Government propaganda: deflecting public attention from the most serious crimes of the oligarchy

People of the U.S. often fail to notice the methods their own government uses to do what amounts to brainwashing them. The book “Manufacturing Consent” by Edward S. Hermann and Noam Chomsky details how U.S. corporate-controlled mainstream media outlets (today that includes mainstream TV “news” networks, most mainstream magazines, newspapers, etc.) act as propagandists. Another excellent source on U. S. media propaganda is Michael Parenti’s book, “Inventing Reality.” Continue reading

By ‘force and fraud’: Is this the end of the US democracy doctrine?

In an interview with the British newspaper The Times, in 2015, former US Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, vehemently denied that exporting democracy to Iraq was the main motive behind the US invasion of that Arab country 12 years earlier. Continue reading

When Trump’s out the door, Biden tackles the winter of our discontent

He and America’s “better angels” have their work cut out for them.

A few weeks ago, I was contemplating writing a piece for right about now suggesting that as a symbolic gesture and public service, one of Joe Biden’s first orders should be to tear down much of that ugly hurricane fencing around the White House and the surrounding neighborhood. After four years of corruption and skullduggery, as an emblem of a renewed openness and transparency, let the public see their new elected leader’s home and office without all the barriers. Continue reading

Why Biden can’t govern from the center

I keep hearing that Joe Biden will govern from the “center.” He has no choice, they say, because he’ll have razor-thin majorities in Congress and the Republican party has moved to the right. Continue reading

The No Fly list: More dangerous than the Capitol rioters

As I write this, the Capitol Hill riot of January 6 is enjoying its extended 15 minutes of fame, complete with straight-faced comparisons to December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001. Continue reading

Will the Senate confirm coup plotter Nuland?

Who is Victoria Nuland? Most Americans have never heard of her because the U.S. corporate media’s foreign policy coverage is a wasteland. Most Americans have no idea that President-elect Biden’s pick for Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs is stuck in the quicksand of 1950s U.S.-Russia Cold War politics and dreams of continued NATO expansion, an arms race on steroids and further encirclement of Russia. Continue reading

Sophistication of fascist coup attempt coming to light

America is just starting to discover that it came within a hair’s breadth of witnessing its Constitution upended and a fascist dictatorship declared by Donald Trump as a result of the January 6 insurrection targeting the U.S. Capitol. Indeed, it is all but certain that Trump was borrowing a page from Adolf Hitler’s playbook in ordering Brown Shirts to set fire to the Reichstag in Berlin in 1933 and blaming the arson attack on “Communists” as a reason to suspend the democratic guarantees contained in the Weimar Constitution. According to those few witnesses to Trump’s expletive-laden rants in the Oval Office, the would-be dictator continues to blame the non-existent “antifa” for the attack on the Capitol. Bogus “antifa” attackers in 2021 are as much a propaganda device for Trump as fake “Communists” were for Hitler in 1933. Continue reading

Must our billionaires remain politically immortal?

The heirs of the just-passed Sheldon Adelson, the biggest campaign donor of our time, could be poisoning our democracy for generations to come.

We haven’t seen the last of billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Or, to put the matter a bit more exactly, we haven’t seen the last of Sheldon Adelson’s fortune. Continue reading

Will trump’s grand finale be conviction by the US Senate?

Congressional Republicans have aided and abetted, for four years, Trump's assertion that With Article II, I can do whatever I want as president." Dangerous Donald did just that.

Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro, a graduate of Harvard Law School, asked his colleagues: “If inciting a deadly insurrection is not enough to get a president impeached, then what is?” Ten Republicans voted for impeachment, but 197 House Republicans disagreed. Trump incited the crowd in person on the Mall. He lied to his supporters saying, “I’ll be with you” on the march to the Capitol. Trump then refused to call the crowd back when it turned into a mob that violently stormed into the Capitol. Trump scurried back to the White House to gleefully watch on TV his “special people” rampage through the Congress with destructive intent. Continue reading

Address the stagnation that paved the way for Trump

Trump had plenty of rich supporters, but left-behind communities have been fertile ground for extremism throughout our history.

Donald Trump won’t be around forever. But the political crises his attacks on democracy have caused will outlive his one-term presidency. Continue reading

America and the mob

The far-right has come out in support of Trump. After the failed coup attempt of January 6, what’s next?

The United States began as a glint in the eyes of an English mob of oddballs, dissenters, and criminals let loose on what they considered virgin territory. Once secure in their new digs, they administered rough justice to the original Americans and any colonist who fell afoul of community rules. Eventually, casting aside their imperial British overlords, the rabble achieved a measure of respectability by creating an independent state. Continue reading

Legislation opens path to removing insurrectionist Senators Hawley and Cruz

At least partially under the radar Monday was a move by a newly elected member of the House that has opened the door to use of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution to remove from office two top instigators of the fascist insurrection at the Capitol last week. Continue reading

Covid-19 under Apartheid: How Israel manipulates suffering of Palestinians

Israel’s decision to exclude Palestinians from its COVID-19 vaccination campaign may have surprised many. Even by Israel’s poor humanitarian standards, denying Palestinians access to life-saving medication seems extremely callous. Continue reading

A welcome stopgap, but not nearly enough

The COVID-19 relief bill will help, but much more needs to be done to combat the pandemic and make the country stronger in the face of future crises.

