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John Grant's Posts

  • Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 01:14

     

    CAUTION! To paraphrase Bill O’Reilly, you are now entering a no-censor zone that discusses obscene activity.
     

    The Christmas movie from Sony Pictures I want to see is Seth Rogan and James Franco rectally feeding Dick Cheney at the climax of a...

  • Friday, December 5, 2014 - 23:25

     
    How and why certain events in politics and culture coalesce into a critical mass is always an interesting thing to ponder. Sometimes it can happen when all hope has been lost.

    In chaos theory, there’s the enigmatic image of the butterfly in the Amazon whose wing fluttering...

  • Sunday, November 16, 2014 - 22:20

     
     
    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena … who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high...

  • Monday, November 10, 2014 - 18:01

     
          When you tuck your children in at night
          Don’t tell ‘em it’s for freedom that we fight
                   ...

  • Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 13:23
  • Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 12:29
  • Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 12:25
  • Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 12:14

     
    Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has discovered that the Vietnam War was not really about stopping communism....

  • Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 12:15
  • Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 07:54

     
          I saw the masked men
          Throwing truth into a well.
          When I began to weep for it
          I found it everywhere.

    ...

  • Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 00:09
  • Monday, October 20, 2014 - 23:59
  • Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 15:00
  • Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 14:45
  • Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 14:16
  • Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 13:02
  • Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 12:56
  • Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 12:55
  • Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 12:47
  • Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 12:46
  • Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 11:24

     
    I’m a leftist, but I have a weakness for my brothers and sisters on the right. For some reason, I’m compelled to see what troglodytes like Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly are thinking. They’re all quite entertaining as they do their best to un-man Barack Obama and...

  • Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - 12:48
  • Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 11:34
  • Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 09:53

     
    Ain’t no time to wonder why.
    Whoopee, we’re all gonna die.

    - Country Joe McDonald
     

    I like to call it The War of the Heads. ISIS beheads people one-on-one, up-close-and-...

  • Friday, September 12, 2014 - 02:25
  • Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 23:57

     
    To do nothing is to send a message to the wrongdoer, and the general public, that the victim has no self-worth and will not marshal the internal resources necessary to reclaim his or her honor. Shattered dignity is not beyond repair, but no elevating and equalizing of dignity...

  • Friday, September 5, 2014 - 12:00
  • Friday, September 5, 2014 - 12:00
  • Friday, September 5, 2014 - 10:54
  • Friday, September 5, 2014 - 10:32

     
              I just thank God I’m out of this place.
                 - Henry Lee McCollum

    First there was Ferguson, Missouri and the gunning down of an...

  • Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 12:21

     
    Back in June 2011, James Foley gave an hour-long interview before an auditorium of students from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he had graduated three years...

  • Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 12:19
  • Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 11:46
  • Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 10:18

    There was a moment during MSNBC's live coverage of Ferguson, Missouri, Monday night through 2AM Tuesday morning when Chris Hayes and one of his guests conceded the police (now augmented by National Guard troops said to be guarding a police command center) begrudgingly deserved a good grade...

  • Friday, August 15, 2014 - 16:06
  • Friday, August 15, 2014 - 15:23

     

    On Monday, I decided to spend my evenings flipping back-and-forth between Fox News and MSNBC as the two cable channels dealt with the dueling stories of the United States tiptoeing into a third war in Iraq and the sudden appearance of what appeared to be a police state in a little...

  • Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 23:32
  • Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 23:31
  • Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 23:18

     

       'All we are saying is give peace a chance'
                -John Lennon
     

    As George W. Bush paints images of his toes in the bathtub...

  • Saturday, August 2, 2014 - 17:58
  • Saturday, August 2, 2014 - 17:36

     

    At a birthday dinner with friends last night, the Israeli assault on Gaza came up. One friend said having to helplessly watch the violence infuriated him and made him ill. Another said it made him want to cry.

    I said there was something in this kind of asymmetrical...

  • .
    Sunday, July 13, 2014 - 20:24
  • Sunday, July 13, 2014 - 19:05

     

    In Spanish, the word hondura means “depth; profundity.” The related word hondo means “deep, low; bottom.” Hondon means “dell, glen, deep hole.” An example given in my dictionary is meterse en honduras, “to go beyond one’s depth.”

    I imagine...

  • Sunday, July 13, 2014 - 19:03
  • Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 20:48
  • Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 20:31

     

          When lo! An angel called him out of heaven,
          Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, . . .
          But the old man would not so, but slew his son,...

  • Friday, May 23, 2014 - 08:49
  • Friday, May 23, 2014 - 08:40
  • Friday, May 23, 2014 - 08:37
  • Friday, May 23, 2014 - 06:39

     
    I don’t believe in the dogmatic postulates of Marxist revolution. I don’t accept that we are living in a period of proletarian revolutions. Reality is telling us that every day. But if I am told that because of that reality you can’t do anything to help the poor, then I say, “We...

  • Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 22:41
  • Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 22:28
  • Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 21:56

     
        Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
        Everybody knows that the captain lied ...
        Everybody knows the deal is rotten
        Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
    ...

  • Friday, April 25, 2014 - 12:59

     
    I met Janet Burroway when I was a Vietnam veteran on the GI Bill at Florida State University and I signed up for a creative writing workshop she was just hired to teach. She was a worldly, published novelist seven years older than me. She had just left an oppressive husband, a...

