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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 .
(24 comments) SHARE Friday, February 21, 2014 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.
(15 comments) SHARE Monday, July 7, 2014 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.
(20 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 13, 2008 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.
(15 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 8, 2008 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.
(5 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 22, 2008 "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?"
(19 comments) SHARE Friday, March 6, 2015 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.
(27 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 9, 2017 An Open Letter to Rachel Maddow
The Russian people do not take kindly to hostile foreign interference. When threatened from abroad, they, like us, typically unite behind their leader, even a ruthless tyrant like Josef Stalin. You are doing the Russian people no favor by providing Putin with a foreign villain. Your brand of relentless propaganda only serves to tighten Putin's grip on Russia.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 5, 2006 In 2006, Voting Fraud is the Keystone Issue
The significance of the election fraud issue can not be overstated. The fate of our republic turns on how this issue is dealt with and resolved in the coming year.
(5 comments) SHARE Wednesday, December 17, 2008 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.
(9 comments) SHARE Wednesday, September 17, 2008 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.
(4 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 9, 2014 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.
(39 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 30, 2017 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.
(12 comments) SHARE Monday, October 16, 2017 "WE ARE AT WAR!" Oh, Really? Some Questions
As the American media pumps up its Russophobic rhretoric, escalating the status of the Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation from "rival" to "adversary" to "enemy, " and the crisis from "rivalry" to "The equivalent of war," finally to (unqualified) "war," numerous urgent questions arise. These questions are, for the most part, ignored by our mainstream media.
(5 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 11, 2014 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.
(13 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 16, 2017 Why Should We Trust the Scientists?
Why should we give more credence to the conclusion of 97% of thousands of climate scientists, than we give to Sen. Inhof's snowball or the Heartland Institute's sophistries? And why should we believe evolution rather than Genesis? Isn't evolution "just a theory"? Why shouldn't we regard science a "just another dogma? That is the guiding question of this essay.
(7 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 29, 2008 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?
(13 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 6, 2017 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?
(5 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 12, 2017 In the Throes of a National Hissy-Fit
True or false, the "Putin hacking the Democrats" charge has evolved from an unsupported accusation to an unchallenged dogma -- a "cognitive fram
(16 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 19, 2008 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.
(9 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 23, 2008 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."
(8 comments) SHARE Friday, April 17, 2009 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.
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 18, 2008 Reverse Henry-Fordism
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?"
(7 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 5, 2016 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.
SHARE Monday, November 14, 2016 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.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, June 16, 2006 Where are our Heroes Today>
... men and women of moral vision, extraordinary courage and unyielding integrity, who will put their careers, their freedom and even their very lives on the line in order to put a halt to descent of the United States into despotism? Where is our Mohandas Gandhi, our Nelson Mandela, our Martin Luther King, Jr., our Andrei Sakharov?
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 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.
(15 comments) SHARE Wednesday, September 24, 2008 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.
(5 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 6, 2008 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.
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, October 1, 2017 Unwrapping The Russia Enigma
There is not "a" Russia issue. There are several separate "Russia Issues." In other words, "it's complicated."
The American public does not like complications. It wants simplicity. Unfortunately, the mainstream media is much too willing to accommodate the public. In the following, I will discuss four of these issues, which can not be appropriately addressed unless they are dealt with separately
(7 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 16, 2014 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.
(7 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 1, 2009 "The Left"
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.
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, December 12, 2007 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.
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, November 6, 2016 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.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, September 3, 2008 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.
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 28, 2010 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.
SHARE 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!
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 20, 2007 Market Failure: The Back of the Invisible Hand
A "market failure" is a socially undesirable consequence of an unconstrained and unregulated free market. Almost all of us are aware of market failures, whether or not we have ever studied economics. But regressive politicians and "scholars" who work for The Heritage Foundation, The American Enterprise Institute, The Cato Institute, etc. somehow manage to completely forget about "market failures."
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 15, 2008 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.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 7, 2006 Debunking the Debunker
Farhad Manjoos critique, in Salon.com, of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Rolling Stone article was a pathetically weak piece of work which, due to its flaws, only serves to strengthen the case of its target. Here is a detailed critical analysis of Manjoo and, by implication, a defense of Kennedy.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 25, 2016 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.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 12, 2008 My Encounter with William F. Buckley, Jr. -- With Some Reflections on his Legacy.
Some forty years ago, I interviewed the late William F. Buckley, Jr. although I had to bribe him to agree. But it wasn't so bad. I bribed him for a song or more precisely, for a couple of Bach lute pieces. Here are some impressions of Buckley, and an assessment of the impact of his "conservatism" on American politics.
