History They Don’t Want You To Know

Ralph Nader Addresses Conservative Audience On Eisenhower’s Prophetic Warning Of The Danger Of The Corrupt Military, Congressional, Industrial Complex

“The military, congressional, industrial empire complex — if not stopped — will destroy the United States of America.” — Ralph Nader The American Conservative (7/6/18) On June 21, 2018, The American Conservative hosted its annual crony capitalism conference at which Ralph Nader delivered a speech on the military industrial congressional complex titled “Eisenhower’s Warning: Prophetic and Presently Understated.” Nader is an author, consumer advocate, and former presidential candidate. He is one of America’s most effective social critics, and has emerged as a leading voice against the growing convergence of government and corporate interests. He is the author of Unstoppable: The…

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‘Fresh Air’ Review: Smart, Unsentimental ‘Heartland’ Pays Tribute To America’s Working Class & Exposes The Class Warfare That Exploits Their Lives

  “It’s a hell of a thing to grow the food, serve the drinks, hammer the houses and assemble the airplane that bodies with more money eat and drink and occupy and board while your own body can’t go to the doctor.” By Maureen Corrigan Fresh Air (10/3/18) Sarah Smarsh is a daughter of the white working class. Born in rural Kansas, Smarsh traces her lineage back through five generations of family farmers. She also traces herself back through generations of teenage pregnancies; Smarsh’s mother was just 17 when she had her. During the 1980s, when Smarsh was growing up,…


Authority & Trust: After The Crash, Episode 1 of 5

Ten years ago the world financial system had a heart attack and the political reverberations of that crisis continue today. The Compass / BBC (9/30/18) In 2008 the world financial system had a heart attack. Gripped by panic, banks stopped lending, cash ran out and the world came to the edge of a financial precipice. As millions of people lost their jobs and asthe shock that started in Wall Street reverberated around the world, the crisis led to a collapse of the Greek, Spanish, Icelandic and other economies. Professor Ian Goldin looks at the origins of the crash and he…


Chris Hedges: The Absurdity & Tragic Sacrifices Of American Empire

  Laura Flanders Show (9/11/12) What happens when you force communities, families and entire ecosystems to kneel before the dictates of the marketplace? You get what Chris Hedges, co-author with Joe Sacco of Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, calls “sacrifice zones.” From Appalachia to North Dakota to Camden, New Jersey, these zones, ravaged by the excesses of capitalism, prefigure our collective future. Link to 18-Minute Video


Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9” Lays Bare The Dangerous Crossroads We Are At And What We Need To Understand From Steve Bannon

  Tyrant. Liar. Racist. And a hole in one.   By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (9/24/18) This past weekend I saw Michael Moore’s new documentary film Fahrenheit: 11/9. You will find a detailed review of the film below, so I won’t go into a lot of detail here other than to say it is an extraordinary film — in my opinion, his best — that lays out the path of how this nation has come to the dangerous crossroads with fascist totalitarianism we now confront. As Moore explains, it is not hyperbole to talk in such terms and his…


History Democrats Need To Remember: FDR’s Message 78 Years Ago To Corporate Quislings In The Democratic Party Applies Today

  By Alfonso KC ExtraNewsFeed (3/30/17) The 32nd president of the United States, the one that brought us Social Security and The New Deal, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, wanted us to criticize corporate Democrats from the very beginning. I’m not kidding. In 1940, when he was running for his third term, he decided to drop his former Vice President, John Garner. He did this mostly because Garner was not progressive enough; Garner was opposed to a majority of The New Deal, and was opposed to FDR running for a third term. Ouch. After FDR replaced him with former Secretary of Agriculture,…


Escaping Auschwitz: ‘I Have A Message For You’

‘Hells Gate’ at the Auschwitz Nazi concentration death camp.  [Editor’s Note: At a time of our own official governmental concentration camps and the cruel separation of families this story is a powerful warning of where we may be heading in this nation. Beware. Resist. — Mark L. Taylor] The  New York Times (8/3/18) This week’s Op-Doc is Matan Rochlitz’s powerful film “I Have a Message for You,” about a woman’s extraordinary journey of survival and redemption. It’s a remarkable piece, both for the creativity of its visual approach and for its unusual combination of tragedy, beauty and catharsis. Link to…



Author Caitlin Rosenthal On The Role Of Slavery In The History Of American Business

