New Israeli government, same Israeli apartheid

After 12 years, Israel finally inaugurated a new prime minister. While being hailed by many as the opportunity for a fresh start, Naftali Bennett is at best a continuer of Netanyahu’s policies and at worst an ideologue whose positions are to the right of Netanyahu’s. Continue reading

Power at any cost: How opportunistic Mansour Abbas joined hands with avowed ‘Arab killers’

We are led to believe that history is being made in Israel following the formation of an ideologically diverse government coalition which, for the first time, includes an Arab party, Ra’am, or the United Arab List. Continue reading

The difference between totalitarian regimes and free democracies

In totalitarian regimes they have massacres and wars. In free democracies they have humanitarian interventions. Continue reading

Forests are crucial to combating climate change—will Biden rise to the challenge?

Unsustainable logging by the forest products industry is driving massive carbon emissions.

Covering a third of the planet’s land surface, forests are massive carbon sinks, absorbing and storing carbon dioxide and keeping it out of the atmosphere where it would contribute to global warming. Only the world’s oceans store more carbon. Keeping forests intact has long been considered essential to maintaining a healthy planetary environment, but scientists are now beginning to understand just how critical they are in the fight against climate change. Continue reading

The agony of accessing Verizon: CEO Vestberg should play customer for a day

Who hasn’t had difficulty just getting through the multi-layered, often automated call center of your telephone company? Never mind getting a solution to your problem in due time. Continue reading

Manchin: the last of the Democratic Dixiecrats

West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin represents the last of the segregationist southern Democrats, once known as the Dixiecrats. The term Dixiecrats was the slang term given to the breakaway States’ Rights Democratic Party who followed South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond out of the party in 1948 in protest of the desegregation policies of President Harry S Truman. In 1964, Thurmond left the Democratic Party to support GOP presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. By 1968, Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon cemented Republican control over the Dixiecrats by adopting his “Southern Strategy,” which saw the Republican Party adopt many of the anti-civil rights policies of the Dixiecrats. Continue reading

The simple fix our tax code so urgently needs: sunshine!

Income tax disclosure ought to be the law of the land, not a criminal offense.

America’s super rich are seeing red over ProPublica’s bombshell release of data from their tax returns—and so are America’s tax collectors. Treasury Department officials have already referred this “illegal” and “unauthorized disclosure of confidential government information” to the FBI. Merrick Garland, the U.S. attorney general, has pledged to lawmakers that finding the source of the leak to ProPublica “will be at the top of my list.” Continue reading

‘Fossil fuel exit strategy’ shows transition to renewable future totally doable

"The hurdle is no longer economic nor technical; our biggest challenges are political. A cleaner future is within reach."

Ditching fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy in order to keep warming below the 1.5ºC threshold is both “necessary and technically feasible.” Continue reading

Wuhan lab leak: It’s not a “theory”

Was SARS-COV-2—the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic—created (or at least weaponized by being made transmissible to and between humans) in a Chinese research lab? Was it then leaked, accidentally or intentionally, from that lab into the human population? It’s impossible to overstate the explosive potential of a provable “yes” answer to those two questions. Continue reading

The wealth supremacists

ProPublica’s bombshell report on America’s super-wealthy paying little or nothing in taxes reveals not only their humongous wealth but also how they’ve parlayed that wealth into political power to shrink their taxes to almost nothing. Continue reading

So much for ‘The Squad’—much-hyped new U.S. Progressive bloc has caved to corporate power

People who want structural change in the U.S. will have to develop new channels and networks to overcome the established power system.

I signed up for the COVID-19 vaccine on a public health website and got my two shots at a Salvation Army facility on the northwest side of Chicago. The site was efficiently and competently run. The experience provided a small glimpse into how a true national health care system—like they have in other developed countries—might look and feel. No one demanded to see my insurance card or sent me a bill. Continue reading

Keystone XL is dead!’: After 10-year battle, climate movement victory is complete

"Keystone XL is now the most famous fossil fuel project killed by the climate movement,' said one veteran campaigner, "but it won't be the last."

After more than a decade of grassroots organizing, agitation, and tireless opposition by the international climate movement, the final nail was slammed into the Keystone XL’s coffin Wednesday afternoon when the company behind the transnational tar sands pipeline officially pulled the plug on its plans. Continue reading

The war over genetic privacy is just beginning

“Guilt by association” has taken on new connotations in the technological age. Continue reading

On the politics of victory and defeat: How Gaza dethroned the king of Israel

How did Benjamin Netanyahu manage to serve as Israel’s longest-serving prime minister? With a total of 15 years in office, Netanyahu surpassed the 12-year mandate of Israel’s founding father, David Ben Gurion. The answer to this question will become particularly critical for future Israeli leaders who hope to emulate Netanyahu’s legacy, now that his historic leadership is likely to end. Continue reading

7 lessons we need to learn from COVID-19

Maybe it’s wishful thinking to declare the pandemic over in the US, and presumptuous to conclude what lessons we’ve learned. So consider this a first draft. Continue reading

Global fascists seize on Trump’s election fraud dogma

Fascist candidates around the world have challenged their own electoral losses as the result of “election fraud,” with their parties and supporters using Trumpian language like “Stop the Steal” and “fake election” in attempts to substantiate their groundless claims. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: The truth about defunding police

“Defunding” the police has often turned out to be an accounting trick, but community control of police—a righteous demand—must also ensure that all government functions address human needs. Continue reading

International leaders join call for end to all legal barriers to abortion

"Women must have the right to decide about their own bodies—that is a human right."