  • Monday, April 14, 2014 - 22:33
  • Monday, April 14, 2014 - 22:23
  • Monday, April 14, 2014 - 22:17
  • Monday, April 14, 2014 - 22:02
  • Monday, April 14, 2014 - 21:40
  • Monday, April 14, 2014 - 21:37
  • Friday, April 4, 2014 - 09:18

     
        One way to win the game is by making up at least part of the rules, something the rich do.
                        -From “...

  • .
    Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 13:28
  • Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 13:19
  • Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 13:13
  • Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 13:10
  • Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 13:00
  • Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 13:36
  • Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 12:01

     
    For all practical purposes, John McCain is the equivalent in our culture to those ancient robed ayatollahs in Iran we damn for standing in the way of democratic change.

    The 77-year-old McCain parlayed his suffering as a Vietnam War POW into one of the more durable political...

  • Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 11:35
  • Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 11:18
  • Monday, March 10, 2014 - 22:21
  • Monday, March 10, 2014 - 22:04

     
    [Listen to John Grant discuss this piece with Dave Lindorff on the new Progressive Radio Network program "ThisCantBeHappening!" archived here.]
     

    Making political sense out of the events in Ukraine...

  • Monday, March 10, 2014 - 22:04
  • Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 16:22
  • Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 16:19
  • Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 20:32

     
    It was to be expected. A famous person’s death by heroin overdose becomes a catalyst for today’s equivalent of the lynch mob. Leading the pack, Bill O’Reilly immediately and aggressively called for heads to roll. Soon,...

  • .
    Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 20:25
  • Monday, February 3, 2014 - 11:35

     
    In this town, money talks and bullshit walks.
    -PA Rep. Ozzie Myers on his Abscam tape
     
     
    Political sports scorekeeper Chris Matthews recently predicted American Hustle would become a classic film of American politics...

  • Friday, January 10, 2014 - 16:35

     

    US military history from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan is too often a combination of destructive stumbling around followed by an effort to sustain and project forward the notion of US power and exceptionalism. To forge another narrative is very difficult.

    There’s the...

  • Friday, January 3, 2014 - 17:19

     

    The issue of economic equity is appearing on the national agenda. We’re suddenly hearing lots of talk about raising the minimum wage and other reforms to break the cycle of social Darwinism and provide working people at least a livable wage for their labor.

    As a political...

  • Monday, December 16, 2013 - 17:33
  • Monday, December 16, 2013 - 15:23

     

    It’s that time of the year again. Ho. Ho. Ho. There’s the urge to celebrate the Winter Solstice (AKA Christmas) with family and friends. It’s also time for end-of-the-year assessments concerning the absurdities of life in a fading empire in denial.

    To a responsible American...

  • Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 14:39

     
    Lara Logan is a formidable TV reporter who has covered wars and other stories at significant risk. She’s supremely confident and has a powerful journalistic institution supporting her. But as a would-be ethical journalist, she seems to rely too much on her sexual allure and to be...

  • Monday, November 4, 2013 - 14:19

     

    President Obama finds himself under fire on two disparate fronts these days, both for the botched rollout of his signature health care program and for the secret spying on allied heads of state.
    - Peter Baker, The New York Times
     
    It’s one of...

  • Monday, November 4, 2013 - 14:17
  • Friday, October 25, 2013 - 22:02
  • Friday, October 25, 2013 - 21:59

     

    To: Jofi Joseph, Washington DC

    Dear Mr Joseph:

    I read of your firing as a low-level national security adviser in the White House thanks to your “snarky” tweeting about various Obama administration officials above you in the pecking order.

    I understand you are...

  • Friday, October 25, 2013 - 21:59
  • Monday, October 14, 2013 - 01:47
  • Monday, October 14, 2013 - 01:44
  • Monday, October 14, 2013 - 00:50
  • Monday, October 14, 2013 - 00:11

    For the past week I’ve been talking with anyone I could shoehorn about the shooting death of Miriam Carey on the streets of Washington DC. As with any homicide -- and that’s how it would be classified for the autopsy -- there are differing opinions and mitigating circumstances to consider....

  • Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 15:32
  • Saturday, August 17, 2013 - 12:51

     
    Watching the White House squirm over the on-going massacres in Egypt one doesn’t know whether to laugh, cry or resort to the vaudevillian method and throw rotten vegetables at them.

    President Obama's “condemnation” of the Egyptian military’s massacre of civilians sounded like...

  • .
    Monday, August 5, 2013 - 15:46
  • Sunday, August 4, 2013 - 19:05

     

    Every generation occupies itself with interpreting Trickster anew.

    -Paul Radin
 

     

    America 2013 is a far cry from the days of Patrick Henry (“Give me liberty or give me death!”) and even the days of Daniel Ellsberg and the...

  • Sunday, July 28, 2013 - 19:08

     

    The film The Act Of Killing is the big buzz in the world of cinema. The documentary about death squad killers in Indonesia in 1965 has to be one of the oddest films in...

  • Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 15:03

     
    The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.
    - D.H. Lawrence

     
    The moderate conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks recently wrote a column titled...

  • Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 18:40

     
    We now have clarity from a full-bird colonel in judicial robes that Bradley Manning is to be charged with “aiding the enemy.” OK, not much of a surprise here....

  • Sunday, July 14, 2013 - 21:59

     
    When people think of Florida, they think of oranges and pink flamingos, palm trees and beaches, the blue-green ocean. They think of Disney and margaritas. ... But it has a feral heart, a teeming center that would rage out of control if not for the concrete and rebar that keeps...

  • Monday, July 8, 2013 - 20:29
  • Monday, July 8, 2013 - 19:42
  • Monday, July 8, 2013 - 19:22

     

    It was a typical US government response to favorable facts-on-the-ground rooted in violence. Once the military coup in Egypt had been accomplished and the first democratically-elected president of Egypt and many of his allies had been arrested and all sympathetic radio stations...

  • Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 13:42

     

    We're all aware of the reputed Chinese curse about living in interesting times. Upheaval seems to be in the air. According to Wikipedia, the interesting times curse was linked with a second, more worrisome curse: "May you come to the attention of those in authority."

    If a...

  • Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 17:20

     

    Watching the US Senate Armed Forces Committee wrestle with the issue of rape and sexual abuse in the military opens a whole range of related issues concerning sex and war that will likely not be addressed in the Senate.

    First, there’s the world of militant Islam, against...

  • Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 08:32

     
    PREFACE
     
    Asked by veterans from the Vietnam Veterans of America inmate Chapter 466 in Graterford state prison to be the official speaker for their Armed Forces Day event on May 18th, the following was given as a speech. Members of VVA Chapter...

  • Monday, May 20, 2013 - 14:18
  • Monday, May 20, 2013 - 14:15
  • Monday, May 20, 2013 - 14:10
  • .
    Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 01:59
  • Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 01:52
  • Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 01:29

     
    I saw the masked men
    throwing truth into a well.
    When I began to weep for it
    I found it everywhere.

    - Claudia Lars (El Salvador)
     

    Those of us who have struggled for peace and justice over the past decades don’t have much to...

  • .
    Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 01:29
  • Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 22:21
  • Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 22:20
  • Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 21:00

    It was the summer of 1981. I was working on an ambulance in Philadelphia, transporting a cancer patient to a hospital for radiation treatments. The man was in his sixties, and I felt he knew his days were numbered.

    In my conversations with the man, it came up that I was a Vietnam veteran...

  • Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 15:29

     
    “In order to get our message before the public with some chance of making a lasting impression, we’ve had to kill people.”
    -Ted Kaczynski, The Unabomber Manifesto, 1995
     

    April 19, 2013, is a date to remember, not so much for the killing and...

  • Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 17:36

     
    I write a lot of critical things about militarism, our unnecessary wars and our growing surveillance/police state. So it was heartwarming to watch the videos and listen to the stories from the Boston Marathon bombing about civilian “first-responders” who chose not to flee but to...

  • Monday, April 1, 2013 - 00:21

     
    "The elite always has a Plan B, while people have no escape."
    - Ahmad Saadawi

     

    Last month when the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq was the big buzz in the mainstream press I was overcome with the urge to write a we-told-you-so essay...

  • Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 19:15

    Sean Hannity grinned and seemed to bounce up and down like he was plugged into an electric socket as he ripped into Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president who had just succumbed to cancer. Hannity was joined in his death gloat by Michelle Malkin, one of the more delightfully odious voices on the...

  • Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 14:07
  • Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 13:57
  • Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 11:50

     
    "The experience we have of our lives from within, the story we tell ourselves about ourselves in order to account for what we are doing, is thus a lie -- the truth lies rather outside, in what we do."

    Slavoj Zizek

     
    Soldiers and veterans...

  • Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 13:03

    none...

  • .
    Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 13:03
  • .
    Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 13:02
  • Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 00:03

     

    In The New York Times February 6th on pages 20 and 21, across from each other, there were two tragic stories centered around the themes of sex, race and power. You might call them love stories, though they were definitely not Hallmark card or Harlequin romances.

    The...

  • Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 15:11

     
    The Pentagon -- and the United States government in thrall to it -- is congratulating itself on overcoming a hurdle that other nations have long gotten beyond or never faced in the first place. Feminists and progressives sympathetic to women’s rights are expected to be delighted...

  • Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 23:15

     
    Since gun control is such a hot topic, the elite think tank the Project For a New American Decade (PNAD) has come up with a modest proposal to add to the national conversation. We think it’s worth a try.

    First, we do the obvious, most sensible things: we establish universal...

  • Monday, January 7, 2013 - 00:33

     
    Those that respect the law and love sausage should watch neither being made.
    - Mark Twain
     
    In the spirit of Twain’s famous metaphor, Joe Biden is a mighty gifted sausage maker. The vice president is the man of the hour, the Obama administration...

  • Monday, December 24, 2012 - 09:53

     
    The tendency to identify manhood with a capacity
    for physical violence has a long history in America.

    - Marshall Fishwick

    Violence is as American as cherry pie.
    - H. Rap Brown
     
    Watching President...

  • Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - 23:01

     
    The legacy of the Zionist revolutionaries who once enraptured the parlors of Europe and America with talk of a Jewish homeland as a moral beacon in a benighted region has instead bequeathed to the Jewish world and the West a highly militarized dependency -- a state that has...

