ALL ARTICLES

Really, How Did Americans Become Such Wimps?

In fact, Americans are masochistic sheeple who let the rich and powerful walk all over them and thank them for the privilege. [Editor’s Note: Wimps? Yes, but don’t stop there, we can also add: suckers; patsies; blowhards; sheeple; yokels; dupes; dopes and marks. The list of American supine character goes on and on. — Mark L. Taylor] By Juan Cole Informed Comment (8/10/20) Nicole Winfield and Lisa Marie Pane at the Associated Press write at the unbelief with which Europeans are staring at the United States, as we head for 300,000 dead from the coronavirus and our economy shranks 33% on an…

Read More

Why Black Progressive Women Feel Torn About Kamala Harris

By Derecka Purnell The Guardian (8/12/20) Joe Biden has announced that Senator Kamala Harris will join his political pursuit of the White House. Women of color, particularly progressives, might feel torn. Perhaps they will be excited. Harris is sharp, strategic and witty, undoubtedly qualified to be vice-president of the United States. She graduated from a historically Black college and belongs to a prestigious Black sorority. A biracial woman with Jamaican and Indian heritage, we have seen her break color barriers and shatter glass ceilings, even though poor, Black women have felt and swept the falling shards. Thousands celebrated her senate seat win and…


Young Black Americans Are Not Sold On Biden, The Democrats … Or Even Voting

 “They’ve seen the election of Black mayors, they’ve seen the election of the first Black president, and they’ve also seen that their lives have not changed.” By David C. Barker & Sam Fulwood III The Conversation (8/5/20) Most political analysts define “swing voters” as those who swing their support from one party to the other between election cycles – determining winners and losers in the process. According to this conventional wisdom, the “swingiest” voters are working-class whites in the Midwest, who supposedly hold the keys to the White House. Meanwhile, by contrast, pundits often portray Black Americans as an undifferentiated mass – loyal Democrat-supporting foot…


Covid-19 Isn’t The Only Virus Killing Off Americans

  A raging virus of executive suite greed. By Jim Hightower Other Words (7/29/20) The holy mantra of health professionals was coined about 2,500 years ago by the Greek physician Hippocrates: “Do no harm.” Of course, that was before corporate healthcare took charge and asserted a new guiding ethic: “Jack up profits.” Putting this in practice, America’s largest and richest hospital chains rushed to the front of the COVID-19 bailout line this spring to pull $15 billion from the government’s emergency fund. They pocketed the taxpayers’ money despite sitting on tens of billions of dollars of their own cash reserves. But hold…


Infectious Disease Expert Michael Osterholm Predicts When U.S. Coronavirus Cases Will Again Explode

A back-to-school surge in COVID-19 “will far surpass what we saw after Memorial Day.” By Lee Moran HuffPost (8/11/20) Infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm on Monday contradicted President Donald Trump’s fanciful claim that the U.S. will soon be in “very good shape” with the coronavirus pandemic, instead predicting “an explosion” in new cases starting next month. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told CNN’s Don Lemon that the U.S. is “just really beginning to get to the really large part of the problem” with an average of 45,000 to 50,000…


Border Agents Are Permitted To Operate 100 Miles Inside The US. That Should Worry Everyone

“We are exempt from the fourth amendment.” By Todd Miller The Guardian (8/820) If you were under the notion that America’s borders are our international boundary lines with Mexico and Canada, think again. The US government’s notion of “borders” has long been much more legally expansive than most people realize; the “border” is increasingly everywhere. Americans learned that the hard way when “Trump troops” were let loose on the streets in Portland, assaulting protesters and pulling people out of their cars. These agents in military camouflage without insignia include the Department of Homeland Security’s Border Patrol Tactical Unit (Bortac), which…


Bill Moyers & Heather Cox Richardson On Her Powerful Daily ‘Letters From An American’

  By Bill Moyers Moyers On Democracy (7/29/20) A year ago, historian Heather Cox Richardson started writing small essays on the history behind the headlines and posting them to her Facebook page as LETTERS FROM AN AMERICAN. Today, over half a million readers (and counting) click on her dispatches each day. In this first of two episodes, Bill talks with historian Heather Cox Richardson about her decision last fall to start writing small essays on the history behind today’s politics and posting them on her Facebook page as LETTERS FROM AN AMERICAN. She had no idea of the response she…


LAWLESS: The Supposed ‘Less-Lethal’ Weapons Police Use Against Citizens Blind, Maim and Kill. Victims Say Enough Is Enough.

