A Brief and Cheery History of an American Future
Besides the entrenched power of the rich, powerful and well-armed, there's no reason we can't have the country we want and deserve. Steve Breyman daydreams about what that world might look like, and how it might come about.
Paris Climate Summit: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
World leaders gathered in Paris in December to replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol. What emerged is not even close to sufficient to prevent global catastrophe. The main culprits? Republicans in the US Senate who deny the scientific consensus about the causes and consequences of global warming. The clock is ticking, time is short. The simple truth: the world must do more faster.
Thursday, December 10, 2015(2 comments)
In and After Paris: A Climate Justice Agenda
The Paris climate change agreement will be a disappointment. But that's no reason for climate justice campaigners to despair. Here's what did and didn't happen in Paris, why it matters, and what comes next.
Being David Brooks: Onward, Christian Soldiers
David Brooks actually sympathizes with social conservatives bemoaning the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage. He then proposes a new culture war Christian conservatives might wage: on the "dysfunctions" of poor people ground down by corporate capitalism.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
What's Wrong with Cuomo's Energy Plan?
NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo's draft Energy Plan fails to face up to the urgent problems of global warming, health effects from air pollution, or the dangers of nuclear power. The Governor misses the opportunity to build a 21st century energy system, create tens of thousands of well-paying jobs, innovate green technology, or assist those displaced by a green energy transition. Howie Hawkins and Steve Breyman set him straight.
Inside the Fanciful World of Stratfor: Robert D. Kaplan's Geopolitical Bunkum
Robert D. Klaplan, "chief geopolitical analyst" for Stratfor, is a shill for American Empire. His recent tour of global political hotspots for Time magazine is full of bad history, obvious oversights, and banal observations. Kaplan's bunk matters, nonetheless, for it informs the people who manage American hegemony.
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Climate Change Messaging: Avoid the Truth
Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger present themselves as contrarian environmentalists. They're "so serious" about fighting climate change that they embrace nuclear power and fracking for natural gas. Perhaps even worse, they advise pulling punches about the connections between climate change and extreme weather in order enroll "conservatives" in the movement. As if that's ever going to happen.
Friday, February 14, 2014(2 comments)
Zen Over Zinn: Avoiding Unpleasant Truths with David Brooks
New York Times columnist David Brooks is a pseudo-intellectual soft right victim blaming reality dodger. His latest target that can't hit back? The American “precariat.” Steve Breyman cuts through Brooks’ truth avoidance and moralistic rubbish with the real story about the death for many Americans of the American Dream.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Governance as Sadomasochism: Obama from the IRS to the Associated Press
The Obama administration is sadomasochistic. It enjoys the pain inflicted on it by Republicans and the conservative media (see the controversy over the IRS and the Tea Party) so much, that it voluntarily ups the pain (see AG Holder's criminal investigation of the IRS). And it revels in meting out punishment to whistleblowers and civil servants caught doing their jobs.
Most Dangerous Waste of Your Tax Dollars This Year? The Case of the B61 Nuclear Bomb
Believe it or not, the Obama administration is planning yet more new and refurbished nuclear weapons. Among the most dangerous is the B61, a bomb designed decades ago to stop Soviet tank divisions from rampaging across Europe. Since the end of the Cold War, the two hundred B61 bombs stationed on US airbases in NATO Europe have had NO military mission. It's past time to dismantle them.
Monday, April 22, 2013(1 comments)
Obama v. EPA: Constructing His Environmental Legacy
Contrary to Margaret Thatcher's claim, alternatives abound. The Green Party is a good place to find a load of them. A Green EPA would confront the polluters, and privilege human and ecosystem health over corporate profits. This is especially clear in the case of Obama's proposed cleanup standards following a nuclear disaster. Think the government will protect you? Think again.
Why the War on Terror Endures: Spawning Terror Over There
The War on Terror spawns further terror. This is very clear from the Global Terrorism Index which reports that in 2011 the world witnessed four times the attacks it did in 2002. Why continue it? Because terrorism's victims today are almost exclusively non-Americans. Preventing their deaths is someone else's problem.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Crackpot Pragmatism: Richard Cohen and Torture
Even after the horrors of the War on Terror, Richard Cohen remains conflicted and confused about torture. Steve Breyman develops the concept of "crackpot pragmatism" to explain how this could be so.
Monday, January 28, 2013(3 comments)
The Times Does Gaza (Again): Oh, no you don't, Ismael Haniya
The New York Times does not like Hamas or its leaders, including Prime Minister Ismael Haniya. It shows in articles like that about the Malaysian Prime Minister's recent visit. Unsure whether it's a news article, news analysis, or op-ed, the piece is sure about how it feels about Haniya and Hamas.
David Brooks and the Politics of Moderation
David Brooks, the moderate conservative or conservative moderate columnist for the New York Times, aims to teach the presidential candidates, and the rest of us, about "moderates" in his October 25 column. He does so in his typical mode: myth making. Breyman strips away the myths, layer by layer, to reveal the vapidness at the heart of "moderation" in American politics today.
Why the Minimum Wage Shrinks
Had the federal minimum wage kept up with inflation, it would stand today at $10.55 rather than $7.25. What happened? Congress failed in its responsibility to protect and enhance the economic security of all Americans. And Big Business rewarded its CEOs and shareholders, but not its low wage employees.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012(3 comments)
When Will the New York Times Show Some Spine? Access Journalism at its Nadir
Quote approval signals a new low for the access journalism of the corporate media. Reporters are now on a very slippery slope, allowing their sources to play editor of their work. If the New York Times would swear off the practice, as have the National Journal and McClatchy's Washington Bureau, surely other media outlets would follow.
Cellulosic Fantasy: Ending Corn Ethanol Subsidies
Federal subsidies for corn ethanol are under attack. But federal subsidies for cellulosic ethanol (using corn and other "crop waste") are on the rise. While generally superior to corn-based ethanol, cellulosic ethanol fails a basis lesson from biology--it interrupts the carbon cycle.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011(5 comments)
Gay Marriage and History
Opponents of gay marriage will someday be seen as we today see past proponents of slavery in the US.
Condi Weighs In: The Politics of Self-Rehabilitation
Just when you thought it was safe to forget Condoleeza Rice, she's back with an op-ed about Hosni Mubarak and if he'd only listened to the Bush administration, he might have suffered as an unceremonious exit from office.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Congress: Study War Some More
Congress has failed in its constitutional war duties for decades. By use of the power of the purse alone might Congress regain its war powers from the Executive.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011(1 comments)
How to End US Reliance on Dictators
The Arab uprisings are happening despite not because of US foreign policy. Change will come when the US no longer supports despots or Israel, nor wields its values cynically.
The Return of Debtors' Prisons
Debtors' prisons were supposedly outlawed in the US in the 1830s. But if you're unable to throw bail in NYC today, you're likely to end up on Rikers Island (even for a nonviolent misdemeanor) waiting for trial.
Unfair you say? Tell it to the judge.