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Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. Partridge has taught philosophy at the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He publishes the website, "The Online Gadfly" (www.igc.org/gadfly) and co-edits the progressive website, "The Crisis Papers" (www.crisispapers.org). His book in progress, "Conscience of a Progressive," can be seen at www.igc.org/gadfly/progressive/^toc.htm .
Vladimir Putin as Emanuel Goldstein
In George Orwell's novel, 1984, Emanuel Goldstein was the hated individual who "represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible." Could it be that to the mainstream media, and thus increasingy the American public, our "Emanuel Goldstein" is Vladimir Putin?
Thursday, March 30, 2017(39 comments)
Trump Aides Talked to Russians? Big Deal?
The very idea of "talking to the Russians" has become so toxic in today's politics and media, that a cabinet nominee would rather risk perjury than admit to meeting a Russian diplomat face-to-face.
Adieu, Progressive Internet?
During the afternoon of Election Day, the progressive website Democratic Underground was hacked and shut down. The identity of the culprit is unknown. Best case: a presumably Trump supporter acting spontaneously on his own -- an isolated and rare event. Worse case: an early shot in an incipient cyber war against liberal dissent. We must hope for the best case and prepare for the worst.
Sunday, November 6, 2016(3 comments)
Cyber War -- From Trifle to Catastrophe
The content of the hacked emails may be trivial and not credible. However,, the consequences of the accusation of Kremlin connivance could be catastrophic.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016(7 comments)
A Martian View of the New Cold War
"The moral point of view" -- the perspective of the unbiased, informed and benevolent observer -- has many names, and is prominent in the history of moral and political philosophy. Perhaps the dangerous new cold war between Russia and the United States/NATO might be disengaged through negotiation from the moral point of view.
On Behalf of Islam
When I hear informed and critical individuals that I respect rail against Islam,
if I didn't know better, I might be led to believe that I was hearing some Bible-thumping fundie preacher assailing "that gutter religion." We have come to expect such conduct from FOX News panels. But not from such educated, intelligent and sophisticated individuals as Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Bill Maher who, in their assault against Islam, have allowed their indignation to overwhelm their judgment.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015(3 comments)
Whose "Liberty"? Whose "Freedom"?
When the right-wing politicians and corporate media talk of "liberty" and "freedom," remember this: Your "liberty" and "freedom" are not what they are talking about. And that's not just "theory," that's history.
Friday, March 6, 2015(19 comments)
Let's End the New Cold War Before it Heats Up
The United States and Russia are rushing, relentlessly, toward war, unless cooler voices are heard and heeded. Those voices are not being heard in our mass media or heeded by our politicians.
Monday, July 7, 2014(15 comments)
Bungling Toward Oblivion -- A Letter to My Friends in Russia
During the nineties, my profession (professor of Philosophy) afforded me the opportunity to visit Russia seven times. Recent events have directed my thoughts and concerns to Russia and my many friends there, which prompts me to write the following letter and to share it with American internet readers.
Sunday, March 16, 2014(7 comments)
Russia -- An Appreciation
"Russia bashing," a favorite pastime of media and politicians a generation ago, is back in style. The consequences could be deadly. Here is an antidote, based upon common historical knowledge and on personal experience.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014(5 comments)
Thinking Like a Russian
The rule is as old as human war and conflict: If you are to prevail, you must know the mind of your adversary. Accordingly, if the current conflict with Russia over Ukraine and Crimea is to end peacefully, both sides must diligently strive to understand the minds and motivations of their opponents.
Sunday, March 9, 2014(4 comments)
How to Talk to a Climate Change Denier
More than ninety-eight percent of active climate scientists affirm man-made climate change? How might deniers respond? (1) a hoax? (2) a world-wide conspiracy? (3) scientific error? All three explanations are examined and refuted. All that remains is the fourth alterntive: anthropogenic climate change is a fact.
Friday, February 21, 2014(24 comments)
Debate Creationism vs. Evolution? Why Bother?
Earlier this month, Ken Ham, creator and curator of the Kentucky “creation museum,” invited Bill Nye, PBS’s “Science Guy,” to debate “origins,” which inevitably led to an contest between a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis (“young-earth creationism”) and evolution. It was, of course, a rout.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014(5 comments)
The Harder They Fall
Oderint Dum Metuant: "Let them hate you so long as they fear you.” Fear secures the rule of most despots. And when that fear erodes and hatred takes over, the despot is overthrown. Such is likely to be the fate of Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010(4 comments)
Property Rights and Public Accommodations
If one affirms, as both the liberals and the libertarians affirm, that we must respect the dignity of each individual and that each person's rights must be consistent with the equal rights of others, then it clearly follows that property rights are not absolute and that the public accommodation law of 1964 is correct.
