Category Archives: Commentary

Red flag gun laws: Yet another government weapon for compliance and control

We never learn. Continue reading

Oriental ways

Two years ago, I was having dinner in NYC with a group of Japanese writers. Next to me was Mieko Kawakami, who’s also known as a pop singer. Since her English was very limited, we conversed mostly through another person. Seeing that my beer glass was empty, Mieko filled it. Continue reading

A badge of shame: The government’s war on America’s military veterans

Not all heroes wear the uniform of war. Continue reading

White House economists are obsessed with socialism

A new White House report links the idea of Medicare for All with Mao. Really?

Trump’s White House seems to be both spooked . . . and spooky. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: Black people need birthright citizenship

If white nationalists are allowed to abolish birthright citizenship, they will immediately move to de-Americanize as many Blacks as possible for criminal convictions or poverty. Continue reading

Trump idiocy turns lethal

With a devout follower of President Trump having been active at placing bombs in the US mail directed at Trump’s perceived enemies, corporate media have missed the most important fact in the story, that Trump has inspired a huge number of his admirers to commit violent acts against people in this country. Continue reading

Are Trump regime hardliners heading for war on Iran?

Was the Trump regime’s JCPOA pullout and harsh sanctions prelude for something far more aggressive—aiming to weaken and try toppling Iran’s government forcefully? Continue reading

Deluge of robocalls? Thank Trump and the Republican Congress

They show up uninvited at your home, business, and vehicle on an average of ten times a day. They come from such relatively unknown places as Meadowview and Boones Mill, Virginia; Warsaw, Kentucky; Justin, Texas; and McKenzie, Tennessee. They try to take your personal details, your savings, and computer passwords. We are not talking about a zombie apocalypse but the scourge of robocalls, the lifeblood of the telemarketing industry. The direct marketing and scam pests run right through the Federal Trade Commission’s Do-Not-Call Registry like a hot knife through butter. Continue reading

Don’t fall for TV ads that ‘sell’ diseases

Most of us have our guard up when it comes to TV drug ads. We know the butterflies, sunsets and puppies are designed to distract us from terms like “blood clot,” “heart attack,” “stroke,” “seizure,” “life-threatening allergic reaction” and “death.” We realize the audio—if not the video—is actually telling us why we don’t want to “ask our doctor” about the advertised drug. Continue reading

Trump regime imposes new illegal sanctions on Cuba and Venezuela

Unilaterally imposed US sanctions on any countries are flagrantly illegal. Washington weaponized them to wage war by other means. Continue reading

Nation Above All

“Tổ Quốc Trên Hết” [“Nation Above All”] was a slogan of the defunct and much maligned Republic of South Vietnam, while the Socialist North rallied their populace with “Chống Mỹ Cứu Nước” [“Fight the Americans, Save the Nation”]. During the war, both Vietnamese sides stressed their nationalist credentials while discrediting their opponent as a foreign puppet. The common Vietnamese soldier, then, didn’t fight and die for capitalism, communism, democracy, internationalism, universal brotherhood, America, Russia or China, but only for Vietnam, for only nationalism could justify so much sacrifice, pain and endurance. Continue reading

Have we ever been great?

When we shun all lies and disinformation and value openness, honesty and transparency—that will be a great achievement. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: American terror is not new

The casual, endemic and racist violence that characterizes American behavior at home and abroad cannot be laid at the doorstep of the current buffoon in the White House. Continue reading

Trump’s trick or treat

The president's games of Let’s Pretend and vilification have dire consequences.

This is not who we are. We are better than this. Continue reading

Fascism triumphs in Brazilian presidential election

In Sunday’s runoff presidential election, hardline Social Liberal Party (PSL) candidate Jair Bolsonaro defeated Workers Party (PT) aspirant Fernando Haddad with 55% of the vote. Continue reading

Middle Easterners aren’t America’s problem

It is a mistake for vote-hungry politicians to scapegoat illusory Middle Easterners while playing down the danger posed by far-right nationalists and white supremacists

The US president recently attempted to ramp up the fear factor to galvanise his faithful voting base with one of his own snippets of fake news. He asserted that among the migrant caravan of thousands heading to the US southern border hoping to request asylum are “unknown Middle Easterners,” a claim supported by Vice-President Mike Pence who said his boss had “very good information.” Continue reading

The Trump regime launched a nuclear arms race

In response to the Trump regime’s unilateral Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty pullout, former Soviet Russia President Mikhail Gorbachev said the move signals the beginning of a nuclear arms race. Continue reading

Bolton lacks stones more than olives

The biggest warmongers are generally the biggest cowards. They hide behind rhetoric and other people’s blood, sweat and toil to advance their personal agenda. John Bolton’s arrival in Moscow with, as he said, “no olive branches” in hand, should come as zero surprise because Bolton is nothing if not a coward. Continue reading

#YouToo!?

