I have 134 fans: Become a Fan. You'll get emails whenever I post articles on OpEdNews
David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online activist organization http://rootsaction.org
Can Architecture Fix Our Health, Minds, Societies, Environment?
Of all the factors that impact our lives in major ways, with ripple effects into all corners of human existence, the question of how we build our built environment receives impressively little attention. We're far more likely to hear what can be done with sleep, diet, switching to a civilized healthcare system, emphasizing education rather than incarceration, creating a sustainable local economy, et al.
Petition asks Charlottesville to keep weapons out of rallies
A new petition, signed by over 8,000 people and just sent to Charlottesville's City Council, asks Charlottesville to keep weapons out of rallies. The petition reads: "Make clear that in permits for any rallies in public spaces in Charlottesville, guns, knives, and sticks shall not be allowed."
Sunday, October 15, 2017(3 comments)
My letter to Larry Flynt on Trump Impeachment
Your grounds for impeachment #s 2 through 6 (plus that of the paragraph that follows them) are already documented by overwhelming, incontrovertible evidence. What is required is to recognize that and to remove from the list the impediment of the ground you have placed as #1 which helps create the illusion of requiring more information.
Friday, October 13, 2017(2 comments)
The Secure, the Dispossessed, and the Mentally Deranged Dotards
In The Secure and the Dispossessed, Nick Buxton and Ben Hayes have collected an unflinching survey of a species gone mad. The book's subtitle is "How the Military and Corporations Are Shaping a Climate-Changed World." In short, the Authoritarian Exceptionalist Military Corporate Complex is flamboyantly recognizing the hole it is in, and exponentially increasing the rate of digging, while hiring PR firms to redefine "digging."
Thursday, October 12, 2017(1 comments)
What About Weinstein's Public Offenses?
Harvey Weinstein, I've just read, is "the disgraced Pulp Fiction producer." But isn't someone who encourages millions of people to think of murder and torture as super cool and fun already pre-disgraced? Doesn't he arrive in the locked office with the actress cowering in the corner already publicly disgraced and intent on disgracing himself in private?
Slim Pickings for Charlottesville City Council
Thus far I'm underwhelmed by the candidates seeking to join Charlottesville's City Council this year, as well as, of course, by the current members. In the wake of the fascist rallies, the electoral system does not seem to be responding particularly well.
People Don't Kill People, Americans Kill People
Yes, of course, every day that Congress goes on refusing to ban guns is more blood on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. It's immoral, disgraceful, embarrassing, and in large part a function of financial corruption. But it's also in part a government operating within a culture of violence -- albeit one that the same government plays a huge role in creating.
Monday, October 2, 2017
What's North Korea Afraid of?
"Peace" clubs in U.S. schools are likely to teach that a local bully is afraid and in need of help. They are much less likely to teach that about entities involved in the actual subject of peace (meaning the absence of war), such as -- to take the example momentarily most prominent in U.S. propaganda -- North Korea.
Monday, October 2, 2017(2 comments)
I just won a TED Talks Open Mic -- here's my 4-minute talk
On Oct 2, 2017, 20 of us gave 4-minute TED talks in Charlottesville and I won, allowing me to give a TED talk at the upcoming November 3, 2017, event at Charlottesville's Paramount Theater. This was my 4-minute talk on "Why End War." #TedXCville
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Armistice Day 99 Years On and the Need for a Peace to End All Wars
November 11 is Armistice Day / Remembrance Day. Ninety-nine years ago, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, fighting ceased in the "war to end all wars." People went on killing and dying right up until the pre-designated moment, impacting nothing other than our understanding of the stupidity of war.
Take a Knee for Freedom of Religion
In the United States, what puts you at the greatest risk of unpleasant repercussions is not the practicing of any particular religion, with the possible exception of Islam or anything that people might mistake for Islam. What the most factors conspire to compel you to in the United States is this: flag worship.
