The Tennessee Valley Authority could likely rightfully claim a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, but it’s not an achievement for which the federally-owned electric utility corporation would welcome notoriety. After taking a whopping 42 years to build and finally bring on line its Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear power reactor in Tennessee, TVA just broke
We reenact our history again and again without even realizing it, so absolutely has the darkest chapters of our nation's past been erased from the collective memory. Our leaders react in mock horror when confronted with the outlandish scenes of torture and gratuitous violence that they themselves have set in motion. The liberal conscience, frail as it is,
One of Freire’s most important contributions was his politicization of culture. He viewed culture a terrain of struggle that both reflected and deployed power. He rejected the vulgar Marxist notion that culture was simply a reflection of economic forces. Not only did he connect culture with social relations that ranged from producing and legitimating class
I have, as expected, received numerous emails defending Glenn Greenwald against a recent Counterpunch essay in which I, among other things (all of which were ignored by the emailers), criticized his mocking presentation of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s instantly infamous “Tax the Rich” gown caper as an attempted act of “revolutionary socialism.” Don’t
A century-plus ago, the U.S. economy was dominated by what were then known as “cartels,” “trusts” or “monopolies.”  According to one source, between 1897 and 1904 over 4,000 companies were consolidated down into 257 corporate firms. Among them were Standard Oil (40 refineries), AT&T (22 units), U.S. Steel (nine steel companies) and J. P. Morgan’s More
In a rare pushback against the radioactive pollution industry, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission — well known as a rubber stamp for the nuclear lobby — has flatly rejected an attempt to further weaken the agency’s radiation exposure regulations. After six years of deliberation, the NRC’s three commissioners, two Democrats and one Republican, voted
President Biden addressed the UN General on September 21 with a warning that the climate crisis is fast approaching a “point of no return,” and a promise that the United States would rally the world to action. “We will lead not just with the example of our power but, God willing, with the power of More The post U.S. Militarism’s Toxic Impact on Climate Policy appeared
Things just go from bad to worse. In mid-September, we learned from Bob Woodward’s new book that Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley had to assure his Chinese counterpart, General Li Zuocheng last January that Trump was not a raving lunatic ready to nuke China, which Chinese leadership assumed from his erratic, aggressive behavior. This More The post
For over 50 years I have been writing about foreign policy, mostly America’s, but those of other nations as well. I think I have a pretty good grasp of countries like Turkey, China, India, Russia and the European Union. I regret that I am less than sure-footed in Africa and Latin America. During this time More The post Looking Back: 50 Years of Foreign Policy appeared
William Oliver Stone, the Legendary Filmmaker and multiple Oscar-winning writer and director of JFK and Born on the Fourth of July, has a powerful new memoir: Chasing the Light: Writing, Directing, and Surviving Platoon, Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador, and the Movie Game. Stone is also poised to release a brand new documentary about the assassination
The quasi-official history of the Afghan War has now be written by cable news house historians. Key elements: 1. The terrorist organization al-Qaeda was headquartered in Afghanistan at the time of 9/11 and so HAD to be destroyed to prevent further attacks on our Homeland. It was a “war of necessity,” as President Obama said More The post The Official
With that orange haired brute of a president supposedly ushered out of the White House with moralising delight, the Biden administration was all keen to turn over a new leaf.  There would be more diplomacy, and still more diplomacy.  There would be a more humanitarian approach to refugees and asylum seekers – forget, he claimed, More The post Trumpism with a
As Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, I want to say a few words about some of the important budgetary issues that Congress is now facing. I want to focus on the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill but before that I want to comment on the looming debt ceiling crisis.  Republican leader Mitch McConnell this morning More The post Why We Need the $3.5 Trillion Reconciliation
It’s a well-worn trope that history is written by the victors. It can also be said that it is written by those in power. In Europe, the combination of these two statements means history is written by the corporations, banks and those who serve them in the universities and governments. What this means for us More The post Twentieth Century Europe: Revolution
Suddenly there’s major concern across the country — from the mainstream media to every last rock-ribbed Republican — for the rights of Afghan women and girls to be able to work, to go to school. Oh my God, we’ve given Afghanistan back to the Taliban! Even George W. Bush found his way back into the More The post Women’s Rights: Afghanistan and Beyond appeared first
Life’s been a ball this week. There was the Met Gala ball with AOC’s “Tax the Rich” ballgown, and #Ballgate with Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s vaccinated friend’s swollen balls. We also had Brett’s Balls virtually in our face (again!), when Crybaby Kavanaugh and four of his fellow Right-Wing Supremes voted to let the Texas Taliban practically More The post #Ballgate,
Only weeks after U.S. President Joe Biden courageously ended the war in Afghanistan—in the face of bitter opposition from the media and Congress—came the announcement of the formation of AUKUS, a new trilateral security alliance between the U.S., the UK and Australia. The creation of AUKUS is only further confirmation—as if more was needed—that the
