Wednesday, July 9, 2014 Justice Corrupted
Times of high tension often result in the lowering of important standards in the application of law. They do so by heightening the fears of the general public, which in turn gives license to bigots embedded in the justice system such as judges and prosecutors who have Islamophobic prejudices, Zionist biases, or neoconservative delusions. When dogmatists are in control none of us are really free.
Saturday, June 28, 2014 Why It Is Hard to Feel for the Israelis (17 comments)
What about the children? After all, children "have no agency" and therefore should not be held responsible for the conditions created by their elders. But again, the Zionists cannot demand such an exception while agents of the Israeli state regularly arrest and incarcerate Palestinian children. This is a sad truth of the world as it actually is: double standards make ideals impossible.
Thursday, June 19, 2014 The Mess in Iraq
If you want to look for those Americans who have real responsibility for this mess you have to go to those who put American troops in Iraq in the first place. You have to turn to George W. Bush and his neoconservative allies. Those are the less than brilliant minds who concocted the destruction of Iraq and left it in shambles.
Thursday, June 12, 2014 Repugnant Republicans (5 comments)
With Republicans, one gets the sense that they are really true believers. They see their positions and actions as absolutely right and good, and if you disagree with them you are absolutely wrong and bad. In other words, while both parties are often dangerously wrong, the Republicans are wrong in a demented ideological fashion. As such they really are more repugnant than the Democrats.
Monday, June 2, 2014 Class Segregation and the Housing Market
The tactic now being employed by the landlords and developers is to add amenities to existing buildings -- things like roof gardens, gyms, playrooms for children, added storage areas and the like -- and then prevent those tenants in rent-regulated apartments from using them. Landlords and developers argue that these new amenities are "market tools" to attract high-end tenants who will pay market rates for apartments.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 The Role of the Intellectual (2 comments)
Most people of high intellect have sought to serve power and not critique or question it. Most non-intellectuals accept the word of those in power as authoritative and true. That, no doubt, is why the independent-minded, outspoken intellectuals demanding moral integrity and responsibility from those in power are so rare.
Thursday, May 8, 2014 Censorship Is The Norm (2 comments)
Perhaps the grossest ongoing censorship of all is the culturally conditioned, narrow range of opinion fed to the vast majority of Americans by their own media. The narrow range of views offered creates a uniform background noise hiding most of what is at variance with the standard message. In other words, media practices constitute de facto censorship.
Sunday, April 27, 2014 The New York Times Declares the Peace Process Futile (4 comments)
The NYT editorial board has the same problem as the Obama administration: they both know the truth but are unwilling to do something about it. They both know the problem is that the Israeli government is not interested in genuine peace (actually, has never been interested in it). Israel is only interested in continuing its conquest of Palestinian land.
Monday, April 14, 2014 Free Speech Or Bribery? (2 comments)
We are dealing with those funneling millions of dollars to politicians in exchange for political and legislative favors. That is the exercise of free speech only if you equate it with the suborning of elected officials. It's hard to believe that the five Supreme Court Justices who voted in the majority do not know this. And if they do, they are guilty of using the Constitution to rationalize criminal behavior.
Thursday, April 3, 2014 Mr. Rosenberg's Conundrum
Can justice be achieved for the long-suffering Palestinians while preserving Israel as an exclusive Jewish state? Rosenberg wants to answer this question in the affirmative and he thinks a two-state solution will allow him to do so. Unfortunately, that is "not how the real world works" (his phrase again) in Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 Saudi Arabia Flexes Its Fanaticism (1 comments)
Washington can sanction the Russians for protecting their security interests and the Russian-speaking population in the Crimea. They can sanction the Iranians for developing nuclear energy. And, they can acquiesce in the utter destitution of 1.76 million Gazans. But you will hear no talk of sanctions due to Saudi aggression or its sponsorship of terrorism.
Sunday, March 16, 2014 Who Set-Up Medea Benjamin? (2 comments)
Medea Benjamin's horrid treatment was not a mistake. It was not the action of a few rogue border officials. It was a premeditated act on the part of the military dictatorship that now passes for a government in Egypt. Who gave the orders? No doubt this plot started in Washington when someone, probably a security officer attached to the visa department at the Egyptian embassy, recognized Benjamin's name.
