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I am a 63 year old American child and adolescent psychiatrist and political refugee in New Zealand. I have just published a young adult novel THE BATTLE FOR TOMORROW (which won a NABE Pinnacle Achievement Award) about a 16 year old girl who participates in the blockade and occupation of the US Capitol. I also have a new non-fiction ebook REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE and a 2010 memoir, THE MOST REVOLUTIONARY ACT: MEMOIR OF AN AMERICAN REFUGEE describing the circumstances that led me to leave the US in 2002 to start a new life in New Zealand. My memoir won an Allbooks Review Editor's Choice Award. I have a political commentary blog at my website.
(31 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 23, 2011 Did Fracking Cause the Virginia Earthquake?
The epicenter of Tuesday's earthquake is 160 miles from Braxton West Virginia, which has also experienced a rash of freak earthquakes since fracking operations started there several years ago. Geologic research has also linked fracking to freak earthquakes in Texas, Arkansas, New York State, Oklahoma, and Blackpool England.
(66 comments) SHARE Friday, August 12, 2011 The Tipping Point: When Do Americans Hit the Streets?
Former Max Keiser predicts that the cost of food (when it reaches 40% of income) is the trigger that will send Americans into the streets. Other analysts point to a link between inadequate wheat supplies and the Soviet collapse. The decline of civil society in the US is another alarming parallel with the 1980s Soviet Union. There was no community infrastructure to take over when the Soviet infrastructure collapsed.
(17 comments) SHARE Monday, April 11, 2011 The President with No Past: Obama's Electability in 2012
At the moment, because of Executive Order 13489, the public and press have virtually no way to independently verify much of what Obama tells us of his early life. Except for Fox News, the mainstream media has virtually ignored Executive Order 13489, which Obama signed immediately on assuming the presidency. In my view, this poses a major public relations problem for a president with no public record prior to 2004.
(61 comments) SHARE Friday, August 6, 2010 The Mass Psychology of Fascism: Not a New Problem
The tendency of low income workers to be drawn to ultra-right politics and to vote politicians into office who enact measures that hurt their economic interests is a very old problem. In his 1933 book THE MASS PSYCHOLOGY OF FASCISM, trail-blazing psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich, sharing some Marxist beliefs, analyzes the sociological reasons for this tendency - and offers proposals for the best way for progressives to address it.
(33 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 10, 2010 Who Pulls Obama's Strings?
In 2008 Americans elected a man to the presidency despite having virtually no knowledge of his life prior to 2004. A close look at Obama pre-2004 leaves a lot of unanswered questions.
(65 comments) SHARE Friday, August 26, 2011 Progressives Who Oppose Gun Control
It's extremely puzzling how progressives got on the wrong - anti-civil liberties - side of gun control. Many scholars assert the real intent of gun control legislation is to control black and poor people - not guns.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 17, 2010 Mycobacterium Avium Paratuberculosis: The Most Dangerous Food Borne Killer
In Europe, it is widely recognized that the organism Mycobacterium Avium Paratuberculosis (MAP)is implicated in the development of Crohn's Disease and irritable bowel syndrome. While in the US powerful corporate lobbies have been extremely effective in suppressing this informataion.
(11 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 14, 2010 Marketing Serotonin Deficiency: the Multibillion Dollar Depression Industry
Big Pharma has spent 25 years and billions of dollars marketing depression as a genetic "serotonin deficiency." Which they have used to justify a line of enormously profitable drugs called serotonin reuptake inhibitors. There is still no solid research evidence that "serotonin deficiency" actually exists. And sadly the exclusive focus on drug treatment has led tesearchers to totally neglect other important causes.
(44 comments) SHARE Sunday, August 28, 2011 Sticking It to Ron Paul
It's open season on Ron Paul in the so-called "alternative" media, thanks to the Congressman's strong showing in the Iowa straw polls. The venomous tone and absence of policy analysis is remarkably similar to the hatchet job the "alternative" media performed on Ralph Nader in 2004 and 2008. Could this because Paul, like Nader, is taking a strong, explicit stance against the corporate takeover of government?
(7 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 1, 2011 Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? by David Ray Griffin
Griffin's 2009 book attempts to explain how America's favorite terrorist came to release 19 video and audiotapes following his death and funeral - duly reported by the Associated Press, CBS, CNN, Fox News, the New York Times, the Telegraph and Time magazine - in December 2001. As often happens in the mainstream media, the events Griffin documents have vanished down the old memory hole.