SHARE 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.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 16, 2008 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.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 12, 2008 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.
(5 comments) SHARE Tuesday, January 21, 2014 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.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 6, 2010 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.
SHARE Tuesday, January 16, 2007 Mainstream Media to Bloggers: Bug Off.
While the mainstream media is quick to blame the internet and the public for its declining relevance, it has scarcely a word to say about the primary cause of its troubles: namely, the mainstream media. The MSM is being undone by the convergence of three factors: people have memories, the advent of Google, and the permanence of the printed word.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 3, 2009 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.
(6 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 14, 2006 The Scorpion, The Frog, and the Corporation
Corporations strive to maximize the returns on the investments of their stockholders. Unfortunately, if corporations are unconstrained by law or regulation, they can, by simply "doing what they do," suck the life out of the economy that sustains them.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, January 30, 2008 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.
(5 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 15, 2007 We've Seen All This Before
If Bush and Cheney decide to attack Iran, and thus bring about the collapse of the American economy and perhaps the onset of another world war, we can't say that we were not forewarned. If not by the mainstream media, then by the few remaining voices of sanity in the press, the internet, and the international media. And by history.
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 9, 2008 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.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 21, 2007 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.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 16, 2007 Liberals and Libertarians
Libertarianism, once a fascinating intellectual diversion and challenge, has become a menace in this new century. Proving libertarianism wrong and immoral is not difficult. However, removing the libertarians from power and repairing the damage that they have caused, will be horrendously difficult. And there is no guarantee that these efforts will succeed.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 4, 2008 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.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, December 13, 2005 Dear Howard Dean: Why Bother?
Republicans build the voting machines, write the secret software, and compile the totals. And so, when the Democrats ask me for a contribution I must reply: Whats the point? Its already been settled! What remains is an empty charade.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 11, 2007 "Do You Believe in God?"
Given the extraordinary political influence of fundamentalist, literal Bible-believing, science-rejecting Christians, it might well be worth our while to explore what a belief in God might mean for the ninety percent of Americans who affirm that belief, and particularly the fifty percent whose faith in God and the Bible is "fundamental."
SHARE Thursday, December 22, 2005 As the Year Ends, Some Silver Linings
The American people have endured a terrible year. And yet, the republic survives, albeit in critical condition. Recovery is possible, though by no means assured. For at long last, a few of our battered institutions are pushing back.
(8 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 24, 2007 TO: The Free World FROM: The American People RE: HELP!
In the two world wars of the past century, the United States came to the rescue of free nations abroad (in addition to few nations that were not free). It is time now for "The Free World" to return the favors. For the simple and sad fact is that the government of the United States no longer rules "with the consent of the governed," as stipulated in its founding document, the Declaration of Independence.
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 25, 2008 "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.
(5 comments) SHARE Monday, May 1, 2006 The 9/11 Conspiracy: A Skeptic's View
An examination of both the "official version" and some "conspiracy theories" of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, finds serious shortcomings in both accounts. Best to withhold a decision and demand further investigation. However, the official version of the attack on the Pentagon appears to be conclusive.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 15, 2006 The Right and the Left, in a Nutshell
A sketch of regressivism, the political dogma that now controls our country, and of the contrasting doctrines of progressivism, the political-economic ideology that distinguished and honored our past, and if we are both determined and fortunate, may once again guide and enrich our national future.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 5, 2006 The Dark Night Descends
All that stands now between the dissenting citizen and arbitrary and indefinite detention is George Bush's discretion, good judgment, and sense of fair play. And as we all know, none of these virtues are, to say the least, conspicuous in Bush's behavior. The "Military Commissions Act," passed by Congress last week, is a huge step on the road to despotism.
SHARE Wednesday, May 2, 2007 On the Morality of Science
"Scientific morality" is widely regarded as an oxymoron, since it is commonly believed that science is "value neutral." But as an activity, science is steeped in evaluation, for the methodology that yields these "value-free" statements, requires a discipline and a commitment that to merits the name of "morality."
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 21, 2007 Valerie Plame and the Incredible Shrinking Cover Story
Like mariners stranded on an iceberg adrift in the Gulf Stream, the Bush apologists have less and less to cling to as, with time, the refuting testimony and evidence accumulate. It has now come to the point that pro-Bush apologetics are so pathetically lame and absurd that their defenses serve only to strengthen the case against the Busheviks.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 7, 2008 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."
