As cryptocurrency becomes mainstream, its carbon footprint can’t be ignored

As Bitcoin prices rise, so will the incentive to mine it, creating a feedback loop that spells trouble for the climate.

For advocates of cryptocurrency, the promise of an economic future that is managed by a blockchain (a decentralized database that is shared among the nodes of a computer network, as opposed to being held in a single location, such as a central bank) is compelling. For anyone paying attention, the rapid expansion of cryptocurrency has been stunning. In 2019, the global cryptocurrency market was approximately $793 million. It’s now expected to reach nearly $5.2 billion by 2026, according to a report by the market research organization Facts and Factors. In just one year—between July 2020 and June 2021—the global adoption of cryptocurrency surged by more than 880 percent. Continue reading

As Sinema defends filibuster, progressives say ‘vote her the hell out’

"The filibuster is a meaningless Senate rule. It's a remnant of slavery used to block civil rights for generations."

On what would have been Martin Luther King Jr.’s 93rd birthday, voting rights advocates and progressive lawmakers rallied in Arizona on Saturday to target the first-term Democratic senator blocking legislation aimed at strengthening ballot access amid growing GOP-led suppression efforts. Continue reading

How ‘Queer Eye’ upholds liberal economic fantasies

The popular reality television show focuses on the victims of American capitalism, offering the sort of help that only wealthy elites can enjoy while deliberately avoiding critiques of a system that perpetuates gross inequality.

When Netflix recently released season six of the popular reality show “Queer Eye,” I eagerly binge-watched all 10 episodes, savoring Tan France’s precise fashion sense, Bobby Berk’s jaw-droppingly elegant interior designs, Karamo Brown’s sage and insightful personal advice, Antoni Porowski’s versatile kitchen skills, and, of course, Jonathan Van Ness’ endearingly quirky makeovers. Continue reading

Is Donald Trump the Antichrist?

A listener called into my program Thursday and asked, “Is Donald Trump the Antichrist?” Continue reading

Vladimir Putin is not the Neville Chamberlain the US/NATO is looking for

“I think one lesson in recent history,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on January 7, referring to the entry of Russian troops into Kazakhstan to save that country’s allied regime from an uprising of dissatisfied serfs, “is that once Russians are in your house, it’s sometimes very difficult to get them to leave.” Continue reading

Teaching the children misogyny, or when a wondrous Eve told God to go to hell

Of the misogynist myths propagated to the children, none is more damning than the legend of Eve’s act in the Garden of Eden. For this, the folklore tells us, she, together with all females, was condemned by god to forever bear children in pain and suffering. From such myths, generations are raised to believe that within the female gender lies malevolence. Continue reading

The U.S. makes a mockery of treaties and international law

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other members of the Biden Cabinet are fond of proclaiming the “rules-based international order” (RBIO) or “rules-based order” every chance they get: in press conferences, on interviews, in articles, at international fora, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktails. Along with the terms “human rights” and “democracy,” the RBIO is routinely used to claim a moral high ground against countries that they accuse of not following this RBIO, and wielded as a cudgel to attack, criticize, accuse, and delegitimate countries in their crosshairs as rogue outliers to an international order. Continue reading

GOP-named Supreme Court majority cements its role as a pro-corporate fiefdom

WASHINGTON—Recalling the 1930s, when the “Nine Old Men” scrapped key New Deal legislation, the GOP-named U.S. Supreme Court majority may again show its implementation of the right-wing pro-corporate agenda, this time by nullifying OSHA’s anti-coronavirus Emergency Temporary Standard. Continue reading

Manchin joins Sinema in destroying Democratic hopes to pass voting rights

"We're old enough to remember a whole month ago when both Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin voted to make an exception to the filibuster for the debt ceiling," Public Citizen sardonically noted.

As conservative U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin on Thursday joined his right-wing Democratic colleague Kyrsten Sinema in announcing his opposition to abolishing the Senate filibuster, progressive observers excoriated the pair—who recently supported a filibuster carve-out to raise the debt ceiling—for obstructing their party’s landmark voting rights legislation. Continue reading

Some Florida and Arizona Republicans show how to counter 2020 election lies

Developments in two swing states showcase how election records can be used to debunk disinformation and provide more transparency of vote counts.