(19 comments) SHARE Sunday, September 25, 2011 Banned in US Theatres: the Film You Won't See
The War You Don't See, John Pilger's 2010 documentary, has been banned from US theaters but is now available as a free download. The film's main focus is the need to hold mainstream journalists accountable for their blatant censorship in their coverage of the Afghan and Iraqi wars - and the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
(28 comments) SHARE Saturday, July 23, 2011 TEOFWAWKIT: The End of the World as We Know It
As the global recession and debt crisis worsens, even mainstream analysts speculate that global capitalism is on the verge of collapse. Resource specialists predict that large nation-states like the US, Russia, and China will break up into smaller regional units, as occurred during the Middle Ages following the collapse of the Roman Empire. It's useful to predict and plan what these new communities will look like.
(12 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 29, 2011 Is Human Nature Flawed?
The Human Nature debate is centuries old. The ruling elite argues in favor of continuing class society and privilege, owing to so-called innate character defects that make working people incapable of governing themselves. Marx and Engels argue that capitalistic oppression creates these so-called character flaws - a view supported by contemporary human behavior research.
(9 comments) SHARE Monday, June 6, 2011 The "Me-Too" Drug Rip-Off
In addition to the billions of health care dollars drug companies waste on disease mongering, billions more are wasted on developing and marketing hundreds of "me-too" drugs - which are very slight variations of drugs already on the market. The main downside of me-too drugs is their contribution to skyrocketing health care costs, the main reason hundreds of thousands of Americans can't see a doctor when they are ill.
(5 comments) SHARE Saturday, September 10, 2011 Smoking Gun: US Government Role in Arab Spring
Arabesque Americaine leaves absolutely no doubt that the "Arab Spring" - like the earlier "color revolutions" in eastern Europe - were almost certainly destabilization/regime change operations, funded and orchestrated by the CIA, State Department, historic CIA-funded foundations - and last, but not least, Google.
(14 comments) SHARE Sunday, August 7, 2011 Will the US Have a Generation Z Revolution?
Psychological oppression (manifested by widespread apathy and resignation the face of major corporate and government attacks on working Americans) is at an all time high in the US. Historically it's a strong and sustained youth rebellion that enables society to throw off severe psychological repression. What are the chances of this happening in the US?
(8 comments) SHARE Friday, April 1, 2011 Wyeth and the Multibillion Dollar Menopause Industry
The marketing of so-called "estrogen deficiency syndrome," aka menopause, and hormone replacement therapy has been one of the most lethal examples of "disease mongering" by the pharmaceutical industry. The number of premature cancer deaths linked to HRT is estimated in the millions.
(18 comments) SHARE Sunday, December 12, 2010 Fluoride: the New Lead
In his 2004 book the Fluoride Deception, BBC investigative journalist Christopher Bryson releases previously secret documents revealing that the decision to fluoridate water was actually a corporate scam dreamed up by Alcoa, GM, and DuPont. Fluoride happens to be a very toxic hazardous waste, and water fluoridation has been banned by 98% of European communities.
(5 comments) SHARE Friday, November 12, 2010 How Climate Change and Resource Scarcity Threaten Democracy
The counsequences of climate change and resource scarcity will result in increasing social upheaval over the next two decades. In countries like the US, China and Russia, the response by government is likely to be heavy handed and authoritarian - which makes this an important issue for progressives to follow and discuss.
(21 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 18, 2011 Diana: a Link to Iran Contra and 9/11?
It has always puzzled me that Diana conspiracy theories always blame the Royal Family, without looking at Dodi Al Fayed's unsavory connections through his uncle Adnan Khashoggi. Khashoggi is best known as the arms middle man in Iran Contra, though he also has interesting links to 9/11.
(10 comments) SHARE Friday, December 9, 2011 The Wikipedia Revolution
Lih's book stands as a testament to the unsung heroes of the Open Source movement. From the outset, there has been a split between entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, who view the Internet as an opportunity to become enormously rich, and visionaries in the OS movement, who see it as a medium of social change. Like OWS, it reclaims electronic communications as a "commons" to be jointly owned for the common good.
(4 comments) SHARE Saturday, April 16, 2011 Does the CIA Fund Both the Right and the Left?
The Deep State, Peter Dale Scott's term for shadowy network of government officials and corporate elite that secretly steers foreign and domestic policy, seems to rely on two main strategies in suppressing opposition to their agenda. The first involves rigid censorship of public information by the corporate controlled media. The second involves a large interlocking network of so-called "left gatekeeping foundations."
(15 comments) SHARE Wednesday, September 29, 2010 Useless Eaters: the Stigmatization of Illness
The US has the most reactionary and punitive attitude in the world towards illness. In the growing attack on entitlesments there are always assertions made that sick people are responsible for the problems that make them unable to work. Years of epidemiological researach show exactly the contrary - that lifestyle factors have limited impact on health.
(17 comments) SHARE Monday, April 25, 2011 How Nonviolence Protects the State
As a long time activist, I have always been troubled by the militant nonviolent perspective that dominates the progressive movement in the US . In some circles, the taboo is so absolute that activists are systematically demonized for even raising the subject. This is why I'm extremely pleased to see Peter Gederloo, Ward Churchill, Derrick Jensen and even the culture jamming group Adbusters revive the debate.
