Spreading vaccine misinformation is dangerous and wrong

People can disagree about vaccine mandates, but the science on vaccines is clear: They’re safe and effective.

In the late 19th century, people protested against mandatory smallpox vaccines. Despite them, today we live in a world without smallpox. Continue reading

Following Afghanistan defeat: Can EU win its ‘independence’ from the US?

Suddenly, the idea put forth by French President, Emmanuel Macron, late last year does not seem so far-fetched or untenable after all. Following the US-NATO hurried withdrawal from Afghanistan, European countries are now forced to consider the once unthinkable: a gradual dismantling from US dominance. Continue reading

The transition to oligarchy explains why threats of violence are epidemic in America

I’m sitting in my home office working on the next morning’s Daily Rant when I hear what sounded like a man in my driveway yelling, at the top of his voice, “You f*cking c*nt!” and other female-specific obscenities. Walking to the window, I saw a guy in his 40s, red-faced, giving my wife the finger with both hands and cursing her out as he climbed into his car and squealed out of the driveway. Continue reading

Pinochet’s Caravan of Death and its significance for Chilean memory

Chile’s September 11, in 1973, brought a brutal end to Salvador Allende’s socialist rule. In its wake, violence permeated Chilean society, through the U.S.-backed military coup which was to provide gruesome inspiration for the later regional systematic surveillance and elimination of socialists and communists known as Operation Condor, in which several Latin American countries were involved. Continue reading

9/11: The day before

Monday, September 10, 2001 was, for many people, just another beginning of the work week. For this reporter, I had just returned to Washington on September 9 from a previous week’s speaking engagement in Helsinki. I vividly recall that just after my flight took off from JFK Airport in New York, the plane flew just south of the southern tip of Manhattan. I had a picture postcard view of the World Trade Center towers, which were brilliantly reflecting the setting sunlight from the west. I recall thinking to myself that those two buildings represented one of the greatest marvels of modern construction. Little did I realize that in less than 48 hours, those gleaming buildings would be replaced by a gigantic heap of rubble, office furniture, and, most grotesquely of all, human remains. Continue reading

The United States’ recent failures in war and fighting racism should serve as a warning to its allies

On May 26, 2021, President Joe Biden ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to produce “analysis of the origins of COVID-19” within 90 days. This move followed weeks of speculation surrounding the claim that the virus had escaped from a Chinese laboratory, usually identified as the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Having rightly rejected this claim for more than a year as a Trumpian conspiracy theory, centrist and liberal commentators in the West have breathed new life into the “lab leak” hypothesis, taking cues from allegations and claims made by U.S. state leaders and corporate media. Meanwhile, Facebook and other social media giants reversed their censorship of lab-leak disinformation almost overnight, impelled by a tawdry mix of insinuations from unnamed U.S. intelligence sources and vague allegations of impropriety relating to the World Health Organization’s investigation into the origins of the pandemic earlier this year. Continue reading

Prescription drug prices: Politicians are all talk, no action

On July 26, 2020, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order under which the US government’s Medicare Part D program would have negotiated lower prescription drug prices based on an “International Price Index.” Continue reading

As war keeps poisoning humanity, organizing continues to be the antidote

In the long run, peace activism is essential for overcoming militarism. And organizing is what makes that possible.

Last weekend, U.S. corporate media continued a 20-year repetition compulsion to evade the central role of the USA in causing vast carnage and misery due to the so-called War on Terror. But millions of Americans fervently oppose the military-industrial complex and its extremely immoral nonstop warfare. Continue reading

Hashtag ‘Untie_Our_Hands’: How many more Palestinians must die for Israel’s ‘security’?

A large Israeli army campaign is taking social media by storm. The unstated aim of what is known as the “#Untie_Our_Hands” initiative is the desire to kill, with no accountability, more Palestinian protesters at the Gaza fence. The campaign was motivated by the killing of an Israeli sniper, Barel Hadaria Shmueli, who was reportedly shot from the Palestinian side of the fence on August 21. Continue reading

FBI releases first declassified 9/11 document following Biden order

The newly disclosed report describes "multiple connections" between two Saudi nationals living in the U.S. and some of the hijackers, but it provides no evidence of direct involvement by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Saturday night released a previously withheld document related to its probe of the September 11, 2001, attacks and allegations of Saudi government support for the plane hijackers. Continue reading

Arizona mystery: Did Cyber Ninjas Botch another 2020 presidential recount attempt?