  • Friday, November 30, 2012 - 21:26

     

    Jennifer Foster, a tourist from Florence, Arizona, was walking in Times Square on a cold night in November and came across a New York City police officer giving a barefoot homeless man a pair of all-weather boots he had purchased out of his own pocket. Moved, she took out her cell...

  • Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 18:33

     
    Using one of those overarching dramatic titles we have come to expect in mainstream media news coverage, John Stewart summed up the Petraeus story as “Band of Boners.” It's the sort of thing that may be inevitable when so much power is given so much free rein by so much secrecy...

  • Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 22:32

     
    STILL WAITIN’
    A short film produced by
    The Vietnam War Commemoration CORRECTION Project

    ...

  • Friday, November 2, 2012 - 10:55

     
    For an ordinary American these days, there isn’t much one can do to affect the direction of the federal government of the United States. Much of what our leaders do with that government -- especially the more and more secret military and surveillance activities symbolized by the...

  • Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 12:01

     
    In the parlance of the classic British colonial era, President Obama is faced with a bit of a sticky wicket in Benghazi, Libya. The metaphor refers to a patch of rough grass making it hard to hit the ball through the wicket in the British sport of cricket. British colonials liked to...

  • Monday, October 15, 2012 - 20:11

     
    No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.
    - H.L. Mencken
     
    Frontline recently ran a documentary that amounted to...

  • Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 10:22

     
    “Blows that don’t break your back make it stronger.”
    - Anthony Quinn in Omar Mukhtar, Lion of the Desert
     

    For years, I’ve been working either in the journalism realm or as an antiwar veteran activist expressing the core idea that the...

  • Sunday, September 16, 2012 - 13:21

     
    A review of:
    NOT THE ISRAEL MY PARENTS PROMISED ME
    By Harvey Pekar and J.T. Waldman
    With an epilogue by Joyce Brabner
    Hill and Wang, 2012
    $24.95. $14.67 on...

  • Thursday, August 30, 2012 - 14:54

     
    The patient, by the name of Israel, walks into the room and instantly bursts into a tirade of arguments conclusively proving his credentials, and says that he is better than everyone else.
     

    The opening line of Israel On The Couch: The Psychology of...

  • Friday, August 17, 2012 - 23:00

     
    When we talk about
    settling the world’s problems,
    we’re barking up the wrong tree.

    The world is perfect. It’s a mess.
    It has always been a mess.

    We are not going to change it.

    Our job is to straighten out
    ...

  • Monday, July 23, 2012 - 11:11

     
    Stop feeding the beast.
    - Julieta Castellanos*
     

    William Brownfield is a major architect in the current linkage between the failed Drug War and the War On Terror. He may succeed in making it an even greater failure in the future.

    ...

  • Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 21:01

     John GrantPhotos: John Grant...

  • Friday, July 13, 2012 - 13:48

     

    Life is overflowing with metaphorical material. Maneuvering through reality is a constant dialogue and negotiation between what’s inside our heads and what’s going on outside in the chaotic flow of what is. We understand what's outside by comparing it with what's inside. This is...

  • Friday, June 29, 2012 - 15:47

     
    Charging a man with murder in this place was like handing out speeding tickets in the Indy 500.
    - Apocalypse Now
     

    Over the past ten years, I’ve developed a friendship with Commer Glass, a 67-year-old African American man serving his 37th...

  • Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 23:45

     
    Vietnam, a story of virtually unmitigated disasters that we have inflicted on ourselves and even more on others.

    -Bernard Brodie, 1973
     

    The Vietnamese won the Vietnam War by forcing the United States to abandon its intention to militarily...

  • Friday, June 1, 2012 - 14:42

     

    “No, Charlotte, I’m the jury now. I sentence you to death.”
    The roar of the .45 shook the room. Charlotte staggered back a step.
    “How c-could you?” she gasped.
    “It was easy.”
    - Mickey Spillane, I, The Jury...

  • Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 09:57

     
    If all else fails, lower your standards.

    This has been my philosophy for years. My wife likes to joke it’s how she picked me; instead of prince charming, I’m “prince somewhat-charming.” So you can imagine how delighted I am that the United States of America and its...

  • Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 17:19

     
    The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic and a killer.
    - D.H. Lawrence

    The realist in murder writes of a world in which gangsters can rule nations … where a judge with a cellar full of bootleg liquor can send a man to jail for...

  • Friday, April 20, 2012 - 00:01

     

    Whore: (verb) To debase oneself by doing something for unworthy motives, typically to make money.
    -The New Oxford American Dictionary
     

    It’s a challenge to make adult sense of the absurdities coming out of Colombia right now.

    I had...

  • Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 15:03

     
    Founded and preserved by acts of aggression, characterized by a continuing tradition of self-righteous violence against suspected subversion and by a vigorous sense of personal freedom, usually involving the widespread possession of firearms, the United States has evidenced a...

  • Friday, March 16, 2012 - 14:00
  • Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 16:01

     
    When does a determination to look on the bright side turn into a state of denial? That is, when do leaders of a secrecy-obsessed US government admit the decision-making surrounding the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan was misguided from the beginning and the endgame is a mess...