Welcome to No War 2017: War and the Environment
Welcome to No War 2017: War and the Environment. Thank you all for being here. I'm David Swanson. I'm going to speak briefly and introduce Tim DeChristopher and Jill Stein to also speak briefly. We hope to also have time for some questions as we hope to have in every part of this conference.
Monday, September 18, 2017(5 comments)
The Best Speech Yet From Any U.S. President
In planning an upcoming conference aimed at challenging the institution of war, to be held at American University September 22-24, I can't help but be drawn to the speech a U.S. president gave at American University a little more than 50 years ago. Whether or not you agree with me that this is the best speech ever given by a U.S. president, there should be little dispute that it is the speech most out of step with what anyone
Saturday, September 16, 2017(5 comments)
Pull Down That Statue of the U.S. Constitution
The U.S. Constitution, along with the Declaration of Independence, has a whole marble building dedicated to its worship: the National Archives in D.C., plus the Constitution Center in Philadelphia. It's generally taught in U.S. schools as something in the past, not something to be improved upon -- hardly even to be questioned.
What It Would Take to End Racism and War
I drove up here from where I live in Charlottesville, a town lately overrun by Nazis and other racists from around the country come to defend a giant heroic statue of Robert E. Lee on a horse that stands in the middle of town, as well as a similar one nearby of Stonewall Jackson. Those statues are now covered with giant black tarps but remain standing.
Raise your hand if you know why they remain standing.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017(4 comments)
How Outlawing War Changed the World in 1928
I have learned a great deal from this phenomenal book, easily the best book I've read in years. I could write an essay about each of its over 400 pages. While I agree with a great deal of it and strongly disagree with certain parts, the two are easily separable. The brilliant sections are no less valuable because of those sections that fall short.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017(2 comments)
The Gathering to Abolish War
Sixteen years of endless wars, endless spending, endless killing, endless dying, endless environmental destruction, endless erosion of our rights, endless suppression of activism, endless militarization of police, endless promotion of bigotry and hatred, endless generation of hatred and terrorism, endless threats of nuclear apocalypse.
Can we make it end now?
Sunday, September 10, 2017(3 comments)
The Conference to Save the Environment
To my knowledge, and I very, very much hope I am wrong, this upcoming conference will be the very first environmental conference in the United States to take on the single gravest threat to the world's natural environment and to the natural environment right here within the United States. May many more conferences and actions follow!
Stop Allowing YOUR Emperor to Threaten Nuclear Apocalypse
North Korea is open to reasonable negotiations. The United States, as embodied in the buffoon whom we have allowed to hold more power than any royal monarch has ever known, would prefer armageddon to reasonable negotiations.
These are not speculations.
Monday, September 4, 2017
Conference to Bring Together Environmental and Peace Movements
Speakers will include: Medea Benjamin, Nadine Bloch, Max Blumenthal, Natalia Cardona, Suzanne Cole, Alice Day, Lincoln Day, Tim DeChristopher, Dale Dewar, Pat Elder, Bruce Gagnon, Philip Giraldi, Will Griffin, Seymour Hersh, Tony Jenkins, Larry Johnson, Kathy Kelly, Jonathan King, Lindsay Koshgarian, Peter Kuznick, James Marc Leas, Annie Machon, Ray McGovern, Rev Lukata Mjumbe, Elizabeth Murray, Anthony Rogers-Wright . . .
Wednesday, August 30, 2017(2 comments)
Charlottesville's Past That Isn't Even
Here in Charlottesville, Virginia, I like to point out that the rallies of racists are mostly imported from out of state. It's tempting to relax comfortably on that assertion, and to reflect on how our great lord and master Thomas Jefferson owned people with more reluctance and inner turmoil than Barack Obama bombing a foreign country or Donald Trump mouthing kind or coherent phrases from a teleprompter.
No War 2017: War and the Environment
Just following the International Day of Peace, and in the tradition of No War 2016: Real Security Without Terrorism, and the best speech any U.S. president ever gave, this year's conference will focus on activism, including activist planning workshops, addressing how the antiwar and environmental movements can work together.