“No regard for public safety.” By Donovan Slack & Dennis Wagner of USA TODAY and Jay Hancock, KHN and Kevin McCoy, USA TODAY Kaiser Health News (7/24/20) There’s a gap in Scott Olsen’s memory for the night of Oct. 25, 2011. The Iraq War vet remembers leaving his tech job in the San Francisco Bay Area and taking a BART train to join an Occupy Oakland protest against economic and social inequality. He remembers standing near protesters who faced off with Oakland police officers bristling with riot gear. He remembers being carried away by other protesters. But not the moment when a “bean…


Fifty Years After Studs Terkel Published ‘Hard Times’ … Here We Are Again

  “Then of course, the war came.” She pauses. “And the Depression was cured by a war.” By Neda Ulaby All Things Considered / NPR (8/11/20) The timing feels terribly apt. Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression turned 50 this year. A bestseller in 1970, the book was one of nearly two dozen written by the cheerfully empathetic historian and journalist Studs Terkel. In Chicago, Terkel was a radio legend. Before his death in 2008, Terkel brought both working class boosterism and intellectual rigor to his shows, broadcast on local stations for more than half a century. But…


The ‘American Virus’ — A Naval Officer’s Spouse On Why The US Military Pushes Empire Over Public & Global Health

  Our ever-mobile military has become a significant conduit of its spread, both domestically and abroad. By Andrea Mazzarino TomDispatch (8/4/20) American military personnel are getting sick in significant numbers in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. As The New York Times reported in a piece buried in the back pages of its July 21st edition, “The infection rate in the services has tripled over the past six weeks as the United States military has emerged as a potential source of transmission both domestically and abroad.” Indeed, the military is sick and I think of it as both a personal and an imperial disaster….


Oliver Stone: No Matter Who Is President, The Military-Industrial Complex Demands To Be Funded … Always!

  “What’s important is the military-industrial complex must go on, must be budgeted and anything besides that is unimportant, including the welfare of the American people.” Going Underground / RT (8/5/20) On this episode of Going Underground, we speak to one of the greatest film directors in the world Oliver Stone. He discusses his new book ‘Chasing the Light’ which details his life directing and involvement in iconic films such as Salvador, Scarface and Midnight Express, the alleged interference of the military-industrial complex and Henry Kissinger with his film ‘Salvador’ which covers the civil war in El Salvador between the…


How The NRA Wandered Far From Its Mission, Became Its Own Worst Enemy & Shot Itself In The Foot

“…breeding ground for greed, abuse and brazen illegality.” By David Smith The Guardian (8/7/20) Oliver North cut a lonely figure as he walked through the Indianapolis airport, quietly slipping out of the city midway through the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) convention which was still in progress. A day later, North announced from afar that he was not seeking a traditional second term as its president, while it also emerged that the New York attorney general was investigating the NRA’s tax-exempt status. That was April 2019. More than a year later, the turmoil that heralded North’s departure has culminated in the New York…


WEAK STATE: How The Pandemic Stripped Bare America’s Empty, Incompetent, Dysfunctional System

Flailing State Intercepted (7/22/20) AS DONALD TRUMP promises the pandemic will “disappear,” the U.S. simultaneously grapples with a public health disaster, economic collapse, and a social crisis. This week on Intercepted: Intercept reporter Murtaza Hussain is joined by military expert and anthropologist David Kilcullen. He discusses the global national security implications unleashed by the coronavirus and the decline in U.S. dominance and the liberal international system. Kilcullen also examines the catastrophic consequences that could come from rising tensions within the country and between the U.S. and China. Hussain is also joined by Indian writer Pankaj Mishra, author of many books including “From the Ruins of Empire: The…


