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[l] at 3/3/24 3:01pm
In the midst of Israels ongoing devastation of Gaza, one major piece of Middle Eastern news has yet to hit the headlines. In a face-off that, in a sense, has lasted since the pro-American Shah of Iran was overthrown by theocratic clerics in 1979, Iran finally seems to be besting the United States in a significant fashion across the region. Its a story that needs to be told. “Hit Iran now. Hit them hard” was typical advice offered by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham after a drone flown by an Iran-aligned Iraqi Shiite militia killed three American servicemen in northern Jordan on January 28th. The well-heeled Iran War Lobby in Washington has, in fact, been stridently calling for nothing short of... Read more Source: Is Tehran Winning the Middle East? appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 2/29/24 7:30am
In 1868, British Prime Minister William Gladstone famously said, “Justice delayed is justice denied.” The phrase has often been repeated here in the United States, most famously by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., who echoed it in his 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail”: “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.” Sadly enough, justice delayed (and possibly denied) is once again front and center in America as we face the specter of Donald Trump and his insistence on eternally evading the reach of the law. Whats at stake isnt just the fate of the former president, but an essential aspect of democracy. The Georgia Case Recently, the country was privy to attempts by Donald Trump’s lawyers to delay, if... Read more Source: Trumps Justice appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 2/27/24 7:26am
We Americans have been at war now since October 7th, 2001. That was when our military first launched air strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan in response to al-Qaedas September 11th terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. Thats 22 years and counting. The war on terror that began then would forever change what it meant to be an Arab-American here at home, while ending the lives of more than 400,000 civilians and still counting! in South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. In the days after those September 11th attacks, the U.S. would enjoy the goodwill and support of countries around the world. Only in March 2003, with our invasion of Saddam Husseins Iraq, would much... Read more Source: The October 7th America Has Forgotten appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 2/25/24 3:36pm
Joe Biden wants you to believe that spending money on weapons is good for the economy. That tired old myth regularly repeated by the political leaders of both parties could help create an even more militarized economy that could threaten our peace and prosperity for decades to come. Any short-term gains from pumping in more arms spending will be more than offset by the long-term damage caused by crowding out new industries and innovations, while vacuuming up funds needed to address other urgent national priorities. The Biden administration’s sales pitch for the purported benefits of military outlays began in earnest last October, when the president gave a rare Oval Office address to promote a $106-billion emergency allocation that... Read more Source: War Is Bad for You And the Economy appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 2/22/24 7:33am
Long ago, I came to believe that being a Jew, even a secular one like me, entailed certain responsibilities. A people who had suffered so much yet survived were obligated, if not honored, to serve as witnesses and supporters of other oppressed people and to live in the public interest, to model ethical lives. Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk, and Sandy Koufax all made me proud, while I felt ashamed of Roy Cohn, Alan Dershowitz, and Henry Kissinger. I never reached such lofty, self-righteous, or even chauvinistic heights or depths, but such figures, positive and negative, offered a comforting structure for my casual, shallow life as a Jew. I rarely observed high holy days. My children were neither bar nor bat... Read more Source: I’m Heartbroken by the War in Israel appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 2/20/24 7:38am
Yes, its already time to be worried very worried. As the wars in Ukraine and Gaza have shown, the earliest drone equivalents of “killer robots” have made it onto the battlefield and proved to be devastating weapons. But at least they remain largely under human control. Imagine, for a moment, a world of war in which those aerial drones (or their ground and sea equivalents) controlled us, rather than vice-versa. Then we would be on a destructively different planet in a fashion that might seem almost unimaginable today. Sadly, though, its anything but unimaginable, given the work on artificial intelligence (AI) and robot weaponry that the major powers have already begun. Now, let me take you into that arcane... Read more Source: “Emergent” AI Behavior and Human Destiny appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 2/18/24 3:28pm
We live in a world of dangerous, deadly extremes. Record-breaking heat waves, intense drought, stronger hurricanes, unprecedented flash flooding. No corner of the planet will be spared the wrath of human-caused climate change and the earths fresh water is already feeling the heat of this new reality. More than half of the world’s lakes and two-thirds of its rivers are drying up, threatening ecosystems, farmland, and drinking water supplies. Such diminishing resources are also likely to lead to conflict and even, potentially, all-out war. “Competition over limited water resources is one of the main concerns for the coming decades,” warned a study published in Global Environmental Change in 2018. “Although water issues alone have not been the sole trigger for... Read more Source: Dam, Dam, Dam! appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 2/15/24 7:31am