    “Masters And Management”   By Kimberly Adams & Ariel Plotnick Marketplace (8/14/18) Historian Caitlin Rosenthal extensively researched the morally reprehensible business of slavery for her new book, “Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management.” In the book, she lays out the case that slaveholding “planters” employed accounting and management techniques that are still in use by businesses today. Below is an edited transcript of Rosenthal’s conversation with Marketplace senior reporter Kimberly Adams. How did you end up writing this book? After college, I went to work as a management consultant. And I got really interested in how businesses that employed tens of thousands of…


I Thought Democracy In Chile Was Safe. Now I See America Slipping Into The Same Trap

  By Ariel Dorfman The Guardian (9/11/18) It can’t happen here. That’s an avowal I have been hearing from Americans ever since my family and I, fleeing a dictatorship in our native Chile, finally came to settle in the United States in 1980. What happened to you in Chile can’t happen here. Democracy in the US is too stable, the institutions too deeply rooted, the people too much in love with liberty. Weary of wandering, desperate for refuge, I wanted to believe that the American experiment would not abide tyranny. And yet I remained sceptical, stubbornly wary. I had pronounced similar words…


Chris Hedges Lays Out Our Risks, Challenges & Thin Opportunities: The Collapse Of The American Empire?

  The Agenda With Steve Paikin (9/12/18) The Agenda welcomes Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, who over the past decade and a half has made his name as a columnist, activist and author. He’s been a vociferous public critic of presidents on both sides of the American political spectrum, and his latest book, ‘America, the Farewell Tour,’ is nothing short of a full-throated throttling of the political, social, and cultural state of his country. Link to 28-Minute Video


History They Don’t Want You Know: How Depression Era Co-Ops Built A Healthy Alternative Economic Model

Public domain photo. The idea of a genuine economy shorn of Wall Street contrivance touched a chord.  By Jonathan Rowe Yes! Magazine (9/14/18) he mood at kitchen tables in California in the early 1930s was as bleak as it was elsewhere in the United States. Factories were closed. More than a quarter of the breadwinners in the state were out of work. There were no federal or state relief programs, nothing but some local charity—in Los Angeles County, a family of four got about 50 cents a day, and only 1 in 10 got even that. Not long before, America…


Taking Down Trump Is Not Enough. Corporate Owned Neoliberal Democrats Need To Be Booted As Well

  By David Sirota The Guardian (9/10/18) After a scorching summer of discontent, Donald Trump’s endless tweets and scandals have given Democrats their best chance to retake Congress since George W Bush’s second term. And yet, insurgent progressives are not limiting themselves to dethroning Republicans: they are taking aim at corporate-friendly Democrats within their own party, too. Amid an upsurge of populist energy that has alarmed the Democratic establishment, a new wave of left-leaning insurgents have been using Democratic primaries to wage a fierce war on the party’s corporate wing. And, as in past presidential primary battles, many Democratic consultants, politicians and pundits…


The U.S. Is Winning In Afghanistan. No, Really … As Long As We Keep Losing Really, Really Bad!

  By Nick Turse The American Empire Project (9/5/18) 4,000,000,029,057. Remember that number. It’s going to come up again later. But let’s begin with another number entirely: 145,000 — as in, 145,000 uniformed soldiers striding down Washington’s Pennsylvania Avenue. That’s the number of troops who marched down that very street in May 1865 after the United States defeated the Confederate States of America. Similar legions of rifle-toting troops did the same after World War I ended with the defeat of Germany and its allies in 1918. And Sherman tanks rolling through the urban canyons of midtown Manhattan? That followed the triumph over the Axis in 1945….


The Great Betrayal: Neoliberal Policies Sold Out Workers & Divided Democrats From Their Voters

Democrats’ Embrace Of Neoliberalism Dlievered The Nation Into Trump’s Paws A good chunk of Trump’s support could be peeled away if there were a genuine redistributive agenda on the table. An agenda to take on the billionaire class with more than rhetoric, and use the money for a green new deal.  By Naomi Klein The Guardian (11/9/16) They will blame James Comey and the FBI. They will blame voter suppression and racism. They will blame Bernie or bust and misogyny. They will blame third parties and independent candidates. They will blame the corporate media for giving him the platform, social media for being a bullhorn, and…



As Union Membership Falls Almost 80% Of US Workers Struggle To Survive Paycheck To Paycheck.