Several international lawmakers and leaders joined rights activists Wednesday in a call for all legal barriers to abortion care to be removed worldwide, demanding clinics that were shut down during the pandemic be reopened and for a “global campaign of factual and unbiased information” to counter well-funded anti-choice groups. Continue reading

The wealth supremacists

ProPublica’s bombshell report on America’s super-wealthy paying little or nothing in taxes reveals not only their humongous wealth but also how they’ve parlayed that wealth into political power to shrink their taxes to almost nothing. Continue reading

There’s no ‘labor shortage.’ There’s a wage shortage.

To find workers, there’s a free-enterprise solution right at employers’ fingertips: raise pay, improve conditions, and show respect.

At a recent congressional hearing on America’s so-called “labor shortage,” megabanker Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, offered this insight: “People actually have a lot of money, and they don’t particularly feel like going back to work.” Continue reading

Rural teacher Pedro Castillo poised to write a new chapter in Peru’s history

With his wide-brimmed peasant hat and oversized teacher’s pencil held high, Peru’s Pedro Castillo has been traveling the country exhorting voters to get behind a call that has been particularly urgent during this devastating pandemic: “No más pobres en un país rico”—No more poor people in a rich country. In a cliffhanger of an election with a huge urban-rural and class divide, it appears that the rural teacher, farmer and union leader is about to make history by defeating–by less than one percent–powerful far-right candidate Keiko Fujimori, scion of the country’s political “Fujimori dynasty.” Continue reading

Senator Manchin, killing the filibuster won’t destroy democracy—but you might

A reminder that a late 19th century speaker of the House, a Republican, successfully quashed the filibuster—for the sake of the nation.

Back at the beginning of the year—and just two days before January 6—I was writing about the dire situation on Capitol Hill, and mentioned Profiles in Courage, the book John F. Kennedy and Theodore Sorensen wrote about brave US senators in our history who took unpopular stands in the face of loud opposition. Continue reading

Mainstream politics offer pretend revolutions to a discontented public

In 2008, the American public was fed up with the disastrous status quo politics of George W Bush, so they came together and elected a progressive candidate who campaigned on hope and change to replace him. Continue reading

Drug advertising has helped create victim politics

“How dare you suggest I/my son is not sick?” “Stop invalidating the lived experiences of millions of people!” “Able-bodied people like you have no right to report this.” “How dare you suggest my medication has risks?” “You’re not taking my drugs!” Continue reading

A People’s Vaccine against a mutating virus and neoliberal rule

A recent Yahoo News/YouGov poll found that worries about the COVID pandemic in the United States are at their lowest level since it began. Only half of Americans are either “very worried” (15%) or “somewhat worried” (35%) about the virus, while the other half are “not very worried” (30%) or “not worried at all” (20%). Continue reading

Is the rise of Qanon conspiracies the ‘end times’ for US democracy?

There are people in this world who don’t like —and even hate—democracy. They’re on the move against it, particularly here in America, and the Qanon religion/cult is the glue that’s bringing them all together. Continue reading

The beginning of the end of democracy as we know it?

Sunday morning, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin announced in the Charleston Gazette-Mail that he’s a “no” on the For the People Act—and a no for ending the filibuster. Continue reading

Free market illusions: What is the US’ endgame in China?

Why does the US advocate a free market while doing its utmost to stifle it? The current US-China economic war is a perfect example of this perplexing question. Continue reading

Peace in Colombia should mean land reform and an end to hunger

Since the end of April, Colombia’s streets have smelled of tear gas. The government of Colombian President Iván Duque imposed policies that put the costs of the pandemic on the working class and the peasantry and tried to suffocate any advancement of the Havana peace accords of 2016. Discontent led to street protests, which were repressed harshly by the government. These protests, Rodrigo Granda of Colombia’s Comunes party told us in an interview, “are defined by the wide participation of youth, women, artists, religious people, the Indigenous, Afro-Colombians, unions and organizations from neighborhoods of the poor and the working class. Practically the whole of Colombia is part of the struggle.” A range of concrete demands defines the protest: running water and schools, the disbandment of the riot police (ESMAD), and the expansion of democratic possibilities. Continue reading

The Copenhagen Summit for Democracy: A review

Their conferences reveal them for what they are, black shirts with the smiles of sharks. Mac the Knife is back in town. Be warned. Be prepared.

On May 10-11 a conference was presented by the “Alliance of Democracies” in Copenhagen that claimed to “unite free peoples” against authoritarianism, to promote the rule of law, to advance the “technological control of democracy,” freedom of expression and US leadership. It was heralded as a forum for guests to hear from prominent individuals on “the frontlines of defending democracy.” Continue reading

How the Tulsa Race Massacre was a violent act of racist economic injustice

An underappreciated factor in the racist violence of the 1921 Tulsa massacre is how white supremacist forces decimated Black wealth.

One hundred years after the worst instance of racist mob violence in 20th-century America, the Tulsa Race Massacre is finally getting the attention it is due. The 1921 terrorist attack by an armed white mob against a prosperous Black community is perhaps one of the clearest and most extreme illustrations of how many African Americans were stripped of their wealth for a generation. Continue reading

Think tank wars and the enforcement of thought crime laws

For those who believe that freedom of the press exists in the United States, here’s a news bulletin: Those days are long over!

The United States, Russia, Britain, and other countries are waging a war that pits think tank against think tank and criminalizes ideas and opinions. That war heated up on April 15 when the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed financial sanctions on the Moscow-based think tank, Strategic Culture Foundation (SCF), for whom I have written for over ten years. OFAC alleged, without much in the way of any hard evidence, that SCF was an arm of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, the SVR. Treasury’s sanctions came after a 2020 State Department Global Engagement Center (GEC) report that illustrated the opinions being expressed by SCF and other Russian think tanks and news organizations as similar to Covid-19 virus microbes. In any event, I’ve been compared to worse than a Covid microbe. Continue reading