I spent the hour with Julian Assange’s wife Stella Assange. We talked about whether the rumors he’ll be released soon are true, how she finds the strength to keep fighting, and whether she was stunned to hear the CIA had planned to assassinate her husband.
There’s a simple idea, advanced most effectively by Daniel Ellsberg. Whether you love nuclear weapons, believe they’re unfortunately necessary, or think they’re the stupidest thing ever to spend a cent — much less trillions of dollars — on, you ought never to imagine a need for more than the nukes on submarines and airplanes. Having them on land as well, whether you call it a Holy Triad of nuclear weapon types or not, ought to be understood as really, really dumb, no matter what you think of loading up subs and planes with enough weapons to end all life on Earth many times over. You may, as I do, believe that almost nothing could be crazier than nukes on subs and planes; or you may swear that such deployments amount to the wisest action ever taken by the human species, or by the 4% of humanity that you give a damn about, or anything in between. But there is something crazier, that we should all be able to come together and recognize as the single craziest thing ever: nukes on land, ICBMs, Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles.
On this week of Thanksgiving, Ralph welcomes two distinguished anti-war activists and Nobel Peace Prize nominees, Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODE Pink to discuss her book War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict and David Swanson of World Beyond War to not only put the conflict in Ukraine in context but also to reveal the financial incentives that drive endless war.
The death penalty is an antiquated and barbaric method of punishment in any case, regardless of whether the offender is clearly guilty. But in cases in which there is any doubt, the state’s urge to kill is particularly grotesque. Yet the state of Texas is poised to execute a woman who in all likelihood did not commit the crime for which she was sentenced unless radical action is taken before April 27, the day Melissa Lucio is scheduled to die.
Across the Adriatic from Bari in Southern Italy sits the tiny, largely rural and mountainous, and exquisitely beautiful nation of Montenegro. At its center is a huge mountainous plateau called Sinjajevina — one of the most wonderfully non-“developed” places in Europe.
After Abby’s major legal victory getting Georgia’s anti-BDS law ruled unenforceable, Israel has hit back by getting the State Legislature to keep this brazenly unconstitutional law officially on the books.
The last thing any of us need is a war with Russia over the Ukraine. You don’t need to know much about foreign policy to know that. Let the pundits and talking heads argue about the nuances of NATO and war maneuvers at the border of Russia. For most Americans, there are at least four sensible reasons (beyond the basic horror that is war) to oppose escalating this conflict with Russia.
Most U.S. states still have excuses when asked to make voter registration automatic, but in various states — including here in Virginia — draft registration is automatic even for 15-year-olds who want a learner’s permit to drive a car. (This is still only for males, as Congress did not, in the end, extend draft registration to females, at least until next year — once in a while Democrats’ obeisance to Republicans works out well.) The application for the learner’s permit in Virginia, for which you must be 15-and-a-half-years-old, says: Continue reading →
The preventable plight of the U.S. Postal Service, with its over 30,000 post offices, is an important issue for all Americans. When President Donald J. Trump’s donor and henchman Louis DeJoy became postmaster general in 2020, he started to dismantle the agency. Thousands of citizens responded by participating in demonstrations that revealed a deep civic commitment to preserving the people’s post office.
In some future lovely little war, perhaps with China or some other demonized target, some percentage of the U.S. public may suddenly exclaim: “Hey, since when does a draft include young women as well as men?!” Old tunes will be revised and sung in protest with lyrics about being the first one on your block to have your daughter come home in a box. The tragedies will be played out in tears and screams and flag-covered propaganda-regurgitating rationalizations. Dead women and men will be thanked for the service of stirring up World War III before being dumped in the ground to rot, as some of the living begin to envy them and wonder about the merits of the service they’ve provided.