Category Archives: Commentary

Morgan Library & Hudson Yards: Two NYC landmarks built off the misery of others

I clearly love everything about books—so imagine my delight when someone told me about the historic Morgan Library in midtown Manhattan. I was there in a flash. And it was awesomely beautiful too. Just imagine a vaulted sanctuary such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel—only also lined with tiers and tiers of bookcases stuffed with rare and beautiful leather-bound books containing all the wisdom of the ages. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” I was in hog heaven! Continue reading

My abortion

Her face is like an image in a photograph, as clear today as it was years ago when I first saw her. The little girl, named Amber, was among my best friend J’s social work, foster care caseload. And I wanted to adopt her. Continue reading

What is so rare as a (fake news) day in June?

While the continued mental assault on what is left of public consciousness still features the idiotic fiction of Russiagate, or how the evil Putin arranged to trash our great American democracy and defeat holy mother Hillary on behalf of cursed father Donald, the month of June offered not one but two major fictional treatments of historic reality to further reduce innocent minds to enslaved mentalities. The fables of D-Day, celebrated every year in glorification of a war actually won by the Soviet Union but taught as America’s gift to the global marketplace, and the unholy terror alleged by evil China in the infamous Tiananmen uprising treated here as a story worthy of creation by Disney, Spielberg, Mother Goose and Ronald Reagan combined. Continue reading

The force that is ending freedom is lies

Every empire is a dictatorship. No nation can be a democracy that’s either heading an empire, or a vassal-state of one. Obviously, in order to be a vassal-state within an empire, that nation is dictated-to by the nation of which it is a colony. However, even the domestic inhabitants of the colonizing nation cannot be free and living in a democracy, because their services are needed abroad in order to impose the occupying force upon the colony or vassal-nation. This is an important burden upon the ‘citizens’ or actually the subjects of the imperial nation. Furthermore, they need to finance, via their taxes, this occupying force abroad, to a sufficient extent so as to subdue any resistance by the residents in any colony. Every empire is imposed, none is really voluntary. Conquest creates an empire, and the constant application of force maintains it. Every empire is a dictatorship, not only upon its foreign populations (which goes without saying, because otherwise there can’t be any empire), but upon its domestic ones too, upon its own subjects. Continue reading

Britain is out of control

One of the rallying cries of the Brexit movement, whose supporters want Britain to leave the European Union, is the slogan “Let’s Take Back Control”—meaning, in the words of The Atlantic magazine, they imagine that by quitting Europe “they would be returning power from Brussels back to lawmakers in Westminster and, by extension, to the British people themselves.” The “Vote Leave” group declared “We’ve lost control of trade, human rights, and migration” and there was an intensive and most misleading campaign waged to encourage the British people to believe that they had endured decades of unproductive cringing subservience to the EU. Continue reading

If we took control from the fascists, would we allow fascists free speech?

If our leaders were not fascists, and we didn’t have a fascist press, all inside a fascist system, perhaps an average citizen could see more distinctly what is happening, rather than missing the forest for the trees as so many do. Continue reading

D-Day after 75 years

Yesterday was the 75th anniversary of the Normandy invasion. Once again the event is celebrated by demonization of National Socialist Germany and glorification of America’s greatness in winning the war. Continue reading

You’re under arrest: How the police state muzzles our right to speak truth to power

What the First Amendment protects—and a healthy constitutional republic requires—are citizens who routinely exercise their right to speak truth to power. Continue reading

Why the USA is NOT about to attack Iran

Dr. Seyed Mohammad Marandi, professor extraordinaire of Iran, said it best when asked on Al Jazeera if the USA was going to attack Iran. He stated something so obvious that you would think western journalists would have already come to this realization, that “as long as the USA is sending its military to the Persian Gulf they are not about to attack Iran. It is when the USA starts to pull it forces out is when we should start to be worried.” Continue reading

Facing the facts: Israel cannot escape ICC jurisdiction

The chief military advocate general of the Israeli army, Sharon Afek, and the US Department of Defense general counsel, Paul Ney, shared a platform at the ‘International Conference on the Law of Armed Conflict’, which took place in Herzliya, Israel between May 28-30. Continue reading

Travel to Cuba falls victim to John Bolton’s wrath

John Bolton hates the governments of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, calling them the “troika of tyranny” and the “three stooges of socialism,” and is determined to use his time as national security advisor to eliminate the vestiges of socialism in our hemisphere. He has openly stated that the 1823 Monroe Doctrine is “alive and well,” conveying that the United States will dictate the terms of governance in the Western Hemisphere, by military force if necessary. Furious that he has been unable to successfully orchestrate a coup in Venezuela, Bolton is now lashing out at Cuba, explicitly punishing the nation for its support of Venezuelan President Maduro. The travel restrictions announced on June 4 represent another page from Bolton’s “regime change” playbook. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: How to protest Trump

If the British really oppose Trump’s policies they should dump their own government, which backs Washington to the hilt—and then they should apologize to the world for Britain’s crimes. Continue reading

Enough hesitation, House, impeach

Ben Franklin would tell Trump to go fly a kite.

Like Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin is one of those great Americans to whom sparkling aphorisms are attributed that may or may not be true. The Internet has only made matters worse. Continue reading

If corporations have rights, so does nature

A whopping 61 percent of Toledo’s voters said ‘yes’ to recognizing legally enforceable rights for the natural world.