  • Saturday, March 3, 2012 - 01:01

     
    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (or AIPAC) is holding its annual meeting in Washington DC in an atmosphere of beating war drums and rattling sabers against Iran. It's a full-court press of pro-war power working to make the White House cave in and assume an even more...

  • Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 00:16

     

    The United States is finding the occupation of other nations more and more challenging. Witness the clueless US soldiers or contractors who burned a dozen Korans at the Bagram Air Force Base trash dump in Afghanistan. The...

  • Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 15:43

     
    I could have been a vicious raving monster who killed and killed and left towers of rotting flesh in my wake. Instead, here I was on the side of truth, justice and the American way. Still a monster, of course, but I cleaned up nicely afterward, and I was OUR monster, dressed in...

  • Sunday, January 29, 2012 - 04:46

     

    The State Department has threatened to withdraw the $1.5 billion it sends every year to Egypt because the Egyptians are holding US citizens connected with pro-democracy...

  • Friday, January 13, 2012 - 23:59

     
    Hugo Chavez is at it again, sticking his thumb into the eye of the overbearing United States of America. And, true to imperial historical form, the US is playing the outraged hemispherical nanny and blustering back.

    Chavez is currently playing a round of the game my-enemy’s-...

  • Monday, January 2, 2012 - 23:11

     

    Ever since George W. Bush lost the popular vote by 500,000 souls and was selected President by a right-leaning Supreme Court, the United States has seemed to me devoted to a twisted fate of slow-motion Armageddon.

    What seems to guarantee this is one of our most...

  • Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 16:08

     
     John Grant)(Photos: John Grant)...

  • Monday, December 5, 2011 - 14:28

     
    Following a decade of military invasion and occupation in the Middle East and Southwest Asia, the United States is becoming the Rodney Dangerfield of empires: “We get no respect!”

    The undisputed post-World War Two top dog in the world, on virtually every front the United...

  • Monday, November 28, 2011 - 18:11

     
    Christmas has come a long way from the three wise men on camels visiting the Baby Jesus in a manger in a Middle Eastern desert or from the anti-capitalist-greed morality tale of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Now we have a holiday cartoon blockbuster called...

  • Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 19:29

     

    With a $55 million construction contract “imminent” for Dilworth Plaza -- home since early October for Occupy Philadelphia – the city trade unions and those in Occupy Philly determined to hold-out in the Plaza have arrived at a showdown.

    Everything in life is a dialogue with...

  • Sunday, November 6, 2011 - 13:50

     
    We’re living through an interesting juncture in history. On one hand, there’s the amazing bottom-up Occupy Movement, and no one knows quite where and how far it will go. Then, there’s the field of Republican neo-Know-Nothing,...

  • Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 16:58

     
    The people, unfortunately, are still very ignorant, and are kept in ignorance by the systematic efforts of all the governments, who consider this ignorance, not without good reason, as one of the essential conditions of their own power.
     
    -Mikhail...

  • Thursday, October 20, 2011 - 06:20

     
    As far as anyone knew I was part of this cause -- a cause that I had infiltrated the day before in order to mock and undermine in the pages of The American Spectator -- and I wasn’t giving up before I had my story.

    Patrick Howley
    ...

  • Saturday, October 15, 2011 - 08:56

     

    ...

  • Saturday, October 8, 2011 - 11:38

     
    “The First Amendment right to gather news is, as the Court has often noted, not one that inures solely to the benefit of the news media; rather, the public’s right of access to information is coextensive with that of the press.”
    - United States Court of Appeals...

  • Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 22:47

     
    Honorable people like to debate whether the United States of America is a "police state," but when it comes to shutting down the expression of ideas on the political left, there's little room for argument.

    We are inundated in this country with propaganda boilerplate about...

  • Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - 18:17

     

    At what point does Israel and its complicated settlement situation become a liability for the United States as Americans cope with the growing pain of recession and decline?

    The United States has been an enthusiastic partner of Israel’s worst Iron Wall policies since the...

  • Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 17:08

     

    It’s a sad reality of our day that denial and bullshit seem the most useful talents to getting elected and to govern in America.

    Bullshit is meant in the sense used by Princeton philosopher Harry Frankfurt in his popular book titled On Bullshit. He defines...

  • Friday, August 12, 2011 - 23:15

     
    How do you assure the security of a nation of human beings who consume a disproportionate amount of the world’s resources, habitually live beyond their means and are addicted to all forms of fantasy from Bible-based delusion, to patriotism-based arrogance, to movie special effects...

  • Sunday, July 31, 2011 - 22:52

     

    When the human waste of politics gets to piling up so deep you want to run screaming into the night, a good remedy is to fall back to the powerful historical minds and immerse yourself in some great writing. I ran into this dilemma last Sunday, after a morning of reading The...

  • Friday, July 22, 2011 - 21:58

     

    With great lawyers you have
    Discussed lepers and crooks.
    You've been through all of
    F. Scott Fitzgerald's books.
    You're very well read
    It's well known.

    But something is happening here...

  • Tuesday, July 12, 2011 - 23:16

     

    What did it matter where you lay once you were dead? ... You just slept the big sleep, not caring about the nastiness of how you died or where you fell. Me, I was part of the nastiness now.