The people of Durham , N.C., have the right idea. Not only have they taken down a Confederate war statue themselves, but they've lined up en masse to turn themselves in for that crime, overwhelming the so-called justice system.
How War Pollutes the Potomac River
The Pentagon's impact on the river on whose bank it sits is not simply the diffuse impact of global warming and rising oceans contributed to by the U.S. military's massive oil consumption. The U.S. military also directly poisons the Potomac River in more ways than almost anyone would imagine.
I've spoken on television and to large crowds and to important big shots, but here you are asking me to speak to hundreds of thousands of ghosts and billions of ghosts in waiting.
Saturday, August 5, 2017
Getting to Peace Through Local Governments
A school board member in Virginia once agreed to support creating a celebration of the International Day of Peace but said he would do so only as long as no one would misunderstand and get the idea that he was opposed to any wars.
Saturday, August 5, 2017(4 comments)
You Cannot Begin a Crime in Good Faith
When Ken Burns begins a documentary on the American war on Vietnam by calling it a war begun in good faith we should be able to recognize a lie and an impossibility. We don't imagine rapes begun in good faith, slavery begun in good faith, child abuse begun in good faith. If someone tells you a war was begun in good faith, make a good faith effort to destroy your television.
Friday, August 4, 2017
Prosecuting Famine Creation
I was asked to speak about prosecuting weapons dealers and war makers with a focus on Saudi Arabia. There are, I think, many ways that one could go about that. I say this as a non-lawyer, with certain perverse preferences that lawyers generally don't share.
Why and How to Bring Environmental and Peace Movements Together
If war were moral, legal, defensive, beneficial to the spread of freedom, and inexpensive, we would be obliged to make abolishing it our top priority solely because of the destruction that war and preparations for war do as the leading polluters of our natural environment.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017(2 comments)
What's Missing from Dunkirk Film
Yes, I'm going to tell you what's missing from this film without watching the film. Trump has, as promised, made me so sick of winning that I really could enjoy watching a defeat film, but I think I'll pass. If I'm wrong about what's missing from it (I mean one of the many things that are, no doubt, missing from it), I promise that I will eat an entire plan for victory in Afghanistan annually for the next decade.
Ethics of Not Ruining Everything
Today I listened to the audio book of Entangled Empathy: An Alternative Ethic for Our Relationship With Animals by Lori Gruen while reading the hardcopy of From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds by Daniel Dennett.
De-Authorize the Use of Military Force
Last Thursday the U.S. House Appropriations Committee unanimously passed an amendment that would -- if passed by the full Congress -- repeal, after an 8-month delay, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed by Congress just after September 11, 2001, and used as a justification for wars ever since.
Friday, July 7, 2017(1 comments)
Silicon Oligarchs Should Save Themselves, Not Us
To get a sense of what computer geek robber barons would make of the world and are making of the world, pick up a copy of The Know It Alls: The Rise of Silicon Valley as a Powerhouse and Social Wrecking Ball by Noam Cohen.
Friday, July 7, 2017(3 comments)
122 Nations Create Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons
On Friday the United Nations concluded the creation of the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty in over 20 years, and the first treaty ever to ban all nuclear weapons. While 122 nations voted yes, the Netherlands voted no, Singapore abstained, and numerous nations didn't show up at all.
Crackpot Criminality From Abu Through Zubaydah
John Kiriakou led the CIA operation that arrested, or rather, kidnapped without charge, Abu Zubaydah. Joseph Hickman helped imprison Abu Zubaydah as a guard at Guantanamo and was later the lead researcher for Zubaydah's habeas defense team.
Here are some highlights of a tale of crackpot criminality recounted by Hickman and Kiriakou in their jointly authored new book, The Convenient Terrorist:
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Against Ignoring the KKK
When a small number of heavily armed Ku Klux Klanners from North Carolina are given vast amounts of media attention for holding a rally here in Charlottesville, Va., on July 8th, I believe people opposed to violence and racism should go nowhere near them but in no way ignore them.