(8 comments) SHARE Monday, May 30, 2011 Drug Companies: Killing Kids for Profit
Practicing psychiatry in New Zealand has given me a unique perspective on childhood bipolar disorder, which is virtually unknown outside the US. Melbourne psychiatrist Dr Peter Parry has recently exposed a conspiracy by Eli Lilly and other drug companies pressure psychiatrists, pediatricians and primary care physicians to prescribe dangerous antipsychotic drugs "off-label" to American children.
(17 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 24, 2011 The War on Public Education
Republicans and Tea Partiers aren't trying to cut education simply to balance the budget and provide tax cuts for their wealthy supporters. They have a far more ominous agenda -- namely a 30 year campaign to privatize public education, just as prisons, water, warfare, welfare and other public services are being privatized.
(30 comments) SHARE Monday, November 22, 2010 The Private Prison Industrial Complex
The number of prison inmates in the US now exceeds that of China - even though they have four times the population. Approximately half US prisoners are non-violent mentally ill offenders who are no longer able to access treatment in the community. The prison-building spree is no longer driven by violent crime, which is declining, but the boom in the for-profit prison industry.
(5 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 19, 2011 Our CIA "Freedom Fighters" in Pakistan
The recent arrest (and release) of CIA/Xe (Blackwater) operative Raymond Davis has emboldened retired Pakistani military and ISI (Pakistani intelligence) officers to speak openly regarding secret CIA support for the Baloch separatist movement and their concerns that Pakistan, not Afghanistan, is the real target of Obama's war on terror:
(17 comments) SHARE Monday, December 20, 2010 The Politics of Obesity
Government and community leaders continue to blame the growing obesity epidemic on "poor lifestyle choices." This is despite compelling evidence of political/social causation - and despite the utter failure of individualized treatment of obesity.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 18, 2011 Cost Cutting and the War on Drugs
Thanks to the recession and debt crisis, progressives seeking to end the failed War on Drugs have some curious bedfellows, including the ultra-conservative Cato Institute, grassroots Tea Party groups, and even mainstream Republicans. There are interesting parallels between the decision to end alcohol Prohibition during the Great Depression and recent calls to end the prohibition on marijuana - and possibly other drugs.
(9 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 26, 2011 The Book of Mormon: the Musical
The creators of South Park released the cast recording of their musical The Book of Mormon last week. Although it bashes Mormons (very slightly), it's really an extremely funny satire of the unique American fad known as positive thinking.
(9 comments) SHARE Tuesday, December 13, 2011 The V-Word
The two biggest obstacles OWS will face in maintaining their commitment to non-violence will be the attitude of low income and minority groups who deal with police violence on a daily basis and growing concerns about the possible role CIA-funded left gatekeeping foundations have played in engineering OWS's exclusive commitment to nonviolence. This concern is heightened by the use of Gene Sharp's materials at several OWS sites.
(5 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 26, 2011 The Charter School Industry
The charter school movement has become an industry, attracting massive private funding, with the goal of leveraging billions of dollars in public subsidies. Although technically charter school financing schemes are non-profit, they generate a phenomenal number of for-profit contracts for companies marketing curriculum and textbooks, computers, software and administrative, clerical and security services
(7 comments) SHARE Sunday, September 19, 2010 What Comes After Capitalism?
The long taboo topic of the end of capitalism seems to be in fashion recently. However there seems to be a lot of uncertainty - and anxiety - about what might replace it.
(11 comments) SHARE Friday, October 28, 2011 General Strike: Where OWS Needs To Go
Prior to Tuesday's violent police attack on Occupy Oakland, I had the sense that the authorities were quite comfortable with thousands of us camping out in city parks every night -- so long as we weren't interfering with business as usual. Occupy Oakland, which has retaken Oscar Grant Plaza, seems ready to up the ante with their call for a general strike next Wednesday.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, February 23, 2011 Egypt's Invisible Labor Movement
US media coverage of the Egyptian revolution differs drastically from that of Al Jazeera and other foreign outlets. The latter more accurately report the critical role played by strikes and labor unrest in forcing Mubarak to resign.
(12 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 20, 2011 Is the US Becoming a Failed State?
Noam Chomsky was one of the first to raise the question of US failed statehood in 2006 Failed States: the Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy. This was two years before the federal government badly bungled the 2008 US banking collapse
(12 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 6, 2011 10/14/02: the Day I Became an Expatriate
The following is the first in a series of essays from a new book on the unique perspective I enjoy, as an American expatriate, on the steady unraveling of the US economy and America's declining role on the world stage.
(7 comments) SHARE Friday, April 22, 2011 The Cointelpro Role of Left Gatekeeping Foundations
In addition to funding so-called alternative media, left gatekeeper foundations play an important counterinsurgency role by co-opting both overseas pro-democracy movements and the US progressive movement.
