Category Archives: Commentary

Twitter rules changed

Speech, media and academic freedoms in America are threatened—especially digital democracy, the last frontier of open and free expression. Continue reading

America breaks down: The anatomy of a national nervous breakdown

Another shooting, another day in America. Continue reading

A year without a president

It seems like forever, but it was just one year ago that Donald Trump was elected president. So what have we learned about the presidency and who is running the country? Continue reading

Americans are no longer represented by their government: Retired educator and World War II veteran does something about it

Mel E. Lindsey no longer believes the American people are represented by their government. The 90-year-old resident of Long Beach, California—who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and who spent more than 50 years in education—is concerned for the future of the nation he fought for and for the children he taught. Wanting to do something about it, Mel petitioned the government on behalf of all Americans and demanded a Voter’s Bill of Rights amendment to the Constitution to provide everyone with the right to cast effective votes for their representatives. Continue reading

Oliver Stone was right about the CIA

I can’t decide which is more amusing: the CIA’s use of “national security” to justify keeping secret its 50-year-old records in the JFK assassination or the mainstream media’s response to the continued secrecy. Continue reading

Trump’s most damning legacy

In a radio interview on Thursday, Trump said “the saddest thing is, because I am the president of the United States, I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. I’m not supposed to be involved with the FBI. I’m not supposed to be doing the kind of things I would love to be doing.” Continue reading

US ground invasion of North Korea considered?

Sound deranged? If US officials devoted the same time, effort and resources for world peace, equity and justice, all Americans could benefit in ways unimaginable now. Continue reading

What real tax reform could look like

We don't actually have to cut taxes on the rich, slash services for everyone, and blow a hole in the deficit.

No matter our politics, most Americans have a beef with taxes. And it’s no wonder. Continue reading

Turning Amerika into America

First off, for purposes of proper understanding, let us agree that we are an empire, and have been since the end of WW2. Let us then agree that we are not just an empire, but a Military Industrial Empire, with at least 1,000 bases in over 100 different countries. What has been news to this writer and the majority of our citizens is the fact that we have troops in 90% of African countries. Of course, we all know of our vast military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq . . . for too long to even comprehend, as well as our illegal drone attacks on too many nations. Continue reading

Back to the USA

To go home, I had to take a taxi to Saigon’s airport, fly to Hanoi, then on to Hong Kong, where during a 5½ hour layover I’d take a train to Central to hang out a bit, then back to the airport to fly to JFK, then hop on two trains just to get to Manhattan, then two more to reach Philly’s 30th Street Station, from where I could, finally, take two subways to my South Philadelphia neighborhood. With so many legs to a trip, a thousand things could go wrong. Continue reading

Paging Dr. Vogel

My mother used to say, “She needs to have her head examined.” Or, “He needs to have his head examined.” I thought of her, of this, when I read that Stephen Paddock’s brain is in route for examination at Stanford University where Dr. Hannes Vogel will analyze the tissue for any number of neurological disorders that might shed light on motive for the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Continue reading

Missing links for peace, civility, social well-being

We will keep missing out if we insist on relying solely on our intellect, acquired knowledge, reason and intelligence; human potential encompasses much more.

I am fascinated with the insights the evolution of science provides, particularly astronomy, cosmology, quantum physics and medicine. Medical research and technology opened the doors to the insides of our brains, considered by ourselves superior and in many ways as complex, dynamic, fascinating as the universe itself. And scientists keep sending those ‘intelligent’ messages to outer space in hopes that other ‘intelligent’ beings will pick them up and beam back their replies to us to provide a human life-changing experience of a close encounter of some kind. They assume that beings ‘out there’ possess minds and intellects—lives like our own. Continue reading

Trump’s Trojan horse tax cut

The goal of Trump and the Republican leaders is to pull off a giant redistribution of over $1 trillion from the middle-class, working-class, and poor to the rich, who are already richer than ever. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: Putin, Trump and Manafort

The American propaganda campaign being waged against the Russian Federation and its president Vladimir Putin has reached a stage of perverse perfection. It is virtually impossible to put forth a dissenting opinion that will be accepted or considered worthy of consideration. The Democrats are leading the charge to silence and censor and they are getting buy-in from people who otherwise consider themselves to be progressive. Continue reading

Politics of identity, secessionism and communal plurality

Patriotism is, fundamentally, if we follow George Bernard Shaw’s dictum, a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it. And as I look around me here in the United States, or around much of the world for that matter, I see little room to contradict GBS. The Irish playwright had us diagnosed well . . . all victims of man’s oldest and greatest epidemic. Continue reading

Is it insanity, evil, or both that has the Western world in its grip

As the presstitute media has no allegiance to truth, one has to wonder if we can even believe obituaries. Continue reading

One year later, is Trump a blessing or a curse to the Deep State?

