‘Humanitarianism’ As an Excuse for Colonialism and Imperialism

‘Humanitarianism’ As an Excuse for Colonialism and Imperialism

Spreading civilization and human rights has long been used as an excuse for state-building through colonialism and imperialism. This idea dates back at least to early Spanish and colonial efforts in the New World, and the rationale was initially employed as just one of many. The importance of the conquest-spreads-civilization claim increased, however, as liberalism gained ground in Europe in the nineteenth century. Liberals were more skeptical of the benefits of imperialism, so, as political scientist Lea Ypi notes: "During the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, the purpose...

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Henry Kissinger: War Criminal and Enemy of Mankind

Henry Kissinger: War Criminal and Enemy of Mankind

Former U.S. secretary of state and national security advisory Henry Kissinger died on Wednesday. He was 100 years old. Kissinger is perhaps most notable for his work during Nixon Administration when he helped Nixon prolong the Vietnam War and expand it to Cambodia and Laos. But his influence was certainly not limited to the Nixon years, he served in an official capacity in the Ford administration, and in more informal roles during the Reagan and Bush years as well. Throughout it all Kissinger was a ruthless servant of the American foreign policy establishment. As a Harvard-educated political...

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The Myth of the ‘Good Leaker’

The Myth of the ‘Good Leaker’

Daniel Ellsberg died on June 16, and he remains one of the nation's most prominent whistleblowers who leaked secret government information to the public. Upon his death the general consensus among the writers of memorials for Ellsberg was that he was right to leak government secrets. As the editorial board at The Orange County Register recently put it, he was "a true American hero." They're right about Ellsberg. During the Vietnam War, through his release of the so-called Pentagon Papers in 1971, Ellsberg made public a large trove of secret government documents that exposed many of the...

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Headlines vs Data: What Does the Jobs Report Actually Say?

Headlines vs Data: What Does the Jobs Report Actually Say?

The Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS) released new jobs data on Friday. According to the report, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs rose 339,000 jobs in May, well above forecasts. The unemployment rate rose slightly from 3.4 percent to 3.7 percent (month over month). Headlines in the mainstream media declared the headline employment data to be evidence of very strong job growth and economic success. According to Politico, the latest jobs numbers are evidence of a "remarkable resilience of President Joe Biden’s economy" and NPR declared the job market to be "sizzling hot." Yet, May appears...

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Three Lies They’re Telling You about the Debt Ceiling

Three Lies They’re Telling You about the Debt Ceiling

Negotiations over increasing the federal debt ceiling continue in Washington. As has occurred several times over the past twenty years, Republicans and Democrats are presently using increases in the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip in negotiating how federal tax dollars will be spent. Most of this is theater. We know how these negotiations always end: the debt ceiling is always increased, massive amounts of new federal debt are incurred, and federal spending continues its upward spiral. In fact, since the last time we endured a major debate over the debt ceiling—back in 2013—the national...

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End the FBI

End the FBI

Special counsel John Durham on Monday released his report on the FBI's role in investigating the 2016 Donald Trump campaign's alleged collusion with Russia. This investigation, codenamed "Crossfire Hurricane," had been—according to Durham's report—"swiftly" opened as a full-blown investigation in response to "unevaluated intelligence information" by FBI personnel "without ever having spoken to the persons who provided the information." Durham shows that the investigation had been pushed forward largely by FBI agent Peter Strzok, a man known to be politically hostile to candidate...

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Fake Crime! The Fiction of ‘Seditious Conspiracy’

Fake Crime! The Fiction of ‘Seditious Conspiracy’

Last Thursday, Enrique Tarrio, a reputed national leader of the Proud Boys organization was convicted in federal court of seditious conspiracy along with three-co-defendants. This conviction in a District of Columbia court represents a victory for the Justice Department which has now charged more than a thousand people with "crimes" related to the January 6 riot at the U.S. capitol. Most of the charges related to the riot have been for small-time offenses that amount to vandalism and trespassing. A handful of those allegedly involved in the riot, however, have been convicted of seditious...

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The Iraq War Is (And Will Always Be) Undefendable

The Iraq War Is (And Will Always Be) Undefendable

This spring marks the twentieth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. After an initial frenzy of war fever in the early years of the war, support for the war has since largely evaporated. Nearly two thirds of veterans now say the war was "not worth fighting." Two thirds of American adults say the same thing. Even among Republican veterans, only a minority say the war was worth it. These numbers are not surprising. The U.S. obviously failed to achieve its stated objectives in Iraq, and the reasons given to justify the initial invasion were either exaggerations or outright lies....

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Last Rights: The Death of American Liberty

Last Rights: The Death of American Liberty

Americans today have “freedom” to be fleeced, groped, injected, harassed, surveilled, vilified, disarmed, beaten, detained, and maybe shot by federal agents. From hapless homeowners hit by SWAT raids to pandemic lockdowns pointlessly paralyzing lives, government...

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