Unipolar Governance of the Multipolar World

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair The emergence in recent years of the economic and military powers in countries like China, Russia and India has given rise to theories and hopes of a multipolar world that could temper the heavy-handed unilateral/unipolar policies of the United States on a global level. Such hopes are further buoyed by … Continue reading “Unipolar Governance of the Multipolar World”

Strike for the Environment, Strike for Social Justice, Strike!

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair A very large chasm exists between those in power, including most of the 2020 presidential candidates, and environmentalists and scientists intent on acting now to resolve growing environmental crises. To reiterate what is known, the United Nations, through its IPCC and the IPBES committees, has provided comprehensive evidence that little … Continue reading “Strike for the Environment, Strike for Social Justice, Strike!”

El Desmadre: The Colonial Roots of Anti-Mexican Violence

Photograph Source: rupert miller – CC0 On August 3, 2019 a white supremacist walked into a Walmart in El Paso, Texas and murdered 22 people and injured dozens more. Shortly before the attack, he posted online comments complaining about a “Hispanic invasion.” He later told authorities that he was specifically targeting “Mexicans.” Just a few … Continue reading “El Desmadre: The Colonial Roots of Anti-Mexican Violence”

Roaming Charges: Pompeo and Circumstance

Storefront mannikin, Astoria, Oregon. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair. + The Saudis want to “fight the Iranians to the last American.” — Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, February 2010 + Who needs John Bolton, when you’ve got Pompeo Maximus declaring the attack on the Abqaiq refineries in Saudi Arabia: “An act of war.” + By Pompeo’s logic, the … Continue reading “Roaming Charges: Pompeo and Circumstance”

Why Democrats Really Should Not All Get Along But Sometimes Must Anyway

Photograph Source: DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Martinique Santos – Public Domain As a general rule, a functional government is better than a dysfunctional one. Nevertheless, the bipartisanship everyone supposedly yearns for is crap. This is obvious. Intraparty harmony for the actually existing Democratic Party is also crap – not so much … Continue reading “Why Democrats Really Should Not All Get Along But Sometimes Must Anyway”

A Rebellion for the Wild West

Lamar Valley, Yellowstone NP. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair. Christopher Ketcham’s “This Land: How Cowboys, Capitalism and Corruption are Ruining the American West” is a politically explosive and beautifully written chronicle of the ongoing struggle to preserve publicly owned land in the West. This is home to iconic endangered species such as the grizzly bear, the … Continue reading “A Rebellion for the Wild West”

A Taste of Their Own Medicine: the Politicians Who Robbed Iranians and Libyans Fear the Same for Brexit Britain

Photograph Source: Mайкл Гиммельфарб – Public Domain As part of then-Prime Minister (PM) Theresa May’s supposed preparations for a no-deal Brexit, the government asked different departments of the UK’s civil service, including those responsible for food, agriculture, medicine, and chemicals, to come up with impact assessments. The worst-case scenarios (not leaked or released at the … Continue reading “A Taste of Their Own Medicine: the Politicians Who Robbed Iranians and Libyans Fear the Same for Brexit Britain”

How We Launched Our Forever War in the Middle East

Photograph Source: US Government – Public Domain Late on the night of July 14, 1958, I navigated our KC-97 aerial tanker to refuel a lone B-52 on a secret radio-silence mission near the Arctic Circle. On our way home, our number three engine conked out as we approached the Gaspé Peninsula. We got permission to … Continue reading “How We Launched Our Forever War in the Middle East”

Mayor Obedience Training, From the Pet Products Industry

Photograph Source: Jason Meredith – Flickr – CC BY 2.0 Mars Petcare US—purveyor of pet products including Whiskas®, Greenies™, Sheba®, Cesar®, and Iams™—is a division of the $35 billion Mars (M&Ms) chocolate empire. Mars chocolate is problematic in its own ways—serious ways—but today I focus on the corporation’s pet fetish. Mars’s 2019 BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ gimmick … Continue reading “Mayor Obedience Training, From the Pet Products Industry”

Working in America: Paychecks for Silence

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair Let us begin with just a few recent and disturbing statistics about working in America. First, most Americans (nearly 78%) live paycheck to paycheck, which makes them vulnerable to abuse and bullying by employers. Second, a 2018 Harris Poll found that “seven in ten employers (70 percent) use social networking … Continue reading “Working in America: Paychecks for Silence”

Film, Music and Elections in Germany

After the elections in Saxony and Brandenburg, and before the election in Thuringia on October 26th, the various German parties are sorting out the results. In Saxony, where the Christian Democrats (CDU) lost strength but stayed in the lead, they are trying to patch up a difficult coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD) and the … Continue reading “Film, Music and Elections in Germany”

Burning Amazonia, Denying Climate Change, Devastating Syria, Starving Yemen, and Ignoring Kashmir

