Nearly everyone has heard the comment attributed for former Clinton consigliere Rahm Emanuel that one should never let a good crisis go to waste. The implication of the comment is that if there is a major crisis going on the cover it provides permits one to do all sorts of things under the radar that would otherwise be unacceptable. That aphorism is particularly true in the current context as there are multiple crises taking place simultaneously, all of which are being exploited to various degrees by interested parties. Continue reading
He’s a reminder of the infamous Russian who “probably killed more human beings than any individual scientist in history.”
After all this time, most of us realize that Donald Trump is a Russian asset. Not that he’s a secret mole necessarily or even The Manchurian Candidate, but Vladimir Putin plays him like a balalaika strumming “Song of the Volga Boatmen.” Continue reading
The president of the United States has the power to fire off thousands of nuclear weapons and destroy the world. As succinctly explained by William Perry and Tom Collina in the New York Times, “Mr. Trump has the absolute authority to start a nuclear war. Within minutes, the president could unleash the equivalent of more than 10,000 Hiroshima bombs. He does not need a second opinion. The defense secretary has no say. Congress has no role.” Continue reading
In recent years, many territories’ declarations of independence have been justifiably affirmed through international agreements. The Republic of Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabagh’s declaration of independence from Azerbaijan three decades ago is as legitimate as any of those. Artsakh is the republic’s ancient Armenian name. Continue reading
As The Donald unleashes his inner Adolf, there must be no illusions about what we face. Continue reading
Toward the end of Joe Biden’s October 15 town hall session, a Trump supporter asked Biden the only foreign policy question of the night. “So peace is breaking out all over the world,” the questioner claimed. “Our troops are coming home. Serbia is talking to Kosovo. And the Arabs and Israelis are talking peace, which I believe is a modern-day miracle, what’s going on. Does President Trump’s foreign policy deserve some credit?” Continue reading
It's time for the rising movement of elected and grassroots progressive to take over.
In a 1995 book review published in the University of Chicago Law Review, Elena Kagan (now Justice Kagan) wrote about judicial nominees avoiding disclosing their views on legal issues. She said, “[T]he safest and surest route to the prize lay in alternating platitudinous statement and judicious silence. Who would have done anything different, in the absence of pressure from members of Congress?” Continue reading
This package of serious tax-the-rich proposals will have no easy road through Congress.
Want to know where the 2020 presidential election is heading? Don’t obsess about the polls. Pay attention to the tax lawyers and accountants who cater to America’s most wealthy. Continue reading
76 of the 91 loans the IMF has negotiated since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic come attached with demands for deep cuts to public services and policies that benefit corporations over people.
The enormous economic dislocation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic offers a unique opportunity to fundamentally alter the structure of society, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) if using the crisis to implement near-permanent austerity measures across the world. Continue reading
Several of the founders of the United States were gifted scientists and scholars of the Age of Enlightenment. Benjamin Franklin was not only a statesman, but he was known as one of the leading scientists of the world in his own right. Franklin, who had to deal with his age’s numerous religious extremists, medical quackery, and various misanthropes, would have little time for the anti-science foolishness of the Donald Trump administration. In fact, taking the political appointee sector of the Trump administration as a whole, the United States enjoyed more scientific expertise in government during its early days than it does today. Continue reading
The pretend peacemaker has repeatedly endangered the nation and world.