(8 comments) SHARE Sunday, May 1, 2011 Book Review - How Nonviolence Protects the State
In How Nonviolence Protects the State, Peter Gelderloos takes up where Ward Churchill's 1985 Pacifism as Pathology leaves off -- expanding on Churchill's basic premises with more recent historical examples. Like Churchill, Gelderloos bemoans the determination of nonviolence proponents to impose their ideological views across the entire progressive movement.
(5 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 9, 2011 Free Download: Scariest Horror Flick Ever
Into Eternity is an eerie account of Onkalo, the world's first permanent nuclear repository. There are an estimated 250,000 - 300,000 tons of nuclear waste lying around in cooling pools. 250,000 tons of highly radioactive material capable of wiping out all living things and contaminating adjacent agricultural lands and future crops for 100,000 years. Most of the radiation that has contaminated Japan is from spent fuel rods.
(9 comments) SHARE Tuesday, November 1, 2011 The End Of Global Economic Growth
In Heinberg's previous work on resource scarcity, he envisions a timeline of a decade or more before the scarcity and prohibitive cost of natural resources (oil, coal, water, etc.) cause the capitalist economic system to hit the wall. In The End of Growth, he argues that it has already happened -- when global economic expansion ended in October 2008. His data shows that while a few countries can claim an occasional quarter of
(5 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 15, 2011 New Zealand: Experiencing a Second World Country
Emigrating to New Zealand has both an upside and a downside. All developed and developing countries operate under the same global capitalist system. In a few areas, New Zealand has adopted some of the worst features of capitalism. However, for the most part, Kiwis retain their commitment to the "democratic socialism" they brought here from Europe.
(6 comments) SHARE Monday, May 23, 2011 Medicalizing the Menstrual Cycle
Once the patent on a drug expires, other manufacturers are free to produce much cheaper generic versions, resulting in plummeting sales of the original brand name drug. In 1994, Lilly, which was facing the expiration of its patent on Prozac, seized on an obscure psychiatric research diagnosis to re-brand Prozac as a (extremely expensive) treatment for PMS.
(5 comments) SHARE Friday, April 29, 2011 Pacifism as Pathology - Book Review
Pacifism as Pathology is a collection of essays centered around an essay on Pacifism Ward Churchill wrote in 1985. The premise of Churchill's essay (and the book) is that the militant nonviolent stance assumed by the US progressive movement is based on irrational psychological reasons, rather than strategic reasons or moral principle.
(13 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 28, 2011 Life After Capitalism
Richard Heinberg predicts that global resource scarcity will cause the global economic system to collapse and force large nation-states to break up into small regional units. As a result the demise of capitalism could be an extraordinarily positive change for most of humankind.
(5 comments) SHARE Sunday, October 24, 2010 Population and Sustainability: Addressing the Taboo
More and more activists in the sustainability movement are coming to the conclusion that emissions can't be reduced to a safe range without population growth. However at present, it's considered politically incorrect to even mention population control. No one person has all the answers to the thorny population dilemma. However agreeing not to discuss it isn't going to get us there.
(9 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 5, 2011 Speculating with our Food
In 2011, "food derivative" speculation has replaced financial derivatives as the hot new investment promoted by major investment banks like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. Simultaneously private equity funds are also buying up huge tracts of land in the third world. For me the biggest scandal is the refusal of the CFTC to implement rules in the 2010 Financial Reform Act designed to prevent speculation in food commodities.
(30 comments) SHARE Friday, March 11, 2011 My New Expatriate Identity
As with many American expatriates, it took leaving the country to realize how completely US militarism dominates all aspects of American life. Hardest for me was my struggle with my own American exceptionalism - this bizarre unconscious belief that the US was the most productive, efficient, cleanest and most scientifically advanced country.
(20 comments) SHARE Saturday, September 3, 2011 The Fight Against Fluoride: One We Can Win
A large group in my local community is battling to end water fluoridation. Buoyed by a tremendous sense of empowerment after getting local media support, many in our group have gone on to join New Plymouth's anti-fracking campaign.
(5 comments) SHARE Sunday, February 13, 2011 The IMF Protection Racket
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a protection racket - pure and simple. With the recent chaos they have triggered in Greece, Ireland and (of course) Egypt, it's easy to forget the IMF was on the verge of bankruptcy prior to the 2008 economic collapse.
(9 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 20, 2011 The Real Vampires: An Insider's View Of Banks
Ex-mentor to former president Bill Clinton, Harvard, Princeton and Georgetown professor Carroll Quigley was the ultimate Washington insider. Most history books written by the ruling elite teach that wars, recessions and depressions are accidents of history that can't be avoided. It's extremely rare for one of their own to tell the truth about the role of the corporate/banking elite in precipitating most global calamities.