Photograph Source: NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens – Public Domain The World Order Backdrop Arguably, even before the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, there was a widespread sense that a state-centric form of world order was morally and functionally deficient in certain fundamental respects. Political actors were indifferent to the outbreaks of … Continue reading “Burning Amazonia, Denying Climate Change, Devastating Syria, Starving Yemen, and Ignoring Kashmir”

With Enemies Like These, Trump Doesn’t Need Friends

It is one year since an anonymous op-ed appeared in the New York Times. The author claimed to be part of a group of “senior officials in the administration” who are “working within to frustrate parts of [Trump’s] agenda and his worst inclinations.” The op-ed’s portentous title, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the … Continue reading “With Enemies Like These, Trump Doesn’t Need Friends”

The Sorry State of the Nobel Peace Prize

Photograph Source: Gösta Florman (1831–1900) / The Royal Library – Public Domain Criteria for a Peace Prize The Nobel Peace Prize was established by Alfred Nobel in his will of 1895. Nobel was a Swedish chemist (he invented dynamite) and wealthy arms manufacture. He died in 1896, and the first Peace Prize was awarded in … Continue reading “The Sorry State of the Nobel Peace Prize”

The Scourge in the White House

Photograph Source: Ali Shaker/VOA – Public Domain I would have no trouble defending myself and my loved ones: family and country. But under no circumstances would I employ corrupt practices to get ahead. What bothers me constantly is the not so innocent highway to riches. Can people and corporations earn their money honestly and without … Continue reading “The Scourge in the White House”

“Not a Blade of Grass Grew:” Living on the Edge of the Climate Crisis in the Sandarbans of West Bengal.

Living on the edge of the climate crisis in the Sandarbans of West Bengal. Photo: Urvashi Sarkar. Kajal Lata Biswas is still haunted by memories of the cyclone. Though it’s been 10 years since Aila hit the Sundarbans, she still clearly recalls May 25, 2009. It was just before noon. “The [Kalindi] river water rushed … Continue reading ““Not a Blade of Grass Grew:” Living on the Edge of the Climate Crisis in the Sandarbans of West Bengal.”

Trump and Netanyahu: “Mutual Defense” or Just Mutual Political Back-Scratching?

Photograph Source: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv – Public Domain On September 14, US president Donald Trump tweeted (of course) the suggestion of a US-Israel “Mutual Defense Treaty,” citing a call with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Hopefully there’s less going on here than meets the eye: The tweet may just be another mutual publicity back-scratch … Continue reading “Trump and Netanyahu: “Mutual Defense” or Just Mutual Political Back-Scratching?”

Is There Any Lesser Authority Than Alan Greenspan?

That is undoubtedly the question that readers of Robert Samuelson’s column on negative interest rates are asking. At one point Samuelson tells readers: “No less a figure than former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan has suggested that it’s just a matter of time before negative rates come to the United States.” For folks too young … Continue reading “Is There Any Lesser Authority Than Alan Greenspan?”

Warren’s Ethnic Issue Should Not Go Away

I am an academic. I’ve taught at Tufts for over thirty years and always had a Harvard institutional affiliation. I understand academic culture and the centrality of affirmative action in administrative consciousness since the 1970s. In heading up numerous search committees for historians at Tufts, I’ve had to fill out forms at the invitation stage, … Continue reading “Warren’s Ethnic Issue Should Not Go Away”

Memo to Trump: Water Runs Downhill

Steigerwald Creek, Columbia Gorge. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair. It seems a sure bet that if someone told Donald Trump water runs downhill he would immediately claim it was “fake news” since, after all, when he turns on the gold taps in his Fifth Avenue penthouse atop Trump Tower, water comes gushing out. And you know, … Continue reading “Memo to Trump: Water Runs Downhill”

What George Carlin Taught Us about Media Propaganda by Omission

In the old George Carlin joke, the TV sportscaster announces: “Here’s a partial score from the West Coast – Los Angeles 6.” For a brilliant comedian like Carlin – who skewered corporate power, class structure and political/media propaganda – that’s one of his more innocuous jokes. But it’s sharply relevant today as corporate TV news outlets serve up a series of partial … Continue reading “What George Carlin Taught Us about Media Propaganda by Omission”

The Perspicacity of Mcluhan and Panopticonic Plans of the MIC

Only the small secrets need to be protected. The big ones are kept secret by public incredulity. – Marshall Mcluhan The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out…without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he … Continue reading “The Perspicacity of Mcluhan and Panopticonic Plans of the MIC”

An Excellent Study Of The Manufactured Labour “Antisemitism Crisis”

 I’ve just finished reading the uncorrected proof copy an excellent study of the manufactured Labour “antisemitism crisis”. [Greg Philo, Mike Berry, Antony Lerman, Justin Schlossberg and David Miller, Bad News for Labour: Antisemitism, the Party & Public Belief (London: Pluto Press, 2019)] The launching point for the book’s analysis is a national poll, accompanied by … Continue reading “An Excellent Study Of The Manufactured Labour “Antisemitism Crisis””

