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Vermonter living in Woodstock:
elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts);
public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some runner-up awards;
reporter and columnist (Rutland Herald, Valley News, Vermont Standard, others);
teacher at Woodstock Country School, for which I was commissioned to write the history, "Institutional Denial";
TV writer ("That Was The Week That Was," "Captain Kangaroo," others).
Guiding principle: "nobody really knows anything."
Who You Callin' An Organizing Principle?!?! (5 comments)
Maybe others have pointed out that this is a pretty stupid statement, but that's far from the conventional wisdom. Think about the levels of stupidity here. Only "Great nations"? What, small nations don't need to get their acts together? And who says the United States is a "great" nation and in what sense is it great and isn't spouting a version of the American exceptionalism cliche just another way of doing stupid stuff?
Friday, September 5, 2014
Fukushima Update, Now in Year 4 (4 comments)
Nobody in the world knows how dispose of radioactive waste safely and permanently. That's a given. The Japanese central government is presumably aware that anything it does with still the unmeasured, but vast amount of radioactive waste from Fukushima's six nuclear power generators will be temporary. Leaving it in place is not an option. So Tokyo announced August 29 that the Fukushima waste would be stored... Series: Fukushima & nuke world
Friday, August 22, 2014
America Is Here to Help (1 comments)
Ferguson, Gaza, and Luhansk bleed all the time these days and the United States does nothing very useful for any of them. Not in out "national interest." Simpler and easier to blame the victims. Can't waste our precious resources.
Ferguson, Gaza, and Luhansk have been bleeding for days, for weeks, for years, forever in current and chronic crisis, and what does the United States do to help any of them?
Sunday, August 3, 2014
Officially "Safe" Radiation (3 comments)
The phrase "considered safe" is key to the issue, since there is no "actually safe" level of radiation exposure. The planet was once naturally radioactive and lifeless. Life emerged only after Earth's radiation levels decayed to the point where life became possible, in spite of a continuing level of natural "background radiation." The reality is that there is no "safe" level of radiation exposure.
Friday, August 1, 2014
MH17 -What Really Happened? (2 comments)
German media have reported variations of this story, focusing on the one or two Su-25s flying near MH17. The evidence for an Su-25 close to MH17 comes from a July 21 briefing by the Russian military that was widely reported at the time, from the Wall Street Journal to Veterans Today. A week later Time, like the Journal, makes no mention of any Su-25
Monday, July 28, 2014
UN against War Crimes, US not so much (1 comments)
Weighing the merits of war criminals on any side is a fool's game. But those playing this game include almost everyone involved with the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, as each pretends to ride a moral high horse that no longer exists, if it ever did.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Who Shot Down MH17 over Ukraine? (39 comments)
The same day that Israeli tanks crossed into Gaza, to continue killing civilians and the occasional Hamas fighter, MSNBC decided to ignore the Israeli invasion in favor of wall-to-wall coverage of the presumed shoot-down of Malaysian Airliner MH17 over eastern Ukraine. Why would MSNBC make a choice that looks so much like propaganda?
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Rape at College, Then Rape by College (2 comments)
In essence, Hobart has voiced a non-denial denial, a non-defense defense. Hobart says the reporter got the story wrong, but offers not one example of error. Hobart provides no corrections, no particulars, no explanation, no contrition, and no effort to atone for its personal and institutional failures.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
American Inhumanity (5 comments)
The pictures of thousands of children huddled in shelters are upsetting, and the tales some tell are horrifying, and that is all a real but sentimental distraction from the entrenched American power that created these conditions.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Ohio: Poster Child for Mindless Global Self-Destruction (2 comments)
John Kasich is a smart guy who knows better than to be an overt serial killer, so, as Governor of Ohio, he joins with others who prefer to do their mass killing by stealth, maybe spread the carnage out over future generations, who will be unable to hold the Kasiches and the ALECS of this world to account. Ever. However long that turns out to be.