In the aftermath of the attacks on 9/11, the Bush administration invaded Iraq and tortured prisoners of war and terrorism suspects, in flagrant violation of the U.N. Charter and the Geneva Conventions. As a result, the United States lost standing among many of its traditional allies around the world. Continue reading
Israel may view the United Arab Emirates as one of its few allies in the Arab World. However, the UAE’s embrace of Israel does not enjoy universal support in the seven emirates that make up the oil-rich federation. One of the constituent emirates, Ras al Khaimah—sometimes referred to merely as “RAK”—has had a stormy relationship with the chief emirate in the unequal federation, Abu Dhabi. Israel and the Donald Trump administration may believe that the UAE is part and parcel of the Washington-Jerusalem security bulwark against Iran, but Ras al Khaimah has always marched to its own beat from the very inception of the UAE in 1971. Ras al Khaimah initially balked at becoming a member of the UAE and was technically independent between December 2, 1971, the date that Britain gave independence to the UAE—what was formerly known as the Trucial States—and RAK’s rather reluctant incorporation into the UAE on January 10, 1972. Continue reading
As the signal-to-noise ratio decreases in the reporting of events surrounding the September 27 Azerbaijani assault on the Armenian-inhabited region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a much more surreptitious current has received virtually no reporting: Iran. Influential think tanks generate their well-crafted equivocation and prevarication, never really following the evidence and keeping readers cleverly occupied and furious at claims such as “there have been some reports of jihadists being recruited by and transported to the region by Turkey,” when it is not only clear they have been recruited, with videos of scores being slaughtered by Armenian forces and transcripts of radio transmissions in Arabic suspiciously ignored. Continue reading
Americans are dealing with an upcoming general election, a pandemic that has killed over 200,000 of us, and corporate news media whose business model has degenerated to selling different versions of “The Trump Show” to their advertisers. So who has time to pay attention to a new war half way round the world? But with so much of the world afflicted by 20 years of U.S.-led wars and the resulting political, humanitarian and refugee crises, we can’t afford not to pay attention to the dangerous new outbreak of war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. Continue reading
Right-wing judges want to delegitimize same-sex marriage, but these unions date back to the colonial era.
Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito just issued a statement implying they may seek to overturn the ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. That’s a dire threat to civil liberties and families, especially after Trump’s nomination of a hardline social conservative to the court. Continue reading
A simple wave of Trump’s hand from his motorcade at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center was enough for QAnon believers to race to their internet-connected devices and begin decoding the latest Q drops. These “encoded” social media posts spread through obscure internet forums like 8-Chan that are considered by adherents to be veiled communications from “patriots” with special access to the hidden truth behind the American deep state and what they perceive as its subversive campaign to destroy the foundational values of the country. Continue reading
Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered on October 2, 2018, by agents of Saudi Arabia’s despotic government, and the CIA concluded they killed him on direct orders from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). Eight Saudi men have been convicted of Khashoggi’s murder by a Saudi court in what the Washington Post characterized as sham trials with no transparency. The higher ups who ordered the murder, including MBS, continue to escape responsibility. Continue reading
The impeached U.S. president, Donald Trump, has taken a step never attempted by any of his predecessors. Trump, who every day is exposing his fascist policies and intentions, has announced that he is establishing a “1776 Commission” to re-write American history and force-feed it to every public and certain private school students throughout the United States. Trump’s move is intended to counter the 1619 Project of the New York Times, which is designed to place slavery and the slave trade in a central context in dealing with the history of pre- and post-colonial America. Continue reading
On September 11, Gallup headlined “Bias in Others’ News a Greater Concern Than Bias in Own News”, and reported (based upon polling a randomized sample of 20,046 American adults) that “69% of Americans say they are more concerned about bias in the news other people consume than its presence in their own news (29%).” In other words: 69/29, or 2.38 times, as many Americans are closed-minded (prejudiced) regarding information-sources which don’t fit their ideology than are not. Continue reading
The U.S. Supreme Court will not save us. Continue reading
If the Democrats manage to push Joe Biden over the finish line in November’s election, he will find himself presiding over a decadent, declining empire. He will either continue the policies that have led the American empire to decadence and decline, or seize the moment to move our nation into a new phase: a transition to a peaceful and sustainable post-imperial future. Continue reading
The U.S. political class of pundits, pollsters, columnists, and endless cable news blathering talking heads are currently putting forth the notion that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is having a problem with support from the Hispanic community. This argument is based on a disingenuously false premise that the Hispanic community is a political monolith that is gravitating, as it has in recent years, to Republican candidates. To be sure, there is a conservative base to the Hispanic vote among the mostly white European exiles in South Florida, who came to the United States to flee, along with their offshore bank accounts, socialist and progressive governments that came to power after overthrowing Central Intelligence Agency-nurtured dictatorships of “caudillos” in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Continue reading
A policeman sees a drunk man searching for something under a streetlight and asks what the drunk has lost. He says he lost his keys and they both look under the streetlight together. After a few minutes the policeman asks if he is sure he lost them here, and the drunk replies, no, and that he lost them in the park. The policeman asks why he is searching here, and the drunk replies, “this is where the light is”. Continue reading
Once upon a time in America, parents breathed a sigh of relief when their kids went back to school after a summer’s hiatus, content in the knowledge that for a good portion of the day, their kids would be gainfully occupied, out of harm’s way, and out of trouble. Continue reading
Attorney General William Barr is less independent of aspirant dictator Donald Trump than Nazi Germany’s first Justice Minister, Franz Gurtner, was of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Barr has systematically turned the Justice Department into a political weapon designed to protect Trump from the Congress, the courts, and individual U.S. citizens exercising their rights under the Constitution. Barr has trashed the rule of law that has ensured that America’s system of democracy has prevailed since the birth of constitutional government. Continue reading
Trump is doing whatever he can to make it impossible for his successor to resolve some of the world’s most intractable problems.
