In this week’s show, Prof. Wolff explains why capitalism does not deserve credit for improved living conditions, Home Depot billionaire blames US capitalism’s problems on US workers being “lazy, fat, and stupid,” Southwest Airlines as example of failures by both corporations and their gov’t “regulators,” George Santos as creature of capitalist advertising.
The Monroe Doctrine was and is a justification for actions, some good, some indifferent, but the overwhelming bulk reprehensible. The Monroe Doctrine remains in place, both explicitly and dressed up in novel language. Additional doctrines have been built on its foundations. Here are the words of the Monroe Doctrine, as carefully selected from President James Monroe’s State of the Union Address 200 years ago on December 2, 1823: Continue reading →
Ralph welcomes back retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson to talk about American military policy, including the record $816.7 billion Pentagon budget, the war in Ukraine, the insanity of nuclear weapons, potential conflict with China and what the right-wing caucus in the House of Representatives really wants when they say they want to cut military spending. Plus, Ralph reads and responds to your questions and feedback from previous programs.
What is democracy but platitudes and dog whistles? The national direction is quietly predetermined — it’s not up for debate. The president’s role is to sell it to the public; you might say he’s the public-relations director in chief: Continue reading →
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.
The “Christmas Truce of 1914” was a short-lived, unofficial lull in combat between two antagonistic rival forces, determined to exercise military, political and economic supremacy over each other in Europe and in the colonized world, to which these imperial powers lay arrogant false claim. One of the bloodiest episodes in human history, World War I was largely played out on the battle-scarred lands of France and Belgium, starting in August of 1914.
A Dec. 11 New York Times report highlighted how thousands of public high school students in majority poor, Black and Brown districts are funneled into the U.S. military’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. Students are automatically enrolled and forced to participate as an explicit requirement without parental consent. Some high schools have saved money by using JROTC, which is ostensibly a feeder system for children to ultimately enlist in the military, as an alternative to hiring physical education or health teachers. (NY Times, Dec. 11)
There was once a wing of the Democratic Party that stood up to the war industry. J. William Fulbright, George McGovern, Gene McCarthy, Mike Gravel, William Proxmire, and, of course, Dennis Kucinich. But that was largely decades ago.
The first casualty of war, and militarism, is the truth. And the corporate mainstream media works diligently hand-in-glove with the US military-industrial complex to make this happen. Through its unquestioning repetition of government propaganda, its lies of omission, and its ratings-hungry war mongering, the media have become an essential part of the information war so endemic to US imperialism.
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.
Here’s a video of John Oliver denouncing FIFA for putting the World Cup in Qatar, a place that uses slavery and abuses women and abuses LGBT people. It’s a video about how everyone else glosses over nasty truths. Oliver drags in Russia as a past World Cup host that abuses protesters, and even Saudi Arabia as a possible host in the distant future that commits all sorts of atrocities. My concern is not just that the U.S., as one of the planned hosts four years hence, gets a pass on its general behavior. My concern is that the U.S. has far outdone FIFA this year, and every year, in Qatar. The U.S. has put six things into that horrific little oil dictatorship, each of which is worse than the World Cup.