(21 comments) SHARE Friday, June 17, 2011 Squatting 101
With the growing epidemic of foreclosures and homelessness, squatting is becoming increasingly common worldwide. In general, police and banks assume a hands-off attitude towards squatters. The presence of whole neighborhoods of abandoned homes is immensely costly, both to cities and the banks who hold title to the properties.
(4 comments) SHARE Sunday, November 28, 2010 Working Class Culture
The mainstream media tries very hard to convince the US public that class distinctions have vanished from American society. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, the working class throughout the industrial world has their own distinct culture and language. As I was delighted to learn on emigrating to New Zealand.
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, November 13, 2011 Don't Eat the Fish
People who clean up or live near toxic oil spills - or who eat contaminated fish - are at high risk for PAH-related cancers, birth and immune defects, miscarriage, and bleeding and nervous system disorders. Toxicologists have known about the health hazards of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons for two decades. Why is the public being kept in the dark?
(6 comments) SHARE Saturday, November 19, 2011 Is #OccupyWallStreet Working Class?
The success of OWS in expanding into the traditional working class will depend on their willingness to discard the label middle class. Although our corporate-controlled western democracies are rapidly dismantling the middle class in the name of debt reduction, the professional and academic bedrock of the American middle class is still largely intact. Their members have very different interests than minimum wage workers.
(17 comments) SHARE Saturday, October 1, 2011 Reclaiming Adam Smith
It's high time for liberals, progressives and left libertarians to reclaim Adam Smith as one of our own. In the Wealth of Nations, Smith self-identifies as a liberal, advocates for what he calls "progressive" economics, and calls for government intervention to ensure that rich people invest their profits in increasing productive labor, rather than luxury, corruption and vice.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Ending Corporate Rule: the Citizens' Rights Movement
The citizens' rights movement was born in 2000 when Belfast Pennsylvania, passed a law prohibiting factory farms from operating within their township. In 2005 this law was upheld in court, and twelve other Pennsylvania townships in five counties now have similar ordinances. In addition to laws banning sewage sludge and factory farms, one community has banned mining and four have passed laws establishing ecosystem rights.
(4 comments) SHARE Friday, February 4, 2011 The Cellphone/Wi-Fi Controversy
The FDA, acting under pressure from the cellphone and wireless industry, has come out with very different recommendations regarding cellphones and Wi-Fi than the European Environment Agency - which is extremely concerned about major health hazards.
(18 comments) SHARE Thursday, November 24, 2011 Fairy Tale Economics
The only way I know to make sense of the global economic crisis is to assume, until proven otherwise, that everything Obama, Wall Street and the corporate media tell us is a lie. The economy Wall Street and our political leaders talk about is a fairy tale economy that bears no relation to the real world. Thanks to Occupy Wall Street, a new narrative about the global economic crisis is beginning to emerge.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, September 7, 2011 Little Mosque on the Prairie
I wonder why Fox Broadcasting won't allow Americans to watch the five year Canadian hit sit-com Little Mosque on the Prairie? Seems like blatant censorship to me. I think Fox needs to hear from us - and the Saudi prince who is one of their major shareholders.
(4 comments) SHARE Sunday, December 26, 2010 Reclaiming Our Streets: a Model for Social Change
Because of its immediate change effect, the global street reclaiming movement is extremely effective for inspiring optimism about political change. It encourages ordinary citizens to see themselves as change agents, rather than looking to uncooperative and/or corrupt political leaders to make changes on their behalf. As such it provides a valuable model for other types of social and political change
(12 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 2, 2011 Teenagers: God's Answer to Psychological Oppression
Historically teenagers have sparked numerous mass uprisings. Some scholars credit the Soweto uprising as heralding the start of mass popular resistance to apartheid. Adolescents also initiated the first Intifada in 1987. Deadly police force is often ineffective against teens, owing to their general disregard for their personal safety.
(5 comments) SHARE Saturday, November 6, 2010 Corporate Censorship vs. Indie Publishing
This is an essay I wrote for IndieReader, in the hope they will publish it in an upcoming book about indie publishing. As I state in the essay, my choice not to go with a mainstream publisher was political.
(16 comments) SHARE Sunday, January 2, 2011 1968
Mark Kurlansky's 2004 book 1968: the Year That Rocked the World has totally altered my perspective on the global liberation struggles that year. It holds important lessons for contemporary activists seeking to reclaim so-called western democracies.
(3 comments) SHARE Friday, May 13, 2011 Our Kind of Traitor
In Our Kind of Traitor, LeCarre pulls no punches in describing the takeover of British and US intelligence by a corrupt criminal element, supported by even more corrupt corporate and government sponsors.