Sunday, July 6, 2014
WIPP Still Leaks
Environmental radiation releases spiked again in mid-June around the surface site of the only U.S. underground, nuclear weapons waste storage facility near Carlsbad, New Mexico. The facility, the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP), has been shut down since February 14, when its isolation technology failed, releasing unsafe levels of Plutonium, Americium, and other radio-nuclides into the environment around the site.
Friday, July 4, 2014
Early Fireworks from US Air Force -- OOOps! (3 comments)
Troubles never seem to end for the F-35 Strike Fighter. Not yet fully operational, the nuclear-capable fighter-bomber recently had different test versions either leak oil in flight or burst into flames on takeoff.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Iraq "Going Well"
Remember L. Paul Bremer, 73, the Bush family caporegime who was the occupastion's Presidential Envoy to Iraq? He was the American Saddam Hussein in 2003 when he had near-dictatorial power and thought it would be a good idea to get rid of virtually every experienced Sunni military officer and every high-ranking Sunni government official so that, as President Bush put it over and over:as the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down
Thursday, June 19, 2014
GOP Policy: Kill the Poor
Whether or not the Millers have touched off a revolution remains to be seen, of course, but it hardly seems likely. And the killing they've done doesn't come close to the scale of the deeper, much more lethal, continuing revolution led by Republicans since 2009. That revolution doesn't use guns to kill people. That's so Bush-era. Post-Bush Republicans prefer to kill people quietly, as in Virginia, by denying them medical care
Monday, June 16, 2014
Iran Saves Iraq! (2 comments)
Iran can save Iraq and everyone.
"A Modest Proposal for Middle East Peace"
Friday, June 13, 2014
Bush War Redux (5 comments)
By the time you read this, America's next, undeclared war in Iraq may already be under way.
Imperial militarists started floating trial balloons for the next American aggression as of June 11 in the Wall Street Journal, quoting "a senior U.S. official who added that no decisions have been made."
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Museum Continues 9/11 Mystification (14 comments)
Despite that overwhelming ad hominem character, emphasizing the emotional impact of the lives of the living and dead, the Museum defines itself with a contradictory pose of academic detachment: "The National September 11 Memorial Museum serves as the country's principal institution concerned with exploring the implications of the events of 9/11, documenting the impact of those events and exploring 9/11's continuing significan
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Honor and Degrees
The destruction of the once great University of California by the forces of commerce and authoritarian politics (led for awhile by Ronald Reagan) is a sad illustration of how the democratic ethos (educate everyone to their capacity, for free) has given way to exploitation (turning students into a profit center that has the serendipitous benefit of feeding inequality).
Friday, May 30, 2014
SNAFUkushima: Updating Meltdowns (1 comments)
Whatever the full truth is about Fukushima, it's probably unknowable at present. And it might remain unknowable even if there was total transparency, even if there were no corporate, institutional, governmental, and other layers of secrecy protecting such enemies of the common good as profit, capital investment, and weapons development.
Monday, May 26, 2014
Condi Rice, Christine Lagarde: Cowardice at Commencement (3 comments)
The American Condolleezza Rice, 60, Iraq War architect, and the French Christine Lagarde, 58, International Monetary Fund managing director, have little in common beyond being women of power who have contributed to the misery of millions of people they never cared to meet. And now they have another quality in common, cowardice under fire, albeit only verbal fire after they were invited to speak at college commencements.
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Ukraine Crime Against Humanity Gets Ignored (15 comments)
"39 anti-government activists have died in a fire at Odessa's Trade Unions House. Some burned to death, while others suffocated or jumped out of windows, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry reported. The building was set ablaze by pro-Kiev radicals."
Sunday, May 4, 2014
Is "progressive corporate news" an oxymoron? (2 comments)
The central argument of Michael's Arria's lively new book about America's so-called "progressive network" is not that MSNBC is bad at what it does, but that, all too often, even what MSNBC does well doesn't do much good for most Americans. As Arria puts it in the introduction of Medium Blue (a spring 2014 release by CounterPunch Books):
"This book doesn't possess a hidden agenda. It's an attack on MSNBC from the left..."
