Category Archives: Commentary

Fooling most of the people most of the time is what American politics are about, even when it comes to the threat of nuclear war

I read a column recently, and it was imbued with hopeful thinking about America’s political establishment dealing with its constituents concerning the now increasing threat of nuclear catastrophe. Continue reading

The longest war in U.S. history

Many would have you believe that the Iraq “War” is the longest war in U.S. history. That is far from the truth. The longest war in our history is the class war being waged by the ruling class against the poor and the working class. Continue reading

Homeland terror

Justifying the War on Terror, George Bush huffed, “We’re fighting them there, so we don’t have to fight them here.” Broke, gullible or crazed Americans must be sent overseas to combat Al Qaeda, Bin Laden, the Taliban and ISIS. Otherwise, endless terror would devastate the homeland. Continue reading

Farewell to Yarmouk: A Palestinian refugee’s journey from Izmir to Greece

(Based on interviews with Palestinian refugees from Syria.)

The refugee camp of Yarmouk was ever present in his being, pulling him in and out of an abyss of persistent fears that urged him to never return. But what was this refugee without Yarmouk, his first haven, his last earth? Continue reading

A flawed political argument

When a white actor plays a non-white character in a present politically charged atmosphere with movements such as Black Lives Matter, the public is made conscious of the actor’s race more than ever before. Not surprisingly the social media was not receptive to the idea of DiCaprio playing the 13th century mystic poet Jalaluddin Rumi for a biopic still in the birthing stage. Continue reading

Stop drinking the Kool-Aid, America: Political fiction in an age of televised lies

Politics is entertainment. Continue reading

On waking up and realizing your senior class in high school is now running the United States

With millions of others, I listened to and saw the speeches Monday night at the Demo convention on TV. Continue reading

30 seconds to midnight

Former US Secretary of Defense William Perry warns that the world is on the knife edge of nuclear catastrophe. Such catastrophe can result accidentally from electronic failures or glitches in warning systems and from the recklessly aggressive and unnecessary force buildup against Russia. Conn Hallinan discusses these issues. Continue reading

To paraphrase Churchill, Turkey right now is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

Events in Turkey just become stranger with each passing day. Continue reading

Engineered fears: The fake ‘Russian threat,’ the fake ‘terrorist threat’

Recently, General Petr Pavel, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, admitted, “It is not the aim of NATO to create a military barrier against broad-scale Russian aggression, because such aggression is not on the agenda and no intelligence assessment suggests such a thing.” Continue reading

Who says The New York Times is biased?

Public editor Liz Spayd's inaugural column misses the mark by not explaining how the media really works—and offers little proof that the paper's critics can support their perceptions with evidence.

Liz Spayd’s launch column as The New York Times’ newest public editor is depressingly muddled. Her going-in premise is that the Times is alienating conservative “and even many moderate” readers, and her second is that this alienation is bad news for the Times as a business. Continue reading

Will GOP swing state governors strip & flip Donald Trump into the White House?

As the Democratic Convention opened in Philadelphia, there’s just one clear message that matters from the Republicans: Donald Trump will be within ten points of Hillary Clinton in the fall election. Continue reading

Turkey has its Western partners over a barrel

Without doubt many who were celebrating democracy’s victory last week are having second thoughts. The Turkish president’s “gift from God” has turned his fist into iron. The coup that wasn’t gives him a blank cheque to purge the military, the judiciary, state institutions, universities and schools of all opposition with echoes of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s 1950s witch hunt for Americans suspected of harbouring Communist sympathies. Continue reading

Armageddon approaches

The Western pubic doesn’t know it, but Washington and its European vassals are convincing Russia that they are preparing to attack. Eric Zuesse reports on a German newspaper leak of a Bundeswehr decision to declare Russia to be an enemy nation of Germany. Continue reading

An alarmingly ignorant fuck

I love peanut butter—peanut butter on a banana or with blueberries. I may have invented the combo of prunes and peanut butter, although I don’t have a patent, and speaking of peanut butter, inventions, and patents, I was consuming creamy peanut butter when I read that Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican, asked what nonwhites have done for civilization during a panel discussion led by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Monday, the first day of the Republican National Shit Show (RNSS). Continue reading

Hillary’s campaign sinks deeper into scandal

On Sunday, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, tried to divert attention from the latest email scandal showing that officers of the Democratic National Committee schemed to undermine the Bernie Sanders campaign. Continue reading

Donald Trump’s dark and scary night

The GOP presidential nominee's acceptance speech was a litany of fear and resentment, a dog whistle to disaffected white Americans.

The GOP’s new big dog blew the whistle Thursday night for nearly an hour and a half and it was loud and shrill enough to reach the ears of every angry, resentful, disaffected white American. The tone was divisive, dark, dystopian and grim. Continue reading

Lessons from the Trump-a-thon

The four-day Trump-a-thon, sometimes noted as the Republican National Convention, ended last week in Cleveland with the Republican party still divided and Donald Trump’s ego inflated larger than a Macy’s parade balloon. Trump was all over the convention hall, the hotels, and in the media, chatting, arguing, scowling, and boasting. It was Trump’s convention, and he knew it. Continue reading

Why you can’t count on Congress to rein in a President Trump

"There is nothing to stop a president from initiating action, even if unconstitutional," one scholar observes.

