Category Archives: Commentary

Katrina: A 10-year review

This week is the 10th anniversary of the destruction of the southeastern gulf coast by Hurricane Katrina. Continue reading

Gentrification & immigration: Market forces of profit & loss

The return to economic fundamentalism and libertarian anti-socialism has meant great progress for many and enormous regression for most. That is textbook free market unregulated capitalism, though a post war move to government investment in some aspects of life not producing private profit gave a social democratic appearance of change for a minority when there really was substantially none for the majority. Continue reading

‘Islamic State’ pretense and the upcoming wars in Libya

Another war is in the making in Libya: the questions are ‘how’ and ‘when’? While the prospect of another military showdown is unlikely to deliver Libya from its current security upheaval and political conflict, it is likely to change the very nature of conflict in that rich, but divided, Arab country. Continue reading

Western democracy is an endangered species on its way to extinction

The British Labour Party no longer represents the working class. Under UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Labour Party became a vassal of the One Percent. The result has been a rebellion in the ranks and the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, a principled Labourite intent on representing the people, a no-no in Western “democracies.” Continue reading

The raping of America: Mile markers on the road to fascism

There’s an ill will blowing across the country. The economy is tanking. The people are directionless, and politics provides no answer. And like former regimes, the militarized police have stepped up to provide a façade of law and order manifested by an overt violence against the citizenry. Continue reading

Let It Shine

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna’ let it shine! Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.” Continue reading

Preventing gun violence

I received my first gun when I was eight years old, and carried guns for many years during a 45-year career in the justice system. Continue reading

No safety for migrants at the European inn

A photograph of an anguished ‘migrant’ holding fast to his frightened children underscores the suffering of those who risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean more than words ever can. The majority of those heading for the shores of Greece and Italy are wrongly being labeled migrants when they are, in fact, refugees. Most are Syrians and Afghans fleeing violence-stricken zones. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: Katrina in the white imagination

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Louisiana, and the entire Gulf coast. More than 1,800 people died and thousands more were permanently displaced. In the years since, that city regained only two-thirds of its pre-hurricane population. But this tragedy for multitudes was a gift to powerful people who wanted to turn New Orleans into Exhibit A for neo-liberalism. Continue reading

America: A land where justice is absent

America’s First Black President is a traitor to his race and also to justice. Continue reading

Serial killers and dopes: An empire thing

Just finished reading Ann Rule’s book on serial killer Ted Bundy, a man she knew as a coworker and friend way back when in Washington State. Of course, Ann did not have the slightest inkling that this fine, intelligent, charming and empathetic soul (they worked together for a suicide hotline) could commit the most gruesome and enraged murders of young women . . . over and over again. Continue reading

The West spreads intellectual idiocy

Could any dictator desire more? Almost the entire population of the Empire is now thinking the same way! Continue reading

The new faces of ‘socialism,’ Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders

The word socialism has great impact in the U.S. It provokes fear and condemnation and is often used as a political weapon, a means to put your opponent or member of the “other” party on the defensive. The socialist is usually seen as a threat to the security of the U.S. as well as our way of life. Continue reading

Greek PM calls snap elections

On Thursday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned and announced snap elections, likely in late September—a ploy hoping for enough voter support to remain in power before ordinary Greeks feel the pain of greater austerity he agreed to after pledging no more in January. Continue reading

Canned pleasure: The thrill of the kill

Would you like to go to Zimbabwe, kill and behead a lion, just like that dentist from Minnesota or the physician from Pittsburgh recently did? They paid about $50,000 each for that experience. Continue reading

Inconvenienced privileged and desperate refugees

Saturday, August 15, my best friend Joan drove me to Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. I had a reservation to fly to Albuquerque to visit my son J, his wife L, and the darling-est grandson, Mr. Poop. I breezed through security without having to remove shoes, toiletries, or laptop, stopped at the board to check the flight, expecting to see “On Time” or “Delayed,” but instead read “Canceled.” Walked to the TSA desk and was told to proceed to the gate. The line to talk with an agent was Disneyesque and moving glacially. Continue reading

Insouciance rules the West

Europe is being overrun by refugees from Washington’s, and Israel’s, hegemonic policies in the Middle East and North Africa that are resulting in the slaughter of massive numbers of civilians. The inflows are so heavy that European governments are squabbling among themselves about who is to take the refugees. Hungary is considering constructing a fence, like the US and Israel, to keep out the undesirables. Everywhere in the Western media there are reports deploring the influx of migrants; yet nowhere is there any reference to the cause of the problem. Continue reading