Thursday, March 6, 2014 Disturbing Democracy (5 comments)
Liberal democracy (with a strong, tempering dose of social democracy) may be the best, or perhaps the least worst form of government there is. However, to create it and keep it requires tolerance and willingness to make reasonable compromises. It also precludes making deals with authoritarian forces whose ambitions are dangerous to democracy itself.
Sunday, February 23, 2014 Planning for the Future of the BDS Movement (1 comments)
The 67-year-old effort to harass most non-Jewish citizens and residents out of the country will greatly intensify. The BDS campaign conducted against South Africa was a reaction against that society's racist culture and policies. There is no reason why a powerful BDS movement cannot be sustained against Israel on the same basis.
Thursday, February 13, 2014 Stereotyping In Congress, Then and Now (1 comments)
The ignorant, the ideologues, and the stereotypers call out to each other decade after decade. As they echo their menacing ideas, the rest of us, mostly ignorant of all that is not local, bend our ears and listen intently. Indeed, presently it may only be the weariness of 70 years of off-and-on war that has led us to a momentary reluctance to buy into Representative Duncan's warmongering nonsense.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014 Is Iran the Real Problem?
In the capital of Tehran, along with the traffic congestion and air pollution, there are a myriad building projects. These are not signs of a society shriveling on the vine. To go beyond the present level of sanctions and impose the ever more draconian measures proposed by the U.S. Senate comes close to an act of war.
Monday, January 13, 2014 Whose Academic Freedom Are We Talking About?
Israel's future is one of increasing isolation. The Zionists recognize this possibility and that is why they are kicking and screaming. They even want to outlaw aspects of the boycott effort. It might be easier if they joined the 21st century by giving up their racist ambitions. However, ideologues rarely give up their ideologies willingly, so we will all have to do this the hard way.
Friday, January 3, 2014 Egypt Gone Bad (4 comments)
Today's Egypt is a mess. It is an economic mess thanks to decades of military dictatorship, corruption and greed. It is a political mess for the same reason. Whatever faults might be laid at the feet of the elected Morsi government, none of them warranted a return to thuggish military rule -- an action which, for all practical purposes, brought the ideals of the Arab Spring to a tragic end.
Sunday, December 22, 2013 Snow Job About Israel-Palestine (2 comments)
It is probable that the Israelis would have no need to implement their ghetto strategy if they were ready to reach a just and fair solution with all of the Palestinians. As long as Israel persists in stealing Palestinian land in a process of relentless expansion, they must convince themselves of the irreconcilable nature of the conflict and persecute not only those who would resist, but the entire Palestinian population.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 Israel: Legitimacy and Behavior (1 comments)
Increasingly in the contemporary world legitimacy does not simply rest on the mere fact of occupying or asserting sovereignty over territory. Today legitimacy has to do with national behavior that satisfies international norms and laws. Now that might not be the consistent opinion of governments which are prone to hypocrisy, but it is increasingly the position taken by civil society
Sunday, December 1, 2013 A Victory for Diplomacy
The interim deal with Iran is an act of sanity, and the present American administration, whatever other foreign policy shortcomings it has displayed (and there have been plenty) deserves praise for defying the radical right and pushing it through. As to the deal's detractors in and out of Congress, they are the warmongers among us and deserve to be exposed as such.
Friday, November 22, 2013 More on Global Warming (2 comments)
What will we ultimately do about global warming? It might well be that the answer is not nearly enough. We are a species influenced by natural localism, and therefore the majority of Americans, and others in the West as well, are not going to abandon a present full of profit and relative comfort as long as the sky is clear in their own local place and time.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 A Culture of Walls -- An Analysis (5 comments)
Zionists came to Palestine with a wall already fixed in their minds. That wall existed as a conviction that anti-Semitism was inevitable and eternal. Only possessing their own state could protect the Jews from this incessant danger. Subsequent Palestinian resistance was almost instinctively seen by the Zionists as anti-Semitism.
Friday, November 1, 2013 The Mind of the Poor (7 comments)
Society has a moral obligation to deal with more than forms and lengthy interviews. History tells us that we can do, and indeed have done, much better. Short of radical changes in our economic thinking, what the poor in the U.S. need is another "War on Poverty." It is time to consider replaying the 1960s and force the politicians to act responsibly despite themselves.
