Nations, like families, can die of too many lies. The founders of
our Republic knew this and gave us the first amendment so America
would be safe for second opinions that challenge official lies.
Because all of us are capable of deceiving ourselves, each of us
needs a personal First Amendment operating within. It would
protect the quiet fragile voice that occasionally
rises uninvited to say, "that's just not so, that's not the truth."
Beneath the distortion and deception of life in America today,
there is hard reality. Our earth is threatened
with pollution, nuclear weapons have been accumulating worldwide at
the cost of $1 million a minute, and the United States is sliding
into an inferior status in the global economy. Yet our public mind
is filled with images of an America where the vending machines are
always full, the wounded always recover, and the bills never come
due. We seem to prefer the comfortable lie to the uncomfortable
truth, and we punish those who point out reality, while are
rewarding those who provide us with the comfort of illusion. Reality
is fearsome, [but] experience tells us more fearsome yet is evading
"The Truth about Lies"
the Crisis Papers
The Editors' Internet Publications
the Throes of a National Hissy-Fit.
What are we to make of the
just-released report of the
Director of National Intelligence which assesses, with "high confidence,"
that Vladimir Putin has attempted to influence the 2016
presidential election y damaging the Clinton campaign and
boosting the prospects of Donald Trump.
True or false, the "Putin hacking the Democrats" charge has
evolved from an unsupported accusation to an unchallenged dogma
– a "cognitive frame," – within which a
"what to do about it" debate rages, while few while few step
outside that frame to ask, "but did Putin
really do it?" or "even if he did, what was the extent of the damage?"
Let's End the New Cold War Before It Heats Up.
The United States and Russia are rushing, relentlessly, toward war, unless
cooler voices are heard and heeded. Those voices are not being heard in our mass
media or heeded by our politicians. The familiar historical indicators of a march to war are
apparent to all with eyes to see: arms buildup, depersonalization of the
"enemy," demonization of its leaders, marginalizing of moderate voices,
suppression of dissent, refusal to negotiate and compromise in good faith,
deliberate failure to recognize the concerns and interests of "the other."
(From March 5, 2015)
James Comey Visits his Shrink.
James Comey is an emotional wreck as he tries to
deal with the political snakepit that is the FBI these days: a
pro-Trump faction engaged with a more moderate faction in a war
of pre-election leaks. Come needs help. In his psychiatrist, the
Bureau director finally has somebody he can vent to.
Germany In 1933: The Easy Slide Into Fascism
This essay, written when
the CheneyBush administration was running roughshod over the
Constitution, is still relevant today as our homegrown
neo-fascists have entered the political mainstream. Trump
makes George W. seem like a genteel moderate. The parallels
to the rise of fascism in 1930 Europe, of course, are not
exact, but seem eerily familiar.(First posted June 9, 2003)
Conscience of a Progressive.
A Book in Progress