War begets war refugees: The moral bankruptcy of Italy and NATO

On April 26, 2011, a meeting that can only be described as sinister took place between the then Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The most pressing issue discussed at the meeting in Rome was how to deal with African immigrants. Continue reading

We are the government: Tactics for taking down the police state

Saddled with a corporate media that marches in lockstep with the government, elected officials who dance to the tune of their corporate benefactors, and a court system that serves to maintain order rather than mete out justice, Americans often feel as if they have no voice, no authority and no recourse when it comes to holding government officials accountable and combatting rampant corruption and injustice. Continue reading

Paul Eisen, a kingmaker

Paul Eisen, until a week ago anonymous as far as most Brits were concerned, is now a kingmaker. The UK Jewish Lobby is convinced, for some reason, that the nature of Eisen’s relationship with Labour’s leading candidate Jeremy Corbyn will determine the future of this country. Continue reading

Lessig: A voice of hope and reason in US politics

When the jar holding sustenance civic-water is broken, fragmented in countless small pieces, it seems foolish to waste time seeking superglue to put it back together. We would be wiser instead to acknowledge and accept the loss and, without delay or commiserating on all possible reasons for our misfortune, revisit our pottery skills and create a vessel to keep us from political dehydration . . . before it’s too late. Continue reading

Gullible Americans forever

Listening to NPR news Monday, I was reminded how thoroughly this once independent voice has sold out. Continue reading

Don’t let Libya down

Libya is embroiled in bloodshed and chaos, terrorized and plundered by Daesh and feuding armed militias. Toothless rival governments—one operating out of Tripoli dominated by the Libyan Dawn, the other out of Tobruk, supported by the forces of Gen. Khalifa Haftar—render the country virtually leaderless. Continue reading

White and guilty of the crime of history?

No. I’m not going to the reeducation camp

When did my genes and “I” become guilty of thinking that they were white? Continue reading

Jeremy Corbyn and the Jews

The relationship between Jeremy Corbyn and British Jews can be summarized in a brief observation: While Corbyn’s success represents a hugely popular shift within British political thinking, the orchestrated Jewish campaign against him is there to suggest that once again, Jews set themselves against the people they dwell upon. Continue reading

‘This is not who we are’

“MUSLIM FREE ZONE, WHITE’S ONLY, NO JEWS WELCOME, IRISH NEED NOT APPLY” . . . symbols of our “free” and “democratic” society, past and present. The U.S. has a long history of ethnic, religious, and racial prejudice and hatred, identifying groups and assigning them outsider status. Continue reading

A plea to Pope Francis: Name United States’ foreign policy genocide

In recent weeks, I have been part of a haphazard and ad hoc process to compose an open Letter to Pope Francis in advance of his September 2015 visit to the United States. The promotion of this letter has been taken up by Friends of Franz Jagerstatter, a community of peacemakers inspired by the Austrian Catholic farmer who was martyred for his refusal to fight in the German Army during World War II. Continue reading

Torturing Chelsea Manning in prison

US authorities ruthlessly and consistently violate 8th Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: Steven Salaita, Palestine and free speech

Steven Salaita is a renowned academic in the field of Native American Studies. That is why the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) hired him in 2013 as a tenured associate professor in the American Indian Studies Program. Salaita resigned from his previous position and had every reason to believe that he was on his way to Illinois. However he was terminated on August 1, 2014. Continue reading

No insurance no teeth . . . no future!

You know things must really be getting bad when the mainstream media starts asking questions. Even if the questions dance around the truth a bit, it still is powerful to see it there. The August 10 issue of USA Today on page 5A had this title: More Americans turning to dentures to get, keep jobs. Now, this in itself is a bit of a con job by the writer and editor of that paper. Continue reading

The social cost of capitalism

Few, if any, corporations absorb the full cost of their operations. Corporations shove many of their costs onto the environment, the public sector, and distant third parties. For example, currently 3 million gallons of toxic waste water from a Colorado mine has escaped and is working its way down two rivers into Utah and Lake Powell. At least seven city water systems dependent on the rivers have been shut down. Continue reading

Shifting priorities: The rise and fall of Arab revolutionary discourse

Strange how intellectual discussion concerning the so-called “Arab Spring” has almost entirely shifted in recent years—from one concerning freedom, justice, democracy and rights in general, into a political wrangle between various antagonist camps. Continue reading