(7 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 11, 2007 Judicial Tyranny
Is there no limit to the power of the Supreme Court to enact law from the bench? Does the Constitution simply mean what the Supreme Court says it means? Apparently the framers of the Constitution couldn't imagine a time when the Supreme Court itself might become an outlaw, and thus they provided us with no remedy. Such a time is upon us now, soon to be followed by a desperate search for a remedy.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, December 19, 2007 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.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 2, 2008 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.
SHARE Thursday, December 8, 2005 A Moral Philosophy for Progressives
Moral absolutism, whether religious or secular, is worse than undesirable, it is incoherent and unworkable. Here is a sketch of a progressive ethic that affirms moral values, and promotes virtue and justice.
SHARE Wednesday, October 10, 2007 Global Engineering and Climate Change
While I am reluctant to fiddle with the planetary life-support system, we might not have a choice. For we have already significantly "engineered the planet." If the global climate is heading for catastrophic warming and sea-level rise, drastic action may be required to deliberately stitch-up what mankind has carelessly unraveled in the past two centuries of industrialization and energy abundance.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 7, 2007 The California Wildfires, and Right-Wing Smoke
What is a tried-and-true southern California "conservative" Republican to do when a hundred-foot wall of flames comes roaring up the slope toward his private home? Boldly stand his ground, garden hose in hand? Or does he step aside and allow "big government" professionals, paid and equipped by his taxes, to do their job?
SHARE Friday, January 13, 2006 The Erosion of Trust
Today, when we desperately need to trust our government, trust, that essential moral resource has, like the federal surplus, been squandered to serve private greed and ambition.
SHARE Wednesday, September 12, 2007 Jose Padilla's Fate -- and Ours
The treatment of Jose Padilla, an American citizen, following his initial arrest in June, 2002, was totally alien to the American legal system. It was more in tune with Nazi and Soviet practice with the treatment of Winston Smith in George Orwell's 1984, and of Rubashov in Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon.
(8 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 30, 2008 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.
(8 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 30, 2006 The Democrats: Missing in Action
One begins to wonder if the Democratic Party really wants to win in November. If they keep on behaving as they have, and if conditions remain essentially as they are now, they wont win. The Republicans will have a lock on that election. The good news is that conditions will not remain essentially as they are now.
SHARE Thursday, June 1, 2006 Swords into Plowshares
The defeat of Soviet Communism did not result in a peace dividend. Instead it led to a desperate search for a new enemy to justify a continuation of the Military-Industrial -(Political-Academic-Media) complex. Then Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and Islamo-Fascism obligingly stepped forward to fill this role.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 23, 2007 Is the Public Finally Beginning to "Get it?"
Propaganda is a sprinter, while truth is a long-distance runner. At long last, the GOP/Bushevik/media propaganda machine has shot its bolt. Too many lies. Too many unfulfilled promises. Too much spin. Too much contradiction and backtracking. Too much whistle-blowing. Too many ordinary citizens with memories of the lies. Too many other citizens reminded of the lies. Credibility, once lost, can not be regained.
SHARE Wednesday, April 12, 2006 Newspeak and the Corruption of Politics
In the game of politics, the party which controls the language, controls the contest. The George Orwell knew this. The Republicans know this. So why dont the Democrats know this?
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 25, 2007 Touch Football and Television
I belong to the last generation to experience childhood without television. And I have often wondered what was lost when the children of that generation deserted the playgrounds and moved inside to watch the tube.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, December 6, 2006 A Window of Opportunity
If the Democrats and their liberal and progressive supporters treat the election as a battle won in an ongoing war, they may eventually prevail. If they come to believe that with this election, they have won the war and thus quit the fight, they will lose it.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, September 26, 2006 A Gathering Storm
As the criminal behavior of the Bush administration becomes ever more brazen and the international trust in and reputation of the United States continue to plunge to unprecedented depths, a formidable opposition is beginning to coalesce. Today, the various factions of this opposition are separate and uncoordinated, but that could suddenly change
SHARE Wednesday, May 10, 2006 A Perfect Storm
A perfect storm occurs when several weather conditions converge and combine at a particular time and place, with catastrophic results. Analogously, a perfect political storm may now be gathering over the Bush Administration, with each element intensifying the effects of the others.
(6 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 14, 2008 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.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 31, 2006 All the News that Fits the Bush Agenda
It is difficult to understand how anyone with even a modicum of critical intelligence, can still believe the right-wing complaint that the mainstream media (MSM) "has a liberal bias." Evidence to the contrary is overwhelming, and new evidence appears almost daily.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 5, 2008 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.