As ongoing threats by Trump loyalists to subvert elections have dominated the political news, other Republicans in two key states—Florida and Arizona—are taking what could be important steps to provide voters with unprecedented evidence of who won their most close and controversial elections. Continue reading

Denying the inevitable: Why the West refuses to accept China’s superpower status

An article by Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times last July is a prime example of Western intelligentsia’s limited understanding of China’s unhindered rise as a superpower. “Becoming a superpower is a complicated business. It poses a series of connected questions about capabilities, intentions and will,” Rachman wrote. Continue reading

Biden indicts Trump for leading the ongoing conspiracy against democracy

WASHINGTON—One year after the deadly Trump coup attempt, President Joe Biden stood at the U.S. Capitol last Thursday morning and indicted the former White House occupant and his supporters in the Republican Party as part of an ongoing conspiracy against democracy. Continue reading

Right-wing hate speech runs rampant in India’s elections

A bizarre event took place in northern India between December 17 and December 19, 2021. It was a “religious parliament” (Dharma Sansad) with the theme, “The Future of the Sanatan Dharma in Islamic India: Problem and Solutions.” The event took place in Haridwar, a city in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The speakers—each of them dressed in saffron robes, which are usually worn by Hindu monks—took to the stage during the Dharma Sansad and spoke in a startlingly dangerous and provocative fashion. Sadhvi Annapurna, the general secretary of the Hindu Mahasabha, a right-wing Hindu nationalist outfit in India, was the most forthright in spelling out the agenda of hatred against the Muslim community that marked the tone for this event. “Nothing is possible without weapons,” she said. “If you want to eliminate their [the Muslim] population, then we are ready to kill them.” Continue reading

Nicaragua in the multipolar world

The U.S. regime change effort in Nicaragua has failed. The people are determined to assert their rights of self-determination and the U.S. is not the only player on the world stage.

The United States and the European Union announced new sanctions on the day that Daniel Ortega was inaugurated as president of Nicaragua. The move was not surprising, given that the United States congress passed the RENACER Act one week before elections which were held on November 7. Continue reading

The shocking things the GOP and Trumpians believe

With the Republican Party turning to Trumpism, and the Democratic Party returning to their progressive roots, will we have an honest debate this election year in our media? Continue reading

The United States: A push toward moral decline, political extremism, political divisions and violence?

Poll after poll indicates very deep political divisions among Americans, with indications that such divisions are deepening, and even widening as a consequence of the pandemic. Indeed, according to the most recent NPR/Ipsos poll, seven in ten Americans believe the country is in crisis and is at risk of failing. Continue reading

They don’t want us looking up…

My wife and I recently watched on Netflix the brilliant Don’t Look Up! starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, written and produced by Adam McKay and David Sirota. Continue reading

‘Good news for seniors’: Becerra orders Medicare to reassess premium hike

"It is unconscionable," said one advocate welcoming the announcement, "for Medicare premiums to increase this dramatically because of one corporation's greed."

As the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday that he was ordering a review of a planned 15% hike in the Medicare Part B premium for 2022, healthcare reform advocates stressed the need for Congress to pass a Build Back Better bill with a provision allowing the federal government to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. Continue reading

Why is Israel amending its open-fire policy: Three possible answers

At the outset, the Israeli military decision to revise its open-fire policies in the occupied West Bank seems puzzling. What would be the logic of giving Israeli soldiers the space to shoot more Palestinians when existing army manuals had already granted them near-total immunity and little legal accountability? Continue reading

Humor: Who’s afraid of the joke police?