Saturday, October 19, 2013 Ideological Disaster (1 comments)
In the long run, things do not look good for the Republican Party. Many radical conservatives have come to see their moderate compatriots as worse than any liberal Democrat. They see them as traitors to principle--as politicians who ran scared in the face of the Obama's "socialist" agenda. Under these circumstances most of the party's energies might well be taken up with self-destructive infighting.
Monday, October 14, 2013 Still Staying Sober
It is one thing to get to the negotiating table and another to have the political wherewithal and courage to make the reasonable compromises necessary for a successful settlement. The Iranians want their rights recognized and sanctions lifted. Getting Congress to go along with that will take visible public demand. Progressives will have to find a way to help realize that demand.
Saturday, October 5, 2013 Zionism versus Diplomacy and Peace
As politician and president, Obama has been caught between a desire to avoid war with Iran, a war that would almost certainly harm the Western world's economy, and the political pressure of the powerful American Zionist lobby. The Zionists ultimately seek to ensure that U.S. policy falls in line with Israel's desires to see Iran destroyed.
Saturday, September 21, 2013 Two-State Solution or Illusion? (1 comments)
The U.S. government maintains the hope of a two-state solution to "show that it is working toward a diplomatic solution, to keep the pro-Israel lobby from turning against them and to disguise their humiliating inability to allow any daylight between Washington and the Israeli government."
Thursday, September 12, 2013 Crises Today, Catastrophe Tomorrow (1 comments)
Eventual concern might turn out to be so great that global warming could replace the proverbial invasion from outer space. That is, it could be the threat that unites all parties against a common enemy. So, if the UN Security Council can't agree on Syria or Israel, maybe its members can rally together to persuade Brazil and Indonesia to stop deforestation and save the planet.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 Congress and the Imperial Presidency Debate Syria
The notion that the President of the United States, with or without Congressional approval, has the authority to act as the world's "policeman" and punish violators of international laws, that it itself flaunts, is offensive and dangerous. Let's hope that Congress listens to the people this time around and tells the President to keep his cruise missiles to himself.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 In Syria, Weapons of Mass Destruction Redux (1 comments)
the voting population is the main "constituency" of politicians only at election time. Right now it is reported that approximately 60% of that constituency does not want the U.S. to attack Syria. However, it is not election time. In the post-election period, the politician's real constituency becomes special interests most of whom are anxious for an attack on Syria.
Saturday, August 24, 2013 Taking Sides In Egypt (1 comments)
The people naively believed the assurances of the military leader, Abdel Fattah el Sisi, that after Morsi was done away with, the military would bring them "real" democracy (an idealistic 33-point liberal constitution was produced but never implemented). In this way the secular democratic groups who helped bring down one dictatorship provided cover for the return of the same sort of dictatorship with different faces.
Thursday, August 15, 2013 Bad Precedent and Bad Faith (3 comments)
Anyone who accepts at face value the assurance of government lawyers that laws such as the Patriot Act and NDAA will conform to the Constitution and not walk all over one's civil rights should, as the old saying goes, have their head examined. There is not much "daylight" between Obama's practice and the past behavior of neoconservative vulgarians such as George W. Bush. "If it swims like a duck, then it probably is a duck."
Monday, August 5, 2013 What National Interest?
Special interests such as the Zionist lobby can and do buy themselves control over vital aspects of Middle East foreign policy. It is a failed system which has already dragged the nation halfway to hell. Another "10 or 20 years" will take us the rest of the way in.
Sunday, July 28, 2013 The Boycott of Israel Eight Years In (2 comments)
BDS is only at the beginning of its trek. Its fast start and ongoing achievements should bring hope and pride to those involved in the movement. They should also raise some serious second thoughts in the minds of those Israelis who think Netanyahu and his government of ideologues can prevent their country's increasing isolation.
Sunday, July 21, 2013 On the Death of Helen Thomas (2 comments)
The way the Israelis behave they have no need of Helen Thomas to "delegitimize" their country. They are doing a fine job of that on their own. Thomas's remarks came in the aftermath of a piratical attack on the Gaza Aid Flotilla, during which Israeli commandos murdered nine aid activists on the Mavi Marmara.
