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Commentary

Commentary
“Vladimir the Terrible” Fit the Needs of the U.S. Military-Industrial Complex for an “Evil Foreign Enemy”—But the Real Putin ...
Danny Shaw: The U.S. military-industrial complex needs enemies like human lungs need oxygen. When there are no enemies, they must be invented. ... Russia is a medium-sized capitalist power — having the 11th largest GDP in the world, after 10th place South Korea and before 12th place Brazil. ... Vladimir Putin represents the nationalist section of the Russian bourgeoisie. ... Putin’s main objective is the return of a strong, proud Russia on the international stage ... Putin is popular because he guarantees a certain stability for the elites, oligarchs, civil servants and other powerful sectors of Russian society. ... U.S. military spending dwarfs that of Russia, $778 billion annually to $61.7 billion... Visit Website ]
Nov 26, 2021, 3:52pm

Commentary
Remembering John F. Kennedy’s Vision for the Future that Should Have Been
Matthew J.L. Ehret: It is too often overlooked today, but JFK’s anti-colonial position was not a secret ... JFK’s efforts to build bridges with Russia were of vital importance as they resulted in the passage of the test ban treaty on August 5, 1963 ... JFK was self-consciously unleashing the innate powers of creative reason as a governing principle of political economy. ... He believed that the human mind could conquer all challenges that both nature, vice and ignorance can throw at us. ... JFK didn’t see the world through a zero sum lens, nor did he believe in the Malthusian “limits to growth”... Visit Website ]
Nov 22, 2021, 4:00pm

Commentary
Sweets for the Season? Consider the Source
Lee Hall: Chocolate—not all, but much of it—is entangled with an immoral global economy. ... The big companies might be putting out a few token fair trade labels (such as Hershey’s barkTHINS®), yet the number of youths doing dangerous work on cocoa plantations has risen. ... The cocoa plantations of Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana grow more than 70% of the cocoa sold by big brands. There are 1.56 million children harvesting the beans. ... The chocolate companies gave themselves four extensions of time and now claim by 2025 they will “reduce by 70%” their reliance on child labor. Think about that – after 20 years, they admit they are still using child labor and won’t even stop in 2025... Visit Website ]
Nov 20, 2021, 11:29am

Commentary
U.S. Terrorism 101: The Bert Sacks Story
Edward Curtin: By any reasonable interpretation of the law, the United Sates is a terrorist state. ... Let me tell you about Bert Sacks. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. His experiences with the U.S. government regarding terrorism tell an illuminating story of conscience and hope. It is a story of how one person can awaken others to recognize and admit the truth that the U.S. is guilty of crimes against humanity, even when one is unable to stop the carnage. It is a tale of witness, and how such witness is contagious. ... In November 1997 Sacks led a delegation to Iraq to deliver desperately needed medicines ($40,000 worth, all donated) that were denied into the country because of US/UN economic sanctions... Visit Website ]
Nov 16, 2021, 10:59am

Commentary
Hating work is having a moment
Rani Molla: Workers are fed up and fighting back against low pay, poor conditions, and the general idea that work is the center of their lives. ... That fighting back is taking on many forms, from the performative to the transformative. ... Posts about standing up to abusive bosses have become their own genre on TikTok, Reddit, and other platforms. ... There’s also an element of retribution to workers fighting back. ... It’s against the backdrop of your employer making all kinds of profits, and we’ve all just gone through total hell. ... “Unemployment for all, not just the rich!” ... The Antiwork community has also been organizing a Black Friday boycott, asking retail workers to “withhold their labor” and consumers to “withhold their purchasing power”... Visit Website ]
Nov 12, 2021, 4:33pm

Commentary
Mass Killings, Native Erasure
Matt Remle: The colonization of the Western hemisphere is built upon the blood of millions. ... Headlines like “Worse Mass Shooting in US History” not only bury the very real trauma faced by survivors of mass shootings and the families of those who lost loved ones in those shootings, but such headlines tend to enrage communities, in particular Native communities, whose genocide typically gets erased. ... What is needed is a return to an understanding of our inter-relatedness to each other, to earth, to all creation. Our inability to understand our inter-connectedness has led to globe state of conflict and disaster. ... Human activity and our lack of concern for the consequences of our actions drives our current state of global affairs... Visit Website ]
Nov 10, 2021, 3:39pm

Commentary
The GOP's #1 Issue Is the Survival of White Supremacy
Thom Hartmann: There is no country in the world or time in history when racism as a political strategy has ended well for a nation - If the GOP fails to purge itself of its racist politicians our future is grim ... For Republicans there’s really only one issue: race. Or, more specifically, maintaining the dominance of white people over every other racial group in America, and the survival of political and economic white supremacy. ... Today’s Republican white supremacists ... live in a totally zero-sum world: when anybody who’s not white “wins” any sort of benefit or power, they believe white people “lose” by the same proportion... Visit Website ]
Nov 2, 2021, 2:00pm

