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Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS, is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at the School of Medicine, Stony Brook University (NY) and author/co-author/editor/co-editor of over 30 books on health policy, health and wellness, and sports and regular exercise. In addition to being a Trusted Author for OpEdNews, Dr. Jonas is a columnist for BuzzFlash.com/Truthout.org, Managing Editor and a Contributing Author for The Political Junkies for Progressive Democracy (http://thepoliticaljunkies.org/); a Senior Editor, Politics, for The Greanville Post; a Contributor to The Planetary Movement; a Contributor to Dandelion Salad (http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com), and a Contributor to TheHarderStuff newsletter. He is also a triathlete (30 seasons, 220-plus multi-sport races) and a skier (as well as a PSIA-Level Certified Instructor [retired]).
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 Chris Matthews and the Reagan Myth (2 comments)
MSNBC's Chris Matthews has been doing an over-the-top job of self-promoting his new book, "Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked." Well, it worked for the Jipper and the GOP but not for Tip, the Democrats, and most of the people of our nation. And that's what this column is about.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 Life on Another Planet Would Have a Lot to Teach Us (3 comments)
I was stimulated to write this particular column by the recent discoveries from the Kepler telescope on the existence of a fairly large number of "Earth-like" planets elsewhere in the Universe. But it is on a subject with which I have been intrigued for quite some time: what would it take for an "intelligent" species on another planet to survive for rather longer than the time ours seems to have in its destiny: short.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 The Golden Age of US Capitalism (3 comments)
Capitalism is working very well --- for the capitalists. A quote from the great Senator Bernie Sanders illustrates that truth. That is what this column is about.
Friday, November 22, 2013 Ted Cruz and "Rise Again:" The Creation of the Modern Nullification Movement (1 comments)
Ted Cruz has drifted into the political background --- for the time-being. But given his powerful, Koch Brothers-led, money backing and the swooning far-right supporters who just love him, he'll be back. And he will be back when the next opportunity comes for him to lead the Modern Nullification effort. Thus this little essay on the history of Nullification and what the structure of its modern form is.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 The Republican Party and the Affordable Care Act (1 comments)
This column, originally written on 11/14/13, presents some of the history of the relationship between the GOP and national health ins. over time, and of the very bad attempts at promotng their respective plans made by Pres's. Clinton and Obama. It concluded with some speculation on site hacking that perhaps took place. This version adds important policy commentary by Norman Solomon, and some heft to the hacking speculation.
Thursday, November 14, 2013 Ted Cruz's America (2 comments)
Ted Cruz frequently talks about "American freedom." Beyond his sloganeering, based on the policies that he advocates, we can get a very good picture of what he is really about. And that's what this column is about.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 The GOP Took Its Clothes Off in Public: It Was Not a Pretty Sight, Even for Some Republicans (1 comments)
The artificial "continuing resolution" and"debt-ceiling" crises came and went, accompanied by the GOP/government shutdown. But while the bulk of the attention was paid to the Tea Party/minority control of the House, early in the drama the GOP did something it rarely does: reveal what its true substantive agenda is about. They usually of course focus only on process: "lower taxes and smaller governemnt." And so this column.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 The GOP: From "Permanent Republican Majority" to Permanent Minority Government
The GOP has gone from hoping to create a Permanent (electoral) Majority by mobilizing the religious determinists and cheating-the-vote to establishing a Permanent Minority Government by the above plus gerrymandering and voter supression. It's a neat trick. You can thank Karl Rove and his allies first, and then the Koch brothers and theirs.
Monday, October 14, 2013 A Secular Humanist Jew's Thoughts on Yom Kippur: On Atheism and Theism, and on Religion and Organized Religion (3 comments)
Being some reflections on the Jewish High Holy Day written after attending the Kol Nidre service at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London this past month. The sermon was given by the congregation's retired Chief Rabbi, David Goldberg. Two years ago I heard him give a sermon at Kol Nidre service which he began with a modification of a quote from the English historian A.J. Toynbee: "I don't believe in God; but I miss him."
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 Darkness in North Carolina: A Vision of the World the GOP Seeks to Create
I originally published elsewhere this column written a couple of months ago. In light of the current GOP assault on national governance and governing, I thought that it would be useful to publish it here at this time. For if the GOP is not stopped, soon, as goes North Carolina, so goes much of the rest of the nation.