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Congress Fails En Masse, 100%, Rare Event (2 comments)
jabbering jingoes in control of this foreign policy decision, deceitfully selling Aboutalebi’s imagined transgressions, need to get over their exceptionalist self-involvement. Americans desperately need to have a sense of history, a sense of responsibility, a sense of proportion, and real humility. That would be true American exceptionalism.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Benghazi Mystery Explained!?! (3 comments)
The latest explanation of “Benghazi” comes from a non-partisan reporter, so that’s a start, and it provides a credible framework for most of the anomalies associated with Benghazi. Even better, official spokes-people universally either refused to comment on the story, or denied it flatly. So there’s hope.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Ukraine Smoke and Mirrors (2 comments)
Just when the U.S. Defense Secretary was in Japan giving indications that the Ukraine “crisis” was over as far as the U.S. was concerned, Ukrainians of all sorts, other Washington officials, and even the Japanese government all pitch in to keep the “crisis” alive, at least as a threat meme.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Obama Praises Iraq War (5 comments)
Barack Obama at an anti-war rally in Chicago on October 2, 2002, when he was still an Illinois state senator – told the gathering that he favored going after al Qaeda in Afghanistan, but opposed going to war to remove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Reading that 2002 speech more than eleven years later creates some dissonance: what happened to that guy who was challenging President Bush to finish the fight with bin Laden...
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Jingo Journalism: Remember the Maine!!! (8 comments)
If American media seem filled these days with bellicose, jingoistic, uniform perspectives on a new Cold War, that’s probably because so many news outlets can’t seem to help themselves when it comes to framing new events in the tired terms of the last generation’s ingrained propaganda. At a time that needs fresh contemplation, even people like Amy Goodman on Democracy NOW are talking about....
Friday, March 21, 2014
Fuku-Crimea (14 comments)
The real stakes here are tiny. Crimea is the size of Vermont taking a deep breath.
Crimea is smaller than Haiti, Burundi, Equatorial Guinea, Albania, or the Solomon Islands, and commands about the same geopolitical attention in the real world. Crimea is larger than Rwanda, Macedonia, Belize, El Salvador, or Israel.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Lynching Adegbile (1 comments)
After these seven Democratic quislings had collaborated in stopping Adegbile’s nomination in its tracks, another Democrat switched his vote to join them. The eighth Democratic vote to sustain the filibuster was majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada who changed his vote for tactical reasons. Under Senate rules, only a Senator who has voted against the nomination is entitled to bring it the floor again....
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Ukraine Folly (17 comments)
If too many people get sucked in by the current, distorted media coverage of events unfolding now in Ukraine, then there’s a good chance life will get very ugly for a lot of innocent people, since one of the logical end points is the use of nuclear weapons.
Everyone in power knows that’s a potential reality, but the urge to demagogue the Russians is presently overwhelming honesty and caution.
Monday, March 3, 2014
IRS "Scandal" Lives On, Still Bogus (1 comments)
Whatever you hear about tax exempt, 501(c)(4) organizations these days, someone is probably playing politics, or simply lying (for the sake of playing politics). And even if you’re not hearing about it, they’re still lying about it. This is all about bi-partisan deceit designed to defend the flow of dark money from secret donors.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Some Pakistanis Resist U.S. Drone Murder
The Pakistani government has done nothing to enforce the Peshawar High Court’s order of May 2013. Even suggesting that the government act to protect its people creates controversy. An uncertain number of other cases are still pending in Pakistani courts. One of those is Kareem Khan’s 2010 wrongful death suit against the CIA for killing innocent people in his house in 2009.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Keystone XL vs Lethal Lone Star Threat (1 comments)
Meanwhile the 105-day comment period on the State Department’s fraudulent environmental report is running, and it’s not clear whether the Texas court will act within that time. Wait, “fraudulent” report?
