Sham-ocracy, Scam-ocracy

Sham-ocracy, Scam-ocracy

The word "democracy" is bandied about rhetorically by politicians on a regular basis to rationalize whatever it is that they want to do. This tendency has increased markedly in recent times as so-called wars of democracy and campaigns to save or preserve democracy are cast as the most pressing priorities of the day. In the U.S. presidential election campaign currently underway, both members of the War Party duopoly claim to be the champions of democracy, while depicting their adversaries as loose cannon authoritarians. President Joe “Our Patience is Wearing Thin” Biden attempted in 2021 to...

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Life During Gaza Wartime

Life During Gaza Wartime

People are by now firmly entrenched in their respective positions regarding the conflict raging in Gaza since October 7, 2023. The Hamas attacks on that day have served as the pretext for a “war” on the Palestinian people for the past seven months. The announcement that the ICC (International Criminal Court) has applied for arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, along with their highest-level associates (asserting, in other words, that both sides are wrong) is unlikely to change anyone’s mind about what is going on. Many American...

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No Crickets for Cricket!

The governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, has been plagued by a self-inflicted and festering wound for about a week now. An excerpt from her soon-to-be released memoir, aptly and prophetically entitled No Going Back, has transformed the governor from a Republican party darling and possible choice as Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate to a permanent political pariah, even more repugnant than some people find Trump himself to be. Given that Noem has been vying for the position of vice commander-in-chief of the endless missions of mass homicide perpetrated by the U.S. military...

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Our Bloody Cultural Psychosis

Our Bloody Cultural Psychosis

Imagine someone who did not know the difference between right and wrong and felt that he could, and should, take anything he wanted from anyone he wanted because, as far as he could see, there was no reason not to. If he wanted to buy something but was low on funds, he would not hesitate to kill someone in order to access his wallet. If he became hungry, he would be willing to slay a randomly selected human being for the contents of his lunch box. People like this are sometimes referred to as “criminally insane,” because they genuinely do not appear to understand why they should not do...

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The Meaning of ‘Finish ‘Em Off!’

The Meaning of ‘Finish ‘Em Off!’

What began as a nearly universal outpouring of sympathy for the victims of the crimes of October 7, 2023, has now followed the post-9/11 trajectory, with the Israel government killing multiple times the number of victims destroyed in the precipitating attack by Hamas. Everyone should be appalled by what was done to Israeli citizens, but the question from the outset was what to do in response. Early on, Republican presidential candidate and former Boeing board member Nikki Haley bellowed out her prescription: “Finish ’em off!” She repeatedly tweeted emotive exhortations to Prime Minister...

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The Deadliest Premise

The Deadliest Premise

A new documentary film, Unknown: Killer Robots (2023), directed by Jesse Sweet and available on Netflix, addresses some of the perhaps surprising developments in artificial intelligence weaponry—above all, the specter of autonomous lethal aircraft systems programmed to kill on command and then permitted to act independently, with no human being “in the loop.” In some ways, this represents a dramatic turning point in the history of warfare, because up until now human beings have always “made the call” in commanding soldiers where, when, why, and whom to kill. The film offers a variety of...

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Moral Equivalence in War (Both Sides are Wrong)

Moral Equivalence in War (Both Sides are Wrong)

It has become fashionable once again for regime apologists to denounce as “simpleminded,” even immoral, any assertion or intimation of moral equivalence between government killers and the factional fighters who undertake violent retaliation against them. Throughout the emotionally fraught dispute engendered by the events of October 7, 2023, and its aftermath, there has been a reigning confusion regarding what “moral equivalence” actually means. The classical concept of “invincible ignorance,” which derives from the “just war” tradition, is closely related to the question of moral equivalence...

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Depleted Citizenry Democracy

Depleted Citizenry Democracy

The Joe Biden administration recently managed to persuade politicians and a number of outspoken pundits to applaud the provision of cluster bombs to the Ukrainian government for use on Ukrainian soil. One war crime leads to another, so perhaps no one should be surprised that the U.S. government has now opted to ship depleted uranium-tipped missiles to Ukraine as well. The notion that the use of such weapons will help to defend democracy should jar the cognitive faculties of any person with a functioning cortex. Democracy is “rule by the people,” while unexploded ordnance, such as the...

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Israel Winner of the 2003 Iraq Oil War

Israel Winner of the 2003 Iraq Oil War

From the Foreword by Lawrence B. Wilkerson: “[T]he debate over whether oil was a principal reason for the 2003 invasion has waxed and waned, with one camp arguing that it absolutely was, while the other argues the precise opposite.” “Mr. Vogler, himself a former...

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