Thursday, October 3, 2013 The GOP Takes Its Clothes Off in Public: It's Not a Pretty Sight, Even for Some Republicans (1 comments)
The government shutdown has been engineered by Republicans who, having lost on "Obamacare" in Congress, in the last Pres. election, and on the (Republican) Supreme Court, are attempting to use fiscal blackmail to accomplish a legislative goal that they were not able to achieve otherwise. If Obama hangs tough,and if the GOP eventually splits, we might be able to avoid the proto-fascist future that a Cruz Pres. could bring, 2017
Sunday, September 15, 2013 Elysium: When the Ruling Class Makes Hell on Earth for Everyone Elae (2 comments)
Elysium or the Elysian Fields is a conception of the afterlife that evolved over time and was maintained by certain Greek religious and philosophical sects and cults. Initially separate from the realm of Hades, admission was initially reserved for mortals related to the gods and other heroes. This column is about the movie of the same name. Well worth seeing, and it still may be around in certain theatres. Otherwise, Bluray
Tuesday, August 20, 2013 Political Homophobia: Russia, America, and Germany
Russia now has a national law that bans the spreading of "information about non-traditional sexual behavior" to persons under 18. The law is based on legislation that was originally adopted in St. Petersburg under the sponsorship of its Mayor, one Vitaly Milonov. The law is of course based on totally false premises about "recruitment," etc. This is classic political homophobia. Which is what this column is about.
Friday, August 16, 2013 The GOP's 2016 Agenda --- As of mid-2013 (2 comments)
As many of my regular readers know, one of my favorite topics over time has been the contemporary Republican Party and where they are taking the country. I was about to do another one of my speculative columns on that subject when I was supplied with some apparently factual information about what the party is really up to in order to gain full power in the Federal government. And that's what this column is about.
Monday, August 5, 2013 The GOP and Immigration Reform: Born to Fail - "No" is in their Genes (1 comments)
Anti-immigration nativism is as much in the blood lines of the Republican Party as is using the criminal law in an attempt to control the use of certain Mood Altering Drugs (of course as of this time never against the use of the two by-far major drug killers, tobacco and alcohol --- too much campaign funding from them). For the variety of current political reasons discussed in this column, there it shall remain.
Friday, July 12, 2013 What's Going On in Egypt (I Think): Lessons for the US
There are multiple interpretations of what is going on in Egypt, but most leave out the (sub-Saharan, to be sure) elephant in the room: the Egyptian ruling class. Unlike the ruling class in the US, they for most part want to have nothing to do with theocracy, a major element in their overthrow of the elected government. In the US, of course, the ruling class' party is more and more dominated by theocrats. Pay heed to that.
Thursday, July 4, 2013 The Mysteries of Edward Snowden (1 comments)
Much has been written about this young man. It is likely that much will be written about his adventures/achievements for quite some time in the future. This column deals with a few of the less-considered questions about him and his exploits and suggests that the discussion should return from Edward Snowden himself to the substance of what he has revealed about US government functions around the world.
Thursday, June 27, 2013 Sex, the Military, and Combat Readiness (1 comments)
When the issue of homosexuality in the US military and its open recognition without penalty (which in virtually all cases meant discharge), was front and center, the public concerns raised by both military and even more so by political opponents of gay equality in the military always was presented in the context of the issue of "combat readiness." Somehow rape never seemed to come in that context. This column considers it.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 The Permanence of Permanent War, Part 2 - The "Three P's:" Power, Profits, and the Promotion of Fear (1 comments)
In my column on this subject yesterday, I endeavoured to "set the stage" for a consideration of this subject. Today, I am dealing with the question "why?" It has nothing to do with the "War on Terror" (which is a "war" only in the sense that a "War on Flanking Manuevers" can be considered a war.)It all comes down to what can be called "The Three P's:" Power, Profits, and the Promotion of Fear."
Monday, June 17, 2013 The Permanence of Permanent War, Part 1: Setting the Stage
So what is the "War on Terror" (described some time ago by a retired Army general as the equivalent in terminology to a "War on Flanking Maneuvers") really about? Well it and the response to it are really about creating a state of Permanent War for the United States. This column is part 1 of my consideration of this subject.
Thursday, June 13, 2013 Barack Obama: Bill Clinton/DLC 2.0 (1 comments)
Concerned about "Obama cooperating with the Right?" It all started with Bill and his colleagues at the old DLC. This column is about that relationship. (Not considered here is the outburst from Bill on Obama not intervening in Syria. Why do that? Well, it has nothing to do with any feasible policy. It has everything to do with trying to create, even this early, distance between Obama and Hillary when she runs in 2016.)
