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I am an American investigative political journalist living in Sweden, and have lived in Sweden since July 1997. My work has appeared fairly widely, including in America's Christian Science Monitor, Spain's El Mundo, Sweden's Aftonbladet, Austria's Wiener Zeitung, and a number of other global media outlets. I personally believe the news media's role includes the protection of Democracy, providing a nation's citizens with the facts they require to genuinely appreciate the circumstances surrounding them.
I have been particularly fortunate in that sometimes it's been apparent my efforts have made a difference. Under the proper circumstances, the revelation of an untold truth can provide a powerful tool in the arsenal of Justice.
In 2002, Wikipedia highlights I broke the news on a Bush administration program to recruit more Americans to be 'citizen spies' than the notorious East German Stasi had. The program, Operation TIPS, was fortunately killed within the week by then House Majority Leader Dick Armey. Following this, I had the honor of having one of my articles read in its entirety on the floor of Congress, an article revealing a drift towards martial law and internment camps. The article - titled "Foundations are in place for martial law in the US" and published in Australia's Sydney Morning Herald - was written at a time when, in retrospect, many of the decisions then taken by the Administration have since been regretted, its 'torture questions' not least among them.
On a daily basis, headlines shout the many problems we face, with my seeing a key job for us all in sorting the news that's 'real' from those many items which only serve to effectively distract us from it. As ever larger numbers of us increasingly feel the weight of those many unanswered questions we have for too long carried, be assured that the necessary truths, the answers, are out there.
From my own experience, I am too well aware of the tremendous injustice that our present circumstances can hold, but simply complaining about things won't change them. We, the people, were once the rationale for the creation of that great democratic experiment called The United States of America, and there's no avoiding that what happens to our Country is indeed yet up to us.
UN Old Age Report: Sweden best! But what life do pensioners, the elderly, actually have?
In early October, a UN report on the aged found Sweden to be the world's best country to be elderly in. But, the reality is far from a pensioner's paradise, only this June it being reported that a third of Swedish pensioners are 'living below the poverty line', disturbing headlines highlighting what 'senior life at its best' has come to be about. But, if Sweden is indeed the 'world's best' for seniors...
Friday, October 11, 2013(4 comments)
Sweden: Roma, Racism, Denial, and a 'Dangerous Wind'
Recent revelations in Sweden have led to comparisons with the Nazi-era being printed in mainstream media, concerns over 'a dangerous xenophobic wind' further emphasizing questions of a disturbing societal malaise.
Monday, September 2, 2013(1 comments)
Sweden, Martin Luther King, and a letter to President Obama
On 4 September President Obama will be arriving in Sweden, a country where a recent headline read 'The country we called Sweden no longer exists'. However, reports upon discrimination and 'local corruption' do exist, and -- as an American that received asylum here in 2006 -- there seemed much to say in an open-letter to the President.
Some Vital History, Revisited - 'Welcome to the 1930s'
Hindsight is easy, but facing the reality one later discovers can be far different. It was a decade ago when I wrote an article described as a "chilling commentary upon the growth of contemporary fascism", with events that have since transpired arguably, and profoundly, emphasizing the issues then raised.
Friday, February 15, 2013(3 comments)
American empire, policing, and 'a corrosive madness'?
The shockwaves of Christopher Dorner's one-man war will be long felt... the questions in his 'manifesto', the questions of 'extrajudicial killing' and his fiery end. But, as significant as such questions are, what of the context from which they've emerged, and what really is the 'State of the Union'?
Wednesday, January 16, 2013(4 comments)
Aaron Swartz, Activism, and the 'Rewards of Courage'?
The circumstances surrounding recent revelations upon Occupy highlight what some see as the 'criminalization' of political efforts. It's too late to stop the tragedy of Aaron Swartz, but what has been happening, what does it mean?
Monday, January 7, 2013(7 comments)
Politics, the US and Sweden, and a 'Laboratory for Rightwing Radicalism'
What if political tactics that were tried and tested abroad were perhaps arguably to be used by the GOP in its efforts with Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid? And what if Republican strategist Karl Rove were to have a link to some folks abroad, folks that might possibly be perceived by some as having been using such tactics?