The Saudi Crown Prince Plans to Make Us Forget About the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi Before the US Election

Photograph Source: Mohammed bin Salman – Public Domain The hideous cruelty of the murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by a Saudi death squad almost a year ago still jumps from the pages of the latest apparent transcript of the conversation between his killers as they wait for him to arrive at the Saudi … Continue reading “The Saudi Crown Prince Plans to Make Us Forget About the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi Before the US Election”

Political Struggle and Fixing Cuba’s Economy

Photo by Nathaniel St. Clair July 26 is Cuba’s National Day of Rebellion. Speaking in Bayamo, President Miguel Díaz–Canel honored rebels led by Fidel Castro who on that day in 1953 attacked military installations of the Batista dictatorship. He outlined current economic challenges and political tasks lying ahead. Economic problems weigh heavily in Cuba. The … Continue reading “Political Struggle and Fixing Cuba’s Economy”

Support the Climate Strike, Not a Military Strike

The propaganda campaign has begun. The New York Times dutifully published photos of an attack on ARAMCO oil processing facilities in Saudi Arabia. Accompanying the photos are descriptions provided by the warmongers in Washington, DC. Naturally, the photos don’t look like much of anything. This gives those describing them the leeway to provide a narrative … Continue reading “Support the Climate Strike, Not a Military Strike”

Slouching Toward “Bethlehem”

Photograph Source: Gerard van Honthorst – Public Domain …but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? – W.B.Yeats, The Second Coming Hive-mindedness seems to be growing — at the … Continue reading “Slouching Toward “Bethlehem””

Once Again in Afghanistan, the U.S. Proves It Can’t Be Trusted

The Taliban emerged in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar around September 1994. Photograph Source: Karla Marshall – Public Domain The first draft of this column came not to bury but to praise Donald Trump. I planned to applaud the president’s peace initiative with the Taliban, his strategy of ignoring the corrupt and discredited puppet … Continue reading “Once Again in Afghanistan, the U.S. Proves It Can’t Be Trusted”

The Ultra-Costly, Underwhelming F-35 Fighter

How are you with numbers? I can deal with $1.5 million. I think I can even imagine $1.5 billion, a sum a thousand times greater. But how about a million times greater: $1.5 trillion? That happens to be the estimated cost of the Pentagon’s program to build, deploy, and maintain the no-longer-so-new F-35 jet fighter over its lifetime. How … Continue reading “The Ultra-Costly, Underwhelming F-35 Fighter”

Why on Earth Would the US Go to War with Iran over an Attack on Saudi Oil Refineries?

President Bone Spur, backed by his war-mongering Secretary of State Mike “Armageddon” Pompeo, tweeted yesterday that the US military is “locked and loaded,” ready to attack (bomb) Iran if it can be proven that Iran was behind a drone bomb attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil refineries. There are plenty of news media in the US … Continue reading “Why on Earth Would the US Go to War with Iran over an Attack on Saudi Oil Refineries?”

Doctored Admissions: the University Admissions Scandal as a Global Problem

Not so much a Desperate House Wife as a desperate mother, a contrite Felicity Huffman, known for playing Lynette Scavo, has been convicted for her role in the university admissions scandal in the United States. The scene is set for another dramatization, though few can go past the sheer levels of tinkering Huffman was engaged … Continue reading “Doctored Admissions: the University Admissions Scandal as a Global Problem”

Creating a Society of Hope and Inclusion: Speech to the TUC

This is the text of Jeremy Corbyn’s speech to the Trades Union Congress on September 10, 2019. Congress, thank you for that warm welcome. It’s an honour to be asked to address you again. I’m proud that trade unions and the Labour Party are working as closely together now as we ever have. Because together … Continue reading “Creating a Society of Hope and Inclusion: Speech to the TUC”

Why You Should Care About #ShutDownDC and the Global Climate Strike  

Today’s news cycle suggests that climate activism is no more than showing up to a protest once in a while. Wave a sign around, believe in science, and you’re set. Politicians and people of note are given credit simply for acknowledging the fact that global warming is happening. This type of rhetoric is dangerous. It … Continue reading “Why You Should Care About #ShutDownDC and the Global Climate Strike  “

Boris Johnson: Elitist Defender of Britain’s Big Banks

In a week such as this you can’t help but think that famous cultural theorist Stuart Hall was on to something when he remarked that “the disorderly thrust of political events disturbs the symmetry of political analysis.” For those unable or unwilling to keep up, Boris Johnson has become the first Prime Minister in UK … Continue reading “Boris Johnson: Elitist Defender of Britain’s Big Banks”