Monday, July 15, 2013 A National Debate about Government Spying? (2 comments)
Having concluded that the NSA's real and potential secret access to the communications of almost every American, and a growing number of non-citizens, was criminal in nature (perhaps totalitarianism in the making), Snowden leaked the classified information that would bring the NSA's activities into public view. It was the right thing to do and he says he has no regrets.
Saturday, July 6, 2013 Egypt's All-Or-Nothing Politics (2 comments)
Morsi was in office for about a year and never had effective control of an economy that has been derelict for decades. He was even accused of increasing the influence of the United States in Egypt. These accusations made little sense and were probably propaganda moves made in an effort to destroy the new government altogether.
Saturday, June 29, 2013 The Crime of Indifference (1 comments)
The suffering of the Palestinians is never more than "minutes" from most Israeli backyards, and it now and then violently boomerangs back on Israeli Jews. Nonetheless, a kind of contrived, willful ignorance does come into play. One can be raised in ignorance and educated to a view of history that eliminates others' suffering as well as one's role in causing it. The Israelis have made an art of this process.
Thursday, June 27, 2013 A Concise Answer to Ido Aharoni's Query "Why Boycott Israel?" (4 comments)
Unlike other oppressive and brutal governments, the Israelis and their supporters directly influence (one might say corrupt) the policy makers of many Western nations and this often makes their governments (most specifically the U.S.) accomplices in Israel's abusive policies. This being so, prioritizing Israel for boycott is not hypocrisy but rather necessity.
Monday, June 17, 2013 Perspectives On The Surveillance Scandal -- An Analysis (1 comments)
We are losing the foundation of innocence until proven guilty. The assumption of innocence no longer exists in a surveillance state. Neither does a Constitution with a Fourth Amendment. Neither does habeas corpus or due process. All of those are things of value in the world of democratic men and women.
Saturday, June 8, 2013 A Window On The Right Wing -- An Analysis (1 comments)
Ours is an age of "infotainment," and the more entertaining media personalities, politicians, and even government officials are, the more their "info" is received favorably. Conservative America is out there in many forms. Some are organized around religion, some around various forms of xenophobia, and some around the fear of government, its taxes and regulations.
Thursday, May 30, 2013 Endless War -- An Analysis (2 comments)
With the government's wholehearted embrace of targeted assassination, as well as modern surveillance technology and the precedent of offshore prisons for "enemy combatants," one wonders if, from now on, the recovery of rights will ever be fully equal to their loss.
Friday, May 17, 2013 Alan Hart and What It Takes to Struggle On -- An Analysis
Thirty years ago you could not critically raise the subject of Israel in public, and thus the Zionists had a monopoly on the entire history of this issue. That is emphatically not the case today. Despite Alan Hart's unfortunate experience, the fact is that, at a popular level, the Zionists have lost control of the Palestine narrative.
Sunday, May 5, 2013 In Praise Of Richard Falk -- An Analysis (2 comments)
Richard Falk's crime is to be a person of note, an esteemed academic and a respected servant of the United Nations, who is trying to break through with the truth. At least at the level of leadership and media, the United States is not capable of such self-reflection and so its citizens are likely to be the last to know that much of the terrorism they fear is a product of their own government's continuing barbarism.
Monday, April 22, 2013 Freedom and High Anxiety in the USA -- An Analysis (6 comments)
Unfortunately, freedom as practiced in the U.S. has its drawbacks. It has encouraged an often heartless individuality that disregards serious levels of poverty. It has allowed the evolution of interest group politics that often works against national interests in both domestic and foreign policies.
Saturday, April 13, 2013 In Defense of Amira Hass -- An Analysis (1 comments)
A good argument can be made that Israel, a recognized member of the modern array of nations, has a right to exist. However, it can be asserted that its present racist state apparatuses that practice ethnic cleansing and institutionalized discrimination, as well as the Zionist ideology that justifies such practices, are increasingly unacceptable in the modern world and therefore can claim no inherent right to exist.
Friday, April 5, 2013 Critical Thinking Gone Missing -- An Analysis (3 comments)
The majority of any population will pay little or no attention to news stories or government actions that do not appear to impact their lives or the lives of close associates. If something non-local happens that is brought to their attention by the media, they will passively accept government explanations and simplistic solutions.