Last Fully Intact Canadian Ice Sheet Collapses: ‘It’s Disintegrated, Basically’

  Earth Day climate crisis protest sign. The formation was the final survivor of its kind in the nation’s Arctic.   By Lisa Newcomb Common Dreams (8/7/20) An ice shelf larger than Manhattan has collapsed in the Canadian Arctic. The Milne Ice Shelf was the nation’s last fully-intact ice shelf in the Arctic, and it lost more than 40% of its area in just two days in July, reports Reuters, the equivalent of about 50 square miles. Researchers are predicting 2020 will be in the top five hottest years on record, and scientists have already labeled this year’s hurricane season ‘extremely active.’ Experts are mourning the loss of…


Code Blue America: Sturgis Will Be Riding Home To Your Community

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (8/10/20) The global pandemic now stands at 20 million cases with over 5 million in the US. The US case count doubled from the end of June. Over 165,000 people have died over a six-month period. Wisconsin has over 60,000 confirmed cases. Vernon County now has 64 with no deaths, Richland Center – 37 with four deaths, La Crosse – 908 with one death. Coronavirus in the US is on the decline from a 2nd peak twice as robust as the peak of the first wave — 35,000 new cases per day in…


Beleaguered State Health Care Workers Call Out Lawmakers Who Want To Throw Out Health Protection Mask Guideline

  By Eric Gunn Wisconsin Examiner (8/6/20) Frustrated at threats from Republican lawmakers to overturn Wisconsin’s statewide mask mandate aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19, a group of health care workers and supporters told reporters on the steps of the state Capitol on Thursday that the Legislature should set other priorities. “On top of working a full shift, and overtime for a lot of us in a busy hospital, we’re then coming down here to ask our representatives to do their jobs — to do the bare minimum of what we expect from them. It’s infuriating, it’s frustrating and…


Covid Bloodbath: Medical Industrial Complex Killing You Off For Wall Street Profits

The pandemic is an exciting time to profit off the poor.  By Moe Tkacik In These Times (8/3/20) As the coronavirus continues to batter the U.S., the horror stories still sound the same: basic medical supplies nowhere to be found, new patients keep showing up gasping for air, nurses with impossible workloads and back-to-back-to-back shifts, hospital staff with inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE) getting sick. It might even sound like no one with any power in American healthcare has learned much since March, but that’s not true, according to Saum Sutaria, chief operating officer of Tenet Healthcare, a massive, for-profit hospital chain. “We’ve learned a tremendous amount,” Sutaria…


Surviving The Pandemic In An Expanding Wisconsin News Desert

“It’s a void, other than what you pick up on social media, which of course may only be partly true and partly rumor.”  By Henry Redman Wisconsin Examiner (8/3/20) If a person is infected in the forest, and no one is there to report it, were they infected at all?  The answer is yes, of course, but as COVID-19 continues to spread through all of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, people are increasingly being infected in communities that have seen local journalism institutions shut down or hollowed out — places known as news deserts.  Since 2004, Wisconsin has lost 77 newspapers, according…


Why The Left Must Both Reject & Elect Biden At The Same Time

To make a progressive future possible, beating Trump is absolutely necessary while very far from sufficient. By Norman Solomon Reader Supported News (8/6/20) n the next three months, a dozen states will determine whether Donald Trump wins another four years as president. Those swing states should be central to the work of progressives who are determined to prevent that outcome. With so much at stake, we can’t afford the luxury of devoting time and energy to endless arguments about whether progressives should vote for Joe Biden if they live in California or New York, or Alabama or Alaska, or other…


A Political Earthquake: Alexandra Rojas Of Justice Democrats Talks Of Recent Progressive Wins

  By Michael Moore Rumble (8/6/20) At the forefront of the movement to elect progressive Democrats who are not tied to Wall Street and who are of, by and for the working class, is a group called Justice Democrats. At the forefront of Justice Democrats is their 25-year old Executive Director and co-founder, Alexandra Rojas. She joins Michael to discuss Cori Bush’s monumental upset in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District, Rashida Tlaib’s landslide victory in Detroit, which upcoming races we should be following, and how to mobilize the progressive left for November 3rd and beyond. Do you know a working class…