Condition of the U.S. Media - Nolo Contendere
Unless and until the progressive left develops an effective media voice, there can be no restoration of American democracy, no return to political sanity, and no establishment of economic justice.
Friday, April 17, 2009(8 comments)
On Behalf of the Tea Bag Brigades: A Proposal
So here is my proposal: Make all tax payment voluntary. If all those April 15 "tea party" tax protesters find tax-paying so onerous, then they should be excused from paying taxes. The only provision is that if they do so, they are no longer entitled to the services that are supported by taxes. Seems only fair.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009(7 comments)
I suppose that I might be described as a "leftist." However, after more than a century of abusive propaganda that has been dumped on "the left," I can't say that I am comfortable with that label.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009(1 comments)
Take the Money and Run
If the Obama economic goals are to be met we, the public, must retrieve the cash that was effectively stolen from the public treasury. A bank robber does not gain legal possession of his loot. Neither should today's "robber barons," notwithstanding the fact that the theft was accomplished under the guise of quasi-legality.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008(5 comments)
Theory vs. Reality: Why Market Absolutism Fails
Today, more and more sophisticated observers of society and politics are wondering how "economic man," a creature bereft of sympathy, humanity, and noble aspiration, and "the perfect market," a "place" devoid of any social contacts more elevated than market transactions, ever came to be regarded by our political elites as the foundation of a just political order.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Act Two: The Struggle Continues
Is it time, at last, for the Obamaphiles to retire from politics, return to their private lives, and just let Barack be Barack? IF they do, then the drive to restore our Constitution and to reestablish economic justice and the rule of law will stall, and the "change we can believe in" will prove to be an empty promise.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008(16 comments)
Why Liberals are Not Libertarians
Liberal democracy and regulated capitalism is not perfect. But an anecdotal inventory of the shortcomings of public regulation of the environment does not, by itself, constitute a repudiation of the existing system. What is required is a clear and persuasive presentation of a better workable alternative. This the libertarians have not offered us.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008(3 comments)
A Man for the Season
Throughout the years, I have lamented the length of the American presidential campaigns. Not this time. It took the full twenty-two months for a majority of the public to comprehend and appreciate the measure of this remarkable man who is about to become our forty-fourth president.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008(7 comments)
Election 2008: Who Decides? -- The People or the Programmers?
Will the decision next Tuesday lie, not with 100-plus million voters, but instead with a few dozen programmers who write the secret software for the voting machines that will record some 30 percent of the votes, and also for the computers that compile (i.e., collect and report) 80 percent of the "official" election returns?
Wednesday, October 22, 2008(5 comments)
"Country First?" The Question of Loyalty
Millions of American citizens who identify themselves as "Republicans" are coping with a daunting question: "What is the primary object of my loyalty? My Party? My Country? My religious faith? My conscience?"
Wednesday, October 15, 2008(4 comments)
The Road to Catastrophe
The American public has been led along a road to economic ruin by three dogmas that are unsupported by the historical record, by empirical evidence, and by practical experience: social atomism, market fundamentalism, and spontaneous order. The essay closes with a list of policy proposals designed to lead the U.S. out of its present economic crisis.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008(15 comments)
Can the GOP Steal The Election Again? You Betcha!
The culprits who rigged the previous elections are fully aware that they might face hard time in the federal slammer if President Obama's Attorney General is ordered to investigate past elections. Thus they are acutely motivated to use their considerable resources to keep Obama out of the White House. It follows that if Obama-Biden are to win, they must win big.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The "Hero" Who Runs from the Battlefield
John McCain, the hero of the Hanoi Hilton, has shown himself to be a wimp even, dare I say it?, a coward. McCain attempted to bail out of a scheduled debate, and he sequesters his running mate in various "undisclosed locations" out of reach of the media. Imagine what Karl Rove might do with an opportunity like this!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008(15 comments)
In a Financial Crisis, Who Do You Call? The Democrats!