    -- Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep
     

    ...

  • Friday, July 1, 2011 - 23:12

     

    Israel and its international operatives are working overtime to stop the 10-ship Gaza flotilla from leaving Athens. The Audacity Of Hope, with 40 Americans on board, tried to leave the harbor Friday only to be chased down and threatened by an armed Greek Coast Guard boat...

  • Friday, June 24, 2011 - 20:34

     

    Two veteran friends of mine will be on one of the ships planning to leave Athens next week to challenge the Israeli sea blockade of Gaza. The Israeli government, after attacking a previous flotilla in May 2010 and killing nine people, has said it will use violence if necessary to...

  • Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 13:02

     

    Some years ago, I was photographing a constitutional law professor for a magazine article on his book, and while I composed my shots I employed the usual half-minded topical banter to keep things on course. The professor was pretty progressive and knew I was a veteran antiwar...

  • Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - 22:59

     

    "A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us,...

  • Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 16:25

     

    John Fleming is a 58-year-old African American born and raised in Philadelphia who served in the Army from 1969 to 1972 maintaining nuclear weapons in silos in Germany.

    It was 10:45 AM on Friday outside Courtroom 1006 in Philadelphia’s Criminal Justice Center. Fleming had...

  • Friday, May 13, 2011 - 07:37

     

    I know when night has gone
    That a new world's born at dawn.

    I'll keep rolling along
    Deep in my heart is a song
    Here on the range I belong
    Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.

    "...

  • Thursday, May 5, 2011 - 21:20

     

    Supplying an army at a distance drains the public coffers and impoverishes the common people.
    -- Sun-Tzu, The Art of War

     

    With the killing of Osama bin Laden by a 79-member JSOC hunter/killer team inside Pakistan, the nation has...

  • Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 22:19

     
    Some men rob you with a six gun.
    Some do it with a fountain pen.

    “Pretty Boy Floyd”
    Woody Guthrie
    _____________________
     
    We hear a lot about what democracy means in America. In the case of the Cheri Honkala Green Party...

  • Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - 00:33

     

    “The Americans have not been honest about this, even among themselves.”

    That’s how Mullah Attullah Lodin, deputy chairman of the High Peace Council of Afghanistan, sees our nation and its government as it relates to the question of permanent bases in Afghanistan and to his...

  • Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 22:22

     

    The battle over the meaning of a traumatic experience is fought in the arena of political discourse, popular culture and scholarly debate. The outcome of this battle shapes the rhetoric of the dominant culture and influences future political action.

    --Kali...

  • Thursday, April 7, 2011 - 16:42

     

    Peace is in the air and its blowing around like little specks of Spring pollen. Maybe it’s a good time for the US government to recognize this hopeful spirit of Spring and try to figure out a new tack in its foreign war policy.

    US war policy is still very much bogged down...

  • Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 15:43

     
    "...get a man greedy enough and he got the guts to go – go, go, ...Vietnam, hot damn."

    -Norman Mailer, Why Are We In Vietnam?

     

    The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the program created by Congress to expend over $700 billion of our...

  • Sunday, March 27, 2011 - 22:24

     

    And we never really face what is in front of us, never face what is inside our gutless language of cartels and drug lords and homeland security, never face that forces are unleashed on the land with names like poverty, a fix, murder, and despair, and our tools cannot master...

  • Sunday, March 20, 2011 - 22:15

     

    A contingent of 20 right-wing veterans with flags and signs declaring their devotion to “our troops,” marched up to the blocked-off Pennsylvania Avenue area in front of the White House. One of the men wore a blue shirt with Army Security Agency printed on it.

    “I...

  • Thursday, March 10, 2011 - 23:39

     

    Here’s a modest proposal for President Obama and our policy wizards to consider:

    General Petraeus has provided laudable service to his great nation by pulling counter-insurgency theory from the wreckage of Vietnam and giving it CPR; and after his predecessor self-immolated...

  • Saturday, March 5, 2011 - 14:21

     

    Stripping before men still clothed is the first step toward weakening the prisoner’s psychological defense. … But stripping is also sexually laden. It transposes sexual gestures, acts and innuendo from a strip club to the torture chamber. Thus sex is always present in the...

  • Sunday, February 27, 2011 - 15:55

     

    It’s considered unsportsmanlike to say, “We told you so.” But since all’s fair in love and war and we’re definitely at war, it’s fair to say the peace movement has been right about the whole sordid reality of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    That may sound audacious or...

  • Friday, February 25, 2011 - 09:13

    ...

  • Thursday, February 17, 2011 - 23:20

     

    A well-known Philadelphia poor peoples advocate has decided to try something different. She’s running for Sheriff of Philadelphia.

    Cheri Honkala, founder of the local Kensington Welfare Rights Union and national director of the Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign,...

  • Friday, February 11, 2011 - 00:17

     

    Hosni Mubarak has chosen not to fold his losing hand and to play it to the bitter end.

    After the CIA and the Egyptian military said he was going to resign, he didn’t, which further escalated the tension around the question hanging over Cairo: Who is the military going to...

  • Sunday, January 30, 2011 - 20:17

     
    It was a dark and stormy night and Scat Horbath was glad to be out of the weather in the Washington DC metro, where he was to meet the sinister Ali Ben al-Masseur in the last car of the Blue Train.

