Has Democratic Socialism a Future in American Politics?

Recently, when 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an obscure, upfront democratic socialist from the Bronx, easily defeated one of the most powerful U.S. Congressmen in the Democratic primary, the story became an overnight sensation.  How, the pundits wondered, could this upset have occurred?

Actually, it shouldn’t have been a total surprise for, in recent years, democratic socialism has been making a remarkable comeback in American life.  Bernie Sanders, the democratic socialist U.S. Senator read more

Getting Ready for Nuclear War

Although many people have criticized the bizarre nature of Donald Trump’s diplomacy with North Korea, his recent lovefest with Kim Jong Un does have the potential to reduce the dangers posed by nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula.

Even so, buried far below the mass media coverage of the summit spectacle, the reality is that Trump―assisted by his military and civilian advisers―is busy getting the United States ready for nuclear war.

This deeper and more ominous situation is reflected in read more

Review of Daniel Ellsberg’s “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner”

It’s not every day that an insider tells us how preparations for nuclear war have been proceeding.  So, when one does, it’s worth sitting up and taking notice.

Although Daniel Ellsberg is best-known for his 1971 role in delivering the Pentagon Papers (the Top Secret Defense Department study of U.S. involvement in Vietnam) to the American people, he spent much of his 13-year career as a military analyst at the highest levels of the U.S. national security apparatus grappling with issues of nuclear read more

Which Nations are the Happiest — and Why

America’s oft-quoted Declaration of Independence, when discussing “unalienable rights,” focused on “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Although “happiness” is rarely referred to by today’s government officials, the general assumption in the United States and elsewhere is that governments are supposed to be fostering the happiness of their citizens.

Against this backdrop, it’s worth taking a look at the 2018 World Happiness read more

Although Two Out of Three Americans Oppose Increasing U.S. Military Spending, the U.S. Government Is Boosting It to Record Levels

Early this February, the Republican-controlled Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed new federal budget legislation that increased U.S. military spending by $165 billion over the next two years.  Remarkably, though, a Gallup public opinion poll, conducted only days before, found that only 33 percent of Americans favored increasing U.S. military spending, while 65 percent opposed it, either backing reductions (34 percent) or maintenance of the status quo (31 percent).

What is even more read more

The Trump Administration’s War on Workers

When Donald Trump was running for the presidency, he promised that, if he was elected, “American worker[s] will finally have a president who will protect them and fight for them.”  Today, though, safely ensconced in the White House, President Trump is waging a fierce campaign against American workers.

His appointments to federal positions created to defend workers’ rights provide an indication of his priorities.  For Secretary of Labor, Trump read more

Who Is a Hero?

In the aftermath of World War II, the U.S. occupation authorities in Germany, checking on the effectiveness of their “denazification” program, polled Germans on whether they believed a civilian was “less worthy than a soldier.”  One wonders what they would think of the exalted status that many Americans currently accord to anyone serving in the U.S. armed forces, as announcements ring out―from airline flights to sporting events―with calls to applaud “Our Heroes.”

This adulation read more

The “Merchants of Death” Survive and Prosper

During the mid-1930s, a best-selling exposé of the international arms trade, combined with a U.S. Congressional investigation of munitions-makers led by Senator Gerald Nye, had a major impact on American public opinion.  Convinced that military contractors were stirring up weapons sales and war for their own profit, many people grew critical of these “merchants of death.”

Today, some eight decades later, their successors, now more politely called “defense contractors,” are alive and well.  read more

Should We Pay the Staggering Economic and Human Costs of Nuclear Weapons?

This October, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that its estimate of the cost for the planned “modernization” the U.S. nuclear weapons complex over the next three decades has risen to $1,200,000,000,000.00.  For those of you not familiar with such lofty figures, that’s $1.2 trillion.  Furthermore, when adjusted for inflation, the cost of the program―designed read more