The Southern Strategy and Donald Trump

Photograph Source: Ollie Atkins, White House photographer – Public Domain Contemporary Republican politicians like to invoke the legacy of Ronald Reagan to bolster their policies. However, the type of White nationalism being espoused by Donald Trump and his supporters more accurately traces back to two less appealing Republican personalities: Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon, and … Continue reading “The Southern Strategy and Donald Trump”

The Danger of Inspiration in a Time of Ecological Crisis

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair Naomi Klein’s new book, On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal, has one crippling flaw—it’s inspiring. At this moment in history, inspiring talk about solutions to multiple, cascading ecological crises is dangerous. At the conclusion of these 18 essays that bluntly outline the crises and explain a Green New … Continue reading “The Danger of Inspiration in a Time of Ecological Crisis”

Health Care: Premiums and Taxes

Photograph Source: Backbone Campaign – CC BY 2.0 There’s an old joke about a lawyer who is questioning a doctor on an autopsy they had done on someone who was allegedly a murder victim. The lawyer asked the doctor, “did you check whether the patient was breathing?” The doctor answers “no.” The lawyer then asks … Continue reading “Health Care: Premiums and Taxes”

Recalling the Hundreds of Thousands of Civilian Victims of America’s Endless ‘War on Terror’

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair Now that the flags are back waving from the tops of flagpoles across the country, and the maudlin paeans to the close to 3000 lives lost in the airplane attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, it’s time we gave a thought to the … Continue reading “Recalling the Hundreds of Thousands of Civilian Victims of America’s Endless ‘War on Terror’”

You Say You Want a Revolution: a Prison Letter to Yoko Ono

Dear Yoko Ono, Years, years, and years ago, in 1980, a pathetically deranged man murdered the love of your life. You were walking home, into the Manhattan building where you lived, and suddenly this man, seeking the world’s adoration, gunned down your husband, John Lennon. Mark Chapman was given a 20-to-life sentence. After almost four decades, he remains in prison. You want to … Continue reading “You Say You Want a Revolution: a Prison Letter to Yoko Ono”

Seize Solidarity House

The corrupt and Quisling leadership of the United Auto Workers Union has sent its 50,000 General Motors worker-members out on strike–a strike the labor bosses probably never wanted, as with the wildcat school workers’ strikes of recent months. While William Serrin in his, “The Company and the Union,” showed how the UAW used a counterfeit … Continue reading “Seize Solidarity House”

From Voice of America to NPR: New CEO Lansing’s Glass House

I don’t know about you, but I take a teeny weeny bit of offense when a guy in a glass house lobs a great big stone and expects me not to notice the sound of shattering. Which brings me to National Public Radio. When the ubiquitous news and public affairs network announced the appointment of … Continue reading “From Voice of America to NPR: New CEO Lansing’s Glass House”

The Age of Constitutional Coups

Photograph Source: Osman Orsal (VOA) – Public Domain The contemporary global neofascistic right has become adept at seizing power through legal and parliamentary coups that do not involve military units dramatically taking over government headquarters and radio and television and rounding up opponents. Turkey’s Elective Dictatorship In 2017, in the wake of a failed military … Continue reading “The Age of Constitutional Coups”

Bernie Sanders and the Realignment of the American Left

Drawing By Nathaniel St. Clair The neoliberal revolution that has been underway since the mid-1970s fundamentally reoriented American governance toward the interests of capital. While the distance between government and the so-called private sector was never that great, all pretense that government served the broader public interest was cast aside in favor of state-corporatism. This … Continue reading “Bernie Sanders and the Realignment of the American Left”

Teaching the “War on Terror”: Lessons for Contemporary Politics

Photograph Source: US Army/Navy – Public Domain As we move past the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, it helps to be aware of the changes in U.S. political culture that have transformed this nation over the last two decades. I teach a history class at Lehigh University, “The War on Terrorism in Politics, … Continue reading “Teaching the “War on Terror”: Lessons for Contemporary Politics”

Hong Kong and the Future of China

Photograph Source: Hf9631 – CC BY-SA 4.0 Something didn’t quite add up. This past weekend, protestors were rallying outside the American embassy in Hong Kong. They were waving American flags. They were singing The Star-Spangled Banner. One 24-year-old protester wore a red Make America Great Again hat. Some signs at the protest read “President Trump, … Continue reading “Hong Kong and the Future of China”

Jeremy Corbyn: Electoral “Chicken” or Political Mastermind?

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair Britain’s hard-right Tory Prime Minister, Boris Johnson (BoJo the Racist Clown), recently told US Vice President, Mike Pence, that Labour’s genuinely left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is “a gigantic chlorinated chicken.” The official Tory Twitter account even featured a Photoshopped image of Corbyn wearing a chicken costume, making the joke (which … Continue reading “Jeremy Corbyn: Electoral “Chicken” or Political Mastermind?”