Pro-Trump contractors who hope to take Arizona-style audits to other states show continued incompetence with public records.

Did the Cyber Ninjas botch another attempt to recount Maricopa County’s 2020 presidential ballots—an attempt that, so far, has escaped wide media coverage? Continue reading

Rwanda’s military is the French proxy on African soil

On July 9, 2021, the government of Rwanda said that it had deployed 1,000 troops to Mozambique to battle al-Shabaab fighters, who had seized the northern province of Cabo Delgado. A month later, on August 8, Rwandan troops captured the port city of Mocímboa da Praia, where just off the coast sits a massive natural gas concession held by the French energy company TotalEnergies SE and the U.S. energy company ExxonMobil. These new developments in the region led to the African Development Bank’s President M. Akinwumi Adesina announcing on August 27 that TotalEnergies SE will restart the Cabo Delgado liquefied natural gas project by the end of 2022. Continue reading

Congress—collectively less than an inkblot

Bruce Fein, constitutional law specialist who has testified before Congress approximately 200 times, calls Congress “an inkblot.” Let’s see if he is exaggerating. Continue reading

9/11 and the politics of fear and self-preservation

We will either be remembered as a country that took freedom and liberty for all seriously or we will be remembered as a nation of cowards who, driven by fear, were willing to deprive this group, then that group, of their freedom—before losing that freedom entirely.

The 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001, is a particularly somber one, not just because of the horrific nature of events of that day reaching its second-decade milestone, but because of how little we seem to have learned in that amount of time. Continue reading

Behind every dark cloud of terrorism, there’s a silver lining for the wealthy

On this 20th anniversary of 9/11, the rich keep getting richer, always calculating how to squeeze more cash from calamity.

Among the many television specials marking the 20th anniversary of 9/11, one that stood out was last week’s two-hour edition of public television’s Frontline, “America After 9/11.” Continue reading

Passing the torch

The baby-boom generation is ending its lap in the human race, and the Fridays-for-future generation is beginning its run. Generational shifts of power are symbolized by the image of passing the torch, but now what the older has to pass on to the younger seems not a torch but a time bomb, a legacy of crises. Continue reading

Have drug makers created a generation of hypochondriacs?

A month before the COVID-19 shutdowns, the Wall Street Journal reported that many young people are seeking “accommodations” such as greater time allotments at work for their anxiety, PTSD, depression and other mental conditions. Of course there is much less anxiety zooming from your couch but the issues will no doubt return when workers do. Continue reading

Time to end the Medicare Advantage scam

Over 100 Democratic lawmakers last week introduced legislation to lower the Medicare eligibility age to 60. There is one small problem that needs fixing, though: so-called “Medicare Advantage.” Continue reading

20 years ago on the morning of September 11 . . .

An excerpt from Jenna Orkin’s memoir ‘Ground Zero Wars: The Fight to Reveal the Lies of the EPA in the Wake of 9/11 and Clean Up Lower Manhattan.’

Tues. 11 Sept. 11:50 am: If any of you hears news of how the kids at Stuyvesant are doing subsequent to this morning’s attacks on the World Trade Center, please phone or email me by any of the methods below. Continue reading

How can America wake up from its post-9/11 nightmare?

Looking back on it now, the 1990s were an age of innocence for America. The Cold War was over and our leaders promised us a “peace dividend.” There was no TSA to make us take off our shoes at airports (how many bombs have they found in those billions of shoes?). The government could not tap a U.S. phone or read private emails without a warrant from a judge. And the national debt was only $5 trillion—compared with over $28 trillion today. Continue reading

9/11 at 20: Two decades of missed opportunities

For just a fraction of what we’ve spent on militarization these last 20 years, we could start to make life much better.

Twenty years have now passed since 9/11. Continue reading

Happy 20th anniversary. Guess what your gift is?