This holiday season, struggling families and businesses came close to getting a lump of coal from Congress. Only just before Christmas, as critical relief programs were about to expire, did lawmakers manage to pass a $900 billion aid package. Continue reading

Just because the system is stacked against you doesn’t mean the universe is

It’s intense right now. Damn intense. Especially in America. Continue reading

Trump impeached again, but he’s not the only threat to democracy

A week ago, on Jan. 6, Donald J. Trump secured his place in history by becoming the only president of the United States to ever incite the violent overthrow of the government. His legacy in now further cemented by his becoming the first president to ever be impeached twice. The House of Representative has voted 232 to 197 to impeach Trump, formally branding him “a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution.” Ten Republicans broke with their party and joined the Democrats in condemning the White House occupant. Continue reading

Criminalizing protest in wake of Capitol attack

These proposed laws are "aimed at police brutality protests, not right-wing insurrection."

Progressives are sounding the alarm that a handful of Republican lawmakers are exploiting the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6 by an insurrectionist pro-Trump mob to push for anti-protest bills that critics say do not aim to stem the tide of right-wing extremism but instead criminalize dissent by those seeking social change and justice. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: Capitol riot brings U.S. foreign policy home

There needs to be soul searching and truth-telling about invasions, interventions, coups and sanctions that are far more destructive than the Trump lovers could ever be. Continue reading

The political class: At war with each other and on the rest of us

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible,” President John F. Kennedy said in a 1962 speech, “will make violent revolution inevitable.” Continue reading

Two timeless truths for these trying times

These maxims might help all of us get a grip, step back from hopelessness, and push ahead.

What’s wrong with people? Has the savagery, selfishness, and raw, animal hatred within the human species finally come out of the darkness to devour our society? Continue reading

The Trump administration’s parting outrage against Cuba

On January 11, in his final days before leaving office, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added one parting blow to the series of bludgeons his administration has inflicted on Cuba for four years: putting the island on the list of “state sponsors of terror” that includes only Iran, North Korea and Syria. The designation drew swift condemnation from policymakers and humanitarian groups as a decision widely characterized as “politically motivated.” It comes six years after the Obama administration had removed Cuba from the same list as part of his policy of rapprochement. Continue reading

A tale of two mobs

How the GOP abandoned democracy and became an accomplice to insurrection, and what must be done now.

In 1923, Hitler and the Nazis stormed a beer hall in Munich, Germany, from whence they planned to overthrow German democracy. The putsch failed ignominiously, and Hitler was briefly jailed. Continue reading

Diet drug pulled after red flags

By now, most people are aware of the US obesity statistics. In 2016, almost 70 percent of US adults were obese of overweight says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That means normal sized people are in the minority. (Some are even considered “anorexics.”) Continue reading

‘One state is a game changer’: A conversation with Ilan Pappe and Awad Abdelfattah on the One Democratic State Campaign

As the US ruling elites have fully succumbed to Israel’s political discourse on Palestine, the Israeli government of right-wing Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, may feel that it, alone, is capable of determining the future of the Palestinian people. Continue reading

Our post-Trump democratic prospects: What the Ming Dynasty can tell us

‘Good government’ has always rested on equitable distributions of wealth and power.

How best to understand the assault on the Capitol this week? Might some historical perspective help us better comprehend how endangered our democracy has become? Could that perspective point us to a more promising post-Trump path? Continue reading

Pentagon’s sinister role in Trump’s coup bid

The extraordinary breach of security at the US congressional building wasn’t just a “failure of planning” which allowed thousands of Trump supporters to trash the seat of government and to interrupt the electoral certification of Joe Biden as the next president. It was a coup attempt. Continue reading

“Enabling president’s unhinged, unstable, and deranged acts”: GOP blocks measure urging Pence to invoke 25th Amendment

"Their complicity endangers America, erodes our democracy, and it must end."

A Republican congressman from West Virginia on Monday blocked a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Donald Trump from office, a move that came as Democratic lawmakers unveiled articles of impeachment against the president that are expected to receive a vote later this week. Continue reading

The return of the “Know Nothing Party”

Founded in 1844, the American “Know Nothing Party,” officially known as the Native American Party—not to be confused with the indigenous native Americans—rallied around the causes of anti-immigration, xenophobia, and anti-Catholicism. Its name derived from the party’s secretive membership list and political operations. When non-members of the party queried a member about specific details of the organization, they were to reply, “I know nothing.” Continue reading

Accountability for the attempted coup

Call me old-fashioned, but when the president of the United States encourages armed insurgents to breach the Capitol and threaten the physical safety of Congress, in order to remain in power, I call it an attempted coup. Continue reading

Grocery workers call on employers to put public health above CEO profits

Congress let mandatory paid leave requirements expire at the end of 2020, sparking calls for universal leave benefits to protect workers and their customers from the pandemic.

Congress allowed federal mandatory emergency paid leave benefits to expire at the end of 2020, leaving millions of American workers more vulnerable to catching—and spreading—the COVID-19 virus. Continue reading

De-Trumpification must be carried out with a heavy club

WASHINGTON—Donald Trump’s terrorists managed to do something on January 6 that Adolf Hitler could have only dreamed of: enabling the full display of Nazi symbols on and inside the U.S. Capitol Building. Having failed in their attempt to overthrow the Legislative branch of the U.S. government in a partially-armed insurrection, Trump and his supporters must pay a heavy price, with the death penalty being offered as one option. Continue reading

Failure to hold Trump accountable for Capitol siege means ‘it will happen again,’ says Rep. Ocasio-Cortez

"If another head of state came in and ordered an attack on the United States Congress, would we say that that should not be prosecuted?" the New York Democrat said Sunday.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Sunday stressed a need for President Donald Trump’s removal from office, saying that failing to hold him accountable for Wednesday’s violent attack on the Capitol could ensure “it will happen again.” Continue reading