(6 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 26, 2006 Why Won't the Progressives Get Their Act Together
The regressive right has shown us how a determined, wealthy and privileged minority can gain political power and maintain it. They planned for a long haul, and the last six years have been payoff time. The progressive majority has talent and resources. So where is the action? Where is the rebuttal to what David Brock calls "the Republican noise m
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, February 24, 2006 Perception is Reality
Predictions in politics rest upon two assumptions: (a) that present trends will continue into the future, and (b) that there will be no totally unexpected surprises. Both assumptions are rarely true
(5 comments) SHARE Wednesday, January 9, 2008 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.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 10, 2006 A New Coalition?
The Democrats are almost certainly heading for another huge disappointment in November. Because of their control of the votes, the GOP will win, regardless of the will of the voters. Might a coalition of Democrats and Moderate Republicans accomplish what the voters are forbidden: an overthrow of the Bush regime?
(5 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 13, 2007 The Delinquent Congress
The institution best situated to put an end to the crimes of the Bush Administration and to hold the criminals accountable to the rule of law is the Congress of the United States. The Democratic Congressional leadership (with a few honorable exceptions) has failed the American public and has violated its oath to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, February 27, 2008 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.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, July 1, 2006 What About the Russians? Personal Encounters
Reflections on a decade of excursions to Russia. Encountering "a people" as an abstraction, and as individual persons. What the Russians might teach us about freedom and democracy.
SHARE Wednesday, October 18, 2006 Reflections on the Eve of Another Rigged Election
The Bush administration can not allow the Democrats to take control of either house of Congress. And they are in a position to prevent it, regardless of the will of the American voters. These are the two controlling facts that make all other conditions of the coming election trivial in comparison, or even irrelevant.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 30, 2005 Through a Glass, Darkly
One-third of the American public believes the Bible to be "the inerrant word of God," a statistic that astonishes and bewilders the civilized world. Such widespread beliefs threaten the United States leadership in science and technology.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 19, 2008 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.
SHARE 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.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, February 13, 2008 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.
SHARE Wednesday, November 15, 2006 And Now What?
Why, if the Rove gang could have fixed this election, didn't they do it? Because this time it was just too risky. One can pull a scam only a few times before the "marks" (i.e. the public) get suspicious, then angry. That's why confidence men move on from town to town. Perhaps this time, despite the blackout of election fraud coverage in the mainstream media, the public was getting suspicious.
(7 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 7, 2007 Oh What a Lovely (Cold) War
Vladimir Putin recently gave a speech strongly critical of United States foreign and military policies. The speech drew an immediate and harsh reaction from the U.S. media. However, a careful reading of Putin's presentation, considered alongside neo-conservative policy and Bush Administration practice, suggests that the Russian President's complaints might have some justification.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 9, 2006 An Appearance of Guilt
Perhaps the new electronic voting technology is as honest and reliable as the private election industry and the winning candidates tell us it is. However, they simply do not behave as if this were the case.
(5 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 14, 2007 Impeachment: Winning by Losing
Democrats and other Bush critics pay little attention to the potential benefits of an unsuccessful impeachment. These benefits include the uncovering and publicizing of the Bushevik crimes and the consequent educating of the public. This would, in turn, lead to the discrediting of the mainstream media and the devastation of the Republican Party, resulting in a Democratic landslide in the next election.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, January 16, 2008 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:
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 29, 2007 An Ominous Complacency
Advice for the Democrats: Wake Up! Take Stock! Learn from past mistakes and vow not to repeat them. Learn from the successes of the opposition, and adapt them, not slavishly, but creatively. Apply "political judo:" identify the strengths of the opposition, and use them to advantage. Take the offensive, and never yield it!
SHARE Sunday, August 28, 2005 Bombs in the Basement
The Bush regime has reason to be nervous. For its continuing success depends totally on the publics inattention to, apathy toward, and even ignorance of several potentially explosive issues.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 25, 2007 A Republic, If We Can Keep It
Don't bet your freedom and our republic on the comforting assumption that election 2008 will take place as scheduled. The Busheviks have too much to lose if the Democrats take over. Be prepared for a desperate grab for permanent, dictatorial power aimed, among other things, at protecting the corporatocracy, the acquired wealth, and the freedom from prosecution of those now in power.
SHARE Wednesday, December 13, 2006 The Public Interest and the the Limits of Volunteerism.
Libertarians often tell us that personal voluntary restraint and charitable contributions are morally preferable solutions to social problems than government coercion and taxation. To be sure, personal self-control and charity are virtues, while political coercion and taxation are not. The trouble is, in numerous and significant instances, volunteerism doesn't work.
