15 Jul 2014

Time to Revive the Peace Movement

It has been 10 years of dormancy for the peace movement: a full decade since the thriving demonstrations of the early Bush years gave way to liberal demands that the focus shift to defeating the president at the ballot box. This fixation remained through the two ensuing presidential elections, which

12 Mar 2014

On Goons and Rhizomes: A Tale of the Internet Age

  In one of a series of significant talks over the weekend by the world’s foremost Internet freedom activists, Julian Assange spoke on MSNBC about the central “battle” of the Information Age: “On the one hand, we are in many ways heading towards a transnational dystopian total surveillance society the

17 Dec 2012

American Sickness; American Denial

Sadly, we have seen another dreadful spree killing followed by the typical array of responses from commentators evading the underlying sociological and psychological causes. We hear abundant talk about the “culture of violence in America,” in addition to political posturing about gun laws and access to adequate mental health care.

22 Oct 2012

Election Hysterics and The Bad Faith Liberals

Judging from the Twitter-sphere, the presidential election is an addiction for some: akin to alcoholism, but a lot less fun. This affliction actually runs much deeper than the election itself, though it presents its symptoms most acutely in these final weeks of the bullshit extravaganza. Its subjects are likely to

18 Sep 2012

Chicago Teachers’ Lukewarm Victory

From my perspective as a native of Chicago, alum of its public school system, and activist of various sorts, little could be more gripping than this current Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) strike. Normally, the intriguing tales of social movement action occur in foreign countries, involving actors that are not so

25 Jul 2012

The Batman Rampage and the Psychology of Violent Release

Last Friday’s Batman rampage has provoked the same inane chatter that typically follows one of these. The president claims to be shocked, though he can’t possibly be as aghast as his subjects are about the burgeoning drone program. Meanwhile, we see the same vacuous moral posturing from “left” and “right.”.

16 Jul 2012

Cockburn’s Death of Occupy Declaration and the Attendant Generational Fissure

In a rather imprudent attempt at provocation by lefty commentator Alexander Cockburn on the Counterpunch site last week, he declares the Occupy movement dead, and then proceeds into full-fledged hissy-fit, saying of the movement: “There were . . . features that I think quite a large number of people found

05 Apr 2012

Jindal Puts Louisiana’s Schools Up for Sale: ALEC’s Education Reforms Rammed Through

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has wasted no time this legislative session in pushing wide-reaching education reforms designed to expand the charter school footprint, while opening the door to vouchers and tying teacher tenure to student test results. In the early hours of the morning on March 23rd, after a marathon

25 Jan 2012

The “Hope and Change” Dog and Pony Show

With vague allusions to populist promises and admonition of his stubborn Republican opposition, the Great Capitulator ramped up his act like it was 2008 all over again. Memories of that agonizingly nauseating year abounded as mainstream liberals sang his praises. Among others, Michael Moore, of Ramsey Clark endorsement fame, was

17 Jan 2012

Rahm Ramps up the Repression in Chicago: New Protest Rules Ahead of the G-8/NATO Meetings

Ahead of the overlapping G-8 and NATO summits in Chicago May 19th-21st Mayor Rahm Emanuel has ramped up the repression of principled dissent in a city that has quite the history of it. Just three months after closing down Occupy Chicago before it could even develop an overnight encampment, “Rahmbo”