In addition to not being able to take a joke (thanks to the woke times: see “microagression”) most people cannot tell a joke. Halfway through the joke they get stage fright and panic that maybe it’s not even funny or that they’ll forget the punch line, wasting people’s time. Continue reading

Two right-wing media buyouts will bolster steady drumbeat toward fascism

The German mega-publisher Axel Springer SE said that in purchasing Politico and Politico Europe last year and Business Insider (now Insider) in 2015, its end goal was to become the leading digital publisher of the “democratic world.” There is only one major problem with that goal. Axel Springer is a media cipher for right-wing politics, not only in Germany, but in other nations where its media tentacles extend. Continue reading

The real antidote to inflation: How to stoke the fire without burning down the barn

The Fed has options for countering the record inflation the U.S. is facing that are more productive and less risky than raising interest rates.

The Federal Reserve is caught between a rock and a hard place. Inflation grew by 6.8% in November, the fastest in 40 years, a trend the Fed has now acknowledged is not “transitory.” The conventional theory is that inflation is due to too much money chasing too few goods, so the Fed is under heavy pressure to “tighten” or shrink the money supply. Its conventional tools for this purpose are to reduce asset purchases and raise interest rates. But corporate debt has risen by $1.3 trillion just since early 2020; so if the Fed raises rates, a massive wave of defaults is likely to result. According to financial advisor Graham Summers in an article titled “The Fed Is About to Start Playing with Matches Next to a $30 Trillion Debt Bomb,” the stock market could collapse by as much as 50%. Continue reading

Those who support Internet censorship lack psychological maturity

Twitter has permanently suspended the personal account of Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene for what the platform calls “repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation policy,” much to the delight of liberals and pro-censorship leftists everywhere. This follows the Twitter ban of Dr Robert Malone on the same grounds a few days prior, which followed an unbroken pattern of continually escalating and expanding censorship protocols ever since the 2016 US election. Continue reading

As job gains slow, the Fed and Congress apply the wrong medicine

Friday’s jobs report from the Department of Labor was a warning sign about the US economy. It should cause widespread concern about the Fed’s plans to raise interest rates to control inflation. And it should cause policymakers to rethink ending government supports such as extended unemployment insurance and the child tax credit. These will soon be needed to keep millions of families afloat. Continue reading

Think big to overcome losing big to corporatism

The progressive citizen groups, that in the sixties and seventies, drove through Congress the key environmental, worker, and consumer legislation, since unmatched, must feel nostalgic. Those were the years when legislation throwing cruel companies on the defensive was signed by arch-corporatist, President Richard Nixon, because he read the political tea leaves. Continue reading

The plague that killed capitalism

In March 2020 when the COVID pandemic was first tightening its deadly grip on America and the newscasters were looking horrified as they read the figures they were getting, a phrase flashed through my head: “The Plague that Killed Capitalism.” Continue reading

Will Congress use its unused 232-year-old power just in time to save our republic?

The Founders of this nation, and the Framers who wrote our Constitution, created (as Ben Franklin famously said) a constitutional republic: a government “deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed” through citizens’ (then white men) right to vote. Continue reading

Famous last words: I was there when democracy fell

Time for the good guys to put an end to this.

During this just-behind-us holiday season, occasionally I cruised our zillions of television channels and watched some movies, and it occurred to me that once upon a time, and not too long ago, on almost every one of our TV shows and in our films, bullies and crooks were the enemy. Continue reading

The Combating Islamophobia Act: On hate crimes and ‘irrational fears’

The result of a vote, on December 14, in the US House of Representatives regarding the combating of Islamophobia, may, possibly, appear to be a positive sign of change, that Washington is finally confronting this socio-political evil. However, conclusions must not be too hasty. Continue reading

Building community, one fruit tree at a time

A fast-growing, underground fruit economy is spreading in cities across America.

Some years ago, a young, hippyish couple knocked on my front door. They had noticed that I had fig trees in the yard, laden with summer fruit. If I wasn’t going to pick them all, they asked, could they harvest some figs? Continue reading

Wishing everyone Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Intrepid Report will resume publishing January 10

I want to thank everyone for their support this year. Intrepid Report would not exist without your help. Continue reading

Inside the shame of passing for white

Most people we call “African American” have more European ancestry than African, Black friends have long informed me. Continue reading