Monday, May 20, 2013 On "42:" A Movie About Racism
At one level, the movie 42, about Jackie Robinson, is a "baseball movie." But to my mind much more importantly, it's a movie about racism in the United States. Since our nation is still so heavily burdened with this way of thinking, engineered and promoted by the corporate and political interests which it serves, I regard it as an important statement and lesson for the present, as well as very well done history.
Monday, May 6, 2013 Bombing the Constitution (1 comments)
The Boston Bombing has brought about serious loss of life and multiple serious injuries. However, in the long-term the most serious outcome of it may the bombing that it wreaked upon our Constitution. And that is what this column is about.
Monday, April 22, 2013 On Nullification and North Carolina (1 comments)
What is known as "The Nullification Crisis" in US history occurred in 1832-33. It concerned a new Federal tariff, intended to protect domestic manufacturers. But many of those in the South, had to pay more for domestic than for foreign goods , were very upset about it. South Carolina proposed to "nullify" the Act. Now North Carolina has proposed to "nullify" certain provisions of the US Constitution, regarding religion.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 Gay Marriage and the Constitution (2 comments)
There are only two issues to consider here. Both are Constitutional. The first is whether, given the "no religious establishment" clause of the First Amendment, a definition of marriage that is clearly based on religious belief should be granted any recognition under the law. The second is, since each of the 50 states has a large body of civil law concerning marriage, whether or not the "equal protection" clause applies.
Monday, April 1, 2013 The Abortion Wars: Opening a Second Front (1 comments)
It is proposed here to broaden the battle on behalf of freedom of choice in the outcome of pregnancy beyond the woman's right to choose, using the issue of religious authoritarianism. This would make the battle everyone's, not just women's. The Right is manuevering to get Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court again. The political battle on behalf of religious freedom must start now, if it is to have any chance to prevail.
Thursday, March 28, 2013 The MSNBC Documentary of the Bush War on Iraq: Filling in Some Gaps (1 comments)
This excellent documentary is still running on MSNBC. It is well worth taking a look at. In approximately 50 minutes of air time, one can hardly expect that all of the details of the Grand Deception and Big Lie can be covered. It is very possible that many of those details that I retell are to be found in the book on which the documentary is based (which I have not read). At any rate, here are some additional thoughts.
Thursday, March 21, 2013 The More Things Change: The Origins and Traditions of the Republican Party (1 comments)
It happens that I first published this column just about a week in advance of the annual Conservative (really Reactionary) Political Action Committee (CPAC) meetings (doesn't it seem as of they are always occurring? I guess that's because these folks are always getting air time, and not just on the Fox"News"Channel," year round.) At any rate, there are not two wings of the GOP. This column looks at where they both come from.
Thursday, March 7, 2013 Establishing Dictatorships: Lessons from History (1 comments)
Authoritarian/fascist regimes have come to rule a variety of countries by a variety of routes. It may surprise you to know that one of the few such dictatroships that came to its country by more-or-less constitutional means was that of the German Nazis. Now there is another country on the horizon where just such a thing might happen. Guess which one I am talking about.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 Controlling the Agenda: Substance or Process?
There is an old saw of politics: "He \who controls the agenda wins the election" (or the political battle, or what have you.") The GOP has done this for years, ever since Reagan, with process items: "government is the problem," "support the troops," "cut spending." Dems have pretty much gone along. And lost. Imagine the GOP horror when Obama suddenly shifted the subject to substance, that is programs, in his Inaugural. OY!
Monday, January 21, 2013 The Demise of the GOP? Fuhgeddaboudit! (1 comments)
Morning Joe's Joe Scarborough is a self-described "small-government conservative," a GOP House stalwart during the Gingrich period, a supporter of every Grinchite right-wing policy and process put forth, the now-admirer of Bill Clinton who was then right there with the impeachers, who is now bemoaning "what has happened to the Republican Party." Is the GOP really going to sink into mist because of its rhetoric? Fuhgeddaboudit!
Monday, January 14, 2013 The Koch Brothers, Superstorm Sandy, and the Teabaggers
Want to know why the Teabaggers are doing their best to kill, or at least vastly reduce, the aid package for the victims of Superstorm Sandy (which was caused at least in part by Global Warming, for which the Koch Brothers and their widely shared policies bear so much responsibility)? Well, here's my take on that one, along with a revealing self-portrait by David Koch.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013 Washington Doesn't Work? Oh Really?
