Courting each other

This week I was certified in a Spokane, Washington courtroom as an expert witness, able to offer a professional opinion as to the conduct of a man who sat down on a railroad line to block a coal train. My role was to let the court know whether, in my opinion, this elderly gentleman was acting in the American tradition of nonviolent civil resistance that is, at times, permissible by law.

George Taylor wore his clerical collar to court that day, looking the part that he plays in Spokane life, which read more

Speaking Truth to Empire

Speaking Truth to Empire on KFCF 88.1 Free Speech Radio for Central California, Dan Yaseen interviews Norman Solomon, an author, journalist, media critic and an antiwar activist. Solomon has appeared as a guest on many media outlets including the PBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News,, C-SPAN, KPFA and NPR. Topic of discussion is Russiagate.

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Crackpot Criminality From Abu Through Zubaydah

John Kiriakou led the CIA operation that arrested, or rather, kidnapped without charge, Abu Zubaydah. Joseph Hickman helped imprison Abu Zubaydah as a guard at Guantanamo and was later the lead researcher for Zubaydah’s habeas defense team.

Here are some highlights of a tale of crackpot criminality recounted by Hickman and Kiriakou in their jointly authored new book, The Convenient Terrorist:

Maher Abu Zubayda and Zain Abidin Mohammed Husain aka Abu Zubaydah are two completely different people. read more

Focus: The Khan Sheikhoun alleged Sarin gas attack – June 26, 2017

Visions of a Positive Future vs Fixing a Pathological Present

Reprinted from OpEdNews.com

It is not enough to resist or fight the system and the problems that exist. It is absolutely inadequate to aim for repairing the symptoms of what is broken. We need big, positive visions which lift our sights higher, towards horizons where there are bright futures, not scotch tape and bubblegum fixes for the pathological system we currently inhabit.

Back in the early eighties, when I was a lonely pioneer in the field that has become Positive Psychology (I called it Positivity back then,) most of the world of psychology focused on pathology. Clinical psychologists asked the questions:
  • What is the diagnosis?
  • What are the pathological symptoms?
  • What is the etiology that has led to the current clinical pathology?
  • What treatments, interventions and drugs are needed to eliminate the symptoms and pathology?
I had a different idea. How much can we help people by, instead of fixing what is broken or pathological, teaching them how to move in positive directions, helping them to develop positive skills. Instead of treating symptoms, we could help them develop habits and behaviors and attitudes that would lift them, regardless of the symptoms, towards greater health, happiness, inner strength and well-being. Of course, there was and is a place for pathology oriented “treatment” of psychological problems, but people back then were not talking about positive ways to lift people towards robust health, as opposed to the mainstream model of helping people to be not ill. I had an overhead transparency that something along the lines– Be Well, not not-sick. Since those early days, starting, for me in 1981, the field of Positive psychology has emerged as a major new idea that has sprouted wings and legs of its own. The International Positive Psychology Summit meeting has over 1000 attendees and hundreds of presentations, and Positive Psychology has become a field unto itself with graduate departments at major universities. Today, I’m prepping for an interview with Henry Giroux, a big picture thinker, and just published an article by Nathan Nahm, who, in his article, concludes, “It is high time that every one in America woke up for the reality we face. Stupid or not, we cannot have a useful prescription to our problem, if we don’t have a correct diagnosis.” Nahm is talking about our economic political situation. Nahm’s remark and Giroux’s big questions in the writings and interviews I’m reading in preparation for our interview, remind me of my quest, earlier in my career, to re-think the way that we help people become and stay psychologically healthy.

And Giroux says, in his book, The Violence of Organized Forgetting,

“It is not enough for people of conscience only read more

U.S. Conference of Mayors Opposes Military-Heavy Trump Budget

The U.S. Conference of Mayors on Monday unanimously passed three resolutions opposing the military-heavy Trump budget proposal, urging Congress to move funding out of the military and into human and environmental needs rather than the reverse.

The three resolutions are numbers 59 and 60 found on this page.

and number 79 found on this page.

“We are very excited that the entire US Conference of Mayors, from major metropoles such as New York City and Los Angeles to small rural townships, understand read more

Sanctions Are Crimes, Not Law Enforcement

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune

The U.S. Senate has increased sanctions on the people of Iran and Russia, if the House and President go along. The Senate vote was 98-2, with Senators Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders voting no, the latter despite his support for the Russian half of the bill.

The bill is called “An act to provide congressional review and to counter Iranian and Russian governments’ aggression.”

“Aggression” is a term of art here meant to convey something like what read more