(6 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 13, 2011 The Case for Proportional Representation
The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United essentially removes any barrier to absolute corporate control over elections and the legislative process. There is a growing grassroots coalition to amend the Constitution to ban "corporate personhood" - as well numerous local movements to adopt proportional representation.
(11 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 2, 2011 Tackling Wall Street Criminality
Inside Job should be required viewing for all media skeptics who question the rationale behind OWS. The film lays to rest the myth that the 2008 economic collapse was merely a "perfect storm" of regulatory failure, greed and conflict of interest. Not only does our current economic mess stem from blatant Wall Street criminality, but the IMF repeatedly warned Bush and the Federal Reserve of the need for urgent intervention.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 9, 2011 The Corporatization of Breast Cancer
Is the real purpose of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Pink Ribbon Campaign to help women or the dozens of corporations who have jumped on the pink ribbon band wagon? To end breast cancer we must eliminate its causes, including the hundreds of endocrine disruptors and other cancer-causing chemicals in our environment.
(15 comments) SHARE Friday, June 24, 2011 Generation Z Activism: Alec Loorz
Alec Loorz is a 16 year old from Ventura California who is suing the US government and three states for "allowing money to be more powerful than the survival of my generation and making decisions that threaten our right to a safe and healthy planet."
(8 comments) SHARE Friday, December 2, 2011 Paying the Piper
It's impossible to rationally discuss economic reform separate from political reform. At present, there is no commitment to require the ruling elite to engage in the belt tightening they seek to impose on the middle class and young people. Where there is political will to share equally the cost of fixing the financial crisis, there are some straightforward policies that could restore global economic stability within months.
(14 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 21, 2011 The Real Culture Wars
The mainstream media deliberately conceals the real cultural divide, between the 20% who comprise the professional/academic class and the 80% who work for near minimum wage. These firmly entrenched class divisions present an major obstacle to building a broad-based American mass movement. Progressives could take a page from 1970s feminists regarding strategy and tactics for recruiting the working class.
(9 comments) SHARE Saturday, June 11, 2011 The Language of Empire: Abu Ghraib and the American Media
The Language of Empire is an examination of the Abu Ghraib scandal, from the perspective that the torture there was primarily an instrument of terror (i.e. a military tactic intended to cause intimidation). In addition to detailing what actually happened at Abu Ghraib, the book provides a detailed analysis of the psychological underpinnings of America's complex government and corporate propaganda systems.
(5 comments) SHARE Sunday, July 17, 2011 The Dreaded U Word
According to a recent survey 41% of Americans "disapprove" of unions. Young Americans, especially, tend to shun unions because they view them as ineffective in protecting labor rights. Owing to the 1947 Taft Hartley Act, American unions essentially function as government unions, owing to stringent federal restrictions on their activities.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, January 26, 2011 Sustainability: Choosing the Right Crisis
Sustainability activists are finding it easier to organize around resource scarcity than climate change. The concepts are more concrete and relevant to peoples' daily lives - especially as energy and food costs start to skyrocket.
(6 comments) SHARE Tuesday, November 29, 2011 Guess Who's Printing Money?
The Eurozone debt crisis and Occupy movement have revived the monetization debate in Europe (and elsewhere) in a way that isn't happening in the US. Monetization is the term applied when government, rather than private banks, issues the money used by the public and by government itself.
(6 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 7, 2011 Will Capitalism Leave Lasting Scars?
In view of the extensive research evidence, mainstream human behavior experts are slowly coming around to the view that the ravages of capitalist society, rather than "human nature" itself are responsible for the wanton cruelty and "inhumanity" that characterize industrialized society. Yet many continue to argue that socialism and participatory democracy are impossible, owing to the irreversible nature of the damage.
(10 comments) SHARE Saturday, October 8, 2011 GI Suicides: A National Disgrace
In 2009 there were Congressional hearings following the revelation that more American troops were dying from suicide than combat. During the hearings, it came out that servicemen were returning stateside to be hospitalized for TBI, PTSD and depression; started on antidepressants and antipsychotics; and redeployed to Iraq and Afghanistan -- many while still on medication.
(6 comments) SHARE Monday, May 16, 2011 Chain of Command: the Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib
In Language of Empire, Lila Rajiva observes that Seymour Hersh's disclosure of torture at Abu Ghraib seems like a "limited hangout" or "controlled opposition" disclosure -- in other words what Barry Zwicker refers to as "the kind of opposition the US elite can live with." After reading Chain of Command, I tend to share Rajiva's view.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, September 6, 2011 Study Guide on Humanitarian Crises
It appears that creating humanitarian crises in oil-rich regions of the third world is now official US policy. Although we are led to believe drought and famine are the cause, there is always a back story of US military or covert intervention. The story line is so predictable that I have created a Study Guide on Humanitarian Crises. Dates can be altered to fit past and future US interventions.
