A presidential inauguration that will live in infamy

Before this day is over, Donald Trump will be sitting behind the cash register . . . er, desk in the Oval Office but who will be running the store, if anyone, since he hasn’t bothered to fill even the key jobs crucial to running the country? Continue reading

Crumbling reactors and other nightmares of a Trump-Perry energy policy

In the area of energy policy under the presidency of Donald Trump, two concerns loom above all others. Continue reading

Pavor nocturnus during the fortnight of Trump’s inauguration

Entering 2017 in political America has been a true centennial celebration of surrealism, American style . . . at least in ideology and politics, if not in art. We may not quite have the quality-legacy of surrealism provided by Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx or Pablo Picasso to Europeans a century ago, but we are poised to receive an overdose of new political reality shortly after Donald Trump is installed as our 45th president today, January 20. Plan on it . . . count on it! Continue reading

Yemen: Obama’s parting gift to terror

Barack Obama saved his parting gift to terror, his worst crime, for last, the war on the Yemeni People. Obama’s last war has institutionalized a failed state and which will continue to inflict terror and suffering on 25 million Yemenis for generations to come. Continue reading

Remember Don Siegelman

I hope that President Obama commuted Manning’s unjust sentence not as a sop to transgenders, but as a sign that a bit of humanity still remains in the outgoing war criminal president. Manning did his duty and reported US war crimes by releasing the astounding video of US troops murdering innocent people and journalists walking along a street and then murdering a father and his two young children who stopped to help the wounded left on the street by the US helicopter gunship or drone or whatever the murder device was. The video reveals US troops playing video kill games with real people. Continue reading

What to expect from the Trump administration: A protectionist and pro-corporate American government

Presidential candidate Donald Trump raised the hopes of many Americans when he criticized his political opponents for their close ties to Wall Street and, above all, when he promised to ‘drain the swamp’ in Washington, D.C. He may still fulfill that last promise, but as the quote above indicates, he may have to fight House Republicans on that central issue. Candidate Trump also raised the hopes of many when he promised to end costly wars abroad and to concentrate rather on preventing jobs from moving offshore, on creating more middle-class jobs at home and on preventing the American middle class from shrinking any further. Continue reading

A future for the Democratic Party?

You would think that learning from experience is a common thing to do. But, for the Democratic Party’s leadership this seems not to be the case. After the landslide victory of Trump’s version of the Republican Party in the 2016 national election, it is fair to say that the Democratic Party is in big trouble. As Senator Bernie Sanders has observed, the party needs to reform. Continue reading

Chelsea Manning has sacrificed her life

I was pleasantly surprised by the announcement that President Obama would commute Chelsea Manning’s sentence so that she may be released in May. Continue reading

Nothing is real: When reality TV programming masquerades as politics

Donald Trump no longer needs to launch Trump TV. Continue reading

Ankara’s greatest challenge is fixing the economy

Once stable and prosperous, Turkey is battling on multiple fronts, but despite the country’s woes it has escaped the specter of widespread civil discontent until now. The failed coup, and the purges of alleged sympathizers from all walks of life, served to bring the nation together, sending President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s approval rating soaring to new heights. Continue reading

Obama commutes Chelsea Manning’s sentence

Whistleblower to be released from military prison in May

President Barack Obama has commuted noted whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence, and Manning will be released on May 17 of this year. Continue reading

Is it possible that Trump will move us away from our new Cold War?

I was just watching on CNN NATO troops moving into Eastern Europe in the latest “get tough” move against Russia. This intimidating buildup is frightening to those of us who understand the significance, and why it is being done. President Obama and the rest of our National Security State players have been demonizing the Russians in the public forum. Continue reading

Trump’s plan to neuter the White House press corps, and neuter our democracy

Tyrants don’t allow open questioning, and they hate the free press. They want total control. Continue reading

‘The power to create a new world’: Capital versus humanity

Catastrophic climate change is no longer a subject for argument, at least on a mainstream level within the science community. Yet, as temperatures continue to rise, American efforts to combat global warming, sadly seem to decline. Continue reading

MLK family’s doubts about the official version of April ’68 events

Although this editor never had the opportunity to sit down with John F. Kennedy Jr. in July 1999 to discuss his offer to a small group of journalists he decided to hire to investigate his father’s assassination—Kennedy died in a suspicious plane crash shortly before the interview was scheduled—there was a surprise opportunity to discuss the matters of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination with his son. Continue reading

The smartest person in the room: Stories about fact, fiction, good, and evil

Part One

Several times in recent weeks I have been lured into clicking on Internet posts purporting to show the IQs of US presidents, including the president-elect now waiting to take over. Continue reading

America is No. 1 in all the wrong things

American exceptionalism is a great deception—except in negative terms. No nation in world history caused more harm to more people over a longer duration. Continue reading

Will Trump be handcuffed by the ‘Deep State’?