Commentary
The Seedy Crimes of the Obscenely Rich Are Routinely Ignored
John Stoehr: Trading on information that has not been made public is illegal. Yet it happens all the time. ... "A growing body of research suggests that many insiders are trading well thanks to more than luck or judgment," ... "It indicates that insider trading by executives is pervasive and that nobody — not the regulators, not the Department of Justice, not the companies themselves — is doing anything to stop it." ... financial markets are separate and distinct from the regular economy, and anyone telling you that what's bad for the very obscenely rich is bad for America is someone trying to scam you... Visit Website ]
Oct 31, 2021, 2:42pm

Commentary
Assange: A Threat to War Itself
Robert Koehler: By pulling the realities of war out of its carefully crafted public context, the WikiLeaks founder became a danger to the country’s political status quo ... He is a threat to war itself — that is to say, to the abstraction of war, i.e., “national defense,” which claims a trillion dollars a year in unquestioned (and ever-increasing) funding and sits in the public consciousness as just the way things are ... By penetrating the realities of war and pulling it out of its carefully orchestrated public context, by publicizing its raw horrors, he became a danger to the country’s political status quo... Visit Website ]
Oct 25, 2021, 1:06pm

Commentary
Could Vice President Harris Follow Richard Nixon & Challenge the Filibuster?
Thom Hartmann: The filibuster is not in the Constitution & its only purpose, way back, was to block discussion of legislation that involved slavery or civil rights ... The filibuster is just a rule the Senate has decided to impose on itself and that it can change anytime it wants. ... The Senate should be able to change its rules, he (Nixon) said, by a simple majority vote ... The fear cited by Democrats for eliminating or substantially changing the filibuster is that the Senate may end up in Republican hands and then they’d have a hard time blocking legislation to which they object. ... But isn’t majority rule the essence of democracy?.. Visit Website ]
Oct 22, 2021, 2:27pm

Commentary
Discontent by Design: The Lost World of the West
Graham Peebles: The greatest crisis of all, however, is humanity, and the culture that we, specifically ‘The West’, have built and are wedded to. ... The Culture of Pleasure sits tightly within and feeds the pervasive Ideology of Consumerism, a socio-economic model that has poisoned the environment and led to the commodification of everything, and everyone. ... Where is love within the socio-political constructs and the policies of governments, within which we are forced to live and function? ... There isn’t any, or none worth noting, and how can there be peace, social justice and equality without love?... Visit Website ]
Oct 19, 2021, 2:42pm

Commentary
Reporter’s Alert: Part VI
Ralph Nader: From time to time, we use Reporter’s Alert to present suggestions for important reporting on topics that are either not covered or not covered thoroughly. ... 1. More states are recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day, giving rise to the need for a broad report on all the treaties tribal nations signed with the U.S. government that are still intact and that are still violated by the U.S. government. ... 2. “What’s happened to all those lawsuits against Trump?” ... 3. State legislatures and governors in many states are using “pandemic” pretexts to eliminate rights and democratic procedures. ... 4. Sports injuries are more prevalent than ever before. ... 5. What’s happened to NASA?... Visit Website ]
Oct 15, 2021, 3:21pm

Commentary
Every Day Is Columbus Day
Karen Breslin: We celebrate it every time the desires of the dominant culture override the concerns of native peoples about destruction of their homelands and sacred sites. ... Despite relentless legal and political resistance from affected tribes, Canadian oil that is produced by converting forests to sand pits recently began flowing through the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline. ... Earlier this year, a federal court ordered the federal government to reassess the environmental impacts of the Dakota Access Pipeline, yet the Biden administration is allowing it to continue to operate. ... What Columbus achieved through bloodshed and savagery is now accomplished with paper weapons wielded in a federal court.... Visit Website ]
Oct 11, 2021, 5:13pm

Commentary
2022 Must Be the Year We Defeat All the Political Corporate Grifters
Thom Hartmann: We've reached "maximum grift" in America, both in business and politics. We're on the edge of a tipping point. ... So now corporations are people, and when they want to talk to politicians or voters they do it with their money. It's a whole new grift. ... But when corporations kill people—like PG&E did when they were convicted of burning 84 people to death in 2018 ... they don't get the death penalty ... big-money grifting in politics has become so normalized since Reagan that it just doesn't occur to people inside the beltway that it's at the core of our problems ... This may, quite literally, be our last chance to rip the grift out of our republic... Visit Website ]
Oct 3, 2021, 4:09pm

Commentary
When Will the US Break Free from the Clutches of Its Grifters?
Thom Hartmann: Grifters occupy a unique niche in the world of criminals: they avoid direct violence, but live and act only to enrich themselves, whether it’s with money, sex, power or all three. ... They’re typically high-functioning sociopaths ... They combine the not-uncommon skill set of being charming and great salesmen and storytellers, but have no conscience or respect for the truth. ... And the entire Republican Party has become one giant in-crowd of professional grifters ... Ronald Reagan ... was the first professional grifter president of the modern era... Visit Website ]
Sep 30, 2021, 3:14pm


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1969-70 FOL
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