Freedom & Obedience

Fort Dix, New Jersey – 1969There used to be a sign that hung on the gate to the entrance to Fort Dix (the army training ground in New Jersey ) in 1969: “OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW IS FREEDOM.” It probably was not as bad as the sign on the gate to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, “ARBEIT MACHT FREI,” (Work is Freedom), but to those of us opposing the Vietnam War in 1969, the two sentiments and the source from where they sprung certainly seemed similar. A while after leaving Canada […]

Behind the Hype and Headlines of Syria

The sarin gas attack on Syrian civilians on August 21, 2013 was a horrific crime. The scenes of people writhing in pain and expiring was not something that any rational human being would or should be able to turn away from. There’s not much controversy that gas was used. Looking at the videos of the attack leaves little room for doubt. There is, however, a controversy about who was responsible. According to an article initially published by the Mint Press and later picked up by Examiner.com, rebels admitted to receiving […]

The Perpetuation of Poverty

A traffic stop in Durham, North CarolinaPhoto by Ildar SagdejevAnyone who has occasion to sit in the County District Courts of North Carolina, the state where I reside, can’t help but see and hear the endless parade of defendants appearing before the judge on routine traffic infractions resulting in the imposition of court costs and sometimes fines. The court costs are generally $189.00. If someone is unable to pay, a late fee of $70.00 is tacked on and the privilege to operate a vehicle is revoked. If caught operating a […]

Mandrake the Congressman

These days American government is all just a magician’s show, nothing but slight of hand and misdirection. That’s only to be expected. For years Congress, the Presidency, Wall Street and about everyone else who holds the real keys to ownership in this country has been maintaining the illusion that you and I, who have nothing but a borrowed pot to piss in, are actually the owners of this great land and that the government works for us. […]

The Bigotry Quotient

Never fear, this isn’t about Paula Deen. She’s just some kind of weird canary in a coal mine. It’s the coal mine that should bother us. You see, what I find so freaking not understandable in the second decade of the 21st century, nearly fifty years after the civil rights law and the beginning of desegregation in the South, is how anyone could think a “plantation party” would be a good idea. She said she wanted to dress-up “little” black people, I guess to pretend she was back in some […]

Wal-Mart to DC–We’ll Take Our Ball and Go Home

If we want to get rid of feudal lords in America, as I wrote about yesterday, we should start with Wal-Mart. Believe me, this won’t be an easy task. The smiles that Wal-Mart features in their advertisements are a facade, hiding pure ruthlessness and greed. If Wal-Mart was forced to pay their employees an actual living wage, they would undoubtedly have to raise their “everyday low prices.” Their low priced business model is based on the assumption of unrequited servitude by their employees, ergo paying decent wages means they lose […]

The Tea Party’s Feudal Lord

It boggles my mind how the tea baggers can get it so wrong. I think most Tea Party folks probably trace their ancestry back to Europe. Most probably they imagine they originally hail from England, since once upon a time Merry Olde was considered to be our “mother country.” […]

The Hate Mongers

Hate. It occurs to me more and more that hate is at the root of the problems we’re having with our politics. And it’s not only the other guy who’s sowing hate. We’re doing it too. Left or right, our politics are all based on hate. This would seem to indicate that whatever afflicts us isn’t going to be solved with left/right politics. First we must apply the antidote to hate throughout our society before we can even think about moving forward. Indeed, that would be the first step of […]

Fear and Loathing at the ‘Jamestown News’

You can’t fire Ogi Overman. What’re ya, nuts? If you’ve got a community driven newspaper anywhere in the Triad, especially in Jamestown or anywhere else in Guilford County, firing Ogi makes about as much sense as having Disneyland in your portfolio and firing Mickey. Or owning NBC and firing the Peacock. Or being England and giving the Queen her walking papers. […]

What Happened On Wall Street Today

There was a major sell-off on Wall Street today, with the market losing 2.3%, more than it’s lost on a single day since 2011. Why? Evidently the investment crowd is panicking because Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke indicated that soon, if the economy continues to improve, the Fed will quit printing new money willy-nilly for them to use to buy bonds in order to continue to stimulate the economy. In other words, they’re threatening to quit feeding the trolls. Let me translate this for the hard-of-thinking. […]