Three reasons why a good capitalist should support Barack Obama: (a) capitalism must once again be saved from itself by the restoration of government oversight and regulation; (b) a theocracy is anathema to the functioning of a modern, industrial economy; and (c) the Democratic candidates offer a vastly superior opportunity to restore America's stature in the global community.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008(9 comments)
Should We Believe the Polls?
If we are to believe the most recent public opinion polls, this has been a very bad week for the Obama/Biden ticket. But should we believe the most recent public opinion polls? Today's "dead heat" seems inconsistent with other statistics.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008(1 comments)
OmiGawd, Not Another Cold War! -- A Letter to My Friends in Russia
In 1989, the Russian scholar, Georgi Arbatov, wrote to The New York Times: "We have a secret weapon ... we will deprive America of The Enemy. And how [then will] you justify ... the military expenditures that bleed America white?" Sadly, it seems that we may at last have an answer to Arbatov's question: renew the Cold War.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008(20 comments)
The Fix Is In -- Again!
John McCain will probably be the next President because the ruling oligarchy can not allow a reformist Democrat to occupy the White House, and they have the means to prevent it. Issues, personalities, media blitzes are secondary and perhaps even irrelevant.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008(5 comments)
The Outsourcing Tragedy
The necessity of outsourcing is beyond the control of any single corporation's executives or board of directors. It is a thus a tragedy. As long as the dogma of market absolutism, the conviction that government is innately evil, and the legal requirement of fiduciary responsibility obtain, jobs will gravitate toward the individuals accepting the lowest wages, i.e., those abroad.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008(9 comments)
Evil as the Absence of Empathy
Absence of empathy the one characteristic that connects most of the immoral and misbegotten tenets of Bushism: that dogmatic mix of market absolutism, libertarianism, corporatism and simple greed that falsely describes itself as "conservatism."
Wednesday, June 25, 2008(4 comments)
"That's Just Your Opinion"
Political arguments are not created equal, and do not all have equal merit. Even less so, political rants and diatribes. There are many objective criteria with which an unbiased spectator might judge whether or not an argument is strong or weak, and whether a position is well or poorly defended. Here, briefly, are just a few such criteria.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008(4 comments)
There are no sellers without buyers. Thus, as the nation's wealth flows from the middle class to the super-rich, there is less disposable income to fuel the economy. Henry Ford saw the fallacy of such a policy when he raised the wages of his workers. "If I don't pay my workers well," he said, "who will buy my cars?"
Wednesday, June 4, 2008(1 comments)
A New Day Dawning
The good news is that we might conceivably avoid economic and environmental disaster. The far worse news is that we probably will not. There are just too many wealthy and powerful corporate interests invested in denial and in business as usual, and these interests control our government and our media. Nonetheless, here are a few policy proposals as if survival mattered.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
A Democrat campaigning for the White House must feel like a soldier advancing through a mine field. At any moment, he or she is one step away from being blown out of the contest. And the poor wretch is surrounded by a ravenous mob of media hounds, each of whom is eager set off the fatal charge.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008(6 comments)
Some Unsolicited Advice for Barack Obama
The American public is overwhelmingly behind you on the issues. However, you are opposed, not only by the Republican Party and its candidate, but also by the Justice Department's voter suppression efforts, the corporate media, and the voting machine industry. So, despite appearances to the contrary, yours is an uphill struggle.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008(1 comments)
Pity the Poor Mainstream Media!
It is very difficult for an old liberal like me to be sympathetic about the plight of the corporate media, given the way they have behaved of late. Here's a plan whereby an independent, internet-based, mass media might be financed, and eventually supplant the (so-called) "mainstream media."
Wednesday, April 30, 2008(8 comments)
According to Plan?
In an open and fair election, accurately reported, the Democrats would trounce John McCain in November. But the Democrats' likely nominee, Barack Obama, has little chance against the combined opposition of the Republican Party, the corporate media propaganda machine and the privatized election industry.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008(1 comments)
Adieu, Randi Rhodes
I will miss the Randi Rhodes show on Air America Radio. She is smart, sassy, witty, and she deftly stroked my political biases. But a typical RR show was like a feast of carnival junk food: enjoyable at the moment, but devoid of much nourishment.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008(4 comments)
Climate Reality Bites the Libertarians
Like Biblical literalism vs. modern biology and structural geology, the fundamental tenets of libertarianism are flatly incompatible with a scientific understanding of the causes of, and the remedies for, global warming. A libertarian who was somehow convinced of these causes and remedies would almost certainly have to give up his or her libertarianism.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008(1 comments)
Privatization: The Key to the Coming Solar Age
With the privatization of the Courts, the Congress, the Military, elections, and virtually of government itself, privatization of the sun, the wind, the tides, the ocean, would seem to be the logical next step. On the other hand, we might reconsider the dogma that privatization is the solution to all social, environmental and political problems.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008(2 comments)
The Monkey Trap, and Hillary Clinton's Blind Rush to Defeat
Hillary Clinton has essentially two options: hang on to her determination to win the nomination by any and all means necessary, which will almost certainly result in the election of John McCain, or let go of her personal ambition and join a united effort to elect a Democratic President in November. Winning both the nomination and the general election is apparently out of the question.
