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Neal Herrick is author of the award-wining After Patrick Henry (2009). His most recent book is (2014) Reversing America’s Decline. He is a former sailor, soldier, auto worker, railroad worker, assistant college football coach, door-to-door salesman, bureaucrat, reporter and peace activist. He received his BS from the University of New Hampshire and his PhD from the Union Graduate School. He retired from the University of Michigan as a visiting professor
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, March 30, 2015 The tragedy in the Middle East and Ukraine: canaries in a coal mine
A canary is sensitive to coal dust. When it dies, the miners realize that they must take action or die themselves. The Middle East and Ukraine are our canaries. We must take action or the same coal dust that is killing our fellow human beings in those countries will kill us as well.
(5 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 20, 2014 Sen Warner's views on Ukraine
Recently I wrote Sen Mark Warner (D-VA) urging him to oppose US policies in Ukraine. Here is Sen. Warner's reply
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, April 12, 2015 The Tragedies in the Middle East and Ukraine: Who will bell the cat?
As Marge Baker wrote recently, "Until we fix our democracy, it is hard to fix any problem." At present, our efforts to "fix our democracy" seem to be failing. Some of the tragic consequences of this failure are afflicting both us at home and ordinary people in small countries far from home.
SHARE Monday, July 22, 2019 Where Have All The Patriots Gone?
Are the eastern Ukrainians our enemies? In the 1980s,when the mainstream media told us the Contras were "freedom fighters" an estimated 40 thousand of us traveled to Nicaragua to see ourselves. Why aren't we traveling to Ukraine now?
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, September 6, 2019 A Global Marshall PlanCould be a Winner in 2020
As our presidential candidates make their plans and promises, we need to remind them of a US foreign policy with a clear record of success. It is still possible for America to again take moral and humanitarian world leadership - as we did with the Marshall Plan.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, June 29, 2019 Where is our Solidarity With the People of East Ukraine?
A parish priest in Somoto, Nicaragua, scolded me one summer day in 1987. He said "If you allow your government to oppress us now, soon it will oppress you as well."
Not only do his words ring true today. They would also ring true if spoken to one of us now by an inhabitant of eastern Ukraine.
(3 comments) SHARE Friday, December 27, 2019 Toward An Impartial Impeachment Trial
Our Country is in serious trouble. An impartial presidential impeachment trial might help restore our democracy. The Senate's immediate revision of its impeachment rules might result in an impartial trial.
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, April 24, 2015 The tragedies in the Middle East and Ukraine:" Who can de-claw the cat?
Deena Stryker commented on my recent article sub-titled 'Canaries in a coal mine.' She wrote, "I agree with the premise of this article, but wonder what the next step will be when journalists have named the culprit as being our plutocracy." This is, indeed, a question well worth wondering about. It is easy to fantasize about how we would like to see the cat de-clawed, but extremely difficult to conceive of a strategy for doing
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 4, 2015 The Tragedies in the Middle East and Ukraine: Caging the Lynx
Our plutocracy is, like the lynx, both dangerous and difficult to cage. There is only one band of "hunters" with the power to cage our lynx. This band consists of our seven thousand or so state legislators. Article V of our Constitution assigns the supreme power of our federal government solely to our state legislatures.  If something is to be done to reverse our country's decline, our state legislators must do it. .
SHARE Monday, January 13, 2020 US Democracy on Trial
We need an impartial impeachment trial for many reasons. The chief reason is that an impartial trial would help us begin to see ourselves again as a nation with justice as its base value.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, February 1, 2020 Mr. Trump Can Run But Not Hide
There are several questionable beliefs and one legal fact that, taken together with the First Amendment to the Constitution, make it possible that Mr. Trump will be our first "removed and disqualified" president. This event, if it should occur, would almost certainly strengthen our democracy and revive our positive international reputation.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 5, 2015 The tragedies of the Middle East and Ukraine: What do state legislatures have to do with them?
The state legislatures (collectively) could (and should) have a great deal to do with both foreign and domestic policy. This is because they have the final say on constitutional amendments. Since our Constitution establishes how our federal government organizes and carries out all its powers, the state legislatures have the power to affect all aspects of government. However, they have not yet chosen to use this power.
SHARE Tuesday, July 7, 2015 The real problem with college sports - Part 1 of 3 parts
Div. I and II college sports lose money that could be used to reduce tuitions. But that isn't the real problem. Coaches and NCAA officials become incredibly wealthy at the expense of "student athletes." But that isn't the real problem either. The real problem is that Div. I and II commercialized sports are undermining the values upon which our system of higher education is based. We have lived with this problem for a long time
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, February 22, 2015 The tragedy in Ukraine and James Madison
James Madison wrote, in Federalist 49, that "the people" should have a "road" to use in making decisions during "great and extraordinary" situations. Two days before the 1787 convention ended, he suggested such a "road." This article comments on our present great and extraordinary situation. Then it discusses the "road" Madison left us to use in dealing with such situations.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, April 1, 2014 The USA's Slipping World Rankings
This extract discusses the relevance of data generated by five international ranking organizations to US policy development.