The Forgotten Mine & Ongoing Tragedy That Built The Atomic Bomb

The Congo’s role in creating the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was kept secret for decades, but the legacy of its involvement is still being felt today. By Frank Swain BBC (8/3/20) “The word Shinkolobwe fills me with grief and sorrow,” says Susan Williams, a historian at the UK Institute of Commonwealth Studies. “It’s not a happy word, it’s one I associate with terrible grief and suffering.” Few people know what, or even where, Shinkolobwe is. But this small mine in the southern province of Katanga, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), played a part in one…


Republicans Are Standing On A Sinking Ship, But Democrats Need A Vision Far Beyond Just Electing Biden

  The curtain is coming down on the Trump show. We need to make sure it rises on a better day. By Ruth Coniff Wisconsin Examiner (8/3/20) Reality is finally catching up with our reality TV star president. Faced with an unprecedented economic collapse triggered by his own clear failure to contain the COVID-19 pandemic (something other industrialized nations have managed to pull off) the Donald tweeted hopefully last week that the November election might need to be rescheduled.  No one really knows if Trump is hoping to emulate the strongmen he admires and name himself president-for-life, or if he was just…


At A Time Of Historic Crisis Both Political Parties Have Abandoned All But The Wealthy

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (8/6/20) In the midst of a deadly pandemic all the false illusions, flaws and deadly foibles of the American medical industry have been stripped bare. Before the pandemic some 30 million limped along without health insurance and many millions more had over-priced, high-deductable plans that were essentially useless, leaving many families essentially uninsured. Now, in the midst of a deadly pandemic, we have millions losing their jobs, and with that … health insurance for their families. In one of the most callously cruel acts of political malpractice ever, neither party is addressing the…


Alex Jones Tells His Listeners To Get Ready To Die In Fight Against New World Order

Jones recommended that people start taking down names and making a list “like Santa Claus” and to “just think about the future.” By Jared Holt Right Wing Watch (8/3/20) Right-wing conspiracy monger Alex Jones said last ​Wednesday that his years-old warnings about a ​globalist “New World Order​” takeover of ​the United States were coming true, so his listeners should try to overcome their fear of death and be ready to “kill as many of them as quickly as possible”—in a “defensive” way, he ​added. Issuing his latest conspiracy theory from behind an Infowars news desk display​ing military style rifles​, Jones told listeners of “The Alex Jones Show” that his outlet had “confirmed” that “Maoists” in major…


SURRENDER: How The Pandemic Defeated, Broke & Humiliated America

‘America First’ was ‘America Oblivious’. By Ed Yong The Atlantic (Sept. 2020 issue) How did it come to this? A virus a thousand times smaller than a dust mote has humbled and humiliated the planet’s most powerful nation. America has failed to protect its people, leaving them with illness and financial ruin. It has lost its status as a global leader. It has careened between inaction and ineptitude. The breadth and magnitude of its errors are difficult, in the moment, to truly fathom. In the first half of 2020, SARS‑CoV‑2—the new coronavirus behind the disease COVID‑19—infected 10 million people around the…


Code Blue America: Just Another Ho-Hum Day In Trump’s Version Of America

“It is what it is.” — Trump characterizing the 156,000 US coronavirus deaths during Axios interview with reporter Jonathan Swan (8/4/20) By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (8/7/20) Dear Fellow Readers, There is no one better at showing Trump to be a liar, ignorant, callous, argumentative, divisive, self-aggrandizing… than Trump. On Tuesday August 4th Heather Cox Richardson offered her view of the Axios interview that led to the opening quote: “…reporter Jonathan Swan challenged Trump’s assertions and revealed just how shallow the president’s understanding of the pandemic, mail-in voting, and so on, really are. The interview showed little that we…


We’re Thinking Of Covid-19 The Wrong Way. It’s Not A Wave – It’s A Wildfire

Like a fire, the virus relentlessly seeks out its fuel, humans, and will keep spreading as long as it has access to that. By Michael T Osterholm & Mark Olshaker The Guardian (8/4/20) We have no previous experience with a worldwide coronavirus pandemic, so when Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, began spreading, public health experts leaned on our experiences with influenza pandemics to inform their predictions. These pandemics are often described in terms of “waves” and “troughs”. We have now seen enough to replace the ocean analogy with a better one: wildfire. Like a wildfire, the virus relentlessly seeks out fuel (human hosts),…


Wake Up: The Coronavirus Is Airborne. Keep Saying It.

