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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]).
Monday, July 7, 2014 On the Road to Theocracy: The Hobby Lobby Decision (16 comments)
In this case the Supreme Court, took on a power that I couldn't find anywhere in the Constitution. I did look hard for it and it must be in there somewhere, for the Republican Religious Right tells us that "God" and "Christian" are in it and I can't find them either. But since Fox"News" et al tell me that they are, they must be, no? And so SCOTUS has indeed filed an amendment, to be found at the end of this column.
Thursday, July 3, 2014 Frank Rich, the War on Iraq, and the Myth of the "Liberal Media"
Ten years ago Frank Rich wrote one of the best books on the Bush/Cheney War on Iraq. Entitled "The Greatest Story Ever Sold" it took the cover off the Bush/Cheney lies that led the United States into the most disastrous war the nation has ever been engaged in. In a recent column Rich discusses how the "liberal media" climbed on board. My column explores how that was not the first time the "liberal media" did such a thing.
Monday, June 30, 2014 US Wars From Viet Nam Onwards: Wins and Losses
Iraq is teetering on the brink of even more disaster than it has been subject to since the US invasion, and political figures like "Negative Ace" McCain are now shouting that the US should have stayed there, and it's "all Obama's fault."
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 Tobacco, the Fossil Fuel Industry, and Capitalist "Morality" (2 comments)
So what is "morality," anyway. Well Maria Bartiromo of CNBC and the Fox Business Channel, thinks that it embodied in capitalism. Tobacco and death, and fossil fuels and death on a much larger scale, might make one think on that one again.
Friday, June 13, 2014 Perusing Creation.com (3 comments)
As I say in the introduction to this column, recently, while preparing a review of the movie Noah (previouslyu published on OpEdNews), knowing that the Christian Right had their collective noses bent out of shape by the movie, I sought to gather some background on creationism. And so, I thought, what better place to go than the website that bears that name Creation.com. And what a fascinating visit it turned out to be.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 If "Stalin = Communism = Bad," Why not "Hitler = Capitalism = Bad?" Part II (6 comments)
The publication of Part I of what with the appearance of this column is now a series, elicited quite a bit of commentary. Those comments stimulated to write further on this subject. First, a variety of views were presented on just what "capitalism" is. Here is my consideration of the topic, actually starting rather further back in the historical development of our species. Then I deal with several other of the questions raised
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 If "Stalin = Communism = Bad," Why not "Hitler = Capitalism = Bad?" (35 comments)
This column is the beginning of an analysis dealing with the question, "If 'Stalin' 'Stalinism' always and solely equal 'socialism/communism' and then because of that 'socialism/communism' always equals 'bad,' why does not 'Hitler' equals capitalism equals 'bad'?"
Thursday, May 29, 2014 No, You Can't Vote: The GOP and Their "15% Solution"
Voter supression has become a major GOP strategy as they aim towards the 2014 and 2016 elections. But it is not new, for the GOP. It was actually first articulated in the late 1980s, as illustrated in my book, "The 15% Solution," and explained briefly in this column.
Thursday, May 29, 2014 Pete Seeger and the Blacklist (4 comments)
Lots was written about Pete Seeger after his passing last January. Indeed he was an icon of the US folk music movement, going back to his early workmwith Woody Guthrie. But he was iconic in US history too, for another reason: how he fought and overcame the infamous McCarthyite "blacklist" of the 1950s. And that's what this column is about.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 So What's Noah with You? (8 comments)
First, pardon the pun in the title, but I couldn't resist. This review is not so much about the movie (which I happened to like, and anyway, I'm a big Russell Crowe fan). It is rather about the abundance of Creation and Flood myths and a bit of the history of the so-called "innerant [English-language] Bible," one of the myriad of languages into which the original Hebrew and Greek text has been translated, over the centuries.
Monday, May 5, 2014 Beyond Donald Sterling, the Nation Faces a Larger Battle With Embedded Racism (4 comments)
The theme of this column is that with the Sterling/LA Clippers episode and its follow-up so far we may have reached a turning point in our nation's long-standing battle with and against the national cancer of racism. It is of course much too early to tell, but I do want to be hopeful this time around
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 Ukraine? Russia? Keep Your Eyes on the Prize (2 comments)
It is always the economic ruling class that controls the state apparatus, in one way or another. This is unless the government has become so violent that it can maintain itself in place by the use of force, massed and personal, against even the most highly placed, in both the ruling class and the military, as was the case in capitalist Nazi Germany…" And so Western Imperialism is out to capture the Ruling Class in Russia.