(7 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 30, 2011 Moving from Facebook Into the Streets
In my lifetime, enlisting the working class has always been the major stumbling block for American progressives. The past three decades have witnessed the launch of many fantastic grassroots initiatives. All engendered considerable energy and enthusiasm, flourished briefly and then, for the most part, fizzled and died. I blame this on the sophisticated ideological conditioning that bombards all Americans from an early age.
(12 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 12, 2010 Open Source: A New Tool for the Sustainability Movement
Up till now climate change activists have been mainly focused on pressuring government to adopt carrot and stick policies to motivate billions of people to undertake the behavior change necessary to reduce the carbon footprint of the(mainly)developed world. It's clearly not working. At http://www.worldchangin.com they propose a novel approach that doesn't require government buy-in.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 17, 2011 Activism in New Zealand
For me the advantages of living in New Zealand far outweigh the negatives. This relates mainly to my personal experience that grassroots organizing is much easier here than in the US. Overall, I find Kiwis to be less alienated and apathetic than their American cousins, less likely to be taken in by the corporate hype they see on TV, and more confident about their ability to bring about change through collective action.
(9 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 9, 2011 US vs Islamic Militants: Invisible Balance of Power
In Invisible Balance of Power, Sajjad Shaukat argues that militant terrorist groups fill a vacuum in power relations stemming from the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the absence of an international body capable of forcing the US to follow international law, they provide the only check against wanton US military aggression.
(5 comments) SHARE Sunday, May 16, 2010 The US vs China: the Race to Produce Composite Fiber Cars
It appears that is an elegantly simple technological solution to current US de-industrialization, sovereign debt, American carbon debt and even endless Middle East wars to protect our claim on imported oil. Yet for some reason China, India, Japan and Germany are far ahead of us in gearing up to produce composite carbon fiber cars.
(6 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 1, 2011 Thinking Like Egyptians
It's extremely heartening to see speculation across the blogosphere about Americans' ability to replicate mass mobilizations overseas. Nevertheless comparable regime change in the US will require a major commitment to sustained organizing. This will be hard for Americans, who aren't joiners. Unemployed and part time workers, students, and people on welfare and disability should consider joining UCubed, the unemployed union.
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, December 4, 2011 The 2011 New Zealand Elections
The outcome of the November 26 elections was extremely gratifying for the New Zealand Green Party. We received an unprecedented 10.6% of the party vote, which will translate into 13 MPs in the new Parliament. We also passed a referendum to preserve MMP (New Zealand's system of proportional representation).
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 26, 2011 The #occupywallstreet Report Card
Capturing the corporate media spotlight, even briefly, with a strong anticapitalist message is a major, unprecedented feat for any grassroots organization. There are also dangerous pitfalls in becoming too reliant on the corporate media. Thus it's critically important that we continue to produce our own media, as well as devise self-assessments tools to review and critique our accomplishments.
(5 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 23, 2011 OWS Demographics and Privilege
OWS protestors have little hope of recruiting the traditional working class if they self-identify as middle class. The question of their class orientation will revolve around what they want OWS to accomplish. Are they willing to settle for student loan forgiveness and other short term policy fixes? Or do they have a vision for massive social change that will benefit everyone who has joined them in the park?
(6 comments) SHARE Monday, October 10, 2011 "Studying" GI Suicides: Congress Cops Out
Sending troops to war on psychotropic medication is an absolute violation of basic health and military standards. GIs on psychoactive medication place the lives and welfare of their fellow servicemen at risk, which is the main reason official Pentagon policy has always forbidden it. In 2009, the Senate Armed Services Committee response to this outrage was to "study" it. GIs are treated even worse following discharge.
(12 comments) SHARE Saturday, August 27, 2011 The Tyranny of Opinion Polls
Most public opinion polls are still conducted by calling the landline phone numbers of randomly selected voters. Twenty-seven percent of US phones are cellphone-only - a group that is disproportionately young, poor, and minority. The failure to reflect their views in voter surveys produces results that disproportionately favor Republicans and conservatives.
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, September 4, 2011 Revolutionary Change: An Expatriate View
I'm offering a free download of my new book Revolutionary Change: An Expatriate View for readers willing to give me feedback and suggestions (and maybe even write a review on Amazon).
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, May 8, 2010 The Bank of North Dakota: Our Only State Owned Bank
More and more activists (and state candidates in the November elections) are getting on the bandwagon to join North Dakota in exploring the creation of state owned banks and/or lending institutions. With many states on the verge of bankruptcy, thanks to their indebtedness to Wall Street, it seems an incredibly simple and cost effective way to restore their financial self-sufficiency.
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, October 16, 2011 Occupy New Plymouth- Day 3 and Report on New Zealand Occupy Movement
My participation in Occupy New Plymouth has to be one of the most inspiring, soul-changing experiences of my life. Not only has it given me the unique privilege of connecting and hearing the views of young (some high school age) activists, but it has taught me how to totally set aside my usual routine for the more important task of change making.
