Category Archives: Commentary

Biden’s brain is swiss cheese and it’s creepy that we’re not talking about it

I didn’t watch the last Democratic presidential primary debates because I figured that without Tulsi Gabbard in there shaking things up it would be a boring, vapid parade of insubstantial verbal foam, and I love myself too much to go through such a horrible ordeal. By all accounts my prediction was correct, but I did miss one thing that’s been making the rounds in video clips for the last couple of days which I find absolutely bizarre. Continue reading

Avalanche-level liar Trump learned art of deception from the pros: US corporations

Before there was Trump there was a corporate stranglehold on false claims and campaigns that had a singular purpose to mislead

For avalanche-level lying, deceiving, and misleading, mega-mimic Donald Trump need look no further than the history of the corporate advertising industry and the firms that pay them. Continue reading

Reasons for optimism

If stagnant wages, near-record inequality, climate change, nuclear buildups, assault weapons, mass killings, trade wars, opioid deaths, Russian intrusions into American elections, kids locked in cages at our border, and Donald Trump in the White House don’t at least occasionally cause you feelings of impending doom, you’re not human. Continue reading

Why Palestinians are not watching Israeli polls

Whoever wins will work to crush all remnants of Palestinian hopes for independent state

Today, Israelis will cast their ballots for the second time in five months due to the inability of the incumbent, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to form a coalition following elections in April. A high turnout looks unlikely when many voters complain of election-fatigue and the two front-running parties sing from a similar dirge-like song book. Continue reading

Trump the Russian puppet: A story that just will not die

Certainly, there are many things that President Donald Trump can rightly be criticized for, but it is interesting to note how the media and chattering classes continue to be in the grip of the highly emotional but ultimately irrational “Trump derangement syndrome (TDS).” TDS means that even the most ridiculous claims about Trump behavior can be regurgitated by someone like Jake Tapper or Rachel Maddow without anyone in the media even daring to observe that they are both professional dissemblers of truth who lie regularly to enhance their professional resumes. Continue reading

The end of modern diplomacy

Modern diplomacy can generally be traced back to the late 19th century and the intercession of professional diplomats in the foreign relations between major and minor powers of the era. International negotiations to resolve problems were primarily handled by diplomats prior to politicians giving their assent to peace treaties and compacts. The Congress of Berlin of 1878 and 1905 Treaty of Portsmouth (New Hampshire) helped resolve the Russo-Turkish War and Russo-Japanese War, respectively. These early diplomatic efforts would eventually lead to treaties establishing the League of Nations, the International Court of Justice, and the United Nations, in addition to a variety of regional and specialized international agencies. Each of these international agencies brought into being a corps of international diplomats who, for the most part, were committed to hammering out disputes between nations through negotiations and not armed conflict. The lessons of World Wars I and II provided an impetus for nations to commit to dialogue rather than war. Continue reading

Netanyahu’s fear-mongering campaign

Many politicians use every dirty trick in the book to win votes, especially hard-right extremists in the US, other Western countries and Israel—fantasy democracies, not the real thing. Continue reading

The Bill of Rights turns 230, and what do we have to show for it? Nothing good

It’s been 230 years since James Madison drafted the Bill of Rights—the first ten amendments to the Constitution—as a means of protecting the people against government tyranny, and what do we have to show for it? Continue reading

Have you noticed how social media purges always align with the US empire?

Twitter has suspended multiple large Cuban media accounts for reasons the social media platform has yet to explain as of this writing, a move which journalist Dan Cohen has described as “the equivalent of silencing CNN, Fox, WaPo and NPR’s accounts” for that nation. The Union of Cuban Journalists has denounced the move as censorship. Continue reading

‘Justice is indivisible’: Screams of Israa Ghrayeb should be our wake-up call

The death of Israa Ghrayeb has ignited furious reactions regarding the so-called ‘honor-killings’ in Palestine and throughout the Arab world. Continue reading

Burning down the house

Far-right governments in the U.S., UK, and Brazil are laying bare their nihilistic roots and full destructive potential.

Doesn’t idiocy ever take a vacation? Continue reading

Boris Johnson on the ropes suspends Parliament until October 14

Since becoming prime minister in late July, virtually everything he asked parliamentarians to support was rejected. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: Hollywood propaganda attack on Venezuela

The US is starving and killing Venezuelans in real life and, for your family’s viewing pleasure, on television screens. Continue reading

It’s not about your straws or your light bulbs

Polluting industries want you to think the climate crisis is your fault, not theirs.

A few years ago, I had a cupcake problem. I’d go to the cupcake store almost daily and I’d eat at least one cupcake, sometimes more. Continue reading

A morning in Afghanistan

Amidst political posturing, aerial terrorism and street bombings, Afghan citizens pursue their daily work toward peace.

On a very warm September morning in Kabul, several dozen men, women, and children sit on the carpeted floor of a room at the Afghan Peace Volunteers’ Borderfree Center. The women cluster together. All wear burqas, but because of the heat they push the steel blue veils back, revealing their faces. Most of the men wear traditional tunics and pakol hats. Continue reading

The United States: A nation on suicide watch

“The Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan required major shifts in national resources from civilian to military purposes and contributed to the growth of the budget deficit and public debt. Through FY 2018, the direct costs of the wars will have totaled more than $1.9 trillion, according to US Government figures. Pollution is a serious issue. The United States (US) is a “large emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; deals with water pollution from runoff of pesticides and fertilizers; has limited natural freshwater resources in much of the western part of the country that require careful management. Deforestation; mining; desertification; species conservation; and invasive species (the Hawaiian Islands are particularly vulnerable) are widespread. Long-term problems for the US include stagnation of wages for lower-income families, inadequate investment in deteriorating infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, energy shortages, and sizable current account and budget deficits.” Continue reading

How fascist Is the Republican Party?