There is no time to waste.  By Michael A, Fisher Salon (7/31/20) In the U.S., COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire. At the same time, the research community is learning more and more about how the coronavirus gets from one person to another. There are many nuances, and we don’t know everything about it yet. But we’re in an emergency, and we do have actionable facts. To help break through the noise, the public should be warned, plainly, and often: The coronavirus is airborne. Researchers and medical practitioners have spent months pressing the public health establishment to evolve on messaging about the ways that COVID-19 spreads. At first, many experts thought…


Secret Video Shows Uighur Man’s Detention Inside Chinese Prison

“One time I heard a man screaming from morning until evening. This was psychological torture to me – I was afraid, would the next one be me?” By Helen Davidson The Guardian (8/5/20) Rare footage and text messages secretly sent by a detained Uighur man show chilling evidence of human rights violations by China, as global scrutiny of the situation in Xinjiang grows. According to reports by the BBC and the Globe and Mail, Merdan Ghappar, a successful model on the e-commerce platform Taobao, was detained after having spent over a year in prison on a drugs charge his supporters said was trumped up. In January,…


QAnon: A Look Inside The Online Conspiracy Rippling Through The American Right

By Stefano Kotsonis & Anthony Brook On Point / WBUR (8/4/20) Conspiracy theories have always woven their way through American history. But with the internet, and the emergence of QAnon, they’ve run wild.   Guests: Adrienne LaFrance, executive editor of The Atlantic. (@AdrienneLaF) Joseph Uscinski, professor of political science at the University of Miami. Co-author of “American Conspiracy Theories” and editor of “Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them.” (@JoeUscinski) Jane Lytvynenko, senior reporter covering disinformation for Buzzfeed News. (@JaneLytv) From The Reading List: The Atlantic: “The Prophecies of Q” — “The origins of QAnon are recent, but even so, separating myth from…


Why Beguiling Conspiracy Theories Exist

CrowdScience / BBC (8/3/20) Listener Avalon from Australia wants to know why people use conspiracy theories to explain shocking events. Are we more likely to believe conspiracy theories in times of adversity? What purpose do conspiracy theories serve in society? Marnie Chesterton speaks to the scientists to explain their popularity, even in the face of seemingly irrefutable evidence. Link To 39-Minute Audio ***** Neuroscientist Explains Why Christian Evangelicals Are Wired To Believe Trump’s Gaslighting Lies By Bobby Azarian Raw Story (8/3/20) President Donald Trump lies so often that it is no longer shocking when it happens, no matter how blatant or…


Right Wing Religion Round-Up — Unzipped: Internet Stunned By Now-Deleted Suggestive Photo Of Jerry Falwell Jr. 

By David Badash Raw Story (8/4/20) A Houston Chronicle reporter posted what appears to be a screenshot from Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr’s Instagram account, and it’s going viral on social media. The unconfirmed photo appears to be of Falwell Jr., with his arm around a young woman, his pants unzipped with underwear showing. He is holding a glass. “More vacation shots,” the caption reads. “Lots of good friends visited us on the yacht. I promised that’s only black water in my glass. It was a prop only.” Robert Downen, whose bio says he reports on “All things faith/religion”…


Notably Quotable: “The word bipartisan usually means…”

  “The word bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.” — George Carlin ***** “Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist, but this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate.” — Steven Calabresi, co-founder of the right wing Federalist Society, Conservative Legal Expert: Trump Election Tweets Are Grounds For Impeachment ***** “Ignoring the virus, more than 250,000 people are expected to show up next week [this Sunday] to the Sturgis,…


Opening Schools. Really? 260 Kids, Staffers Tested Positive For COVID-19 In Outbreak At Georgia Summer Camp

