• Uncategorized

    Mental Health in the Time of Existential Threats

      Mental Health in the Time of Existential Threats Published at CounterPunch on April 30, 2019 To prepare for a yearly physical examination, I received a questionnaire that addressed emotional health. I had read somewhere… I cannot remember where… that physicians were addressing these emotional concerns as part of an attempt to look at the whole (I can’t come up with a better description here) person in assessing overall health. So, how’s my mental health in 2019? To answer this complex question, I have to go back to the early 1970s and mention a psychiatrist who practiced in Rhode Island where I lived. His name was Alfred Fireman, and he…

  • Massachusetts

    Loose Bullets and Loose Cannons

    Loose Bullets and Loose Cannons   Published at CounterPunch on April 22, 2019 The Huffington Post (“Substitute Teacher Fired After Bullets Fall Out Of Pockets In Pre-K Class,” April 15, 2019) reported the story of the substitute pre-kindergarten teacher at an elementary school in Millbury, Massachusetts who had been fired because he dropped loose bullets from his pocket in class. That incident prompted a search of his home that found unsecured guns. It seems unfathomable that a person could carry loose bullets around in a school environment (not illegal in Massachusetts) among young children without noticing, but given the benefit of the doubt, perhaps a busy schedule, or other issue, might have…

  • Julian Assange and a Free Press

    How Dangerous is Julian Assange’s Arrest to a Free Press?

    How Dangerous is Julian Assange’s Arrest to a Free Press? The simple answer is very, especially if the First Amendment’s future is considered. For those readers who think Julian Assange will “pay” some price for his publication of the illegal acts of war of the U.S., among thousands of other documents, and then be free to go his way, perhaps some serious soul-searching is necessary. Five years in prison, or whatever the U.S. government finally penalizes Assange with for so-called illegal access to a protected computer, would only be the beginning of the end for Assange. The government of the U.S. has been waging a war against freedom of the…

  • Chelsea Manning Julian Assange

    Whistleblowers Beware! 

    Whistleblowers Beware!  It’s not an accident that Chelsea Manning is in jail and once again temporarily sent to solitary confinement before being released into the general prison population,  and Julian Assange is teetering at the precipice of being tried and imprisoned in the U.S. following the certainty of extradition with the cooperation of the government of England. The U.S. government is at war with both Manning and Assange because they divulged classified information and in particular the “Iraq War Logs” and the “Afghan War Diary.” Those “logs” and “diary” recounted U.S. airstrikes in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Within the “Iraq War Logs” is a video of a helicopter strike in Iraq in which…

  • U.S. politcal system and the political left

    The Political Left is Bigger Than Imagined: Ask the Feds

      The Political Left is Bigger Than Imagined: Ask the Feds   Published at CounterPunch, April 8, 2019 There has always been official disdain for the political left in the U.S. The suppression of left movements began with the Palmer raids of 1919-1920 in the First Red Scare. Anarchists were deported in a manner similar to the removal of immigrants from the U.S. today, some of whom committed only minor offenses, and some of whom have been held or deported while active asylum claims have been made, or could have been made. Then there were the communist witch hunts of the Cold War of the 1940s and 1950s, culminating, but not limited to, the execution of…

  • Woodstock at 50

    Woodstock at 50

    Woodstock at 50 Published at CounterPunch on March 29, 2019 In a few, short months, on August 15, 50 years will have passed since Woodstock (known formally as the Woodstock Music & Art Fair, An Aquarian Exposition), a defining cultural event of the 1960s and a defining event of the baby boom generation, took place.  It took 43 years for me to get to the rolling hills in White Lake, New York at the foot of the Catskill Mountains where the festival was held. The contemporary museum and outdoor music venue are a few hundred yards away from where the Woodstock stage was erected and the bowl-like lay of the…

  • Trump's Plot Against America

    Trump’s Plot Against America: It Can Happen Here

    Trump’s Plot Against America: It Can Happen Here Published at CounterPunch on March 5, 2019 When Philip Roth wrote The Plot Against America (2004), I instinctively recoiled at Roth’s fictional account of a neo-Nazi political party coming to power in the U.S. with figures such as Charles Lindbergh at its helm. When a Nazi document surfaced just recently (“Nazi blueprint for North American Holocaust acquired by Canada archive,” Guardian, January 25, 2019), that outlined the World War II Nazi plan to turn parts of North America into a Nazi enclave, probably with an effort to round up Jews and others that the Nazi regime saw as undesirable, I paid closer attention.…

  • Border Wall,  Uncategorized

    Follow the Money to the Border Wall

    Follow the Money to the Border Wall Published at CounterPunch on February 27, 2019 Readers may rightly believe that the government and segments of this society have fallen to their absolute lowest levels just as a new outrage becomes obvious. Such is the case with Trump’s (read his far-right handlers) border wall. What are the objectives of the border wall? In other words, just what does the man behind the curtain and his handlers have in mind? First, they placate their base of haters and ignoramuses. Next, they make lots and lots of money for their special interests such as security companies, gun manufacturers, infrastructure companies, the military, and other…

  • anti-immigrant hate

    Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Anti-immigrant Hate

    Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Anti-immigrant Hate Published at CounterPunch on February 15, 2019 Growing up in a small town in New England, I never thought much about anti-Semitism. I was, however, aware of the differences that marked the Jewish presence in a town in which most residents were first and second-generation children or grandchildren of immigrants who had come from Canada, Ireland, Portugal, and from several countries in Eastern Europe. One black family lived in the town where I grew up. Most residents earned their living from textile mills, or from running shops in the business district. I never felt very uncomfortable because of the differences in background. People learned to…

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