Did Racist Images in Dr. Seuss Books Contribute to War Crimes?

A friend delights in sending me news stories that demonstrate what he says are the excesses of liberalism. One recent article that arrived in my inbox concerned Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ decision to halt publication of six childrens’ books it now believes contain racist imagery. “I didn’t realize Dr. Seuss made us all racists,” he quipped.

The Phantom Sonic Menace: Cuba and the Attacks That Never Happened

They called it “sonic attacks,” “health incidents,” and “Havana syndrome.” In September 2017, the United States government decided to withdraw all nonessential personnel and their families from their country’s embassy in Cuba. This decision was based on alleged inexplicable noises whose causes were unclear. Word spread that about 20 diplomats reported symptoms as varied as dizziness, vertigo, mental confusion, partial deafness, sleep deprivation, and gaps in basic vocabulary, supposedly caused by exposure to persistent sounds of unknown origin in their homes or hotel rooms.

Biden’s Hawkish Cabinet Portends Renewed US Militarism in Northeast Asia 

Although the Biden administration has yet to present its North Korea policy, the new president’s cabinet includes many career diplomats and business lobbyists advocating the Cold War policy toward Asia and personnel from hawkish think tanks financed by the military industrial complex, leading many Korea experts to predict that an aggressive militaristic policy with respect [...]

Blinken Blinks on Human Rights

On March 3, the US State Department has put on its website a hilarious statement titled The United States Opposes the ICC Investigation into the Palestinian Investigation. In a nutshell, the statement exposes that the Joe Biden Administration has blinked for a second time on the human rights situation in West Asia by refusing to [...]

Somalia: a Knotted Web of Causes

In one translation of Seneca’s Oedipus Rex, the unfortunate (anti)hero laments his dark fate by complaining of being ‘tangled in the knotted web of causes’. The words have an aptness far beyond their origin. Somalia is a perfect expression of the metaphor. Its dysfunction has so many potential—nay, likely—causative factors that who the hell knows [...]

Why Big Pharma Shouldn’t Have Any Control Over COVID-19 Vaccines

At a recent virtual gathering of parents and faculty at my children’s school, one parent who is a teacher and therefore eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine mentioned that she got her first Pfizer shot at a local pharmacy, and when she asked about a leftover dose that could be given to her husband rather [...]

Eight Years Without President Chávez  

Talk given in Webinar: US/Canada: HANDS OFF VENEZUELA, END SANCTIONS ON VENEZUELA NOW!. March 5th 2021. Today is the 8th anniversary of the untimely death of President Hugo Chávez. Immediately after, the USA, Canada and allies intensified their attempts to overthrow the Venezuelan government, believing his successor, Nicolás Maduro, would be unable to follow in Chávez’ shoes [...]

Kids and Cannabis today

They’re demonized and exploited, revered for their youth and reviled simply because they’re young. They are today’s teenagers, the post-millennials, who came of age during Trump’s nightmare presidency, the flowering of the Black Lives Matter movement and #MeToo. In northern California, many of them were born and raised in the culture of cannabis. I recently [...]

The Futility of Bipartisanship

President Joe Biden should know that he isn’t facing his father’s far more moderate Republican Party, the one he dealt with as a Senate Democrat for 36 years. Many of today’s do-nothing Republicans pretend they believe in the tooth fairy, sex trafficking Democrats running pedophile rings and beholden to Satan and nearly every other conspiracy [...]

Economy Adds 379,000 Jobs in February; Unemployment Edges Down to 6.2 Percent

The establishment survey showed the economy added 379,000 jobs in February. In addition, the figures from December and January were revised up by 38,000. This brings the average job gain over the last three months to 79,700. Employment in the survey stands at 9,475,000 below its year-ago level. The household survey showed the unemployment edging [...]

How Biden Can Spread the Benefits of Trade to Black Workers

Last week, President Joe Biden’s nominee for US trade representative Katherine Tai — a well-seasoned trade expert with decades of trade experience — faced the Senate Finance Committee for confirmation. The job will not be an easy one. As the nation’s chief trade representative, Tai will inherit a turbulent legacy of trade policy decisions during [...]