As lawmakers scramble to finalize a historic jobs and infrastructure package, huge fights are underway to figure out how to fund it. The simplest, most effective, and most popular way is to tax the extremely wealthy, like the billionaires who’ve seen their collective wealth grow by $1.8 trillion during the pandemic. Unfortunately, lawmakers have missed
Donor-advised funds have come under increasing fire as tax avoidance vehicles for the wealthy. Donors get a charitable gift tax deduction when they transfer money into the funds, but whereas private foundations have to distribute at least 5 percent of assets to charities every year, donor-advised funds face no such payout requirements. Under pressure from
Sweet Girl, a 2021 film released on Netflix in late August, dramatizes power relations between Big Pharma and families. One party gains. The other loses against a backdrop of stunts galore that some critics praised while damning the film’s clichéd storyline. Clichéd is not my adjective of choice. Depoliticized better captures my view of the More The post Families
The word “freedom” is being bantered about these days in different contexts. On the one hand, those opposed to mandatory vaccinations claim they have the freedom to be vaccinated or not. It’s their choice what to do with their bodies. The government cannot force them to be vaccinated; they are free to choose. On the other hand, many of the same people say that pregnant
Now that George W. Bush is back in the news with his attacks on the Trumpist insurrectionists, it might be worth reviving one of the great lines of his presidency. After the September 11thattack, when Bush decided to go after not just the terrorists who planned the hijackings, but all sorts of people around the world he didn’t like, he lumped them together as “evil
Our beloved dog Echo died last week. She was almost 15 years-old, or about 87 in human years. In addition to grief and fond remembrance, her death prompts thoughts about the many historical changes that happened in her lifetime.  So many in fact, that it seems like she really was born Lincoln’s “four score and seven years ago.”  Has historical change become so
Taking up the position of education secretary is Baghdad-born Nadhim Zahawi, one of the Commons’ richest MPs, who made his fortune in petroleum, and was previously minister in charge of Covid vaccines. The Tories make him a regular choice for radio and TV appearances, where his forte is sounding thoughtful while saying virtually nothing. But the true nature
In German elections – like the coming ones, as always on a Sunday – all you have to do is present the registration paper mailed to every citizen, then make crosses on a paper  ballot. No trouble with the boss, no missing work, long lines or quarrels about fraud or discrimination.  It sounds easy. But those ballots More The post Germany’s Who With
Journalism needs a new rule. Are you reporting about a human rights violation in another country? If the United States commits the same offense, you should be required to refer to that fact in your article or broadcast. Criticizing how a nation treats its prisoners or responds to internal dissent implies that the behavior being More The post Taliban Cops vs American
As a longtime Hawaii resident, I have always wondered how the former President of the United States, Grover Cleveland, was so ineffective when it came to foreign policy matters. His efforts to right the wrong of the unauthorized armed invasion and imprisonment of the last sovereign monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen Liliʻuokalani, in 1893 More The post
The Alliance for the Wild Rockies went to federal court on Tuesday to halt the Ripley project, a massive clearcutting and logging project in Cabinet-Yaak grizzly habitat in the Kootenai National Forest southeast of Libby, Montana. The Ripley logging project calls for almost 17 square miles of commercial logging (10,854 acres) including 5 square miles of
Everyone knows that we are in trouble. The university graduation statistics suggest that there will be a downturn in enrollment. Just as in previous cycles, silver bullets are being proposed. It is natural that we have different opinions. However, this is nothing new. When educators—or let’s say administrators—propose solutions, they are generally based
In ancient Greek mythology, Cassandra was a priestess who was able to predict the future but unable to convince others to act upon her prophecies. The fate of Cassandra seems particularly relevant today, for there has been ample warning about three developments that threaten continued human existence—preparations for nuclear war, climate change, and disease
I don’t remember exactly where I first saw the Adbusters poster with a ballerina poised atop the famous Charging Bull statue in lower Manhattan, calling for the “occupation” of Wall Street on September 17, 2011 but it was certainly an eye-catching. I do remember thinking it was funny in a weird kind of way. “Occupy More The post Reminiscences of a Wall Street Occupier
As a society, we love heroes. We adore baseball players who pull out a win in the bottom of the ninth inning while down by several runs. We love the frontier myth of the savior who comes to the rescue of others amid daunting odds. Pop culture and particularly movies thrive on heroes saving all More The post Don’t Count On Heroes! appeared first on
The political climate created by the Global War on Terror, or GWOT, as Bush administration officials quickly dubbed it, set the stage for humongous increases in the Pentagon budget. In the first year after the 9/11 attacks and the invasion of Afghanistan, defense spending rose by more than 10% and that was just the beginning. It would, in fact, increase annually
On Wednesday, thousands of Salvadorans celebrated the 200th anniversary of the country’s independence by marching in protest against President Nayib Bukele’s administration. President Bukele’s decision to make Bitcoin an officially recognized currency in El Salvador succeeded in getting a lot of attention. And that was precisely the point. The boldness