Heard enough about "Washington Doesn't Work?" Well it really does, that is if you are in certain economic and business sectors, like banking and finance, guns, oil, agribusiness, the drug war, and etc., it works just fine. This essay is on that subject.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013 Why Creationism? (6 comments)
During the last election we were treated to a speech by a GOP member of the House Science Committee, Paul Broun of Georgia, in which he dismissed evolution, the Big Bang theory, and embryology as "lies straight from the pit of hell." There are of course many U.S. citizens who are not members of the House Science Committee who also believe that the Creation story in the book of Genesis is true. Here we explore why that is so.
Sunday, December 23, 2012 Why "Torture Doesn't Work" Doesn't Work: Dealing with "Zero Dark Thirty" (4 comments)
I have visited this major blot upon the US escutcheon a number of times over the past five years (1-3). One would have thought that it was dead and buried, along with the Cheney-Bush regime. But now we are forced to revisit the subject by the new propaganda-shtick, Ooops, sorry, I mean movie, "Zero Dark Thirty." Most of the criticism is from the "torture doesn't work" perspective. This column views the issue differently.
Thursday, December 13, 2012 Rappelling Down the Fiscal Cliff: A Proposed How-to Guide for Progressives (2 comments)
Well, the "negotiations" are going on over dealing with "Fiscal Cliff" (which is more like a fiscal slope). Given the Republican intransigence and acting as if they, not the Democrats, had won the election, President Obama is starting to sound as if he is negotiating with himself. Here is a proposed progressive guide, with much credit due to the Progressive Congressional Caucus, for how to effectively deal with the situation.
Monday, December 3, 2012 The GOP: Their Problems, and Their Solutions to Them
So you thinb that the GOP is going to fade into the wood-work, or that the Astroturf, Koch-funded, Tea-Party, really just a convenient front for what is now the true Republican Party, is either going to be maginalized or fade away? Do you think that the demographic changes the US is undergoing are going to leave it behind? Think again. The GOP is going to come back stronger than ever; here's why --- nothing to do with policy.
Thursday, November 15, 2012 President Obama: Decisions, Decisions (3 comments)
Here we have the Presidential decision to make. It's not about a legislative agenda. It's not even about which budget deal he is ready to cut. It's about first and foremost which domestic political direction is he going to go in, which political philosophy is he going to hew to: DLC or Democratic Progressive Caucus, Clintonian "triangulation" or moving forward to re-establish the traditional Democratic brand.
Friday, November 2, 2012 The Core Values of a President Romney (5 comments)
It is becoming increasingly apparent that Mitt Romney will win the Presidency. He appears to be ahead in the popular vote. Whether he will actually also finish ahead of the President in the electoral vote count seems to be becoming immaterial. If he is to be dealt with successfully, it is vital that we understand that, yes indeed, as hard that may be to see on the surface, Romney does have a set of core values, considered here
Thursday, November 1, 2012 Karl Rove's Permanent Republican Presidency
By the middle of the first decade of this century, Karl Rove was dreaming of what he called "The Permanent Republican Majority." That is he thought that he could achieve a majority vote among the 50% or so of US eligible voters who actually vote, for the Republican candidates for the Presidency, on a permanent basis. When he realized he could not achieve that aim, permanently, he decided to go for the Perm. Repub. Presidency.
Friday, October 26, 2012 Pay me now or Pay me later: The 2012 Presidential Election (7 comments)
There is obviously a set of major issues that neither Presidential candidate is addressing in this campaign. And so, who to vote for? Certainly not Romney. But why not Obama? Because the future of our nation depends upon the formation of a true Progressive Party, with elected left-Democrats coming to it. The re-election of Obama would inhibit, not facilitate this process. Which is what this column is about.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 I Knew Sen. George McGovern
When Sen. George McGovern died on October 21, 2012, the United States lost the last true progressive nominee it has had for the Presidency since he ran in 1972. In this column I am privileged to share with you some thoughts about the Senator, some knowledge of his World War II service to our nation that are not widely known, and some prescient words that he wrote in a Foreword to a political book of mine.
Monday, October 8, 2012 9/11 Revisited --- Again (2 comments)
As is my wont, over the years I have visited and revisited various aspects of the subject of 9/11. About a month after the official 2012 anniversary of the tragedy, the subject appears to be worth yet another visit, especially considering two very important articles were published on what the Cheney/Bush Administration was told about the al Qaeda threat and to what they chose to pay attention, published last month.
Friday, October 5, 2012 Obama in the First Debate: Terrible Performance or Political Rope-a-Dope? (1 comments)
The general consensus from the right, left and middle (as those terms are defined in the U.S., not world, sense) was that Obama really messed up in the first 2012 Presidential debate. After all, Romney lied and uttered falsehoods about his positions and the President's and his own records, all over the place. Why didn't he go after Mittens? Perhaps because set up a rope-a-dope trap.
