The “war on drugs” has been dysfunctional and counter-productive for many years. It was escalated when Nixon tried to attack the “hippie” and anti-war movements and also to create public animosity toward African Americans by causing the public to fear them as drug dealers. Other politicians also provoked a “tough-on-crime” mania in order to attack their demographic and political opponents and in order to ingratiate themselves with voters who were easy to exploit through fear, racism, ignorance, and simplistic solutions to complex problems. This article in the July 2015 issue of The Atlantic magazine is informative: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/07/chapo-mexico-drug-war/398927/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/fatal-police-shootings-in-2015-approaching-400-nationwide/2015/05/30/d322256a-058e-11e5-a428-c984eb077d4e_story.html?wpisrc=al_alert-national We keep seeing statistics about the huge number of police shootings. This article came from several years ago. The slaughter will continue until the public insists on changing public policy in several ways.
The U.S. has a very harsh (and ineffective) criminal justice system, compared to other modern nations. Here is some information about Norway and Sweden that I saved from a few years ago: Norway’s prisons are much better than the U.S.’s. Instead of dehumanizing their inmates, they help prisoners retain their human dignity, so they will become better able to reenter society. http://www.alternet.org/drugs/michael-moore-norway-prison-tony-papa-sentence?akid=13995.2186.s12ezx&rd=1&src=newsletter1051042&t=10 In 2013 Sweden acted sensibly to reduce prison populations. They accomplished this for several reasons including reducing sentence length and emphasizing rehabilitation. http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/11/12-0 I would like to see ordinary Americans (including taxpayers and conservatives) confront elected officials and […]
I compiled a list of information sources to go along with the March 2018 TV program, which you can watch through this blog’s “TV Programs” part or the “Nuclear Weapons” part. CLICK THE LINK BELOW: Nuclear Weapons Information Sources
Conservatives often misunderstand or distort the problems in our society, and they draw upon distorted values, so they tend to propose remedies that widely diverge from practical solutions to our society’s problems. Here are 4 stupid remedies conservatives have proposed for reducing gun violence in schools: https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/4-conservatives-ideas-preventing-gun-violence-instead-gun-control?akid=16759.2186.DjFJIn&rd=1&src=newsletter1089105&t=4 Thoughtful, humane people need to reject such remedies and organize at the grassroots for remedies that will draw upon society’s best values and valid evidence-based research about what works and what does not work. We also need to organize against the Gun Lobby’s deliberate campaigns to mislead the public and dominate government.
When mass shootings occur, many politicians try to shift attention away from the gun and blame the shooter for mental illness. Yes, our society should provide more adequate funding and services for mental health. But the problem is not “mental illness” per se. The problem is ANGER. Our society needs to explore and implement a wide variety of ways to reduce anger throughout our society. Consider this article about ANGER: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2014/04/anger_causes_violence_treat_it_rather_than_mental_illness_to_stop_mass_murder.html Do not let gun supporters avoid responsibility for the too-easy access to guns. They want to blame mentally ill persons. Instead, we must reduce access to guns, so consider […]
The gun lobby and other conservatives have grossly misled the American people about what the Second Amendment really means. In order to reduce gun violence — and reduce the power of the gun lobby — decent people must change the public’s misconceptions about it. The U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment says: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Some years ago Warren Burger, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (who happened to be conservative) understood the reality and wrote […]
We keep seeing how ALL ISSUES are INTER-CONNECTED. Among the reasons why the U.S. has so much gun violence is that the U.S. government sets a bad example with our violent militaristic foreign policy. On July 9 2016, I wrote about how President Obama was in Poland meeting with heads of NATO nations and expanding NATO provocatively to Russia’s borders and expanding NATO’s militarism into other part of the Eastern Hemisphere and pushing NATO’s member nations to spend more on militarism. During his press conference there during that visit, Obama praised those military escalations and at the same time he […]
Throughout our nation’s history, we had occasional wars and then de-mobilized afterward. But after World War II we launched the Cold War and maintained a permanent war status. We also created a “permanent war economy.” Massive military spending year after year – decade after decade – since the 1940s – has distorted and disrupted the U.S. economy and hurt our society in many ways. Typically when we think of military spending, we think of the budget and the trade-offs between military spending and spending for better purposes. However, far beyond such budgetary trade-offs, military spending causes systemic harm to our […]
U.S. culture has long perpetuated what has been called “The Myth of Redemptive Violence.” Look at the plots of movies about the Wild West, about cops & robbers, about spies, etc. Nearly every movie ends with a big shoot-out in which “the good guys” use violence to defeat “the bad guys.” The U.S. assumes that our military is “the good guys” and we can use violence to defeat “the bad guys” just like in the movies. The problem is that reality does not work that way. The U.S. LOST the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. Violence is also PROFOUNDLY […]
Military “solutions” are really the problem! Instead of solving problems, military violence actually makes problems worse! It causes more threats to us and weakens our national security! Military violence provokes more people to want to attack the U.S.! Militarism creates new enemies faster than we can kill them. Militarism is a “domino theory” in reverse: the U.S. keeps spreading chaos into more and more countries. Sometimes high-level reports from the Pentagon and CIA conclude that militarism is doing this. (Indeed, the term “blowback” came from the CIA before Chalmers Johnson wrote a great book by that title.) Since 9-11-2001 the […]
“Nonviolence isn’t sitting back with your arms folded. It is first recognizing that the very person who is your oppressor is also your brother or sister. One day he or she may stop being your oppressor, but they’ll never stop being your brother or sister.” — Jose Maria Pires, in Mev Puleo, The Struggle Is One: Voices and Visions of Liberation
Many conservative persons, religious advocates, government officials (including some in charge of public schools, as well as local, state and federal governments) want prayers at local government or legislative meetings – or in public schools. ACTUALLY, THESE GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED PRAYERS UNDERMINE authentic religion. Prayer should be a personal communication with God, but making it mandatory or obligatory – or a mindless public ritual – destroys the personal faith aspect and makes it a meaningless governmental routine. It’s ironic that conservatives who oppose “big government” want government to cram someone’s religion down everyone else’s throats. Instead of protecting liberty, they are taking […]
Liberals and progressives keep expressing amazement and confusion when working-class people vote for people like Reagan and Trump, whose economic policies and other policies actually make things worse for working-class people. George Lakoff, an expert in how people think, says voters vote their VALUES, not their interests. Typically, we assume that if we explain how a political issue pertains to people’s objective interests (e.g., their economic well-being), they will act or vote the way we want them to. However, Lakoff says we would be more effective if we would pay attention to people’s VALUES and frame our arguments to appeal […]