It is a recent tradition among occupants of the White House, as they head out of office, to play a few practical jokes on their successors. The Clinton administration jesters, for instance, removed all the Ws from White House keyboards before handing over the keys to George W. Bush’s transition team. The Obama administration left behind books authored by Barack Obama for Trump’s incoming press team. Continue reading
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an alliance in name alone. Recent events notwithstanding, the brewing conflict over territorial waters in the Eastern Mediterranean indicates that the military union between mostly Western countries is faltering. Continue reading
The only benefit from the rise of neo-fascist leaders in heretofore democratic nations is that the various fascist, neo-Nazi, racial and religious supremacists, and far-right terrorists have reared their ugly heads to the degree where it is now easier to identify them and their circle of contacts and organizations. When the United States, Brazil, Colombia, Poland, Turkey, and other similarly afflicted nations return to political normalcy, the forces of the far-right, already self-identified, can be rolled up, stripped of their weaponry and access to the Internet as threats to public safety. These resurgent Nazis can also be subjected to ridicule and shamed by the general public to the point where they recede from politics and return to their subterranean lairs or be prosecuted and imprisoned for their crimes, which include mass murder and other acts of terrorism. Continue reading
You can map the nearly 20-year journey from the 9/11 attacks to the COVID-19 pandemic by the freedoms we’ve lost along the way. Continue reading
I share the view that the 2020 election in the United States is above all a referendum on fascism, and for this and many other reasons I wish it produces a Biden landslide followed by a smooth transfer of political power. From the perspective of the present, this kind of benign political scenario seems unlikely to materialize. Instead, we can more realistically expect a close election, which means that if Trump wins, the fascist threat grows, while if he loses, he will refuse to accept the result, charging fraud, clinging to the presidency, provoking a constitutional crisis and possibly the first coup in American history, and again fascism will thrive. Continue reading
US Cyber Command and the Pentagon are availing themselves of the Russian meddling narratives and added a few others to justify the creation of a cyberwar army with international and domestic capabilities via the National Guard.
China doesn’t want Trump to win in November, according to William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC). Russia, on the other hand, is “using a range of measures” to undermine Joe Biden’s candidacy. The intelligence official also accuses China of “expanding its influence” ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, but only to “deflect and counter criticism” as opposed to a direct attack on the incumbent. Continue reading
One of the more bizarre indications that Trump Washington is interested in the Arctic was made a year ago when he said he would like to buy Greenland, a vast territory that is administered by Denmark. It is about the same size as Saudi Arabia, and slightly smaller than India—a big country in which there is a Pentagon base at Thule which, among other things, as Defence News tells us, is “the U.S. military’s northernmost base and the only installation north of the Arctic Circle. It is home to the 12th Space Warning Squadron, a cadre of Air Force officers and enlisted personnel that provide 24/7 missile warning and space surveillance using a massive AN/FPS-132 radar. Besides being a critical site for missile defence and space situational awareness, Thule hosts the Defence Department’s northernmost deep-water seaport and airfield. Those assets would come into play in any sort of military conflict in the arctic, giving the Pentagon forward-basing options if needed.” Continue reading