Roaming Charges: No Neanderthal Ever Bombed Syria

+ There were many reasons to vote against Trump, starting with the fact that he was the incumbent running for reelection. All incumbent presidents should be voted against as matter of principle, because they almost certainly started committing war crimes within weeks of taking office, a truism Biden has now reconfirmed with his bombing of [...]

Full-Spectrum Extinction

Last week General Tod Wolder, top gun of the U.S. European Command, declared that “Russia remains an enduring existential threat to the United States and our European allies.” On February 23 President Biden’s choice for Central Intelligence Director, William Burns, testified that “adversarial, predatory Chinese leadership poses our biggest geopolitical test…out-competing China will be key to our national security in the days ahead…requiring intensified focus and urgency.” Newly minted Secretary of Defense, former 4-star General Lloyd Austin, chimed in that China posed the “most significant threat” to the U.S. Military.

From the Murder of Berta Cáceres to the Dam Disaster in Uttarakhand

March 2, 2021 was the five year anniversary of the murder of Berta Cáceres, who opposed the Agua Zarca dam in Honduras. That date was less than one month after the deaths of dozens of people from Tehri Dam disaster in Uttarakhand, India. The two stories together tell us far more about consequences of the insatiable greed of capitalism for more energy than either narrative does by itself.

What the Ecuadoran Elections Mean for the U.S.

The pink tide is coming back in – much to the chagrin of many in the U.S. government. With leftist governments in Bolivia, Venezuela, Argentina, Nicaragua, Mexico and Cuba, the prospect of yet another, this time in Ecuador, doubtless keeps regime changers, right-wing think tankers and other assorted Washington imperialists up at night. All those leftists the U.S. had murdered over the years, all the death squads the U.S. gave the nod to, all those dictators the North American empire supported – for what?  After generations of slaughter, the victims’ heirs keep taking over. The U.S. sponsored the extermination of hundreds of thousands of socialists and communists in Latin America, but the people there still want left-wing governments.

Conspiracy Theories

From time immemorial, people have plotted together, unlawfully, treacherously, and surreptitiously, in order to further generally nefarious objectives. In other words, conspiracies happen. Sometimes they never come to light; more often, they do, but only after, sometimes long after, they are executed or aborted. And sometimes they happen in plain view. The term has negative [...]

The Private Health Insurance Industry: Should It Be Eliminated?

Many Americans assume that the private health insurance industry is an unmovable fixture in the U. S. health care system, but there is a growing need to re-examine that premise. Over recent decades, its performance has been increasingly profit-driven to the point of now becoming unaffordable for patients, their families, employers and taxpayers. The time [...]

Economic Growth is the Cause of Climate Change, Not the Solution to It

Through 2019, the last year for which data is available, greenhouse gas emissions and global GDP growth remained as highly correlated as they have been for the last half century. What this means is that despite the rhetorical back-and-forth over technological innovation and government policies as potential solutions to climate change, the role of economic [...]

Killer Kim Reynolds and the Fascist State of Iowa

The affluent and older white male “leftists” who minimize the threat posed by the ever more fascistic Republican Party tend to live in big “blue” cities where the Amerikaner Republivolk are a distinct minority. Some of these privileged urbanites might want to spend some time in a pandemo-fascist white-supremacist state like Iowa, which sent Steve [...]

‘Engaging the World’: The ‘Fascinating Story’ of Hamas’s Political Evolution

On February 4, representatives from the Palestinian Movement, Hamas, visited Moscow to inform the Russian government of the latest development on the unity talks between the Islamic Movement and its Palestinian counterparts, especially Fatah. This was not the first time that Hamas’s officials traveled to Moscow on similar missions. In fact, Moscow continues to represent [...]