    Al-Masseur ran the Brothers Of Islam Charity Center in Arlington...

  • Friday, January 21, 2011 - 15:59

    Recent indicators suggest the US military mission in the Middle East and Southwest Asia is waning in influence, leaving us mired down with hundreds of thousands of soldiers and billions of dollars of equipment and bases. And a lot of face to save.

    According to a...

  • Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - 23:52

    Hello darkness my old friend,
    I’ve come to talk with you again,
    - Paul Simon, 1964

    ...

  • Thursday, January 6, 2011 - 00:01

    The War On Drugs, fought mostly in poor and person-of-color communities (despite the fact that whites are more than 70 percent of all drug users) has contributed dramatically to the growth of a prison-industrial-complex that is quickly sapping resources from education, job training and other...

  • Friday, December 24, 2010 - 17:38

    On December 18, David House, an MIT researcher, visited Bradley Manning at the Quantico, Virginia, military prison where he is being held in solitary confinement. Other than Manning’s attorney, House is the rare person allowed to visit him.

    ...

  • Monday, December 20, 2010 - 00:39

    Washington--Defense Secretary Robert Gates may be the consummate insider bureaucrat and a nice man, but his calling our war in the Pashtun homeland “the meat in the sandwich” begins to get at the real problem of the Afghanistan/Pakistan War.

    Besides being a preposterously...

  • Saturday, December 11, 2010 - 22:51

    It is the climactic scene. Dorothy and her friends stand before the great Wizard of Oz. Toto wanders off and yanks back a curtain to reveal a man busy manipulating levers. Whistles and smoke bombs go off, and the great Oz thunders: “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”...

  • Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 00:28

    “The problem here is to define ... a form of life that
    would not depend on an unsustainable relation of domination
    over the rest of the world.” Jean Bricmont

    We live in a time of incredible change, and to have any say at all in the direction that change will take...

  • Tuesday, November 23, 2010 - 17:57

    It was the fifteenth time I’d trekked to Columbus, Georgia, to the gate of Fort Benning, for the annual November demonstration to close the School of the Americas.

    Since 1989, following the murder of six Jesuit priests in San Salvador by graduates of the SOA, the effort to close it down...

  • Monday, November 15, 2010 - 00:13

    Sergeant Salvatore Giunta will receive a Congressional Medal of Honor this week for bravery under fire in October 2007. At great risk, he assaulted a hill and rescued a gravely wounded comrade being dragged away by an insurgent. He will be the first living soldier to receive the medal since the...

  • Friday, November 5, 2010 - 22:38

    This huge and confusing thing we call the United States of America is in the midst of a major epochal reality check, not your usual, garden-variety recession. The roots of today’s crises go back at least 60 years or more.

    Politics in such a crisis state is naturally volatile, swinging...

  • Friday, October 29, 2010 - 00:44

    The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
    -Opening line in William Gibson’s Neuromancer

    I recently took a tour of Best Buy to see what’s going on in the world of consumer electronics. Technology was on my mind. I had just been...

  • Thursday, October 21, 2010 - 23:58

    The government they devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war, and major social transformations to attain the system of constitutional government and its respect for the freedoms and individual rights we hold as fundamental today.
    -...

  • Saturday, October 16, 2010 - 00:02

    Psychoanalysis enables us to point to some trace or other
    of a homosexual object-choice in everyone. … It can be traced
    back to the constitutional bisexuality of all human beings.
    Sigmund Freud

    If Sigmund Freud is right that all...

  • Friday, October 8, 2010 - 22:59

    The only way to survive such an insane system is to be insane oneself.
    - Joseph Heller

    When the going gets weird, the weird go pro.
    - Hunter Thompson

    The Pentagon has its hands full in Afghanistan trying to make...

  • Thursday, September 30, 2010 - 22:54

    At least fifty people were injured and several killed in struggles around Quito’s National Police Hospital where Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa was taken Thursday after being injured by a tear gas canister shot at him by a protesting police officer.

    Insurgent police kept the president...

  • Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - 13:42

    At the beginning of the Iraq “surge” in 2007, Senator Barack Obama was leery of General David Petraeus, but now, we learn, he has warmed to the four-star Pentagon celebrity and calls him “Dave.”

    In meetings, according to an anonymous White House official, when the talk is of Afghanistan,...

  • Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 22:58

    “The Obama administration is debating whether to make Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, a more central player in efforts to root out corruption in his own government, including giving him more oversight of graft investigations and notifying him before any arrests.”

    This was the lead...

  • Wednesday, September 8, 2010 - 21:51

    Corruption is more and more being built up as our greatest problem in Afghanistan. It’s all over the newspapers and the TV. At the epi-center of this corruption, the Kabul Bank we helped create and maintain has run aground and there’s talk in the air of a financial bail-out.

    Meanwhile,...

  • Thursday, September 2, 2010 - 00:54

    Last Saturday, I pondered America’s soul.

    I was in Portland, Maine, attending the annual Veterans For Peace convention, which featured Chris Hedges as its keynote speaker. Hedges, a Harvard divinity graduate who worked for many years as a war correspondent in El Salvador, Bosnia and other...