(20 comments) SHARE Saturday, August 28, 2010 Climate Change - Too Important to Leave to Scientists
A big part of the current climate change controversy is that it can't be reduced to a sound bite. A second, possibly more serious, problem is that progressives have mostly referred to scientists to prove climate change is happening.
(5 comments) SHARE Monday, September 12, 2011 Fighting Fracking in New Zealand
New Plymouth is sometimes referred to as the Texas of New Zealand, owing to its (tiny) off-shore gas fields and oil rigs. It's also home to a highly vocal oil/gas industry watchdog group called Climate Justice Tarananki. It was this group that first raised the alarm on local fracking operations in March 2011. Taranaki is also the first region in New Zealand to protest fracking.
(5 comments) SHARE Sunday, November 6, 2011 OWS: A Quandary for Long Time Activists
I encounter many long time activists in a quandary how to relate to #OccupyWallStreet. A vibrant, growing mass movement involving thousands of activists is always far more interesting and exciting than the drudgery of keeping existing grassroots organizations going. There is a strong temptation to abandon current organizing commitments to join the groundswell created by the OWS movement. This could be a big mistake.
(10 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 12, 2011 How to End the War(s)
Obama's endeavor to conduct an indefinite war of aggression on seven fronts is ill-conceived, morally bankrupt, and opposed by the majority of the American public. Given their first hand contact with corruption, officer misconduct and civilian atrocities, returning veterans are a critical voice in an antiwar effort that was scattered to the winds by the election of Barack Obama.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, September 26, 2011 After Seattle
The collapse of the Doha round of WTO negotiations in 2009 was a major victory for antiglobalization activists. Unfortunately globalization is alive and well. The current 9 country TPPA has many of the same investor protections as the MAI and threatens to end our access to low-cost generic medications.
(5 comments) SHARE Saturday, July 9, 2011 Paid Sick Leave - One for our Side
In June, Connecticut became the first state to require private employers to provide paid sick leave. The US is the only country in the industrialized world with no national requirement for employers to provide paid sick leave. Connecticut's Working Families Party (WFP), which has been lobbying for paid sick leave since 2002, is claiming credit for the new law.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 31, 2019 MK-Ultra, LSD and the CIA War on Musicians and Activists
On January 29, John Potash will release his film Drugs as Weapons Against Us: The CIA War on Musicians and Activists - based on his 2015 book Drugs as Weapons Against Us: The CIA's Murderous Targeting of SDS, Panthers, Hendrix, Lennon, Cobain, Tupac and Other Activists. A virtual encyclopedia of illegal government drug trafficking and covert assassinations.
(5 comments) SHARE Monday, May 10, 2010 Oil Spills and Money Laundering: An Ethical Dilemma
The problem of Wall Street involvement in money laundering of illicit drug profits dates back to the late seventies (at least). There are no mainstream banks that aren't implicated and the ready availability of drug cash seems fundamental to keeping the US financial system afloat.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 3, 2011 The Battle for Tomorrow - my new book
My new book (a novel) went up on Amazon today. It's about a sixteen- year-old girl who participates in the blockade and occupation of the US Capitol. I suspect The Battle for Tomorrow will be controversial because it talks frankly about teen sexuality, contraception and abortion.
(6 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 22, 2018 The Rohingya Crisis: Is Myanmar the New Syria
The western media is flooding us with images of Muslim Rohingya fleeing Rakhine state in Myanmar. Yet for some reason western accounts rarely mention the country's 70-year civil war with Rohingyan separatists - nor the support the latter receive from Saudi Arabia. The US is notorious for using humanitarian crises to justify both direct and proxy military intervention. Is Myanmar possibly the new Syria.
(4 comments) SHARE Sunday, April 18, 2010 Towards a Nonpartisan Anti-Corporate Movement
It is interesting to see the growing support from non-Republicans - even leftists - for Congressman Ron Paul's campaign to restore Constitutional freedoms lost as a result of the war on terror. Meanwhile the corporate seems to be doing everything possible to divide us and get us fighting among one another.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, May 10, 2010 Oil Spills and Money Laundering: An Ethical Dilemma
The problem of Wall Street involvement in money laundering of illicit drug profits dates back to the late seventies (at least). There are no mainstream banks that aren't implicated and the ready availability of drug cash seems fundamental to keeping the US financial system afloat.
(12 comments) SHARE Saturday, December 17, 2011 The Hidden (Manmade) Cause of the Cancer Epidemic
Dr Mary's Monkey may be more important for the insight it provides into the current epidemic of breast and other soft tissue cancers than for new evidence it provides regarding the JFK assassination. Haslam's book provides a detailed history of how the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines administered to three million baby boomers were accidentally contaminated with a cancer causing monkey virus known as SV-40.