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Douglas C. Smyth

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I am a writer and retired college teacher. I taught college courses in Economics and Political Science (I've a Ph.D) and I've written as a free-lancer for various publications.

OpEdNews Member for 757 week(s) and 1 day(s)

38 Articles, 5 Quick Links, 116 Comments, 4 Diaries, 1 Polls

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SHARE More Sharing        Friday, August 28, 2009
Answering Conservative Arguments Against Healthcare Reform They say we should have a "free market" in healthcare, and that government involvement will drive the dollar into hyper-inflation--as well as requiring 'death panels," etc. We've had a "free market" and look what it costs! More than twice those feared 'guvmint' programs in other nations. Without employer health insurance it would be worse, still. Without even minimal regulations? That's what they advocate!
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, September 6, 2009
A Camera is a Terror Weapon! A personal account of an encounter--outside a large prison--with the pervasive paranoia of "terrorists"in this country, and how, in the end, I avoided being charged by the police.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, April 9, 2009
Muscle-bound America Gates, DOD Secretary's proposed weapons cuts unleashed a firestorm of mobilization--within the defense industry. Cap and trade meets resistance in Congress. Why? The US is over-organized, no change will be easy, because money favors the status quo--on defense, global warming and the economy. But perhaps not on health care.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, July 18, 2008
Peak Oil Happened Already What does "peak oil" mean, and what can we do about it? We face two very different responses: one will lead to a pretty ugly world, and diminished living standards, the other would lead to a more peaceful, richer, but less materially intensive world.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, February 8, 2011
I'm Hit By the Underground Economy I'm hit by an illegal in an uninsured car with counterfeit plates, and I realize: we all pay for the terrible immigration policy we have. Illegal status promotes illegal acts, like uninsured vehicles; legalization would diminish them.
(31 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Why Prosecutions of Bush-Cheney Are a Bad Idea Why Obama doesn't want to pursue Bush-Chemey staffers on crimes committed. I offer an alternative that would still ensure that the crimes will not be committed again, even if Bush issues pre-emptive pardons.
(6 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, September 26, 2008
The Right Wing Nation Seen from abroad, the US is one of the most right wing nations in the world. Here's why. Will our handling of the financial crisis and the Presidential election change this?
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Representation by the Lobbyists, For the Lobbyists - the People be Damned The "climate change" bill that passed the House, and the negotiations on the health care bill, both prove that we have government by and for lobbyists and special interests, not Democracy. The ultimate reform we need is to get money out of politics. In the meantime, we'll probably starve from droughts, or be washed away from floods, due to the "compromise" worked in Waxman's bill, and we won't even have public health care.
(7 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, September 22, 2008
Secure Mortgages, Not Banks, Not Speculators! Bush and Paulson are proposing the reverse of what Democrats should agree to: instead of trying to stop the flow of reverse leverage from the end of the securitized chain of bad paper, Democrats should propose to bail out homeowners, since home mortgages represent the only real value in the chain. This would ensure homeowners keep their homes, secure financial instruments and would probably cost much less than $700 billion.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, January 5, 2013
Black Panthers = Occupy =Terrorists? Just as in the old Cointelpro days, the FBI was going to assassinate protesters. Why?
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, September 21, 2010
A Global Disease? Tea party anger should be taken seriously. Progressives need to realize: that anger is really about something else: economic distress caused by the successful counter-revolution beginning with Reagan. That realization should tell us that progressives can harness that anger directly--instead of letting it be diverted by racist, theocratic rhetoric. Progressives need to harness emotions, not just rational argument.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, September 9, 2008
How the Selfish Class Keeps Power and Wealth The selfish class is alive and well. It presided over the fall of the Roman Empire, but its liveliest reincarnation is right here in the US, and its represented most faithfully by McCain-Palin.
(6 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, August 23, 2008
Vote 3rd Party, Or Not? Does it make logical sense to vote for a third party in a system in which all the electoral machinery and structure is designed to maintain only two parties? Sometimes, the vote for a third party can have paradoxical consequences the voter wouldn't like: like Bush's selection in 2000, and the wars that followed.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, August 16, 2008
McCain, Georgia and a New Cold War The US is heading towards a new cold war, and McCain hopes to be elected in its wake. But the confrontation with Russia was engineered by people like Cheney, and by McCain's advisor, Randy Scheunemann, and can be defused, if enough people know what's really happening. Obama has an opportunity to calm the tension and save the US from a long and bankrupting conflict.
(8 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, February 22, 2012
The Fed and Freedom If the Fed were abolished, the gold standard wouldn't eliminate war; it would create new ones to control the gold. What is needed, instead, is nationalization of the Fed, so that it's no longer an awkward public-private hybrid that mostly caters to its private members, the banks. That might go far to dismantle the Empire: when employment is more important to the Fed than inflation.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, January 10, 2009
A Copyright is Property Copyright is socially created and is compatible with a market-based economy, but it may have to undergo changes as the Internet creates more outlets for the distribution of culture.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, January 7, 2008
Words and Obama Obama points to the power of words to inspire: it's his kind of leadership that the nation needs to undo the Reagan-Bush legacy. Neither Bill, nor Hillary offer or offered inspirational leadership; that was Bill's tragedy. It is what Obama promises, and it seems he has the wherewithal to deliver.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Reformers McCain and Palin? Now McCain is a reformer, along with his new running mate, Sarah Palin! But not all reformers stand for things we want. Hitler and Mussolini ran as reformers. McCain-Palin stand for reforms that might even be worse, despite Palin's stand against the oil companies in Alaska. She still wants to afford them even more opportunities for making record profits: drill, drill everywhere--except where McCain wants to bomb!