  If you have rampant and rapid community spread, then there is no opening school, there is no opening colleges. It is not going to work. [Editor’s Note: Hey, America, reality is calling: Some schools may reopen, but none of them will stay open. Thanks to such stellar national leadership, this fall is going to be hell. — Mark L. Taylor] By Mary Papenfuss Huffington Post (7/31/20) In a startling finding with disturbing implications for schools, 260 children and staff members tested positive for COVID-19 in an outbreak that spread in just days at a summer camp in northern Georgia, according…


Code Blue America: Trump Corruption & Incompetence Unmasked

“If the president wore a mask, some of his supporters might wear a mask and less people could Theoretically die of coronavirus. Thank you.” — Molly Jong-Fast, Daily Beast Editor at Large (8/2/20) By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (8/3/20) Dear Fellow Readers, Fantasy and hubris or facts and safety. The opening quote is a perfect opening for judging ourselves and our response to a pandemic by our actions, not our words. We — the United States — are not doing well by any measure and our leadership, or lack thereof, is a major reason. Our priorities are our values,…


Get Ready For The Wisconsin Road Trip To Hell This Autumn

  Mask or ventilator? Really, which is more uncomfortable? By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (8/3/20) Recently, I was up in Door County for a couple days. Mileage from there to here, 255 miles … a 5-plus hour drive. I left for home late Saturday afternoon, about 4 p.m. On the way through Sturgeon Bay I stopped for gas. I was the only one wearing a mask. Neither of the two employees nor any of the four other customers who gassed up while I was there were masked. The town was filled with tourists and the gas station was…


Where’s The Money To Address Pandemic? Time To Crack Open The Tax Havens

There are trillions of dollars’ worth of cash and other assets tucked away in offshore tax havens belonging to both private individuals and large corporations. The Real Story / BBC (7/24/20) While the coronavirus pandemic is raging around the world, discussions over rebuilding the global economy are already underway. Globally, the recovery will cost trillions of dollars. Governments and finance ministries are working around the clock to design financial packages at a time when income from tax has hit rock bottom. There’s concern that many governments will have to raise taxes to cope with the shortfall in revenue. But what…


Democratic Leaders Have Protected Insurance Companies & Blocked Real Healthcare Reform For Decades. Time To Give ‘Em Hell.

  By Jeff Cohen Common Dreams (7/28/20) In 1948, Harry Truman pushed for a national nonprofit health insurance program in his successful, come-from-behind presidential campaign. When Truman’s plan was denounced as “socialized medicine” and “un-American” by the powerful American Medical Association, “Give ‘’Em Hell Harry” stood his ground, defending his proposal as “simple Christianity.” In 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson secured passage of Medicare (and Medicaid), he traveled to Missouri to formally sign it into law in Truman’s presence—declaring that “the real daddy of Medicare” was Truman. Medicare was federal health insurance for those 65 and older, but proponents hoped it was…


Nancy Pelosi Writes To Ralph Nader. He Writes Back

But winning elections without enabling basic mandates that translate into good livelihoods can leave voters with that familiar empty post-election letdown malady. May we hear from you? By Ralph Nader Common Dreams (8/1/20) Years ago, Elizabeth Brennan Moynihan told me about her disgust with the Democratic Party’s outside consultants. These consultants were not competent. They were arrogant, costly, and looking out first for their interests, not the candidates they were supposed to advance. She threw them out and personally took over her husband, Senator Daniel P. Moynihan’s successful re-election campaign. Bill Curry, former counselor to President Bill Clinton and later…


Ex-GOP Congressman Nails Donald Trump’s Election Stunt With Flopping Fish Comparison

  “There’s a saying in politics that fish always flop around before they die. You see candidates engage in erratic behavior when they know they’re going to lose. It’s hard to measure that behavior with Donald Trump because he’s been erratic since the beginning. But clearly this is someone who is reaching to justify a loss or to look for somewhere to blame.” — Former Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.), Ex-GOP Congressman Nails Donald Trump’s Election Stunt With Flopping Fish Comparison