Tomgram: Engelhardt, In the Shadow of Donald Trump

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News From the Far Side of Nowhere
In a Crippled World, All the News That’s Fit to Splint
By Tom Engelhardt

Breaking News! — as NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt often puts it when beginning his evening broadcast. Here, in summary, is my view of the news that’s breaking in the United States on just about any day of the week:

Trump. Trump. Trump. Trump. Trump.

Or rather read more

Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: A Practical Proposal

In late November 2018, Noam Chomsky, the world-renowned public intellectual, remarked that “humanity faces two imminent existential threats:  environmental catastrophe and nuclear war.”

Curiously, although a widespread environmental movement has developed to save the planet from accelerating climate change, no counterpart has emerged to take on the rising danger of nuclear disaster.  Indeed, this danger―exemplified by the collapse of arms control and disarmament agreements, vast nuclear read more

The Ancient Mythical Rites of Pearl Harbor Day

Last week I spoke at a high school. As I often do, I told them I’d perform a magic trick. I only know one, but I know it will almost always work with no skill required. I scribbled on a piece of paper and folded it up. I asked someone to name a war that was justified. They of course said “World War II” and I opened up the paper, which read “World War II.” Magic!

I could do a second part with equal reliability. I ask “Why?” They say “the Holocaust.”

I could do a third part, as well. read more

Earth Over the Brink

Glacier National Park is drip drip dripping into a puddle.

People and companies and governments are cutting down trees to burn them to save the planet from global warming, mixing the sacrificial trees with oh-so-clean coal, and in Detroit with tires, and in North Carolina with chicken shit.

Others are hacking down old forests to grow marijuana where it’s least likely to be found: another great benefit of drug prohibition.

Over 95% of California’s wild game was mercilessly slaughtered between read more

Seeing Yemen from Jeju

Several days ago, I joined an unusual Skype call originated by young South Korean founders of “The Hope School.” Located on Jeju Island, the school aims to build a supportive community between island residents and newly arrived Yemenis who seek asylum in South Korea.

Jeju, a visa-free port, has been an entry point for close to 500 Yemenis who have traveled nearly 5000 miles in search of safety. Traumatized by consistent bombing, threats of imprisonment and torture, and the horrors of starvation, read more

Are Genes Pseudo-Science Driven by Racist Patriarchal Plutocrats?

A new film called A Dangerous Idea argues that the concept of the gene will be looked back on (if humanity lives long enough) in the way that we look back on claims of “royal blood” and skull size as justifications for power and social status. The film makes the case that eugenics and (its more recent name) genetics has been driven by the same interests as those past claims.

It’s very strange to me that the most unequal nation among wealthy nations contains so many people who are able to read more