Blood for Oil

Amid the ongoing horror, it’s important to find ways to atone for war crimes —including reparations. Thirty years ago, when the United States launched Operation Desert Storm against Iraq, I was a member of the Gulf Peace Team. We were 73 people from 15 different countries, aged 22 to 76, living in a tent camp close to [...]

Approaching a Risky 1.5°C Global Overshoot

A recent UN Assessment, as of February 26 2021, regarding progress or lack thereof by the 195 nations to the Paris 2015 climate agreement is starting to look like a big bust. As described in the report, nations are not meeting their voluntary commitments to decrease carbon emissions, especially based upon the Paris ‘15 goals [...]

Trump and Biden’s Secret Bombing Wars

On February 25, President Biden ordered U.S. air forces to drop seven 500-pound bombs on Iraqi forces in Syria, reportedly killing 22 people. The U.S. airstrike has predictably failed to halt rocket attacks on deeply unpopular U.S. bases in Iraq, which the Iraqi National Assembly passed a resolution to close over a year ago. The [...]

Snatching Conceit From the Jaws of Victory

“Why are we wasting vaccinations on Texas if Texas has decided to join the side of the virus?” – Keith Olbermann “Texas—we hear you. You didn’t want to be part of our electrical grid. And now you’ve removed your mask mandate & are allowing large crowds to gather. We hear you! COVID is a hoax! [...]

Biden Acts with Impunity (to Send Iran a Message, by Attacking Iraqis in Syria)

Recall the broad context. In March 2003, in the worst crime of the 21st century, a war-based-on-lies led by President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, the U.S. invaded and destroyed the modern country of Iraq, generating mass flight and civil war. Half a million people were killed and the suffering continues. Too [...]

Hell in Every Way: My Life Inside a Temporary Refugee Camp on Lesbos

In this temporary camp on Lesbos, the singles have been separated from the families. In the singles section in the early days we had little access to electricity. They brought water to the camp by tanker. The bathrooms were very few and smelled foul. After a while a healthcare facility was set up. Access to [...]

Innocent and Framed: Free Mumia Now!

NO STATE EXECUTION BY COVID! NO ILLUSIONS IN “PROGRESSIVE” DA LARRY KRASNER! The movement to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, the most prominent political prisoner in the U.S., from the slow death of life imprisonment and the jaws of this racist and corrupt injustice system is at a critical juncture. The battle to free Mumia must be is [...]

Bad Stimulus: the Problems with Biden’s COVID Relief Package

The new Democratic administration is poised to make its first proud step in delivering on its electoral promise to build back (America) better: the successful adoption of a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, the main components of which are a third round of stimulus checks, a renewal of federal unemployment benefits, and a boost to the [...]

Justice Finally Catches up With Sarkozy

On Monday, a criminal court in Paris handed down its verdict in Nicolas Sarkozy’s corruption trial. The former French president was sentenced to three years in jail – two of them suspended – for bribery and influence-peddling. This is a legal landmark for the French judicial system for two main reasons. First, no former president had been [...]

Biden, Afghanistan and Forever Wars

The papers are full of suggestions on what US President Joe Biden should do about his country’s seemingly perennial involvement in Afghanistan.  None are particularly useful, in that they ignore the central premise that a nation state long mauled, molested and savaged should finally be left alone.  Nonsense, say the media and political cognoscenti. The Guardian [...]

The Odyssey of An Wei, the Forest Gump of China

The story of An Wei overlaps almost perfectly with the story of Communist China. Born in a small village some distance from the northwestern city of Xian, An Wei was seven years old when Mao took control of the country in 1949. As the son of peasants, he was part of the first generation of [...]

Leftist and Liberal Unite!

When Jordan Peterson debated Slavoj Zizek, Peterson pointed to his typical villain, the “cultural Marxist”. Douglas Lain rightly saw that this was Peterson’s Lacanian symptom. Jacques Lacan describes the symptom as such: “the symptom can only be defined as the way in which each subject enjoys (jouit) the unconscious in so far as the unconscious [...]