Twenty years after the 9/11 attacks, the US government is finally—well, probably, kinda sorta—ending its lost war with Afghanistan, drawing down its presence in Iraq, and reducing the heat of its “global war on terror” from a rolling boil to hot-tub temperature. Continue reading

The rise of the security-industrial complex from 9/11 to COVID-19

What a strange and harrowing road we’ve walked since September 11, 2001, littered with the debris of our once-vaunted liberties. We have gone from a nation that took great pride in being a model of a representative democracy to being a model of how to persuade a freedom-loving people to march in lockstep with a police state. Continue reading

The world’s deadliest terrorist group: Notes from the Edge of the Narrative Matrix

The CIA just casually discussed sinking a boat full of Cuban refugees and planting bombs in Miami and blaming Castro, but you’re bat shit crazy if you suspect such agencies may have had similar discussions about other geostrategic situations and decided to go through with it. Continue reading

The hypnotic effects of news intros have lulled us into wars, complacency, and worse

For the last 30 or so years, it has not mattered whether you tune into the televised news in Kansas City or Khartoum or Denver or Dar es Salaam, a few seconds of viewing and hearing news introductions have had the same effect: you are mesmerized by techniques developed by psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychological warfare experts to keep your attention and lure you into the trance-like state. Once you are hypnotized, you will have the tendency to believe whatever is being transmitted to you by news readers who are merely following what they are seeing on teleprompters. Continue reading

Ocasio-Cortez slams Texas governor’s ‘disgusting’ defense of abortion ban

"It's not just ignorance, it's ignorance that's hurting people across this country."

Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday condemned Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest defense of his state’s near-total ban on abortion as “disgusting” and said the Republican leader’s ignorance on matters of basic biology is actively harming people across the nation. Continue reading

Democrats, abortion and phony politics

Democratic party leadership are as uninterested in fighting for abortion rights as they are in addressing anything else their members need and want.

Most leftists in this country still remain loyal to the Democratic Party despite decades of deception, overt collusion with ruling class interests, and support of U.S. imperialism. The Democrats use a variety of means to keep the support of millions of people who yearn for something other than the excuses and double dealing they are constantly offered. Continue reading

Abortion bounty hunters in Texas are not “whistleblowers”—they’re cruel vigilantes

Calling those who exploit this law "whistleblowers" is a way to turn the true meaning of whistleblowing on its head. We might as well have history books referring to enforcers of the Fugitive Slave Act as "good Samaritans," or monitors of Jim Crow compliance as "civic activists."

One of the many preposterous claims coming from supporters of the vicious new Texas law against abortion is that bounty hunters—standing to gain a $10,000 reward from the state—will somehow be “whistleblowers.” The largest anti-abortion group in Texas is trying to attach the virtuous “whistleblower” label to predators who’ll file lawsuits against abortion providers and anyone who “aids or abets” a woman getting an abortion. Continue reading

Protect workers from this heat

As temperatures rise, we need to stop corporate lobbyists from blocking common sense rules to keep workers safe.

Corporate acolytes and right-wing moralists constantly preach to laboring stiffs about the uplifting dignity of work. Continue reading

Disorderly retreat from Afghanistan: The U.S. has become an overextended military empire posing a serious threat to its long-term security

In 1987, British historian Paul Kennedy (1945- ) wrote a geopolitical book about how great powers rise and fall, in which he studied how economic and military factors can accompany or cause previously dominant nations to lose their great power status. His main conclusion is that sooner or later a great hegemonic power will become overextended and its economy will struggle to keep its big military machine going. Indeed, an empire can increase its resources by launching wars abroad, at least for a while. However, sooner or later, a situation of permanent war and the military occupation of foreign lands result in more costs than benefits. Continue reading

‘Four-alarm fire’ for democracy as Texas voter suppression bill becomes law

"Texas already had some of the most restrictive voting laws in the nation, and the passage of this egregious bill just made conditions for voters even worse," said one voting rights advocate.

The voter suppression law signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Tuesday already faces legal challenges that were promptly filed by a number of civil rights groups, which argue the restrictive measure is transparently aimed at keeping people of color from casting ballots and violates federal law. Continue reading

Battle rages to pass $3.5 trillion progressive agenda

With the Labor Day holiday over and Congress returning to Washington, the rush is on to pass the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill which is the vehicle for the bulk of President Joe Biden’s progressive domestic agenda. Standing in the way are so-called “centrist” Democrats like Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who are acting as the main opposition to the plan to shift the economy in a pro-people direction. Continue reading