Monday, March 25, 2013 The Holy Land Gets Skunked -- An Analysis (2 comments)
It's one thing to punish someone for calling attention to Israel's rank behavior. It is something else to insist that foul is actually fair -- to say the sewage smells like roses. Who would be reckless enough to imply such a nauseating thing and do so with a straight face before cameras with the whole world watching? How about the President of the United States?
Thursday, March 14, 2013 The Wrath of the Bureaucracy -- An Analysis
The US military has shown no serious concern about what its soldiers have done-continue to do-to civilians in the Middle East. This is because soldiers act in ways compatible with the bureaucratic rules of the organization they serve. Under these conditions, killing of civilians, no matter at what frequency or number, is deemed accidental as long as the soldier follows the military's self-prescribed "rules of engagement."
Monday, March 4, 2013 Civil Rights Takes a Hit -- An Analysis (2 comments)
It is clear from the history of general voter participation in elections that the majority of Americans do not pay close attention to politics, and even those who do are often all too easily swayed by everything from personal appearance to silly propaganda. The Supreme Court may be about to prove that this is so.
Sunday, February 24, 2013 On Great Photographs and Their Impact -- An Analysis (1 comments)
The old cliche that tells us a picture is worth a thousand words, says nothing about what those words might be. In respect to Israel and Palestine, the West's informational environment was once dominated by the Zionist narrative. That is no longer the case. The Palestinian narrative is now present. Israelis and their supporters should look long and hard at those images that depict the consequences of their own actions.
Saturday, February 16, 2013 War and Institutionalizing Abuse -- An Analysis (1 comments)
With the exception of a handful of civil liberties organizations, there has been no popular resistance to the long term drift into official criminality. Today's public, reconciled to all of this by propaganda and the fear it creates, will not protest in any politically significant way, even though polls indicate that, when asked, they are uneasy with all of it.
Monday, February 4, 2013 The Gatekeepers -- An Analysis (4 comments)
To date, Israel's leaders and Zionist supporters have shown an amazing capacity to ignore all criticism. The newly re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has let it be known that he has no intention of watching The Gatekeepers. It is also questionable how many of those who voted for him, or other right-wing politicians, will bother to seek the documentary out.
Saturday, January 26, 2013 Rights Erosion -- An Analysis (2 comments)
As long as the law is denied to some, we are all at risk. The majority does not understand this. They do not understand that for democracy to be worth its salt, it must defend the rights of everyone, and particularly those who disagree with, live differently from, and think differently than the majority. As goes due process rights, so goes our democracy.
Saturday, January 12, 2013 Does Torture Work? Does It Matter? -- An Analysis (6 comments)
The torturers are all past or present powerful government officials and their henchmen. Most of them will die in bed and maybe, someday, have their face put on a postage stamp. Their horrid deeds, already excused, will soon be forgotten. As the old Latin saying goes, "in times of war the laws go silent."
Thursday, January 3, 2013 Haneen Zoabi: Another Persecuted Truth-Teller -- An Analysis (2 comments)
Politicians with dictatorial leanings instinctively avoid their own reflection. They cannot admit the consequences of their own actions and policies and they cannot tolerate others who publicly expose those consequences. Like Dorian Gray, they restrict the ugly truth to some hidden closet. Yet, eventually, someone like Ms. Zoabi comes along and takes up the role of truth-teller.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012 On The Killing of Children and Others, Domestic and Foreign -- An Analysis
Whether Americans are paying attention or not, their government, their elected officials, continue to make sure that the U.S. remains out and about across the globe, projecting the nation's power via guns and sanctions, and thereby helping to lower the world's burgeoning population in the most negative of all possible ways.
Monday, December 17, 2012 Education and National Security -- An Analysis (1 comments)
There are parts of the country where poverty and "racial isolation" result in such poor educational (and vocational) opportunities that the majority of the population has no hope of sharing in the general prosperity and promise of the country. These people will not acquire the necessary skill set, nor will they be indoctrinated with the patriotism, that education is meant to deliver.
Sunday, December 9, 2012 To Hell With The Intelligence -- An Analysis (2 comments)
The CIA and its like are fairly good at collecting information, analyzing it, and rendering reasoned judgments as to its meaning. Usually, the advice rendered by the middle level folks who do the analyzing and reporting errs on the side of caution. The problem is political leaders all too often ignore intelligence reports when they don't fit with their political goals.