Donald Trump has made many promises on the campaign trail about things he will fix (a broken immigration system), change (the way trade deals are negotiated), and build (a wall on the southern border) if elected president. Those who do not support Trump, regardless of political party, comfort themselves with the constitutional reminder that our government includes three co-equal branches designed to protect against the accumulation of too much power in too few hands. Those checks and balances aside, could President Trump accomplish any of his stated objectives through unilateral actions? Continue reading

Does the humor of these corporations offend you?

After a corporation has visited huge damage on humans and other living things, it usually lays low. You certainly have not seen a lot of VW ads, for example, since its “Dieselgate.” When hundreds were sickened by eating at Chipotle, some hospitalized, you did not hear too many Chipotle ads. Continue reading

Sweden—a victim of Russophobic propaganda

It is frightening to see how the Swedish government, which, I suppose, considers itself more open than the center-right government we had before 2014, nevertheless seems to be the vassals of the U.S. The ever-increasing realization in Europe that the Western Empire poses a threat to life all over the world has apparently escaped the Swedes. One after the other EU countries are now seeing that it is not Russia that is a threat to a possible future world peace. This possibility has now been torpedoed by Washington’s aggressive stance towards Russia and Putin. Continue reading

A deeply disturbing letter from Germany

A friend in Frankfurt emailed me the following on July 19. Continue reading

The Get-Off-My-Lawn Party meets in Cleveland

Oh dear. Watching C-SPAN and waiting for Tuesday’s roll call confirming Donald Trump’s nomination to begin, the house band there in the hall, led by GE Smith, formerly of Saturday Night Live, played covers of The Temptations’ “I Can’t Get Next To You” and other golden oldies. Many rhythm-impaired white people were dancing in the aisles and stands, a lot of them badly. And they kept doing it every time there was a lull in the action and the music started up again, like a high school 50th reunion run amok. Continue reading

JFK turned to peace and was assassinated

Researchers who have investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy for 30 or more years have concluded that he was murdered by a conspiracy of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, and the Secret Service. See for example, JFK And The Unspeakable by James W. Douglass. Shortly before he was murdered, President John F. Kennedy gave an extraordinary speech at American University. In the speech he came out against continuation of the Cold War that risked all life on earth for the benefit of the profits of the military-security complex and the budgets and power of the Pentagon and CIA. Continue reading

From Nice to the Middle East: The only way to challenge ISIS

I visited Iraq in 1999. At the time, there were no so-called ‘jihadis’ espousing the principles of ‘jihadism,’ whatever the interpretation may be. On the outskirts of Baghdad was a military training camp, not for ‘al-Qaeda,’ but for ‘Mojahedin-e-Khalq,’ an Iranian militant exile group that worked, with foreign funding and arms, to overthrow the Iranian Republic. Continue reading

Trump triumphant, wins GOP nomination

On Tuesday evening, Trump became official GOP standard bearer, a billionaire tycoon representing America’s privileged class exclusively. Continue reading

What’s on display in Cleveland? The Republican id

The triumph of Trump has demonstrated the cost of the devil’s bargain that party elites—and the media—have accepted over the years.

What is on display at the RNC in Cleveland is the Republican id. We always suspected it would look something like this. But even though it reared its ugly head on occasion on Fox News or in Congress—on the lips of some right-wing preacher or billionaire hedge-fund manager. They would compare gays to Satan, progressive taxation to Naziism and people of color to criminals at best, animals at worst—but the more polite, polished folks who spoke for the party would always regretfully shake their well-coiffed heads and explain that wasn’t what the party was really about. Continue reading

The police are victimized by their training

It is too early to know if the shooting of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge are the beginnings of acts of retribution against police for their wanton murders of citizens. The saying is that “what goes around, comes around.” If police murders of citizens have provoked retribution, police and those who train them need to be honest and recognize that they have brought it upon themselves. Continue reading

Brave, yes . . . heroes, no!

Empires especially have always used propaganda to control and influence the populace. It takes courage for a minority of ‘truth tellers’ to speak up. For too long many of we who ‘know better’ have remained silent on who the real heroes are. Continue reading

Fear and hatred unite Americans; US military more secure, progressive

Law enforcement officers were ambushed and killed in Baton Rouge and Dallas by those using guerilla warfare style tactics. Is this any different that the Sunni “terrorists” who killed U.S. soldiers in Iraq? Continue reading

Republican National Convention, Cleveland: Worst organized convention in recent memory

A Republican convention that sees the host Republican governor boycotting it is doomed to failure. And that is exactly the case in Cleveland, where, as of 5:00 pm on opening day a schedule with times allotted to various speakers has still not been produced. This has confused not only the schedule-driven TV and radio media but also delegates. One Trump delegate from Tennessee confided he had never seen a convention without a fixed schedule. Continue reading

Justice Ginsburg’s gaffe—she spoke the truth

Her comments may have been ‘inappropriate,’ but they weren't wrong, and her views highlight the fallacy of a judiciary free of political judgment.

What a week for the separation of powers! Not since December 2000, when a five-member majority of the Rehnquist Supreme Court stopped the Florida vote recount and placed George W. Bush in the White House—on the ground (as stated by the late Justice Scalia) that otherwise, Bush would suffer “irreparable harm”—has it been so crystal-clear that the Supreme Court is a body of men and women, not laws. These men and women durably hold views that go beyond—way beyond—legal citations. Continue reading