Well, based on early reporting, the report is...
Monday, February 17, 2014
To be more than fair to Rep. Grimm, 44, he made his threat in circumstances when he himself felt threatened by a question from the younger, smaller man he threatened. As a former Marine and a former FBI agent, he also managed to personify the negative Hollywood stereotype of both.
Official Japanese policy on nuclear power has swung full circle since the Fukushima disaster of 2011 – from avidly pro-nuclear power then, to rejecting nuclear power as too dangerous, and now back to avidly pushing on to re-start old reactors and build new ones.
Friday, January 10, 2014
"Nuclear Savage" (4 comments)
“Nuclear Savage” is a recent documentary that explores American nuclear weapons testing in the Marshall Islands, 1946-1958, and particularly the secret Project 4.1: an American experiment in exposing Pacific Islanders to overdoses of radiation – deliberate human radiation poisoning – just to get better data on this method of maiming and killing people. Public broadcasting has kept this story off the air since 2011. Series: Fukushima & nuke world, Injustice
Ideological Purity Police in Montpelier (1 comments)
When a city employee promotes a point of view that happens to center on an aspect of populist economics that seeks to serve the public good, and the democratically-elected mayor of that city has an opposing ideology that he'd rather not debate openly, why would anyone expect the resolution of this conflict to be anything but ugly? Series: Injustice, Vermont Life
Detroit "Bankruptcy" Distracts from Attack on Constitution (8 comments)
Detroit's recent bankruptcy eligibility was achieved in part by the Michigan governor defying a court order, the Detroit czar defying a court order, and a federal bankruptcy court telling other federal and state courts that their orders and the cases before them challenging the constitutionality of state law and state actions simply don't matter. Series: Injustice
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Does Syria Make Any Sense? (8 comments)
"When Russia's foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, wanted to bolster his argument that rebels had carried out the poison gas attacks near Damascus on Aug. 21, he pointed to the work of a 61-year-old Lebanese-born nun who had concluded that the horrifying videos showing hundreds of dead and choking victims, including many children, had been fabricated ahead of time to provide a pretext for foreign intervention. Series: Fukushima & nuke world
Monday, November 25, 2013
America's Genocidal Logic At Work Again From Africa to Asia (3 comments)
The meaninglessness of the terms "Global War on Terror" and "Long War" (both Bush era coinages without substantive definition) was made clear hilariously, if briefly, in March 2009 when the Obama administration dropped those terms in favor of "Overseas Contingency Operation" (a nicely sanitized coinage with Orwellian opacity, but still without any intellectual import). Regardless of the term describing it, American policy rema
Friday, November 22, 2013
Fukushima Funhouse News (3 comments)
Fukushima is a continuing disaster, and the Japanese haven't done that great a job keeping it from getting worse, but that's not the bad news. The bad news is that nobody else in the world has a much better idea about what to do, and even less of an idea of how to do it, and that's why the stampede of global rescue workers rushing to Japan isn't happening now and isn't likely to happen soon.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Iran Talks Still Offer an Opportunity That Some Resist Desperately (1 comments)
This could be the moment when the intransigent few destroyed hope for bringing Iran, the world's most significant, scapegoated pariah nation, back into what passes for the international community, preferring to indulge their lust for war in all its unpredictable uselessness.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Defense Secretary Preaches to Choir (1 comments)
Global security begins in Washington, where the Secretary of Defense says that American isolationism is a bigger threat to the rest of the world than American hubris and that's why "we must remain the world's only global leader." If that sounds confused and contradictory, it's only because that's who we are as a government in the early 21st century.
Friday, November 8, 2013
U.S. Is a State Sponsor of Terrorism (1 comments)
This is a classic terrorist tactic, sometimes called the "double tap," using the first explosion to draw a crowd of first responders and onlookers as targets for the second explosion. Typically the double tap attack rings up a higher score.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
A Revolution Led by Russell Brand?