Say what you will about Donald Trump—and for sure there’s plenty to be said—he has a reputation for being his own man with a penchant for doing things in an unorthodox fashion. Nevertheless, he’s open to persuasion provided he trusts the person who’s giving advice. For instance, he’s changed his tune on waterboarding, which he now accepts is illegal, and he’s cautiously accepted that Russia was “probably” behind the DNC hacking. He’s also gone quiet on his plan to bar Muslims from entering the US which would jar with the Constitution. Continue reading

It’s not about Trump

On January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump will be inaugurated as president of the United States. A large portion of the Amerikan people are justifiably angry and disgusted by Trump’s victory. Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of the disgruntled will be in Washington, DC, to make their voices heard in their anti-Trump rallies and marches. Continue reading

Rise of right-wing demagogues threatens democracy worldwide: HRW

President-elect Donald Trump's scapegoating of immigrants, minorities, and women exemplifies "politics of intolerance," Human Rights Watch's Kenneth Roth says

The rise of political populists threatens democracy worldwide, a new report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) released Thursday says. Continue reading

The ‘post-truth’ mainstream media

For several months, Western officials and media outlets repeated thousands of times that there were between 250,000 and 300,000 civilians trapped under Syrian and Russian bombardment in East Aleppo. Western reports rarely mentioned the Syrian government’s estimate that there were only one-third that number of civilians in the rebel-controlled enclave—nor that its estimates were solidly based on what it had found in Homs and other rebel-held areas after it restored state control. Continue reading

Protests in Mexico push country to brink of revolution and nobody’s talking about it

(ANTIMEDIA) San Diego, CA—Long-simmering social tensions in Mexico are threatening to boil over as failing neoliberal reforms to the country’s formerly nationalized gas sector are compounded by open corruption, stagnant standards of living, and rampant inflation. Continue reading

King CONG vs. Solartopia

As you ride the Amtrak along the Pacific coast between Los Angeles and San Diego, you pass the San Onofre nuclear power plant, home to three mammoth atomic reactors shut by citizen activism. Continue reading

Psycho-social breakdown

America’s ruling powers have maintained control by utilizing the divide and conquer strategy of identitarianism. Avoiding democracy by keeping people in real or imagined minorities has worked well, but there are times when that ruling force needs to unify people in order to keep its dominance and in those circumstances what works best is the outside menace that threatens “all of us.” In the recent past, it was an alleged international communist conspiracy, centered in the Soviet Union. When that ended more than twenty years ago, the terrorist menace presented itself and for the first time America experienced a threat within its own borders as a result of murderous policies acted out elsewhere. While that real fear has been fully exploited and is at least based on a material rather than mentally created reality, the present endangered status of our ruling oligarchy has brought about a new alleged menace for public consumption, this time from a capitalist Russia and embodied in Vladimir Putin. Continue reading

Yertle, the Commander-in-Chief

Dr. Seuss taught me to read. My older brother brought Seuss books home to me from the local public library because I was too young to have a library card of my own. Continue reading

Of wizards and Washington and the dreary, unrelenting reality of American politics

A raw and sometimes darkly comic survey of America’s treacherous political terrain

The books about “The Wizard of Oz” were written as satire on American politics, but Hollywood, in its inimitable way, turned them into a song-and-dance picture for children. Still, one scene in the film has a sense of the author’s intent. That scene is when Dorothy, in Emerald City, approaches a closet-like structure, which, as it happens, is the Wizard’s control booth for sounds and smoke and lights, his special effects for intimidating visitors and impressing them with non-existent power. Continue reading

The ‘hidden figures’ Jeff Sessions wants to keep in the shadows

A new movie reminds us of past racial injustice as a new administration tries to roll back the clock.

As the Senate hearings for Jeff Sessions’ nomination as attorney general ran into their second day, I kept thinking about the movie Hidden Figures, which my wife Judith and I saw three days earlier. The film is based on a book by Margot Lee Shetterly about three African-American women in the early 1960s who lived in the segregated South while working on NASA’s first manned space missions. Continue reading

Remembering Albert Camus’ ‘The Plague’: It is the U.S.

On January 4, 1960, Albert Camus died in a car crash at a point when he thought his true work had not even begun. He was 46 years old. He had already written The Stranger, The Fall, and The Plague, among other works. He had won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Yet he felt that in his writing he had to hide behind a mask that stifled him. After all these successes, as well as criticism from the left and right French intelligentsia, he was looking forward to a time when he would be able to speak his own truth without the mask of depersonalization—to enter a period of création en liberté. Continue reading

Enough fearmongering: Only one democratic state is possible in Palestine and Israel

Long before December 28, when Secretary of State, John Kerry took the podium at the Dean Acheson Auditorium in Washington, DC, to pontificate on the uncertain future of the two-state solution and the need to save Israel from itself, the subject of a Palestinian state has been paramount. Continue reading

A war on regulations

Are we going to let interest group politics undermine public safety?

The incoming Republican government is waging a war against regulations. Continue reading

Maybe this is how democracy ends

The frightening rise of authoritarian populism in the West is a very real, clear and present danger.

The election of Donald Trump has triggered as much wonderment abroad as it has in the United States. David Runciman, a professor of politics at the University of Cambridge, has written in the London Review of Books a provocative reflection on the nature of democracy in the age of Trump: “Is this how democracy ends?” There is much to praise in his essay, including his heavy qualification that we really don’t know for sure if what we are seeing is the end phase of mature Western democracies since we do not have the appropriate historical precedents to be certain. Continue reading

Begin the Trump resistance plan before it’s too late

Successfully resisting Trump requires united action toward a common goal, thoughtful strategy and flexible tactics.

Ordinary citizens searching for the convenient satisfaction of immediate necessity are Donald Trump’s unwitting allies in an unseen war on democracy. It’s difficult to blame them. Most Americans are busy leading frenetic lives. In sound bites, they receive what passes for news; there’s no time to confirm its veracity. Politicians like Trump tell them what they want to hear; it pleases them. But quick solutions displace efforts to understand complicated challenges for which there are no easy answers. Continue reading