From the very start of our nation, the most popular forum for debating and shaping our democratic rights was not stately legislative halls, but rowdy beer halls. Continue reading

US sanctions are economic terrorism

Security Council members alone may legally impose sanctions on nations, entities or individuals. Continue reading

Instead of a US peace plan for the Middle East, how about a US peace plan for the US?

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo describes the Trump administration’s plan for peace between Israel and Palestinian Arabs as “unexecutable.” President Trump says Pompeo “may be right.” Continue reading

What happens after the massive demonstrations in every city?

As society continues to unravel, there will be more and more massive demonstrations in major cities over issues such as the never-ending wars, environmental catastrophes, lack of jobs, and inadequate healthcare. These increasing protests will occur when large numbers of people realize that our elected leaders only represent the one percent who financially help get them elected and re-elected. Our currently elected leaders are not public servants who represent us, the 99 percent. Continue reading

My (not so) excellent adventure with propaganda at the United Nations in NYC

How many times have you been told straight-up lies to your face? Been told them so many times that you actually start to believe them? “Yes, Santa Claus will bring you lots of presents down the chimney, kid. Now shut up and put out those damn cookies and milk.” Continue reading

Controversy overshadows Trump’s visit to Britain

US president faces ‘a carnival of protest’ and wrath of British politicians

Britain’s fortunes are inextricably entwined with those of the mighty United States. They will be even more so after the UK leaves the European Union in respect to a coveted US-UK trade deal as well as heightened diplomatic and military cooperation. Continue reading

If Congress has no mojo to govern, let’s make it a part-time job

If the American public needs any further evidence that the US Congress is unable to function as an operating legislative branch of the federal government in the ‘pursuit of happiness’ or to ‘promote the general welfare,’ look no further than Congress’s most recent public disapproval rating of 69%. This is of course nothing new as Congress has been in ill repute with the American public for decades—and no one seems to know what to do about it. Continue reading

Identity groups = market shares = class division

The divide and conquer tactics practiced by minority ruling powers are simply age-old class divisions forced on their majority subjects, but they have become more dangerous as imperial capitalism has entered a most critical period threatening more destruction than ever before. At a time when real global democracy is both more possible and necessary than ever, humanity is split into more sub-divisions than ever, with economic stratification disguised by group identity labels, most totally and a-scientifically as separate races. That is the way authority wants it and why it must be overcome before capitalism’s self-destructive roots become total reality and unity is finally achieved only to experience devastation with the belated realization that it is happening to all of us and not just some of us. Continue reading

Trump’s harebrained tariffs strategy

Trump’s imposition of tariffs on Chinese imports with more threatened failed to get its ruling authorities to bend to his will—just the opposite. Continue reading

Putting values into action

Earlier in May, two North Carolina Republicans intro’d state legislation that would place obstacles in the path of renewable energy development. Senate Bill 843, sponsored by Senators William Cook and Andrew Brock, leaves anyone with even semi-decent cognitive functioning asking WTF(?). Despite the unquestionable obviousness of the why of that What, you still can shake your head no, no, no in amazement, outrage, disbelief. Continue reading

Resurrecting the PLO is Palestine’s best response to the ‘Deal of the Century’

Palestinian groups, Fatah, Hamas and others should not confine themselves to simply rejecting the Trump administration’s so-called ‘Deal of the Century.’ Instead, they should use their resistance to the new American-Israeli plot as an opportunity to unify their ranks. Continue reading

Washington’s mighty warriors: draft dodgers and scoundrels

Remember Shakespeare’s line “he jests at scars that never felt a wound?” That epithet could have been written with National Security Advisor John Bolton in mind. Bolton was notoriously a draft dodger during the Vietnam War, like his current boss, not due to any scruples regarding what was occurring, but out of concern for his own sorry ass. He is now credibly believed to be the driving force behind the punishment being meted out to Venezuela and, far more dangerously, of the creeping escalation that is taking place in the Middle East that is seeking to draw Iran into a misstep that would lead to war. Bolton, who has received the “Defender of Israel” award, has long been an outspoken advocate for attacking Iran and now he has the power to do just that. Continue reading

Manufacturing a nonexistent Iranian threat

If all nations were governed like Iran, peace and stability would replace global wars everywhere, swords turned into plowshares. Continue reading

What does oligarchy mean?

“Oligarchy” means government of and by a few at the top, who exercise power for their own benefit. It comes from the Greek word oligarkhes, meaning “few to rule or command.” Continue reading

Trump’s very un-American Memorial Day

Donald Trump chose to spend the Memorial Day weekend hobnobbing with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a man who consistently honors his nation’s dead war criminals from World War II. Make no mistake about it, Abe is a right-wing nationalist and that is what makes him attractive to the racist Trump. Continue reading

Will the Trump regime target Venezuela’s food distribution program for elimination?

President Nicolas Maduro initiated Local Provision and Production Committees (CLAPs) in early 2016. Continue reading

Trump’s trade war has probably permanently damaged America’s tech leadership position

On May 15, US president Donald Trump issued an “Executive Order on Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain.” Continue reading

Trump’s upcoming Yankee Doodle disaster

I was there the last time a president and his pals tried to use the Fourth of July for partisan purposes.

Years ago, I was interviewing the college roommate of a famous politician who told the story of being sent to a shop by the pol to pick up a large impressive trophy. It would be presented at an official school dinner that night. Is this for the university president, the roommate asked? No, the politician replied, without missing a beat, it’s for me. Continue reading

Putting Good Samaritans behind bars

Border authorities arrested a Texas woman for stopping to help bedraggled teenagers who desperately needed it.

Let us now contemplate the morality tale of the Good Samaritan. Continue reading