“Neoliberalism” has been a hot topic for a few decades, but by now the word is sloppily used often enough that many claim that the word has become meaningless. However, it doesn’t work that way. The word neoliberalism has a definite meaning, even if it can be a tricky one, and it does not lose More The post What is Neoliberalism? A Primer appeared
In its August 2021 Update to its Tracking the Dirty Dollars Project, Sierra Club California reveals that the California Republican Party has accepted over $300,000 from the fossil fuel industry and its allies this year. This more than triples the party’s contributions since Sierra Club’s last report update in May. “Once again, Republican legislators
Free speech and free press mean the same thing: the right to voice any beliefs or ideas, even unpopular ones — orally or on paper — without fear of being punished for it. Sometimes it’s called freedom of expression. Through history, various advances slowly won this right, which lies at the very heart of democracy. More The post Free Speech and Press
When President Joe Biden won the White House, he promised, with a facility of unceasing boredom, that diplomacy was back.  “Diplomacy is back at the centre of our foreign policy,” he stated on February 4.  “As I said in my inaugural address, we will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again, not More The post The Anglo Unilateralists Strike appeared
By now people have plenty of examples of the GOP’s idea of governance, which consists of opposing everything that doesn’t fit their myopic ideology. Here in Montana we’re headed back toward Lockdown City thanks to the utter failure of our Republican-controlled executive and legislative branches of government. But evidence is quickly mounting that GOP extremism
The Forest Service is proposing the South Plateau logging project with almost 9 square miles of clear-cuts, south and west of West Yellowstone. People should know what the area could look like while there’s still time to stop it. The Forest Service claimed that utter destruction, pictured above, in the Helena National Forest would be More The post Clearcutting
Back in the 1960s, a young American activist called Michael Albert was asked, “Okay, we hear you, you don’t like capitalism. So, what DO you want?”. Like many young activists, Albert and his friends first scoffed at the question. We don’t have to produce a blueprint of an alternative future system in order to justify More The post Imagine Life After Capitalism
Los Angeles, CA. A federal district court in Los Angeles has ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the “Service”) violated the law when they failed to list the imperiled Joshua tree under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). The Service disregarded overwhelming scientific evidence showing that climate change poses a major threat to the Joshua tree’s
Demographers looking back — years from now — on America’s annual mortality rates are going to find an asterisk on the years 2020 and 2021. The text behind that asterisk is going to give the reason why so many more Americans died in those particular years than the years right before. The explanation, of course, More The post Why Do Europeans Live Longer Than Americans?
Yoda, the Jedi Master in the Star Wars films, once pointed out that the future is all too difficult to see and it’s hard to deny his insight. Yet I’d argue that, when it comes to the U.S. military and its wars, Yoda was just plain wrong. That part of the future is all too More The post The US Military, Post-Afghanistan appeared first on
Joe Biden is taking heat from Democrats, not for his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan—that’s popular—but for his haphazard pullout that, self-serving Rumsfeldian stuff happens, wars end messily platitudes aside, could have been executed more efficiently. They blame George W. Bush for starting America’s longest war, arguing that what he began inexorably
Hotspotting was never implemented as an intervention to address upstream social determinants of health, but rather as a cost containment strategy — and it failed at that too. On January 4, CNBC reported on a Freakonomics radio episode from November 2020 in which Whole Foods CEO John Mackey graced the world with his very astute More The post The False Premise
The world economy faces serious risks going forward: for example, an estimated $2.3 trillion in income is projected to be lost in 2022–25 due to vaccine inequity — most of it in developing countries. In the United States, the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to zero, and has created more than 3.6 trillion dollars since More The post Billions of People Globally
The old saying that “art follows function” is being reversed by print newspaper editors alarmed over the shorter attention spans of readers who are moving to online news outlets. As a result, newspaper editors have ushered in a golden age for graphic artists giving them huge chunks of newspaper space formerly devoted to reporters and news. Granted a More
“If it works, why do we need to do it 183 times?” – Dianne Feinstein, Senate Intelligence Committee on Torture Last year, I filed a FOIA to obtain the poetry of Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) and Abu Zubaydah (AZ). I was in earnest. The illustrious and toolishly necessary New York Times, along with London’s equivalent More The post Anguished Lyricism: the Poetry
This is not the first time Rahm Emanuel has turned to Republicans for rescue. The GOP rescued him in 1993, when he was a key White House aide, as the Clinton administration rammed the NAFTA trade pact though Congress. Most Democrats in Congress – responding to the base of the party, including union and environmental activists – voted no on NAFTA. Years later,
Peruvian president Pedro Castillo took office July 28 following a narrow electoral victory on June 6 and official certification of voting results on July 19. Then and since, right-wing opposition forces have viciously attacked Castillo and his Perú Libre (Free Peru) party. Defamatory media blasts from virtually all Peruvian news sources have been constant.
