Breaking the Grip of Militarism: The Story of Vieques

Vieques is a small Puerto Rican island with some 9,000 inhabitants.  Fringed by palm trees and lovely beaches, with the world’s brightest bioluminescent bay and wild horses roaming everywhere, it attracts substantial numbers of tourists.  But, for about six decades, Vieques served as a bombing range, military training site, and storage depot for the U.S. Navy, until its outraged residents, driven to distraction, rescued their homeland from the grip of militarism.

Like the main island of Puerto read more

Most Americans Reject Trump’s `America First’ Policy

As president, Donald Trump has leaned heavily upon what he has called an “America First” policy.  This nationalist approach involves walking away from cooperative agreements with other nations and relying, instead, upon a dominant role for the United States, undergirded by military might, in world affairs.

Nevertheless, as numerous recent opinion polls reveal, most Americans don’t support this policy.

The reaction of the American public to Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from key read more

What Democratic Socialism Is and Is Not

In recent weeks, Donald Trump and other Republicans have begun to tar their Democratic opponents with the “socialist” brush, contending that the adoption of socialist policies will transform the United States into a land of dictatorship and poverty.  “Democrat lawmakers are now embracing socialism,” Trump warned the annual Conservative Political Action Conference read more

As Nations Get Ready for Nuclear War, Their Governments Work to Create the Illusion of Safety

Ever since the U.S. atomic bombings of Japanese cities in August 1945, a specter has haunted the world―the specter of nuclear annihilation.

The latest report from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, issued on January 24, reminds us that the prospect of nuclear catastrophe remains all too real.  Citing the extraordinary danger of nuclear disaster, the editors and the distinguished panel of experts upon whom they relied reset their famous “Doomsday Clock” at two minutes to midnight.

This read more

Do We Really Need Billionaires?

According to numerous reports, the world’s billionaires keep increasing in number and, especially, in wealth.

In March 2018, Forbes reported that it had identified 2,208 billionaires from 72 countries and territories.  Collectively, this group was worth $9.1 trillion, an increase in wealth of 18 percent since the preceding year.  Americans led the way with a record 585 billionaires, followed by mainland China which, despite read more

The United States: First in War, Trailing in Modern Civilization

Maybe those delirious crowds chanting “USA, USA” have got something.  When it comes to military power, the United States reigns supreme.  Newsweek reported in March 2018:  “The United States has the strongest military in the world,” with over 2 million military personnel and vast numbers of the most advanced nuclear missiles, military aircraft, warships, tanks, and other modern 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

Lurching Toward Catastrophe: The Trump Administration and Nuclear Weapons

In July 2017, by a vote of 122 to 1, with one abstention, nations from around the world attending a United Nations-sponsored conference in New York City voted to approve a treaty to ban nuclear weapons.  Although this Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons received little coverage in the mass media, its passage was a momentous event, capping decades of international nuclear arms control and disarmament agreements that, together, read more