A fascist is a person who believes in some form of ‘solidarity’ being imposed on the nation. That’s what the term “fasces” or Latin “bundles” referred to: specifically, to “a bundle of elm or birch rods about 5 feet (1.5 metres) long and tied together with a red strap; it symbolized penal power.” It was unification by means of force, specifically the force of the “penal power” or the police and the military and the law and the chief executive officer of the nation—an imposed order or unity upon the society, the nation being tied together by means of enforced order that represents the powerful against the weak. Continue reading

Now it’s official: US visa can be denied if you (or even your friends) are critical of American policies

There have been several interesting developments in the United States government’s war on free speech and privacy. First of all, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP), which is responsible for actual entry of travelers into the country, has now declared that it can legally access phones and computers at ports of entry to determine if there is any subversive content which might impact on national security. “Subversive content” is, of course, subjective, but those seeking entry can be turned back based on how a border control agent perceives what he is perusing on electronic media. Continue reading

The 5 biggest corporate lies about unions

Wealthy corporations and their enablers have spread 5 big lies about unions in order to stop workers from organizing and to protect their own bottom-lines. Know the truth and spread the truth. Continue reading

People are starving to death in our ‘booming economy’

When I look into whether or not the economy is doing well, the first statistic I use is homelessness. Continue reading

Predator of our public lands

The man Trump charged with protecting our public lands doesn’t believe we should have any.

For generations, our country has been Mother Nature’s steward, setting aside and protecting important expanses of public lands for posterity. But what if these lands and natural resources suddenly got a “steward” who was a predator, rather than a protector? Continue reading

‘Skin in the game’

Stockholders aboard the good ship “Queen of the Capitalist West” appear to be experiencing a “shiver me timbers” moment. The portentous stockholders aboard the “Queen of the Capitalist West” had come to believe that it was their divine right to assume that only they had the right to dictate who could have skin in the global trading game. But lo and behold, along came a potentially ‘world shaking’ event with the arrival of the good ship “Mandate of Heaven,” a Chinese trading vessel of exceptional stature, whose enterprise was born of state capitalism’s heroic effort to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. Continue reading

Please shut up, Mr. President, and read some books

E.B. White and James Thurber could teach Trump—and us—a thing or two.

Amidst a roiling hurricane and another fusillade of Texas gunshots, like many, I was struck by a statement in the new memoir, Call Sign Chaos, written by former Trump Defense Secretary James Mattis with former Reagan Assistant Defense Secretary Bing West. Both men began their careers of public service as US Marines. Continue reading

It’s more than obvious that we are all living with a dementia sufferer

Anyone who has ever cared for a relative or a close friend suffering from dementia is well aware of the effects of this debilitating disease. Living with a dementia sufferer is as bad, if not worse, for the care giver as it is for the person afflicted. Obsessive compulsiveness, irrational outbursts such as inappropriate laughing, crying or yelling, insensitive bigoted comments, and voicing strange ideas are only a part of a dementia patient’s overall symptoms. Continue reading

Is the U.S. government the enemy of the people?

America’s lost liberties post-9/11

Take heed, America. Continue reading

The war ahead: Netanyahu’s elections gamble will be costly for Israel

On September 1, the Lebanese group Hezbollah struck an Israeli military base near the border town of Avivim. The Lebanese attack came as an inevitable response to a series of Israeli strikes that targeted four different Arab countries in a matter of two days. Continue reading

Liar-in-Chief Trump

All politicians lie, heads of state most notably because their prominent positions reach a large audience and get widespread media coverage. Continue reading

Humanity denied: What is missing from the Omar, Tlaib story

Israel’s decision to bar two United States Democratic representatives, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, from entering Israel and visiting Palestine has further exposed the belligerent, racist nature of the Israeli government. Continue reading

Ways to stay sane during the primaries

As the presidential primaries get underway, it’s easy to get burnt out or overwhelmed by all the candidates and their platforms. Here are 9 ways to stay sane through the madness of the presidential primaries. Continue reading

Make America… more like Canada

Canadians enjoy much better health care, much less inequality, and—a new study finds—higher incomes too.

We Americans tend not to pay much attention to our northern neighbors. Often, entire election cycles can come and go without anyone running for national office saying anything about Canada. Continue reading

Captain Pia Klemp arrives as David Koch departs the United States Of Altamont

‘We are lived by powers we pretend to understand.’

Fifty Years after rhapsodic auguries of the acid-informed era involving the coming “Woodstock Nation,” the US citizenry—convulsed by violence, strung out on all the wrong drugs, and with the Rolling Stones still touring—stumble in mortification through the grim phantasmagoria of the United States Of Altamont. What a long, strange, bad (Nixonian in its dour, paranoid cultural and political aura; Reagan/Clinton/Obama in noxious, neoliberal fantasy; Bush/Trump in cresting tsunamis of raging stupid) trip it has been. Continue reading

Trump and Netanyahu regimes pushing for war on Iran?

Their longstanding aim is toppling Iran’s legitimate government, wanting it replaced by pro-Western puppet rule. Continue reading