Friday, March 21, 2014 Basking in Republican Paradise (because they have it both ways) (1 comments)
The GOP does indeed have it both ways. Our nation is governed for the most part by Republican policies, going back to Reagan. But because of the way the Democrats (don't) fight, in particular with ths President, all the predictably bad outcomes that result from those policies can be "blamed on Obama," even including the failure (up to now) to find flight MH 370, according to John Bolton. And that's what this column is about
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 The Importance of "The Monuments Men"
"The Monuments Men" is a movie that is for the most part has gone off movie screens (although it will be back soon enough on DVR). However, in my view it should not be forgotten. It has some important lessons to teach us, about World II, about the Nazis, about war on civilians and civilization, and about what in this light might happen again in the future. That is what this column is about.
Monday, March 17, 2014 Ukraine, the Cheneyites, and Permanent War (4 comments)
Recently, Rachel Maddow posted a fine documentary indicating that the prime reason for the US/UK invasion of Iraq had to do with oil. For quite some time I have felt that while that was one of the motivations, the underlying one was the drive to create Permanent War, or failing that, the Permanent Preparation for War Society. This column explains my reasoning, vis-a-vis what's going on in Ukraine.
Monday, March 10, 2014 SATIRE: The U.S. Invades Mexico
This is a fictional consideration of a U.S. invasion of Mexico. It is projected to follow the peaceful overthrow of the current elected government by a left-wing coalition, supported by the South American trade association, MERCOSUR. Their first two major policies are the abrogation of the NAFTA treaty and the legalization of the currently illicit drugs, under government control, to end the deadly "drug war.".
Tuesday, March 4, 2014 Smoking and Health, and Death. And You're worried about the illicits? (11 comments)
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the original "Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health." And cigarette smoking is still one of the top killers, not only in this country, but also around the world. Prohibtion, anyone? Nah. Let's leave that for the Recreational Mood Altering drugs that kill a tiny percentage of that killed by cigarette smoking, not only among smokers, but, second-hand, among non-smokers as well.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 The "Irrepressible Conflict" and the Coming Second Civil War (12 comments)
Been writing on this subject since the first version of "The 15% Solution" in 1996. Perhaps "prescient," or "delusional." However, it was in 1820 that Thomas Jefferson characterized the Missouri Compromise of 1820 as a "firebell in the night, warning of future bloody conflict." If Jefferson could be 41 years ahead, I guess it's OK for me. Recently I mentioned the thought to an African-American friend, who said, "for sure."
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 The GOP's Christie Response: Two Wrongs Make a Right (1 comments)
"Hoboken" broke after I first wrote this column. But Joe Scarborough didn't disappoint in spouting another of the standard GOP responses to potentially bad news. As a lawyer he is very familiar with the old saw: "If you don't have the law, argue the facts; if you don't have the facts, argue the law. If you have neither, attack ad hominem." He just tore into the Hoboken Mayor. Thanks, Joe for making my point, doubling down.
Monday, January 13, 2014 David Brooks on Pot: Let's Return to Good Old-Fashioned Prohibition (9 comments)
David Brooks made a series of great arguments concerning the Recreational Mood-Altering Drugs and how to deal with their usage. (In terms of the prevalence of that usage, and the health/social harms caused, that list begins with tobacco and alcohol.) In the end, he presents a great list of reasons for returning to 1920s Prohibition, which list is discussed here.
Monday, January 6, 2014 Pope Francis and Change in the Roman Catholic Church (4 comments)
Pope Francis is giving considerable agita to likely members of the hypersecretive right-wing Catholic organization called Opus Dei (e.g., Scalia and Thomas see Andy Borowitz on the subject). Here, I review briefly the long history of change in the Roman Catholic Church. I then go on to suggest steps that the Pope, who is moving forward on matters of political economy, might take in dealing with religio-social matters as well.
Thursday, December 19, 2013 Nelson Mandela, the U.S. Right and Ronald Reagan (1 comments)
On the death of Nelson Mandela there has been much current writing on the history of the struggle against apartheid of which Mandela came to be the principal leader. There has not been too much mention of how Mandela and the movement he led for so many years, and for so many of them from behind bars as a symbol, was, and still is, treated by the US Right. That is what th is column is about.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 Chris Matthews and the Reagan Myth (4 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.