Like many American boys of the baby-boomer generation, I played “war” with those old, olive-drab, plastic toy soldiers meant to evoke our great victory over the Nazis and “the Japs” during World War II. At age 10, I also kept a scrapbook of the 1973 Yom Kippur War between Israel and its various Arab enemies in the Middle East. It was, I suppose, an early sign that I would make both the military and the study of history into careers. I recall rooting for the Israelis, advertised then as crucial American allies, against Egypt, Syria, and other regional enemies at least ostensibly allied with the Soviet Union in that Cold War era. I bought the prevailing narrative of a David-versus-Goliath... Read more Source: Bombing Muslims for Peace appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 2/13/24 7:26am
When the Civil War ended in 1865, the 76-year-old Constitution needed an upgrading and those leading the country did indeed dramatically transform it with the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, known collectively as the Reconstruction Era amendments. The 13th (1865) abolished slavery, while the 15th (1870) gave voting rights to newly freed Black men. However, it was the 14th Amendment, first drafted in 1866 and ratified in 1868, that would prove the most far-reaching and that today sits all too squarely between Donald Trump and his white nationalist and authoritarian dreams. While much attention has been rightfully focused on its “insurrection” clause (Section 3) and whether, thanks to it, Trump should be allowed to hold office, given... Read more Source: Throwing Out the Constitution appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 2/11/24 2:48pm
When my mother died in 2000, I inherited all her books. Sadly, after several moves and downsizings over the decades, her collection had shrunk. Still, it remains considerable and impressive in its own way. Her legacy to me included some special volumes like a first edition of Frederick W. Taylor’s The Principles of Scientific Management, a famed codification of time-management practices and an origin point for concepts that helped shape work in the last century and this one, too. Oh, and there’s also a first American edition of E.M. Forster’s novel Howards End. On the flyleaf, she inscribed this note: “Stolen by Suzanne Gordon.” As the bookplate on the cover’s interior indicates, it was indeed stolen from (or at... Read more Source: Banning What Matters appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 2/8/24 7:31am
Yes, theDoomsday Clockkeeps ticking its now at 90 seconds to midnight, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists but the ultimate time bomb never gets the attention that it deserves. Even as the possibility of nuclear annihilation looms, this century’s many warning signs retain the status of Cassandras. Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump withdrew the United States from vital pacts between the U.S. and Russia, the two nuclear superpowers, shutting down theAnti-Ballistic Missile,Open Skies,andIntermediate-Range Nuclear Forcestreaties. And despite promising otherwise, Presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden did nothing to revive them. Under the buzzword “modernization,” the American government, a thermonuclear colossus, spent$51 billionlast year alone updating and sustaining its nuclear arsenal, gaining profligate momentum in... Read more Source: Full Speed Ahead on the Global Titanic appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 2/6/24 7:30am
I was born on July 20, 1944, almost two years after Joe Biden arrived on this planet and almost a year before You Know Who, like me, landed in New York City. The United States was then nearing the end of the second global war of that century and things were about to look up. My dad had been the operations officer for the 1st Air Commandos fighting the Japanese in Burma and, by that July, the tide had distinctly turned. The era that Joe Biden, Donald Trump, and I would enter feet first and naked would quickly become an upbeat one for so many Americans or at least so many white Americans in the midst of a war... Read more Source: The Last Superpower? appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 2/4/24 3:32pm
What’s in your basement? Mine is full of things Ive mostly forgotten about tools I bought for projects I never completed, long abandoned sports equipment, furniture I planned on refinishing ages ago, and unused cans of paint I thought I wanted when someone was giving them away. Weve owned this house for nearly 12 years, since just weeks before our son was born. In all that time, Ive regularly gone down there to do the laundry and store my things (which never seem to stop accumulating). And somehow, it went from being empty when we bought it to chock-a-block full today in a way that would make Marie Kondo’s perfect hair stand straight up. One day recently, I noticed... Read more Source: Cleaning Out the Basement of My Life appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 2/1/24 7:28am
Amid ongoing emergencies, including a would-be autocrat on his way to possibly regaining the American presidency and Israel’s war on Gaza (not to mention the flare-ups of global climate change), the U.S. has slipped quietly toward an assault on civil liberties as an answer to plummeting mental health. From coast to coast, state lawmakers of both parties are reaching for coercive treatment and involuntary commitment to address spiraling substance use and overdose crises an approach that will only escalate despair and multiply otherwise preventable deaths while helping to choke the life out of America. In December, we wrote about how loneliness has become a public-health crisis, according to the Surgeon General, and the ways in which it drives widespread... Read more Source: When in Doubt, Strip Search and Restrain the Unwell appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 1/30/24 6:20am