All that remains of the Mirro Aluminum Company manufacturing plant in Manitowoc, Wisconsin is the front entrance. Beyond is a city block or more of broken foundations and shattered concrete slabs. When my family moved to Manitowoc in 1970 Mirro was a major employer. Whole families and generations of skilled trades workers, assembly line workers and laborers spent their entire careers at Mirro, which was founded in 1909 and shuttered and business shipped off to Mexico in 2003, as the realities of NAFTA caught up with the loyal workers. I grabbed this photo in mid-July of this year. — Mark…


A Labor Day Reminder From American Socialist Icon Eugene Debs

“The capitalist who does no useful work has the economic power to take from a thousand or ten thousand working men all they produce, over and above what is required to keep them in working and producing order, and he becomes a millionaire, perhaps a multi-millionaire. He lives in a palace in which there is music and singing and dancing and the luxuries of all climes. He sails the high seas in his private yacht. He is the reputed “captain of industry” who privately owns a social utility, has great economic power, and commands the political power of the nation…


IMPORTANT INTERVIEW: Ralph Nader Interviews Chris Hedges On His New Book “America: The Farewell Tour”

Ralph Nader Radio Hour (8/18/18) Ralph spends the whole hour with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author, Chris Hedges, discussing his book “America: The Farewell Tour.” Link to 63-Minute Audio ***** Resistance Radio With Chris Hedges Deep Green Resistance (8/26/18) Chris Hedges is a New York Times Pulitzer-prize winning war correspondent who for two decades covered conflicts in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He returned to the United States to become a powerful social critic and critic of capitalism, and is the author of a dozen books, including War is a Force that Gives us Meaning;…


A Movie For Our Times: “The Captain,” The True Story Of A Fake Nazi’s Atrocities

  [Editor’s Note: From ICE agents along the southern border to guards at Abu Ghraib to many police actions in minority cities to the deceit of Wall Street we see repeated examples of individuals bowing to evil. This film has arrived as a warning … about ourselves. — Mark L. Taylor] By David Morgan CBS (7/27/18) In the final days of World War II, with Germany’s frontlines collapsing into chaos, Willi Herold, a German private separated from his comrades and desperate for food and warmth, comes across an abandoned car with a suitcase that contains an SS officer’s uniform. Trying…


13 Quotes From George Orwell’s “1984” That Are Relevant To Today’s America

“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” — George Orwell, “1984”.   By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (8/2/18) In his too-brief lifetime novelist George Orwell had seen two disastrous world wars, witnessed the rise of brutal fascist regimes in Germany and Italy and fought as a resistance fighter on the front lines in another, in Spain. He had witnessed the mechanization of industrial scale death from World War I with the advent of machine guns, tanks and gas warfare to the development of nuclear bombs….


‘Democracy Is A Life’ — In Our Time Of American Fascism Are You Up To The Challenge?

Bust of “Fighting Bob” La Follette in Wisconsin State Capitol. ***** “Democracy is a life, and involves continual struggle. It is only as those of every generation who love democracy resist with all their might encroachment of its enemies that the ideals of representative government can even be nearly approximated.” — Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette, “La Follette’s Autobiography: A Personal Narrative of Political Experiences” (1913). “No Excuses. Time To Stand Together! (Commoner Call photo by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )  


It’s Not Just Trump. Obama Also Shattered Tens Of Thousands Of Immigrant Families

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (7/19/18) Ryan Grim, of the investigative news site The Intercept, sends out a weekly newsletter update of stories. Recently he was looking back through the newsletter archives when he found a 2014 HuffPost story on the tens of thousands of immigrant families broken apart the year before by Obama administration policies of detention and deportation. In that year, 2013, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) department deported over 72,000 immigrants who had one or more American-born children. In 2012 the number deported between July 1, 2010, to Sept. 31, 2012 was 200,000. In fact,…


Chris Hedges: Demagogues Always Infect The Governed With Their Own Psychosis

“Lies pour out of the White House like flocks of pigeons.” “Tens of millions Americans, especially women, undocumented workers, Muslims and African Americans suffer the acute anxiety of being pursued by a predator. All this is by design. Demagogues always infect the governed with their own psychosis. Lies pour out of the White House like flocks of pigeons. … Before they seize power and establish a world according to their doctrines totalitarian movements conjure up a lying world of consistency which is more adequate to the needs of a human mind than than reality itself. In which through sheer imagination…


Beyond Logic & Reason: Historian Explains How Donald Trump And The Far Right Weaponized ‘Chaos Magic’ — Just Like The Occult

