The actual function of counterterrorism is the strengthening of the police state and weapons sales. The actual function of political counterterrorism by politicians is to create votes. The purpose of the creation of votes is the maintenance of the power structure and strengthening of the state.
Thus the cycle is complete. For when the counterterrorists respond with appropriate excessive violence to the bait of the terrorists both achieve their purpose. And then …

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Aziz and I published an article in +972 Magazine.  You can read the full article by clicking here, but here is the extract below.

There are two main camps involved in negotiating a ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel. However, the players are not within the camp that most would have expected. What started as Israel vs. Hamas is quickly becoming a geopolitical issue involving many new actors. While this might seem good for some, it should be seen as terrible news for Palestinians and Israelis alike.

Today this same is happening in Gaza. ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, is already reported to have a presence in Gaza and is likely to try to take power from Hamas. While all the other regional powers are arguing about which “proposal” for a ceasefire should be accepted, more than 1,040 Palestinians have been killed and 6,000 injured,

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Part I: The Failure of the Military Option

Syria Peace Sign ImageIt may seem odd to speak of nonviolence in the same sentence as Syria, one of the bloodiest and most tragic destructions of a state and a culture in contemporary history. But the fact is that we are inching closer to a mainstream and politically realist understanding of nonviolence as a legitimate course of political change. This is very significant, because if in fact the major powers are beginning to acknowledge the futility of armed conflict, at least in places of a geopolitical standoff, such as Syria, then we can expect more Western support may to nonviolent resisters in the future. This in turn may inch the globe a bit closer to a nonviolent system of social change.

Why has the military option become increasingly futile in the Syrian case? Because Russia and Iran will not back down in their support of …

{ 2 comments }

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Folks please see my essay on Iran, Israel, U.S. and a very different view of nuclear standoff and future possibilities, finally published in Huffiington Post here and reproduced below. Please feel free to comment, critique, pass on to others.  

There is a pervasive fear that is being spread by American, Israeli and Sunni Gulf leaders that the most dangerous development in modern history will be the capacity of Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. The fear of nuclear weapons is a natural one, and it is well deserved, because a nuclear weapon is far and away the worst technological innovation of murder ever developed in human history, probably the worst that ever will be developed. 

It is especially understandable that Israel, composed mostly of Jews, many of whom are from Holocaust families, would be especially vulnerable to the fear of sudden and mass extermination by inveterate enemies. By some estimates, …

{ 7 comments }

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We are facing the beginnings of a Cuban Missile Crisis moment in the Straits of Hormuz, and without the proper communications system to avoid a catastrophe, as David Ignatius has noted. Secret communications between President Obama and Khameini are an excellent idea right now, with the right back channels, but they should not be just about communicating red lines and threats directly and personally. They should also be about opportunities, and those opportunities must be kept the most secret of all, because of those who are breathing down Obama’s political neck, itching for war.

 

There is an ancient idea that if you want your enemy to make a move other than one that is suicidal that you must not surround him on all four sides, you must offer him a way out. If there is no way out, then the threats and aggressive maneuvers just escalate. There must …

{ 1 comment }

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