  • Wednesday, August 25, 2010 - 15:54

    “Taft is a fathead.” (Theodore Roosevelt, 1912)

    The anti-gay blog QueerHunt has just launched an expose that General David Petraeus is gay and has a secret Arab boyfriend he periodically meets in a Dubai hotel. The young man goes by the code name ‘awrence, an...

  • Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 00:50

    First it was Press Secretary Robert Gibbs attacking the “professional left” (whatever that means) for wanting to "eliminate the Pentagon." Then the liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd kicked the left for “constantly sniping at Obama" and for considering "pragmatism a moral...

  • Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 21:47

    Poor Bradley Manning. The kid can’t catch a break. Not only does the military have him locked in some inhuman solitary hole where they can slow-torture him using the latest approved methods, now his troubled private life is being broadcast for all to see.

    After running 75,000 secret...

  • Monday, August 9, 2010 - 01:32

    “Stubbornness and stupidity are twins.”
    Sophocles

    What is it about Americans that they have so much going for them, yet they can be so very stupid?

    Two stories in the Sunday New York Times jumped out as a sad backdrop to our misguided War On...

  • Monday, August 2, 2010 - 23:23

    Let me get this straight. Robert Gates, the Secretary-Of-Defense-For-Life, is touring the TV news shows and major newspapers pleading with great angst lines in his forehead that WikiLeaks is “guilty” and “morally culpable” for releasing 75,000 field reports from Afghanistan to the American...

  • Tuesday, July 27, 2010 - 23:25

    This letter is being sent to PFC Bradley Manning at the following prison address in Kuwait. For obvious reasons, I’ve left my return address off this posting.

    Inmate PFC Bradley Manning
    TFCF - Theater Field Confinement Facility
    APO AE 09366 USA

    Dear PFC Manning...

  • Monday, July 19, 2010 - 22:20

    Military violence has such a death-grip on national policy in America, it’s hard for citizens to grasp there are real alternatives to war.

    Marine General James Mattis, the man appointed by President Obama to replace General David Petraeus as leader of the Central Command that oversees all...

  • Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 00:18

    There is a contest going on in America between the First and Second Amendments as to which has more favor in our court system. It's a face off between gun violence and freedom of the press and it involves individuals, giant corporations and standing armies.

    ...

  • Monday, July 5, 2010 - 22:01

    It’s tough these days being a non-violent peace activist. Many see the notion of “peace is the way” as laughable, and the government equates peace with military domination.

    The bi-partisan War Party in America won’t budge from its imperial wars despite majority polls and protests urging...

  • Monday, June 28, 2010 - 08:58

    The US Army is holding Specialist Bradley Manning incommunicado in Kuwait on charges of leaking to WikiLeaks video of Apache helicopter pilots gunning down two Reuters cameramen and a number of Iraqis in a Baghdad neighborhood. The video is devastating in what it reveals about cold-blooded hi-...

  • Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 01:28

    Following the tidal wave of media buzz over General Stanley McChrystal in Rolling Stone, you quickly notice the story succumbing to the gravity of our media-circus culture, to the point it has become a story about celebrity and score keeping.

    Would Obama fire McChrystal? How...

  • Thursday, June 17, 2010 - 07:59

    The truth about American politics is this: disguised by the theatrics of squabbling Democrats and Republicans, Washington governs according to limits prescribed by a fixed and narrow consensus. The two main parties collaborate in preserving that consensus. Doing so requires declaring out-of-...

  • Friday, June 11, 2010 - 00:43

    1st Lt. Milo Minderbinder
    "We're gonna come out of this war rich!"

    Yossarian
    "You're gonna come out rich. We're gonna come out dead."

    -From the Buck Henry screenplay of Catch 22

    No one has captured the absurd spirit of US war-...

  • Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 00:29

    It’s like entering a minefield to seriously discuss Israel and Palestine, a tale of two peoples who claim the same land.

    I’ve entered this minefield before and have been called an ”anti-semite” and an “Israel hater” for saying pretty much what the sentence above suggests, that...

  • Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 09:40

    I’ve worked in journalism for 35 years. I did graduate study in journalism, I’ve worked as a daily newspaper reporter and I’ve freelanced magazine articles and newspaper op-eds. Now I blog.

    I’ve learned that certain ideas are not permitted in the mainstream press. Well-paid gatekeepers...

  • Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 08:07

    In Spanish, the word honduras means depth. The example often used is meterse en honduras – to go beyond one’s depth. It comes from the adjective hondo – deep or low.

    I’ve often wondered what the Spanish conquistador or priest was thinking when he decided circa...

  • Thursday, May 13, 2010 - 00:59

    Mister Obama’s War has hit a speed bump in Times Square. The question is will the President and members of Congress pay any attention to it and slow down, or will they floor the accelerator and race into Pakistan?

    The speed bump is a nobody named Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old,...

  • Friday, May 7, 2010 - 06:50

    In the documentary film “The Most Dangerous Man In America,” Daniel Ellsberg tells about a fellow Rand Corporation war planner circa 1968 who described the US commitment to the war in Vietnam this way:

    “We are 10 percent concerned about the Vietnamese; we are 20 percent concerned about...

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