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, June 28, 2014 Unions and the quality of life go hand-in-hand
Contrary to the opinions of Republicans and other conservatives, high levels of unionization go hand-in-hand with high rankings in the quality of life. Table 1 shows that the most unionized OECD nations are far more democratic, honest, competitive and pro
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, March 3, 2014 Three Immigration Myths
This article explains why there is no necessity for an immigration “wall.” It proposes enforcing the hiring prohibitions of the Immigration and Naturalization Act as a virtually cost-free alternative. It also argues that our bi-lingual policy prevents
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 18, 2014 A golden opportunity for progressives
We need to end our oligarchy and make our government responsive to ordinary Americans. Our government, of course, will not be a party to reforming itself. An Article V convention is necessary and the Republicans have set the stage for one. Let's not loo
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 26, 2014 Oligarchic corruption and the quality of life are mortal enemies
Honest government shows remarkably strong correlations with the quality of life. Democracy is a close second. These correlations suggest ways and means of joining with our natural allies (rank-and-file Republicans) to defeat our common enemy (our oligarchy) and reform the corrupt government that serves it.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, January 26, 2015 The New Penn State Tragedy
The new tragedy at Penn State lies in the refusal of the fans, students and faculty of PSU to recognize commercialized college sports as the cause of their initial tragedy. Instead, they continue to worship the memory of the essentially decent, but flawed, man who was led by the glories of commercialization to betray them. They obstinately call for the "hair of the dog that bit them."
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 29, 2014 Democracy and Quality of Life Go Hand-in-Hand
This article presents tables showing the associations of international "quality of life" rankings with democracy -- as defined by the Economist Intelligence Unit's democracy Index. The tables show strong correlations between the democracy rankings and the causes and indicators of the quality of life.
SHARE Saturday, May 23, 2015 How our State Legislatures Might Help Prevent Tragedies
Our state legislatures cannot interfere with specific decisions implementing US domestic or foreign policies. However, Article V does give them the exclusive power to rearrange our federal powers and to lay down guidelines for the exercise of these powers. This rearrangement and lying down of guidelines could increase our control over our government and decrease the control of our plutocrats.
SHARE Friday, July 18, 2014 What we have (not) learned from the Penn State tragedy
We (and the NCAA) have apparently learned nothing from the tragic sexual abuse in the Athletic Department at Penn State University. The NCAA's "slap-on-the-wrist," in effect, condoned the commercialization of college sports.
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, September 7, 2014 . Robert Parry should be read by all
Ordinary Americans, Republicans and Democrats alike, learnedthe truth about our war in Nicaragua by visiting the the towns and villages of that oppressed country -- and by reading Robert Parry and a fewother truth-telling journalists. Now we cannot visit
SHARE Saturday, January 24, 2015 The Greensboro Four
On February 1, 1960, four students from North Carolina A&T College ignited the "sit in" movement (and reenergized the civil-rights movement itself). Fifty-five years ago, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair, Joe McNeil and David Richmond took their seats at a Greensboro, NC, Woolworth's lunch counter.
SHARE Sunday, August 23, 2015 The real problem with college sports - Part 3 of 3 parts
In his excellent Aug.17, 2015 article in The Nation, "The absurd, cowardly and morally bankrupt NLRB decision against the Northwestern football union", Dave Zirin points out many of the reasons the NLRB decision is irrational, partial and unjust. This article focuses on the negative implications of the decision to the integrity and quality of higher education in the US.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, November 6, 2014 Part II of Democracy, oligarchy, a convention of states and the Michigan application -- (Part II)
This is the second of two articles commenting on the Michigan application for a constitutional convention. The first article dealt with the nature of the Michigan application in particular and with "the people's" right to call conventions in general. This article discusses questions about (1) the fear of a runaway convention and (2) the roles of NGO'S, state legislatures and "the people" in calling a convention.
SHARE Tuesday, September 16, 2014 Government reform, the quality of life and the Convention of States (COS)
The 4th of 4 articles on factors that correlate positively with quality of life. Factors are chosen by the availability of relevant data concerning them and because of their sensitivity to public policy. They are, in the order of correlation: governmental honesty, democracy, union density and competitiveness. We comment on policy implications of the data and relevance of the mostly Republican Convention of States(COS) project.
SHARE Thursday, July 16, 2015 The real problem with college sports -- Part 2 of 3 parts
Commercialized college sports encourage hypocrisy, corrupt behavior and cynicism. The Oxford Dictionary defines "hypocrisy" as "the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform." Most university presidents, chancellors and boards of regents are hypocritical.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 9, 2014 I Love Taxes
Taxes are a wonderful or a terrible institution – depending largely on whether the people being taxed are represented on the taxing body proportionate to their numbers in the population.
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, September 21, 2014 Rank-and-file Republicans and Democrats should stop complaining and take action
It is useless for us ordinary Americans to complain to our oligarchic government about our oligarchic government. Instead of taking action, however, this is how we occupy our time and energy. We complain about its invasions, torturing, fracking etc. Please, we add, overturn Citizens United (fat chance) and raise the minimum wage.