Here’s the question I pose to you: has Donald Trump been a blessing or a curse to the architects of the American police state? Continue reading

The flawed and corrupted genius of American republicanism

Trump as President makes us think as never before about viability of the American version of constitutional democracy, that is, the ‘republic’ that Ben Franklin promised the people at the time of Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Continue reading

Leading Democrats are way behind the public on health care

60 percent of Americans support single payer health care. So why is the party leadership dragging its feet?

Good news, people—at last, congressional Democrats have gotten a clue, grown some spine, and are beginning to act like . . . well, like progressives. Continue reading

Swamp Tales: Puerto Rico cancels $300 million Trump crony electrical grid rebuild contract

The swampish saga would be hard to invent. In early October, Puerto Rico’s Energy Power Authority awarded a $300 million tax-funded contract to reconstruct the island’s hurricane devastated power grid to a two-person, two-year-old firm based in the small Montana hometown of Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. The company is financially backed by a major donor to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Continue reading

The huge tax heist

You know the plot: The bank robbers set off a bomb down the street from the bank, and while everyone’s distracted they get away with the loot. Continue reading

Dak Lak

It was a 200-mile journey from Saigon to Dak Lak, a highlands province that saw much fighting during the Vietnam War. Just north of Saigon, I passed quite a few grand villas, with two dog statues on gate columns, though some owners outdid their neighbors by having lions instead. Continue reading

Requiem for the Promised Land

Sometime in the early 1900s my maternal grandparents threw caution to the wind and left the countyside and seaside of Abruzzo, Italy, to settle in South Philadelphia. My grandfather died when I was barely a year old, but my grandmother I can remember. Try as she might, her English never got beyond a few words; yet she raised five children, one of whom became my mother. Continue reading

Mutual assured destruction

Sometimes it is possible to read or view something that completely changes the way one looks at things. I had that experience last week when I read an article at Lobelog entitled “A Plea for Common Sense on Missile Defense,” written by Joe Cirincione, a former staffer on the House Armed Services Committee who now heads the Ploughshares Fund, which is a Washington, DC, based global foundation that seeks to stop the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Continue reading

Is NATO preparing for war on Russia?

Bilateral Russia/US relations are dismal—so far confined to a war of words, risking things turning hot. Continue reading

For Trump, words are stupid things

In Britain late last week, Conservative Member of Parliament Nicholas Soames, grandson of Winston Churchill, described Donald Trump as a “daft twerp.” Continue reading

Get ready to eat Chinese chickens

China has sold rat meat billed as lamb, gutter oil billed as cooking oil and baby formula contaminated with melamine. In the U.S. its pet food killed many dogs and cats in 2007. But this spring the U.S. agreed to import cooked chickens from China. Why? Because China agreed to accept U.S. beef imports after a 13-year “mad cow” scare in which many countries refused U.S. beef. Continue reading

Don’t call the cops if you’re autistic, deaf, mentally ill, disabled or old

Life in the American police state is an endless series of don’ts delivered at the end of a loaded gun: don’t talk back to police officers, don’t even think about defending yourself against a SWAT team raid (of which there are 80,000 every year), don’t run when a cop is nearby lest you be mistaken for a fleeing criminal, don’t carry a cane lest it be mistaken for a gun, don’t expect privacy in public, don’t let your kids walk to the playground alone, don’t engage in nonviolent protest near where a government official might pass, don’t try to grow vegetables in your front yard, don’t play music for tips in a metro station, don’t feed whales, and on and on. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: AFRICOM is the question

The desire to be affirmed by American society has dangerous consequences for black people. This pernicious dynamic creates the inclination to worship any black face in a high place or to defend questionable activity. The death of special forces Sergeant La David Johnson in Niger is a case in point. Donald Trump’s racism and stupidity prevented him from performing the simple task of conveying appropriate condolences to Johnson’s widow. The ensuing brouhaha focuses on what Trump said in the phone call overheard by Congressional Black Caucus member Frederica Wilson. Continue reading

If you want to collect Social Security, Trump’s tax plan is an outrage

How much did your paychecks total last year? You know the answer, of course. So does the Social Security Administration. The totals for every American’s paycheck income are sitting in Social Security’s computers. Continue reading

How social media abet the political right (it’s not how you might think)

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and many others have become a mechanism now for channeling our discontents.

So much of the discussion about Donald Trump’s success in politics has focused on how he has mastered social media, particularly Twitter, with his continual tweets that dominate the national conversation while also rousing and even inciting his “alt-right” base. As he told Maria Bartiromo last weekend, “Tweeting is like a typewriter—when I put it out, you put it immediately on your show. I mean the other day, I put something out, two seconds later I am watching your show, it’s up.” Continue reading

America now has 6 political parties

The old Democratic and Republican parties are exploding. When you take a closer look, America actually has six political parties right now. Continue reading