Still on the attack, the BBC interviewer presses the comic for a blueprint. of his alternate systems, but this time Brand ridicules the ridiculous question. He points out some of the worst abuses by the current system, noting that the world would be improved merely by stopping these abuses (such as destroying the planet, creating massive economic disparity, or ignoring the needs of the people)...
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Air Force Hits Flak Over Vermont
The latest high-ranking Vermont Democrat to push for prime military pork in her state is Burlington city attorney Eileen Blackwood, who released a slippery legal memo October 17 that is as cleverly political as it is narrowly legal, leading to widespread, obtuse media coverage along the lines of Vermont Public Radio's simply false headline: "City Report: Burlington Can't Block F-35."
Saturday, October 19, 2013
US vs. Lavabit (7 comments)
What follows in an effort to reconstruct at least the outline of a personal nightmare inflicted by our government on a small business owner who had done no wrong, even in the government's eyes -- at least until he started taking his constitutional rights seriously.]
Monday, October 14, 2013
Denial in the Face of Default (4 comments)
The Debt Ceiling is a legal fiction, a fantasy, a mindless game the United States has been playing with itself since 1917, for reasons that defy rational comprehension. There is no compelling constitutional basis for this contra-constitutional legalism. The only other democratic country in the world with a Debt Ceiling is Denmark, where it is an empty formality.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Minority Government At Work
A real government shutdown would effectively take us back to a state of nature, or at least to an eighteenth century, pre-constitutional governmental structure, enhanced by all the modern conveniences we could keep working without Washington's help. That might provoke a new constitutional convention, which is what a busy minority has been after for a long time, and maybe that's the point of all this, but we're not there yet.
Friday, September 27, 2013
Weapons of Mass Destruction Wanted?
With Vermont's highest elected officials still deep in Defense Dept. denial over the disaster that is the Air Force's F-35 strike fighter, a local city council threatens to bring some military sanity to Vermont (but nowhere else) by exercising its landlord right to reject as a tenant a weapon of mass destruction that will wreak havoc on the local neighborhood.
Friday, September 20, 2013
What Was The Hurry To Attack Syria? (6 comments)
It should be immediately obvious that the United States, with 700 foreign military bases (compared to Russia's 11), is not exactly isolationist, and won't be any time soon. What follows is an attempt at a longer reassurance that no apocalypse is at hand just because we're not bombing Syria or otherwise being exceptionally American.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
A Day of U.S. "Credibility" At Work (1 comments)
Lacking a comprehensive, coherent account of rational beings acting in rational ways to work towards peaceful and reliable solutions to difficult questions, we offer here a fragmentary highlight reel of one day in the life of an American government spinning in all directions toward no known goal in Syria.
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
A Syrian Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
When the president asks Congress for a blank check for war, why does the Congress fret about setting a limit on war powers instead of just saying: "NO" to any check? What happened to checks and balances (as if we all didn't know)?
Friday, August 30, 2013
Jumping the Shark in Syria (1 comments)
President Obama is apparently wobbling on the edge of committing an impeachable offense, specifically a military attack on Syria without the authorization of Congress, without the approval of the United Nations Security Council, and without any imminent threat to the United States.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
To What End Do We Kill? (4 comments)
There is no good reason to make a bad situation worse. It's likely to get worse all on its own, and unimaginably worse if the government starts to fall.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
U.S. Shut Embassies Because? (7 comments)
If the United States is in an actual war, as generally defined by history and our constitution, then we must have enemies who can be identified, or so one might think. So who are the enemies of the United States? Officially, in the President's words, "the United States is at war with al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their associated forces."
But does that make this 'war' legal?
Friday, August 16, 2013
Racist Right Wing Propaganda (2 comments)
[Consumer warning: when you see the rightwing trope about Joshua Heath Chellew, you are experiencing dishonest discourse intent on misinforming and misleading you, in this case for the sake of racism.]