  [Editor’s Note: This is an insightful explanation from a different perspective of what the Trump movement is all about and how it seems impervious to the blunders, blatant lies and immorality of it’s leader. Excellent read. — Mark L. Taylor] By Chauncey DeVega Salon (7/16/18) Almost two years after Donald Trump’s once-unthinkable election victory, social scientists and other researchers have reached some clear conclusions about how and why it happened. Racism, sexism, nativism and social-dominance behavior were key factors in Trump’s support among white voters. Christian nationalism, along with the fear that white people will soon lose demographic power…


The US Gov’t Has “Lost” Enough Radioactive Material To Bomb Nagasaki 800 Times Over

  By Matt Agorist Activist Post (8/16/18) San Antonio, TX — When civilian contractors who use certain radioactive substances to test pipe strength or other inspections “lose” these items, news agencies widely report it and a massive search is conducted until it is found. However, as a recent case out of San Antonio illustrates, when government loses one of the most dangerous radioactive substances on the planet which could be used to create nuclear bombs to wipe out entire countries, all we hear are the proverbial crickets. In March of 2017, two security experts traveled to San Antonio from the Department of…


Inside The Mind Of White America – BBC News

    [Editor’s Note: I ask this as a 65 year-old white guy: What the hell is wrong with so many white people? My cartoon above is a humorous expression of something dark and vile baked deep into the bones of white people; to one extent or another, all white people. Myself, I am ashamed to admit, included. There’s nothing funny about it. It is the great undone work of this nation and our individual lives. — Mark L. Taylor] BBC (6/20/16) The concept of there being “two Americas” is almost as old as the nation itself. From the outset…


Dark Foreboding: Is the American Democratic Experiment Over?

  By William Boardman Reader Supported News (9/10/18) Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;Mere anarchy is loosed upon the worldThe blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhereThe ceremony of innocence is drowned;The best lack all conviction, while the worstAre full of passionate intensity. – William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming, 1919   Apocalyptic thinking has been with us for a long time, and it sometimes ushers in actual apocalypses, albeit at human scale, without biblical finality. For a century now, the Yeats poem above has served as an increasingly common reference point for those who fear apocalyptic events approaching. Today such…


The Media Have Been Targeted For Violence Since The Beginning Of The Republic

  By Harold Holzer History News Network (7/3/18) Sadly, there is nothing new—or even newsworthy—about violence against American newspapers. The recent, deadly attack on the Annapolis Capital Gazette is merely the latest of the lamentable episodes, scattered through our history, in which aggrieved parties take out frustrations on “the media.” Such assaults began only two years after ratification of the First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of the press. Most were triggered by political animus. In 1793, pro-Federalist Boston editor Benjamin Russell spat in the face of pro-Democratic editor Benjamin Austin, Jr. The transgression cost Russell a twenty-shilling fine, but did little to chill…


Trump, Obama & The Darkly Tangled Bipartisan Roots Of American Fascism

    By Tony McKenna Counterpunch (7/4/18) The latest Trump scandal hitting the news – the interment of children in cages, the forcible separation of screaming toddlers from their parents. It seemed to have touched a level of inhumanity which is breathtaking, even by the standards of the current US administration; an administration which already feels like the court of Caligula set to an episode of bad reality TV, with a soundtrack handily provided by the loony toons.  Fortunately, the president has stepped back, has issued a decree which will reverse the vile and traumatising project of cleaving immigrant parents…


No Time For Weakness: A Song In Honor Or Civil Rights Hero Rep. John Lewis

  By Abby Zimet Common Dreams (6/27/18) We were pretty well done in even before the Kennedy news; after it, we went seeking solace. A few hours earlier, the indefatigable John Lewis, who has lived his principles through fire and brimstone, sent out a flare. “Do not get lost in a sea of despair,” he wrote. “Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” Last month in a commencement speech…


Your Choice: Where Would You Be In This Picture?