Easy explanations are suspect for the simple fact that they end up being facile generalizations. Internet technologies have made it impossible to make statements beyond what is dreadfully obvious. Do we live in a male-dominated, patriarchal, sexist and misogynistic society? The answer is a resounding “yes!” Continue reading

The American social contract

With divisions this deep, it can often feel like we can’t agree on anything. Continue reading

About politicians who befriend criminals in power

As a politician, Donald Trump is the image of the United States government, which attempts to maintain the American military-industrial complex. He needs “enemies.” He seems to need “enemies” to establish his own political identity and to possibly deflect attention from his own flaws. He has no adversaries; he has “enemies,” whom he brands “enemies of the people.” Continue reading

The apocalypse not now

It was balmy and breezy by the bench where I sat outside a public library east of Atlanta, Georgia, brooding about the state of the world. It seemed like the end times, and I had just attended a fire and brimstone sermon, not perused the mainstream and alternative press. I had just spent a few hours on the Internet, noting so many articles that announced that the world as we know it was coming to an end, or maybe just the world. The American Empire was collapsing, the U.S.A. was a failed state, climate change would soon destroy the world if nuclear war didn’t do it first, etc. Many of these articles were predicting that soon the elites who run the U.S. would be getting their comeuppance because of hubris and overreach and, like the Roman Empire, the die had been cast and disaster was on the horizon. Such prognostications were appearing in publications that covered the political spectrum. All of it was fear-inducing, notwithstanding one’s political beliefs. Left, right, and center had reasons to be depressed or elated by the claims, depending on one’s politics and existential reality. And, need I surmise, the writers of these jeremiads were probably writing from a position of personal privilege, not scrounging for their next meal. Continue reading

Has America become a dictatorship disguised as a democracy?

We’re living in two worlds, you and I. Continue reading

‘A cruel choice’: Why Israel targets Palestinian schools

Several Palestinian students, along with teachers and officials, were wounded in the Israeli army attack on a school south of Nablus in the West Bank on October 15. The students of Al- Sawiya Al-Lebban Mixed School were challenging an Israeli military order to shut down their school based on the ever-versatile accusation of the school being a “site of popular terror and rioting.” Continue reading

The triumph of evil

The murder of Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey is unprecedented in its audacity. The response from Washington and the Canadian government is to sell more weapons to Saudi Arabia, weapons that are being used by the Saudis in their destruction of the Yemeni population. The Russian response, if the report I saw was not fake news, is to sell the Saudis the S-400 air defense system. Continue reading

The insidious wiles of foreign influence: Trump, Bin Salman, and Netanyahu

Even if the Saudi monarchy or Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in particular did not murder journalist Jamal Khashoggi, that regime is an especially evil one in both its domestic and international conduct. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: The migrant caravan and U.S. policy

Washington blames “socialism” when Venezuelans flee their country’s US-created economic crisis, but defame Honduran refugees fleeing the misery created by the US in that country. Continue reading

On UN Day, Trump threatens pullout from second oldest global organization

October 24 is marked around the world as United Nations Day, the anniversary marking the founding of the world body in 1945. However, in Washington, Donald Trump’s administration, which he described as “nationalist” at an October 22 Houston campaign rally for Texas Senator Ted Cruz, is planning for further U.S. withdrawal from various international organizations. These include the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a specialized agency of the UN that has been in existence for 153 years. Continue reading

Illegal US presence in Syria assures endless war

Wherever US forces show up, mass slaughter, destruction, and human misery follow—the same thing happening in all its war theaters, endless violence continuing, what imperial rage is all about. Continue reading

It is like a Western movie: A showdown is in the making

It has taken the US military/security complex 31 years to get rid of President Reagan’s last nuclear disarmament achievement—the INF Treaty that President Reagan and Soviet President Gorbachev achieved in 1987. Continue reading

Trump withdraws U.S. from third oldest international organization

The neocon foreign policy of Donald Trump took a drastic turn toward greater international isolation for the United States, when the White House announced the American withdrawal from the 144-year old Universal Postal Union (UPU), the world’s third-oldest international organization. The UPU, which was established as the General Postal Union by the Treaty of Bern of 1874, coordinates postal policies among its member nations. It was President Ulysses S. Grant who signed on to the Treaty of Bern and sent U.S. delegates to the founding Universal Postal Congress in the Swiss city, where the UPU headquarters remains to this day. Continue reading

China slams Pompeo for his hostile remarks

Through its media, China strongly slammed Mike Pompeo for warning Latin American leaders against seeking Beijing investments. Continue reading