This is the second article in a three-part series on per-and-poly fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination at the Burlington, Vermont Air National Guard base. This work is being made possible through the generous support from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILFP-US Section), the WILPF Burlington Branch, and the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice – a project of the Peoples Action Institute.
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to Michael Smith, civil rights attorney about Michael Ratner’s recently published memoir, Moving the Bar – My Life as A Radical Lawyer. Smith was a close friend and collaborator of Ratner’s for over three decades.
Through much of history the abnormal has been the norm. This is a paradox to which we should attend. Aberrations, so plentiful as to form a terrible normality of their own, descend upon us with frightful consistency.
Four hundred lights stretch along the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall. Each represents one thousand people in America who have died of COVID-19. It is only in their absence that we have space to acknowledge the dead–there is not enough space beside the pool for that many people to stand. It is only by symbols that we can understand the enormity of what we’ve lost.
It took a variety of approaches to market the 2003 war on Iraq. For some it was to be a defense against an imagined threat. For others it was false revenge. But for Samantha Power it was philanthropy. She said at the time, “An American intervention likely will improve the lives of the Iraqis. Their lives could not get worse, I think it’s quite safe to say.” Needless to say, it wasn’t safe to say that.
The USA is a very religious nation, in this sense: Most of its people hold self-destructive values about society, politics, and economics that they are reluctant to question, because they believe that “faith” should outrank reason. Most of these people call themselves “Christians,” i.e., followers of Jesus Christ, but these basic values of theirs are just the opposite of the wise things that Jesus actually said. I am writing this essay in the hope of getting at least a few of these self-described “Christians” to reconsider.
This is the first article in a three-part series on per-and-poly fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination at the Burlington, Vermont Air National Guard base. This work is being made possible through the generous support from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILFP-US Section), the WILPF Burlington Branch, and the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice – a project of the Peoples Action Institute.
There are two different versions of the great-power competition that Washington is waging against Russia and China. One is the version portrayed by the U.S. political and media establishment, which acts like Washington’s modern rival superpowers are eventually going to be subdued like the Soviet Union was. The other is the reality of the conflict, where Russia and China are strengthening their military alliance unlike was the case after the Sino-Soviet split, Russia is assured to win the proxy war with Washington’s puppet state Ukraine, and China has already arguably ended U.S. military primacy in the Indo-Pacific while making the Belt and Road Initiative’s success assured.
Renowned journalist and author Chris Hedges talks about the many ways traditional media, digital media, and the two political parties have worked to prevent progressive movements and give rise to the growth of the extreme right. Continue reading →
Capitalism—the system by which a relatively tiny group owns the means of production and enriches themselves through hoarding the workers’ surplus value, transforming the natural world into goods and services—is inherently destructive, exploitative, and polluting. Capital is concentrated in very few hands. The richest one percent own half of the world’s wealth (Frank, CNBC, 14 Nov 2017), and the three wealthiest humans in the United States own more wealth than the bottom fifty percent of the population of the country (Kirsch, Forbes, 9 Nov 2017). This trend of the rich getting richer only accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Billionaire wealth skyrocketed while the masses suffered.
After far right fascists and supremacists stormed the Capitol this month, it is little wonder that the American Empire would ramp up the security state. It is on steroids now, with more troops in DC than there are in Iraq. But whatever one might think of the necessity of increased security at the Inauguration tomorrow, it should seem pretty clear by now that, although democracy never really existed in any true form in the US republic, the very pretense of it is now officially dead.
“One day we must ask the question, “Why are there forty million poor people in America?” And when you begin to ask that question, you’re raising a question about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy.” — “Where Do We Go From Here?” Martin Luther King, Jr., Aug. 16, 1967