Only a few weeks ago, a Reichsbürger in Germany shot a police officer with a crossbow during a house’s search in a remote town called Linden, in the north of Hessen. The Reichsbürger is accused of attempted manslaughter and he was sent to a prison until his court hearing. Violent attacks by the right-wing extremist Reichsbürger is nothing out of the ordinary in
If you haven’t been to the Cabinet-Yaak region in northwest Montana, you ought to go. You will find an incredibly beautiful landscape that alternates from rugged, glaciated peaks, to dense coniferous forests with lush meadows and riparian areas along the meandering Yaak River. If you are exceptionally lucky, you might see one of the rare Cabinet-Yaak grizzly
Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley stepped outside the realm of his constitutional power to prevent Donald Trump from starting nuclear war with China or Iran.  It was definitely unconstitutional and probably illegal.  But he’s not the true villain in this story; the true villain is almost never mentioned in the press. Trump’s advisors aren’t More
Photo credits: Sung Wang (via Unsplash) and Leijurv, CC by-sa 4.0 int’l. Tesla’s going to produce $25K cars. Welcome news for many working folks who have, so far, only admired Tesla cars from a distance. And it should be good news for the global transition to sustainable energy—if we believe Elon Musk, the self-crowned Technoking. Anyway, that 25K price tag
Image by Jordy Meow. With the War on Terror in its twentieth year, thrust back into the public discourse with the recent withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Linda Sarsour, prominent Palestinian American activist and thinker, one of the national co-founders of the Women’s March (the largest single day protest in U.S. history), expressed what has been
Oscar Homolka in Alfred Hitchock's Sabotage. As compulsively watchable as it is, Hitchcock's Sabotage makes a real hash out of Conrad's The Secret Agent–that prescient novel which so accurately predicted the ways in which radical underground groups could be penetrated and manipulated by intelligence agencies into doing the repressive work of the state.
Seen from Beijing the storming of the Capitol looked like a failed coup, a botched but serious attempt to upend US politics. Now, a book by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa claims US General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called General Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army not once but twice. First on October 30, 2020, just
Almost everything Tom Wolfe wrote about the glitterati left in the late 60s has been recapitulated in subsequent decades, with the faux radicalism diminishing into hip liberalism and the artistic pretense inflating into camp couture for the one-percent. It's beyond parody. In the 60s, the message wouldn't have been "Tax the Rich" but "Fuck the Rich", "Eat
Glenn Greenwald’s latest Substack essay shows how it is possible to be bright, seemingly progressive, stupid, and stealthily reactionary all at one and the same time – a common affliction of petit-bourgeois intellectuals who’ve never had a proper Marxist education. More The post Glenn Greenwald and Iowa’s latest WTF Moments appeared first on
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has given new license to the killing of Indigenous people in Brazil. Before he came to power in 2019, it wasn’t clear what he wanted to build, but he knew exactly who and what he wanted to destroy: the Indigenous people and the Amazon rainforest, respectively. “Bolsonaro attacked a woman first, the land, our More The post
The UK (in partnership with Italy) will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, COP26 in Glasgow on October 31- November 12, 2021. COP26 will be one of the most significant meetings in modern human history, comparable to the meeting of the Big Three at the Tehran Conference November 28, 1943 when More The post What’s Up With COP26? appeared first
Only 29% of people in the US trust the news. Some 37% of Mexicans do, and 43% of Australians. That figure drops even further when it comes to social media. Some 18% of Australians trust news there, and 13% of people in the US do. People are being inundated with content, marketing, and headlines, and More The post A Journalist Dissects a Biased Chart of Media Biases
The House select committee on the January 6 capitol riot finally kicked into gear. In August, the committee requested telecom companies to preserve phone and social media records of certain congress critters. Suddenly the likes of Mo Brooks, Marjorie Taylor Green, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar and Lauren Boebert quivered with anticipation: were they targets of
On September 16 the media carried the news that the US, Britain and Australia are banding together to increase pressure on China by arranging for Australia to buy and operate nuclear-powered submarines.  Strategically, this is of little significance, and it will take years for the vessels to enter service, but the video conference involving President
Recent news stories focus on how a conservation easement on a large ranch in northwest Colorado is blocking a major new transmission line, and therefore stalling the enormous Chokecherry-Sierra Madre wind farm in southcentral Wyoming. While these articles make some valid points about the need for renewable energy, they gloss over the reality that this More