Friday, September 14, 2012 Marco Rubio, "Faith," and the Coming Religious Wars (1 comments)
Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) gave a speech on the last night of the Republican National Convention. In it he said, in part, "We are special because we've been united not by a common race or ethnicity. We're bound together by common values. . . . Almighty God is the source of all we have . . . faith in our Creator is the most important American value of all. This column considers that proposition.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 What's it All About, Bibi? (1 comments)
So there was one Danny Danon, a Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and leading member of the leading Right-Wing Israeli political party, Likud, on "Morning Joe" on Sept. 12, 2012, stating that what the United States (!) had to do with Iran was "draw a red line" in reference to their nuclear development program. This column considers that demand, and what it is really all about --- which is not Iran and the bomb.
Sunday, September 9, 2012 Chick-fil-A, the Party of Hate, and the 2016 GOP Presidential Nomination (2 comments)
Remember when the name "Chick-fil-A" was all the rage in national politics? Why it was only about a month ago, not that you would know it now, with the national party conventions underway. But given what came out of the Republican Convention, both in its platform and certain choice words that emanated from one speaker after another, the Chick-fil-A thing is worth a re-visit. It truly symbolizes what GOP politics has become.
Saturday, August 25, 2012 Winning the Abortion Wars: Cong. Akin, the GOP, and Religious Authoritarianism (3 comments)
What the GOP and the other so-called "anti-abortionists" want to do is criminalize the religious belief of anyone who holds that life begins at the time of viability (or of "quickening," or at the end of the first trimester, or at any time other than the moment of conception). How do we win the abortion wars? By shifting the front to the battle against religious authoritarianism to the battle for relgious freedom.
Monday, August 13, 2012 The Incredible Lightness of Being Dick Cheney (4 comments)
On July 30, 2012, former Vice-President Dick Cheney described President Obama as one of the "weakest" Presidents, ranking even (sic) Jimmy Carter above him (1). That statement makes one wonder: what is Cheney's definition of the opposite of weakness? That is "strength." Well, let's take a look at some of Cheney's personal and political history to try to determine the answer to that question.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012 Mitt Romney's Core Values
It has been said, or at least implied, that Mitt Romney doesn't have any core values. However, he does. Only they are not concerning with the policy issues facing the US people for this election. They are far deeper than tht. And it is about them that we need to be deeply concerned.
Thursday, July 19, 2012 Dred Scott, Citizens United, and the Future of the Democratic Party (4 comments)
The 1857 Dred Scott case could have been decided narrowly, dealing solely with the question of whether a slave, living for a significant amount of time in a Free State was entitled to sue as a citizen in an attempt to maintain his freedom. But the Supreme went well beyond those facts and in so doing helped sew the seeds of the First Civl War. In Citizens United the Supreme Court went broadly too. Implications are discussed.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012 Is Homophobia Curable? (4 comments)
The homophobes, Republican, Religious-rightist, and other, are constantly going on about homosexuality being "curable." This despite the raft of scientific evidence (well, they don't often pay any attention to science anyway) that it is an in-born state of being. On the other hand, homophobia is likely a learned behavior, and if so is curable. This column discusses that possibility.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 Mitt Romney's Issues (that He Doesn't Want Discussed) (3 comments)
There are three issues Mitt Romney does not want discussed: what Bain Capital really did, his record as Massachusetts governor, and his Mormonism, especially his conversations with "God" and his position on the Constitutional principle of the separation of church and state. This column goes into these subjects in some detail.
Thursday, May 17, 2012 Pres. Obama is Wrong on Gay Marriage (It's a Trick Title) (4 comments)
President Obama has announced that he supports gay marriage. The President has shared with us his personal view on the subject, which he presumably "evolved" to. However, as our highest elected official he takes no postion on the law. So, how is the President, as the President, not just as some observer whose views have "evolved," wrong on the issue? Let us count the ways.
Friday, May 11, 2012 Words Matter: Why Go Right When the Right is Wrong? (3 comments)
As I say towards the beginning of this column, in the political battles that we are constantly engaged, words matter. As it happens, many of the words presently used in the mainstream media and political culture are mis-leading. The other side knows just how important the words one chooses are. In this column I make some suggestions for our side, to get on the right side (that is the LEFT side) of this one.
Friday, May 4, 2012 Ending the "War on Drugs"
What the "Drug War" is really about, why the current drug policy reform doesn't work, and how drug use can be safely and effectively dealt through the adoption of a comprehensive public health program are what this column is about.