In war, people die for absurd reasons or often no reason at all. They die due to accidents of birth, the misfortune of being born in the wrong place Cambodia or Gaza, Afghanistan or Ukraine at the wrong time. They die due to happenstance, choosing to shelter indoors when they should have taken cover outside or because they ventured out into a hell-storm of destruction when they should have stayed put. They die in the most gruesome ways shot in the street, obliterated by artillery, eviscerated by air strikes. Their bodies are torn apart, burned, or vaporized by weapons designed to destroy people. Their deaths are chalked up to misfortune, mistake, or military necessity. Since September 2001,... Read more Source: Remote Warfare and Expendable People appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 1/28/24 3:45pm
In December, the New York Times reported that “Earth is finishing up its warmest year in the past 174 years and very likely the past 125,000.” (Though its not the Times’s style, that latter figure should have had a couple of exclamation points after it!) Furthermore, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s chief scientist, “Not only was 2023 the warmest year in NOAA’s 174-year climate record it was the warmest by far.” In fact, each of the six decades since 1960 saw a higher global average temperature than the 10 years that preceded it. In addition, every decade-to-decade increase has been larger than the previous one. In other words, the Earth’s not just steadily warming; it’s heating... Read more Source: As Climate Chaos Accelerates, Governments Avert Their Eyes appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 1/25/24 7:33am
In a New Yorker piece published five days after the attacks of September 11, 2001, American critic and public intellectual Susan Sontag wrote, “Let’s by all means grieve together. But let’s not be stupid together. A few shreds of historical awareness might help us understand what has just happened, and what may continue to happen.” Sontag’s desire to contextualize the 9/11 attacks was an instant challenge to the narratives that President George W. Bush would soon deploy, painting the United States as a country of peace and, most importantly, innocent of any wrongdoing. While the rhetorical strategies he developed to justify what came to be known as the Global War on Terror have continued to this day, they were not... Read more Source: Israel, the United States, and the Rhetoric of the War on Terror appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 1/23/24 7:29am
It would be funny if it weren’t so potentially tragic and consequential. No, I’m not thinking about Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign but a related development: the latest decisions from the European Union (EU) about Ukraine. As 2023 ended, European nations failed to agree on a $54-billion package of assistance for Ukraine at a time when that country was desperately trying to stay afloat and continue its fight against Russian occupation forces. Bizarrely, the failure of that proposal coincided with a surprising EU decision to open membership talks with that beleaguered country. In other words, no military aid for Ukraine in the short term but a possible offer of a golden ticket to join the EU at some unspecified... Read more Source: Trump Allies Plot to Take Over the European Union appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 1/21/24 3:31pm
Count on one thing: Donald Trump, who seems to gain Republican support with every new indictment, is not going away. Hes managed to capitalize on his 2020 election loss, using his failed insurrection, a stream of violent threats and verbal attacks against political opponents and journalists, and the disinformation machine of Fox News and similar outlets to peddle his stories of white American victimhood (above all, of course, his own victimhood). Meanwhile, his supporters are all too happy to carry out violent attacks in his name. Regardless of whether Trump wins the 2024 election, the Orange Jesus, as one Republican congressman reportedly called him, is here to stay. Hes also provided some of Americas favorite headlines and jokes, even for... Read more Source: Trump 2.0 appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 1/18/24 7:30am
“All Americans owe them a debt for if nothing else releasing the idealism locked so long inside a nation that has not recently tasted the drama of a social upheaval. And for making us look on the young people of the country with a new respect.” Thats how Howard Zinn opened his book The New Abolitionists about the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee of the 1960s. Zinn pointed out a truth from the Black freedom struggles of that era and earlier: that young people were often labeled aloof and apathetic, apolitical and uncommitted until suddenly they were at the very forefront of justice struggles for themselves and for the larger society. Connected to that truth is the reality... Read more Source: Change Is Coming Soon appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 1/16/24 7:32am
2023 was a year marked by devastating conflicts from Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine to Hamas’s horrific terror attacks on Israel, from that countrys indiscriminate mass slaughter in Gaza to a devastating civil war in Sudan. And theres a distinct risk of even worse to come this year.Still, there was one clear winner in this avalanche of violence, suffering, and war: the U.S. military-industrial complex. In December, President Biden signed a record authorization of $886 billion in “national defense” spending for 2024, including funds for the Pentagon proper and work on nuclear weapons at the Department of Energy. Add to that tens of billions of dollars more in likely emergency military aid for Ukraine and Israel, and such spending could... Read more Source: The Military-Industrial Complex Is the Winner (Not You) appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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