  Go along or resist. Stand up or lay down. Speak out or be silent. There will be no neutral. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/31/18) The arrival of government detention — concentration — camps for an oppressed and dehumanized minority group means that politics in America is about to become far more personal and much, much more consequential. The kidnapping of children into for-profit concentration camps has added an especially grotesque dimension. The forcible separation of parents from their infants and children into concentrations camps have made it official: We are living in a fascist state now. With…


History Of Fascist Spain Government Child Abductions Will Become Model For Trump’s Kidnapping Program

  “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.” — Winston Churchill By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/28/18) As the brutal Trump child kidnapping program continues on with arrogance, cruelty and casual incompetence we are going to see many of the 2,300-plus children now incarcerated permanently stolen from their parents; they will never be reunited. There are already reports of parents deported back to Central America while their children remain in U.S. concentration camps. (And make no mistake, that is the proper term for these camps. And, no, it is not “separation”, it is kidnapping.) History provides insight on where this will go…


‘On Contact’ — Chris Hedges & Ralph Nader Get Real On What’s Happened To Our Government

  It’s been a well funded, brilliantly orchestrated 40-year long corporate coup d’etat.   In this “On Contact” interview consumer advocate and political activist Ralph Nader and journalist Chris Hedges outline the problem and Nader lays out a path of resistance that would only take one percent of citizens to become involved. Before one can reform a system however, that system must be thoroughly understood and seen with unblinking clarity.  You will find both in this fast moving discussion. Along the way Nader gives insight on what has gone amiss in the courts and American law schools and the true…


This Country Was Born In Incivility. Simply Being ‘Civil’ Won’t Save It Now

Neither will burying the truth under false equivalences between bad words and racism. By Charles P. Pierce Esquire (6/21/18) I was saying to a friend on Wednesday night that what was sustaining me in this time of trouble and woe was reading the works of my favorite uncivil Americans—Tom Paine, Mercy Otis Warren, Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, late-period Mark Twain, a touch of Mencken here and there. Thus, I was able to read this incredible pile of piffle in The New York Times with comparative equanimity, which is to say without lighting my laptop on fire. Mr. Trump’s coarse discourse increasingly seems to…


“The King” Director Eugene Jarecki: Elvis Presley’s Rise & Fall Is A Metaphor For America Today

  Our democracy has been hijacked by capitalism. Democracy Now! (6/25/18) To understand America in the age of Trump, prize-winning documentary filmmaker Eugene Jarecki says to look no further than the checkered history of Elvis Presley. Jarecki’s new documentary “The King” opens in New York City this week. It follows the filmmaker as he drives Elvis Presley’s 1963 Rolls Royce across the United States in an attempt to understand what has happened to America in the age of Trump. “The American dream … wasn’t for anybody if you weren’t a white man,” Jarecki said. “We got here because this nation…


Most Journalists Missed The Significance & Threat Of The Rise Of Mussolini & Hitler

Warning: Reports on the rise of fascism in Europe were not the American media’s finest hour. By John Broich The Conversation (12/11/16) How to report on a fascist? How to cover the rise of a political leader who’s left a paper trail of anti-constitutionalism, racism and the encouragement of violence? Does the press take the position that its subject acts outside the norms of society? Or does it take the position that someone who wins a fair election is by definition “normal,” because his leadership reflects the will of the people? These are the questions that confronted the U.S. press…


The Company We Keep: 6 Dictators Who Also Divided Children From Parents

[Editor’s Note: We also need to acknowledge that the United States has stolen children from their families during the slave trade and through the racist Government Indian School system, which was often assisted by churches. I would also add to Cole’s list of cruelty the American-backed Pinochet regime in Chile, which began with a CIA-backed coup on 9/11 … 1973. — Mark L. Taylor] By Juan Cole Informed Consent (6/18/18) Separating children from their parents, as Trump, Sessions and their myrmidons are doing, is monstrous and has been characteristic of the biggest dictators of the modern era. Here are a…


Keep ’em In The Dark: Advanced High School History Will No Longer Include Humankind’s Story Before 1450

  NPR (6/16/18) The Advanced Placement World History course will no longer include precolonial civilizations. Scott Simon talks to Amanda DoAmaral, a former AP World History teacher, about why she opposes the change. Link to Story and -Minute Audio (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


Forget Trump – A return To True Populism Is The Cure, Not The Disease

By Thomas Frank The Guardian (6/23/18) Why are the traditional parties of the left in the western world being defeated in so many places by outrageous blowhards of the right? The answer most often given is that rightwing politicians have discovered and embraced a diabolical form of super-politics known as “populism”. With its combination of magic words and evil deeds, this populism is breaking rules, beguiling voters and winning elections. Populism is a subject I know something about. In the 1980s I studied the angry American agrarians who, a century before, squared off against railroad monopolists. I became fascinated with the populist culture of the Roosevelt era,…