Two centuries ago, Percy Shelley wrote that “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” Yet elite power has routinely vetoed their best measures. Still, the ability of poetry to inspire and nurture is precious, including when governments are on protracted killing sprees.
The governments of Israel and the United States are now in disagreement over how many Palestinian civilians it’s okay to kill. Last week -- as the death toll from massive Israeli bombardment of Gaza neared 10,000 people, including several thousand children
-- top U.S. officials began to worry
about the rising horrified outcry at home and abroad. So, they went public with muted misgivings
and calls for a “humanitarian pause.” But Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made clear
that he would have none of it.
For three weeks, President Biden has played a key role in backing Israel’s war crimes while touting himself as a compassionate advocate of restraint. That pretense is lethal nonsense as Israel persists with mass killing of civilians in Gaza.
When Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations spoke outside the Security Council on Sunday, he said
: “This is Israel’s 9/11. This is Israel’s 9/11.” Meanwhile, in a PBS NewsHour interview
, Israel’s ambassador to the United States said: “This is, as someone said, our 9/11.”
A recent Justice Department report
concluded that “systemic” racial bias in the Minneapolis Police Department “made what happened to George Floyd possible.”
Denial at the top of the Democratic Party about Joe Biden’s shaky footing for a re-election run in 2024 became more untenable over the weekend. As the New York Times reported
, investigators “seized more than a half-dozen documents, some of them classified, at President Biden’s residence” in Delaware.
The current notion of a “moderate Republican” is an oxymoron that helps to move the country rightward. Last week, every one of the GOP’s so-called “moderates” voted to install House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who won with the avid support of Donald Trump and got over the finish line by catering to such fascistic colleagues as Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert.
With 2023 underway, Democrats in office are still dodging the key fact that most of their party’s voters don’t want President Biden to run for re-election. Among prominent Democratic politicians, deference is routine while genuine enthusiasm is sparse.
Pundits are focused on Joe Biden’s tanking poll numbers, while progressives continue to be alarmed by his dismal job performance. Under the apt headline “President Biden Is Not Cutting the Mustard,” last week The American Prospect summed up
: “Young people are abandoning him in droves because he won’t fight for their rights and freedom.”
I’ve just finished going through the more than 60 presidential statements, documents and communiques about the war in Ukraine that the White House has released and posted on its website since Joe Biden’s State of the Union address in early March.
New outcries for gun control have followed the horrible tragedies of mass shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo. “Evil came to that elementary school classroom in Texas, to that grocery store in New York, to far too many places where innocents have died,” President Biden declared over the weekend during a university commencement address.
Fifty-nine years ago, Bob Dylan recorded “With God on Our Side.” You probably haven’t heard it on the radio for a very long time, if ever, but right now you could listen to it as his most evergreen of topical songs:
Hidden in plain sight, the extreme hypocrisy of the U.S. position on NATO and Ukraine cries out for journalistic coverage and open debate in the USA’s major media outlets. But those outlets, with rare exceptions, have gone into virtually Orwellian mode, only allowing elaboration on the theme of America good, Russia bad.
The final big legislative achievement of 2021 was a bill authorizing $768 billion in military spending for the next fiscal year. President Biden signed it two days after the Christmas holiday glorifying the Prince of Peace.
When world leaders gather in Scotland next week for the COP26 climate change conference, activists will be pushing for drastic action to end the world’s catastrophic reliance on fossil fuels.
It’s bad enough that mainstream news outlets routinely call the Pentagon budget a “defense” budget. But the fact that progressives in Congress and even many antiwar activists also do the same is an indication of how deeply the mindsets of the nation’s warfare state are embedded in the political culture of the United States.
Last weekend, U.S. corporate media continued a 20-year repetition compulsion to evade the central role of the USA in causing vast carnage and misery due to the so-called War on Terror. But millions of Americans fervently oppose
the military-industrial complex and its extremely immoral nonstop warfare.
Joe Biden provided a stirring soundbite days ago when he spoke
from the White House just after suicide bombers killed 13 U.S. troops and 170 Afghans at a Kabul airport: “To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.”