Late Night: They Needed Killin’

By: Thursday July 17, 2014 8:00 pm

It’s a little depressing to acknowledge, for the umpteenth time, that a disturbingly large number of our fellow human beings simply can’t abide the very existence of a lot of us, and really aren’t at all ashamed of this.

Today it’s Israelis vs. Arabs, Teabaggers vs. well, everyone, and alleged Russian separatists vs. airplanes in the sky. But that’s just today; people who can’t get a proper beauty rest knowing that somewhere, someone they don’t like continues to breathe, or let their children play on a beach, without becoming bugsplat, seem to be flourishing like kudzu.

 

Time to Revive the Peace Movement

By: Tuesday July 15, 2014 7:02 pm

It has been 10 years of dormancy for the peace movement: a full decade since the thriving demonstrations of the early Bush years gave way to liberal demands that the focus shift to defeating the president at the ballot box. This fixation remained through the two ensuing presidential elections, which have demonstrated, beyond a reasonable doubt, the futility of this approach to altering American foreign policy. The vibrant and young foot soldiers of Obama’s first election are now seven years older, jaded and frustrated. Most of them are underemployed, over-indebted, and increasingly hopeless about their lot in life.

Public Health Experts Identify Militarism as Threat

By: Thursday May 15, 2014 7:06 pm

Even in President Eisenhower’s day, militarism was pervasive: “The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government.” The disease has spread:

Alone and Delusional on Planet Earth

By: Thursday September 5, 2013 5:45 am

In an increasingly phantasmagorical world, here’s my present fantasy of choice: someone from General Keith Alexander’s outfit, the National Security Agency, tracks down H.G. Wells’s time machine in the attic of an old house in London. Britain’s subservient Government Communications Headquarters, its version of the NSA, is paid off and the contraption is flown to Fort Meade, Maryland, where it’s put back in working order. Alexander then revs it up and heads not into the future like Wells to see how our world ends, but into the past to offer a warning to Americans about what’s to come.

Putting War Back in Children’s Culture

By: Friday August 16, 2013 5:45 am

Now that Darth Vader’s breathy techno-voice is a staple of our culture, it’s hard to remember how empty was the particular sector of space Star Wars blasted into. The very day the Paris Peace Accords were signed in 1973, Richard Nixon also signed a decree ending the draft. It was an admission of the obvious: war, American-style, had lost its hold on young minds. As an activity, it was now to be officially turned over to the poor and nonwhite.

Those in a position to produce movies, TV shows, comics, novels, or memoirs about Vietnam were convinced that Americans felt badly enough without such reminders. It was simpler to consider the war film and war toy casualties of Vietnam than to create cultural products with the wrong heroes, victims, and villains.

Resisting Racism and Militarism in 2013

By: Wednesday January 2, 2013 7:01 pm

January 21st will be an odd day in the United States. We’ll honor Martin Luther King Jr. and bestow another 4-year regime on the man who, in his Nobel peace prize acceptance speech said that Martin Luther King Jr. had been wrong — that those who follow his example “stand idle in the face of threats.”

The Wisdom and Legacy of George McGovern, Who Told America to Come Home

By: Sunday October 21, 2012 12:20 pm

With the passing of George McGovern, remember he was a man who wanted America “to turn away from cursing and hatred and war to the blessings of hope and brotherhood and love.” It is a sentiment men have entered political office understanding yet ignored. Instead, they have turned coward when it came time to act upon this kind of very human idealism. They have governed as empty suits. They have become submissive to the constraints of the system, even when tacitly acknowledging these constraints are what plunges the country into deeper ruin.

Ike’s Nightmare

By: Tuesday January 17, 2012 4:42 pm

Fifty-one years ago today, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued his final, prescient warning about the rising power of the military industrial complex. More than half a century later, we find ourselves in a political system which has ignored Eisenhower’s sound advice as the influence of the war industry on our society reaches a crescendo. Nowhere is this “disastrous rise of misplaced power” more apparent than in the debate about the Pentagon budget taking place in Washington, D.C.

Rania Khalek Discusses the Corporate Influence on US Diplomacy

By: Sunday August 14, 2011 6:00 pm

Rania Khalek, a blogger and independent journalist who writes for AlterNet, published two major WikiLeaks stories that garnered a lot of attention—”5 WikiLeaks Hits of 2011 That are Turning the World on Its Head—And That the Media are Ignoring” and “5 WikiLeaks Revelations Exposing the Rapidly Growing Corporatism Dominating American Diplomacy Abroad.” She’s recently been writing about the militarization of police and the ever-expanding surveillance state in America. [*Follow her on Twitter at @rania_ak.]

FDL Book Salon Welcomes David Sirota, Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now — Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything

By: Saturday March 19, 2011 1:59 pm

David Sirota has written a wonderful new book with an expansive Theory of Our Zeitgeist: that the toxic 1980s — as well as our current culture’s funhouse-mirror view of that warped decade — are still poisoning our country. His powerful argument will be familiar to Firepups: the adulation of Ronald Reagan, along with our renewed taxcut fetish, admiration of greed, and mainstreaming of militarism have ruined any chance of restoring balance to our nation’s income inequity and spoiled our planet’s chance for peace, harmony and (possibly) survival.

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