Saturday, December 8, 2012(14 comments)
Refugees In Sweden...Frozen? Frozen Out?
While Sweden is frozen in winter's grip, 'record breaking' cold and blizzards just having made headlines here, a group of refugees was found to have been enduring the season without winter clothes, sockless and in flip-flops.
New York City Subways: Do you believe in Magic?
Within days of Superstorm Sandy, New York's subways were again running, as if by 'Magic', this despite Bloomerg News' early report that "New York Subway System Faces Weeks to Recover From Storm". The Bloomberg article's prediction cited safety concerns as limiting the subway recovery's pace, and experience often has shown that if something seems too good to be true, it usually is.
Report: A tale of two very different Swedens
Sweden is increasingly being seen as a model by the political Right in the US and the UK. Sweden already has a voucher system for education and healthcare, but it also has the anger of those many Swedes that feel increasingly pressed by the shortcomings of such programs. Of course, when many are angry they look for someone to blame, 'outsiders' making the easiest targets...and more than Julian Assange have had problems here.
Greek Election: the limitations of today's 'Democracy' and the feeding of Fascism?
There's an old slogan, 'If elections could change things, they'd be illegal.' With so-called austerity and economic reform, the malignant climate created has only succeeded in nourishing a far-right renaissance and growing hardship. Democracy and politics have been redefined, the meaning of 'social justice' along with them. If Democracy is to survive, it won't be in a society of the people, but by and for an elite.
Occupy Evictions: Has War Been Declared?
There have been brutal police attacks on Occupy protesters in New York, Seattle, UC Davis, and elsewhere. Has a 'war on dissent' truly been declared, one where Occupy is allegedly 'the enemy'? Recalling the 1970 shooting deaths of four student protesters by the National Guard at Ohio's Kent State University, the Kent State Massacre, today do we increasingly face the question of 'how far will our government's violence go?'
Sunday, November 13, 2011(8 comments)
Cities' Occupy Evictions A 'Set-Up'?
It's reported that the Occupy evictions were 'coordinated' through conference calls by city mayors, questions of who organized these calls remaining. What's also known is that 'the troubled' were encouraged by authorities to join Occupy, with many seizing upon the outcome of this as the 'manufactured pretext' for the recent nationwide sweeps.
Occupy, The 'Battles Of Oakland', And The Face Of US Police Abuse
We have seen the current 'Battle of Oakland', but this wasn't the first such 'battle' the City's police have waged on peaceful protesters. In a democratic society, one would hope it's 'a crime' if those exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to dissent become targeted as 'the enemy', effective 'war' waged upon them.
Friday, October 14, 2011(3 comments)
Occupy Wall Street and the 'Crime' of Non-violent Dissent
Recent police action against Occupy participants has demonstrated that too many view legitimate, non-violent dissent as effectively criminal. The implications of that, and a video window on such justice questions, emphasize the imperatives before us, the vital need for change that we face.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Sweden: Living with the far-right
Sweden has long been a model for good governance globally, but today a party with widely known neo-Nazi roots is in Parliament. Perhaps more telling still, only the week of August 8th headlines revealed that a young boy's parents had reported a swastika tatoo was found enclosed in their child's "fast-food meal". And I have personally witnessed events that I can only describe as defying belief.
Monday, December 27, 2010(6 comments)
'It's a wonderful life', or is it really?
In recent decades, America has changed, and not for the better. Many of our once seemingly endless reasons for boundless optimism and national pride have been taken from us, the question being how to secure their return.
Friday, July 16, 2010(17 comments)
POLICE ABUSE: BLAME THE VICTIMS! IT'S REASSURING
Police abuse is a crime not that dissimilar to rape, a nightmarish violation of ones person at the heart of both. Victims of both also face a certain 'stigma', not to mention difficulties in seeking justice. Worse still, in both crimes victims themselves are too often blamed. But for those who believe it madness to 'blame the victims', the psychology in play suggests you're right.