(7 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 14, 2007 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.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 3, 2007 Dissent: What's in it for You?
The question, "what's in it for you?" is fundamentally misguided, for it presupposes that the bloggers' dissent is selfishly motivated. It is the sort of question that a disciple of Ayn Rand would readily understand. Not so a patriot. One might just as well ask "what's in it for you?" to the signers of the Declaration of Independence, to Mohandas Gandhi, to Martin Luther King.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, November 13, 2005 The Bird Flu is Real -- And You're On Your Own
We can know that the bird flu is an oncoming disaster because the scientists tell us. But because the Bush regime has made so many false alarms, the public is ill-prepared, and because this regime does not recognize a government role in dealing with disasters.
SHARE Tuesday, July 4, 2006 Immovable Object, Irresistible Force
One of the most remarkable and enviable traditions of American politics has been that of the peaceful and orderly transfer of power. No longer. For a significant number of administration officials and supporters must keep themselves and their party in power to avoid criminal indictment, conviction, and imprisonment.
SHARE Tuesday, January 30, 2007 Only Americans Can Restore America's Honor
The Bush/Cheney administration has done enormous damage to the reputation of the United States throughout the world. But the damage need not be permanent. Not if people and politicians of good will and loyalty to the United States and its principles and traditions act courageously, vigorously and persistently
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, October 21, 2005 While the Iron is Hot
The Republican Party and the Bush Administration are reeling, enmeshed in corruption and failure. The iron is hot now is the time to strike.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, January 2, 2007 Snobocracy: When "The Right People" Run Washington
Washington "snobocracy" decides, through its "establishment" media, what news, information and opinion is worthy of the public's attention. And it determines if a politician's life in the nation's Capital will be comfortable and productive or an unremitting misery, as Bill and Hillary Clinton were to discover.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 4, 2007 Election Fraud: Where's the Outrage?
The mainstream media have been virtually silent about the issue of election fraud. The Democratic Party won't touch the issue, which has, instead, been kept alive through the internet and a few determined individuals and citizen-based organizations. And now, startling new evidence has been published, not in the US but in New Zealand, offering further proof that the 2004 Presidential Election was stolen.
SHARE Wednesday, November 1, 2006 On November 8, the Struggle Continues
The struggle to restore our democracy and our liberties must continue unabated, whatever the outcome of next week's election. If, should the Democrats reclaim the House or the Senate, the opponents to the Bush regime then quit the fight, they will have lost by winning. Given the GOP dilemma of yielding Congress or of stealing the election, expect another theft.
SHARE Wednesday, November 2, 2005 An Illusion of Normality
Never in the 229 years of United States history has this government of, by and for the people been in greater peril. So long as few Americans believe this, the Bush regime is secure.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 2, 2006 O Canada!
Canada is what we were: a nation of prosperous, free and cheerful individuals, ever-willing to criticize their government through a free and diverse media, but all the while confident that it is their government, which they can vote out of office if a sufficient number of citizen-voters so desire.
SHARE Wednesday, May 28, 2008 Gotcha!
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.
SHARE Wednesday, May 24, 2006 Eyes on the Prize
Now is the time to put aside intramural differences, form alliances with former adversaries, focus on common concerns and aims. Lets take back our government, then we can duke out our differences, as fellow citizens in a restored republic under the rule of law.
SHARE Tuesday, February 6, 2007 Impeachment NOW! -- A Recantation
Two months ago, I believed that if Bush and Cheney were to be impeached and convicted by the Senate, investigations would have to take place, with the amassing of evidence, testimony under oath, and extended debate in Congress. Intervening events, and some sober reflection, have convinced me that I was wrong.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 18, 2007 Go for it, Cindy!
The major parties have moved so far to the right that the mass of American voters are to the left of both of them. The "center" has shrunk to insignificance. Yet the establishment "Beltway" Democrats are dumb frozen in fear that they might alienate this "center." Cindy Sheehan's threat to run against Nancy Pelosi promises to give the Democratic Party a much-needed shake-up.
SHARE Wednesday, September 21, 2005 Who Lost New Orleans?
Any politician who believes that states and regions are autonomous and economically detachable and thus not the responsibility of the federal government is unqualified for national leadership.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 20, 2007 The Malleable World of the Neo Cons
Neo conservative policies seem to assume (a) that "the outside world" is passive -- does not react, (b) that Americana know what's best for peoples and nations beyond our borders, and (c) our overwhelming military power will guarantee the endurance of our "hegemony," and will prevent the rise of a rival global power. The neo cons are profoundly mistaken on all three counts.