The Great Regression -- and the Road Back
I revisited an essay that I wrote in May, 2000. " Reading it was a sobering reminder of how much we Americans have lost, economically, politically, and morally, under the Bush/Cheney regime. Here is a re-write, in a much darker mood, of that essay, as a former celebration of the accomplishments of the American republic is transformed into a lamentation and a warning.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008(2 comments)
On Behalf of Barack
Ironically, the totality of attacks on Barack Obama might, on reflection, add up in his favor. For if these are the best that the opposition can come up with, this must be one fine candidate. With this consideration in mind, I examine what appears to be three of the more prominent criticisms of Obama: lack experience, "mere rhetoric," and plagiarism.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008(3 comments)
Let's Stifle the Happy Talk
The Democrat's optimism is built upon a foundation of demonstrably false assumptions, of which Democratic party officials and Democratic voters might be readily disabused, if they bothered to soberly reflect upon the most recent presidential elections and upon evidence that is plainly before them.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008(2 comments)
The Gulag Comes to America: The Don Siegelman Case
Every day that former Alabama governor Don Siegelman remains in prison, every American citizen who openly dissents from the policies and protests the criminality of the Bush/Cheney regime is less free and more vulnerable to politically motivated prosecution. For the plain fact of the matter is that Don Siegelman is, in effect, a political prisoner.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008(2 comments)
The Great American Election Charade
The United States is one of the few two-party nations in which one party gets to choose both its own candidate, and also the candidate of the "opposing" party. Well, OK, I exaggerate. But it's not much of a stretch to say that the GOP, with the help of its wholly-owned subsidiary, the mainstream media, has routinely exercised veto power over the Democratic Party's potentially strong opponents:
Wednesday, January 9, 2008(5 comments)
Kristolnicht: The Decline of the New York Times
Have you ever been betrayed by a old and trusted friend? If so, you might understand my rage at and disgust with The New York Times. While I gave up on the Times some time ago, I can't allow the latest outrage, the hiring of William Kristol as the newest Times columnist, to pass by without complaint.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007(3 comments)
About This "Mormonism" Thing
When Mitt Romney announced his intention to run for the Presidency of the United States, one might suppose that there was joy in Salt Lake City among the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I suspect that by now those leaders may be having some second thoughts.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007(4 comments)
The Unraveling, At Last?
Political rule remains stable only as long as centrifugal forces that would overthrow it are successfully resisted by centripetal forces that contain them. Last week may have marked the beginning of the downfall of Bushism the fatal loosening of the centripetal Bushevik grip as senior intelligence officials from sixteen federal agencies finally stood their ground against the Bush/Cheney regime.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Twenty-Twenty Hindsight, Blinded Foresight
The "Monday morning quarterback" is commonly disparaged for criticizing, with the advantage of hindsight, those whose earlier reports and predictions prove to be false. And yet, if reports and predictions that turn out to be false are not critically examined in retrospect, then, as Santayana warned, having failed to learn from history, we may be condemned to repeat it.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007(2 comments)
Privatized Hell Revisited
There are some principles and practices in our political order that are settled, once and for all, simply beyond rational dispute. No one is arguing for a hereditary monarch, with a "divine right" to rule over us. And almost no one has questioned the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin's establishment in Philadelphia in 1736, of the first municipal fire department in colonial America. Not until now.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007(7 comments)
The American People are Beginning to Get It.
Propaganda is a sprinter, but truth is a long-distance runner. And at last, the truth may be overtaking the propaganda and the lies. In the new edition of his riveting book, Fooled Again, Mark Crispin Miller describes a public groundswell that should have Bush, Cheney and the Busheviks very worried. Truth, having been ground to earth, is rising again.