Reporters’ Alert: Launching a New Website

Reporters at major newspapers and magazines are hard to reach by telephone. Today it is increasingly hard to converse with them about timely scoops, leads, gaps in coverage, and corrections to published articles. Their voicemail messages often tell you how rarely they check their calls and urge reaching them by email. Good luck getting through [...]

The ReTrumplican Party

Last week, the Republican Party had its Trump lovefest. While every semi-prominent Republican with his or her eye on the White House presented their twisted version of reality to the adoring crowds, it was former President Donald Trump who stole the show. He rolled out one tired old fabrication after another, much to the delight [...]

Hugo Chávez’s Legacy: Unity and Anti-imperialism

This March many remember Hugo Chávez. He passed away eight years ago. It is a very short time when measured in terms of the fresh memories we have of him. He is remembered as the Comandante, Comandante Supremo, creator of the Bolivarian Revolution, founder of the Fifth Republic. He has been the architect of the [...]

Will Neoliberalism Morph into Fascism in the United States?

Neoliberalism, at its heart, is class war waged from above under the guise of rational, technocratic management of an economy that must — as neoliberals claim —be shielded from the corrosive influence of democratic politics.[1] — Chris Maisano [W]hat’s becoming increasingly clear to many scholars and intellectuals is that there is a new morphology of [...]

How Financial Policy Drives Economic Inequality…and How to Fix It

Right after he was inaugurated, President Biden told federal regulators that they must henceforth consider economic inequality and racial equity. This is an overlooked but critical change — the United States can’t have robust economic growth without economic equality and, the more unequal we get, the greater the odds also for still more frequent and [...]

As Labor Secretary, Will Marty Walsh Represent All Workers?

Journalists who cover public officials at the local and state levels have a special responsibility when a politician they have followed moves onto the national stage. We often spend years recounting the ups and downs of such political careers and are well-positioned to judge the relative success or failure of any given politician in one [...]

Leftwing Pokémon

In 2006, I attended a sizeable antiwar protest in Washington D.C. Tens of thousands of activists filled the streets as far as the eye could see. Office buildings and monuments became our only reliable geographical coordinates. At the time, large protests were the norm: millions of Americans were in the streets opposing Bush’s illegal and [...]

Small Acts

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can quietly become a power no government can suppress, a power than can transform the world.” – Howard Zinn The American Rescue Plan (ARP) was passed in the House this past week and now heads to the Senate, where it will no doubt be changed before it [...]

Ouchy, Fauci and Ron Klain: The Equivocator and the Prevaricator

“Equivocate: use ambiguous language so as to conceal the truth or avoid committing oneself. Prevaricate: verb: to deviate from the truth.” Merriam Webster I had every intention of nominating Dr. Anthony Fauci, the world renown immunologist, for the coveted Nobel Peace Prize; this would have been a well-deserved honor for his commitment and heroic efforts [...]

Planned Human Obsolescence

This academic term I’m teaching my college courses fully online; a year into the global pandemic of COVID-19, and it’s not safe to public health for classes to be held face-to-face. Setting a time for meeting the class online is doable for some, but many lives are too disrupted to do so reliably, and so [...]

Freedom of Thought and the Death of Ideology

Amidst widespread mistrust of authority and governing institutions (politicians, particularly governments, are the least trusted group in society), dogma, from whatever source, appears to be losing its suffocating hold on the minds of people everywhere. Disillusionment with ideologically based solutions is being strengthened by the consistent failure of existing methods to solve the problems of [...]

Paid Sick and Family Leave Can’t Wait

When my mother was hospitalized for COVID-19 in early February, my first thought was, “will she be okay?” I was consumed with anxiety not just about her health, but also about money. How much time would she need to take off work? Would her rent and bills be paid on time or at all? Could [...]

Princes Among Thieves

They’re still with us-the Prince family that is.  It’s hard not to marvel at their staying power.  Those with long memories will recall the great trump friend and cabinet member of the trump administration-Betsy Dee Prince.   By the time we got her, of course, she was married, and was known as Betsy De Vos.  She [...]