The American political system continues to ignore President Eisenhower’s dour warning about the Military-Industrial Complex and embrace President Reagan’s happy “We’re No. 1” illusions. The long-term consequences of this choice have been devastating to most U.S. citizens and to the world, writes Gary G. Kohls.
The end of the year brings reflection on what happened in the past 12 months and what lies ahead. But these retrospectives usually offer no more context – and often less – than the thin gruel of news as the events played out, News Dissector Danny Schechter notes.
The new Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” envisions a social order overturned by a violent and vengeful rabble, a parody of Occupy Wall Street activists transformed into the villains of this pro-One Percent propaganda film, writes Phil Rockstroh.
Exclusive: This weekend, Occupy protesters are targeting the Bohemian Grove in California, where well-connected rich men go on retreats several weekends each summer. The secrecy of the 1980 encampment became a factor in the cover-up of possible “treason” by Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, writes Robert Parry.
The announcement that scientists may have discovered a mysterious particle, called the Higgs boson giving mass to all matter, was a reminder of the majesty of the universe. But it comes at a time of a dumbed-down culture in America that is inflicting devastation on the planet, as Phil Rockstroh observes.
Since World War II, America’s wealth has sheltered the population from harsh realities that other fellow humans face. But that protection is breaking down, from the greed of the super-rich and the stubborn insistence of many Americans to stay focused on their footlong hot dogs and super-gulp drinks, writes Phil Rockstroh.
Late-stage capitalism has similarities to an aging billionaire terrified of microscopic germs – imagine Howard Hughes at the end of his days – trying to extend life by frenetically worrying about invisible dangers, writes Phil Rockstroh in this reflection on his father’s death.
Perhaps the Right’s biggest advantage in U.S. politics is its advanced media infrastructure – built over several decades and designed to reach the entire country on a variety of levels – especially when it’s compared to the Left’s general neglect of a messaging system, an imbalance that Danny Schechter addresses.
The urgent question facing the planet is whether today’s late-capitalist era, possessed of unbridled greed at the top, can be turned to meet the needs of the world’s people or will hurtle onward to a global abyss, disrupting age-old patterns of life and bringing mass destruction, a crisis pondered by Phil Rockstroh.
Since the rise of Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, America’s rich have been on a roll, with their tax rates slashed by more than half and a concentration of both wealth and power at the top, a restoration of an earlier time of inequality and exploitation, as Lawrence S. Wittner recalls.