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Recession, the "R-word" and the "D-word" Is it a recession or a depression? The world's economic distress is caused by the unequal distribution of the proceeds of growth in the last decade, and by the US de-regulation of banks and other businesses. To resolve global economic problems the US needs to re-regulate and also promote a more equitable distribution of wealth.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, August 7, 2009
Honduras and My Venezuelan Family There are parallels between Honduran and Venezuelan upper class hatred of Venezuela's Chavez and Honduras's Zelaya. They are why it will be difficult to undo the Honduran coup. In addition, American business may be less democratically inclined in this situation than Americans might assume. That's important.
(12 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, June 5, 2008
If Smiles Mean Something: McCain vs Obama What's in a smile, a painful one, or a fresh and spontaneous one? Between them, McCain and Obama demonstrated both kinds, which may say something about the campaign to come.
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, February 7, 2008
The Military: A Political Machine The best explanation for the huge defense budget (as large as it was in WWII) is not two smallish wars/occupations, but that the Defense Establishment is the most effective political machine that ever existed: more than half a trillion worth.
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, April 30, 2010
Far-Left Socialist--Obama? The Faith & Freedom Coalition of former Christian Coalition leader, Ralph Reed, shows how to spread its propaganda, "poll" 5,000,000 "taxpayers" and raise money all at the same time. What's astounding are the fictions this group is spreading.
(7 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, January 15, 2009
Push for Single Payer in Stages Andrew Cuomo's suit of a health insurer reveals the true nature of health insurance companies: we need to move to Single payer insurance, like Medicare. However, given the political power of the insurance industry, we need to move in stages: let the industry continue to insure; just set up Medicare (or equivalent) as insurer for anyone, at Medicare prices ($96/month). Let the private insurers compete: you know who will win.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Global Immigration Global immigration is a reality. Illegal immigration, an inevitable consequence, has been used politically to pit workers against each other. A liberalized immigration policy would make possible major advances for everyone, even other workers.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, June 22, 2009
Iran: Possible Revolution on Twitter Twitter is a tool of the educated, tech-savvy, but it's not surprising that Iran's educated are at the forefront of their election upheaval: the middle class is usually necessary for any revolution. The main questions are: who will prevail, and what effect will that have on the world? We won't know the outcome for awhile, but the turmoil should make nuclear negotiations easier, either way.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, May 28, 2009
Mountaintop Mining, Politics and Lawsuits Neither a corrupt Congress, nor a corrupted EPA will stop mountaintop removal, or reduce coal's role in energy production, but lawsuits could make a major difference: calling for lawyers specializing in class action damage suits.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, March 17, 2008
Crane Collapses Amid Building Boom in NY? A crane collapses and we discover that NYC is in the midst of a building boom--while the rest of the world deals with the "sub-prime melt-down."
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, June 20, 2008
Oil, Who Profits? The runup in oil prices breeds winners and losers: oil companies win, speculators win, gas stations don't. Further, the only reasonable response is to conserve, cut back when you can, and for the nation to invest in alternative fuels and technologies. We are entering the Post-Oil Age.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, February 17, 2008
Why Obama is the Most Progressive Candidate Obama is progressive not because of his specific policy proposals, some more moderate than Hillary's, but because of the movement he has unleashed, and the rhetoric he can employ to steer it.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, January 14, 2008
Give 'em $150 For a Sheep What the US really owes Iraq: it isn't a commitment to continuing occupation; it isn't piecemeal compensation for property destruction and the deaths of loved ones. How much for the life or your husband, wife, son, mother or daughter? How much for the country that has been destroyed?
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, January 14, 2010
"Reform" in New York State Governor Patterson has offered a bold idea for New York State: consolidating and cutting state entities. Why is this radical? Because New York State is the mother of all bureaucracies, with the highest property taxes in the nation as a consequence. Can Patterson carry through on his proposal?
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, December 11, 2007
What Are Americans Up To? America doesn't know what it's up to: Bush is for more war; the GOP supports him slavishly, but the Democrats are too timid to oppose him courageously. Yet that's what people want, what Iraq needs and what the world needs: no more American Empire bestriding the world like a clumsy collosus.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, January 30, 2009
Don't Attack Afghans, Develop Afghanistan Another offensive strategy in Afghanistan/Pakistan will be counterproductive. What is needed instead is, first, basic security for the Afghan people, and then massive development programs that will make tangible the benefits of not supporting the Taliban. The US should retire its deadly Predator drones, and bombing raids that kill civilians and thus bolster support for the insurgents.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, November 24, 2008
Sic Transit Dingell Congressman Dingell was the Big Three's enabler. Now, with Waxman we'll have a Congressional Chairman on Energy who's not going to protect the Big Three from themselves, and has a reputation as someone who gets things done.
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Hillary or Obama: Experience or Inspiration? While Obama's Senatorial career is short, it is not slim. Therefore, there must be some other reason why he and the MSM present him as inspirational, while they and Hillary present her as experienced.
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, May 26, 2008
Memorializing The War Dead Memorial Day remembers the War Dead, but the rhetoric that they "died for Freedom" is wildly out of tune with what is happening now, in Iraq, or with what happened in Vietnam a generation ago. They died for Empire, and for driving the US into bankruptcy and second-class status as a nation.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, July 10, 2008
Iraqis Say Get Out of Iraq! Get Out of Iraq! Lots of people have said that, both in the US and world-wide (and 70% of Iraqis) but now it's not just the Iraqi man in the street, it's the Iraqi Man himself: Prime Minister Maliki. But that's not the end of the story. Just remember: the US overthrew Ngo Dinh Diem because he wasn't following US directives. Maliki and the whole Iraqi parliament could be at risk if Bush-Cheney don't get their way.

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