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Past articles by Tom:

Professor explains how Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine is rewriting the 'very nature of geopolitics'

Welcome to an ever more dangerous world. By the way, while you’re reading this, if you happen to be at your desk, you might consider diving under it to practice one of those duck-and-cover drills of my childhood (just in case). After all, it wasn’t enough for Russian President Vladimir Putin to send → Read More

Joe Manchin is leading a war on poor Americans

As if killing the Child Tax Credit, blocking voting rights, gutting key climate legislation, and refusing living wages wasn’t enough, West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is now promoting legislation that further punishes the poor and marginalized. Along with Florida Republican Senator Marco → Read More

Historian details how China is 'digging its own grave and ours as well'

Consider us at the edge of the sort of epochal change not seen for centuries, even millennia. By the middle of this century, we will be living under such radically altered circumstances that the present decade, the 2020s, will undoubtedly seem like another era entirely, akin perhaps to the Middle Ag → Read More

The terrifying world of 2025: Is a coming MAGA Cultural Revolution on the horizon?

’ve just wrapped up my shift at BurgerBoy and I don’t have much time before the weekly self-criticism session at town hall. This hour with my diary is precious, especially when I have to make a big decision. Writing used to be my job, but it’s so much more difficult after eight straight hours on my → Read More

Americans are suffering from 2 pandemics — COVID, and the sinister right-wing plague that fuels it

Imagine that you were experiencing all of this (and by this, I mean our lives right now) as if it were a novel, à la Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year. The famed author of Robinson Crusoe — Defoe claimed it had been written by the fictional Crusoe himself — was five years old in 1665. That → Read More

How the FBI ignored white radicals while spying 24/7 on Muslim Americans

Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson excused one of the leaders of the extremist Oath Keepers organization implicated in the January 6th insurrection by describing him as “a devout Christian.” It’s safe to surmise that he wouldn’t have offered a similar defense for a Muslim American. Since September 11th, → Read More

Our firenado of a president

It was August 2017 and Donald Trump had not yet warmed up to Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s portly dictator. In fact, in typical Trumpian fashion, he was pissed at the Korean leader and, no less typically, he lashed out verbally, threatening that country with a literal hell on Earth. As he put it, “They → Read More

How Obama abandoned accountability — and helped pave the way for Trump’s abuses – A

Whether you consider the appalling death toll or the equally unacceptable rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, the United States has one of the worst records worldwide when it comes to the pandemic. Nevertheless, the president has continued to behave just as he promised he would in March when there had → Read More

The fate of the military draft in an age of forever war

Bizarrely enough, the spate of phone calls from recruiters began a couple of years ago. The first ones came from the Army, next the Marines, and then other branches of the military. I’m decades past enlistment age. I’ve been publicly antiwar for most of that time and come from a family that was last → Read More

How the cowardice of the Obama administration foreshadowed the impunity of Trump

On February 5th, the Senate voted to acquit President Donald J. Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. In other words, Trump’s pre-election boast that he “could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” and not “lose any voters” proved something more than high-flown hyper → Read More

Can Trump buy his re-election with military funds?

Donald Trump likes to posture as a tough guy and part of that tough-guy persona involves bragging about how much he’s spent on the U.S. military. This tendency was on full display in a tweet he posted three days after an American drone killed Iranian Major General Qassem Suleimani in Baghdad: “Th → Read More

The shame of child poverty in the Trump era: Poor kids lose as billionaires cash in

The plight of impoverished children anywhere should evoke sympathy, exemplifying as it does the suffering of the innocent and defenseless. Poverty among children in a wealthy country like the United States, however, should summon shame and outrage as well. Unlike poor countries (sometimes run by lea → Read More

What it’s like running for office in the age of Donald Trump and climate change – A

“YES!” he yelled, thrusting his fist in the air. “We get to live in the mayor’s house!” My son’s reaction when I told his two sisters and him that I was running for mayor of our town became the laugh line of my campaign. But in real time, I had to burst his bubble. “Oh Seamus,” I said, smiling, “the → Read More

Orwell revisited: Is Donald Trump Big Brother?

Yes, I recently reread George Orwell’s classic 1949 novel, 1984. → Read More

Redacting democracy: What you can’t see can hurt you

The Nobel Prize-winning Czech author Milan Kundera began his 1979 novel, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, by describing two photographs. In the first, two men are standing side by side, a Czech nationalist later executed for his views and the country’s Communist ruler. In the second, the dissent → Read More

Here are 7 myths about the US that Trump’s presidency has totally demolished – A

Irony, paradox, contradiction, consternation -- these define the times in which we live. On the one hand, the 45th president of the United States is a shameless liar. On the other hand, his presidency offers an open invitation to Americans to confront myths about the way their country actually works → Read More

Money talks: What two recent scandals tell us about the nexus between wealth and power in America

Defenders of the status quo will warn that substantially reducing money’s role in American politics is sure to threaten democracy and civil liberties by ceding undue power to the state and, horror of horrors, putting us on the road to “socialism,” the right wing’s bogeyman du jour. This is ludicrous → Read More

My official goodbye to a military, and a nation, engaged in an Orwellian set of forever wars

“Patriotism, in the trenches, was too remote a sentiment, and at once rejected as fit only for civilians, or prisoners.” -- Robert Graves, Goodbye To All That(1929). I’m one of the lucky ones. Leaving the madness of Army life with a modest pension and all of my limbs intact feels like a genuine e → Read More

Here are 12 key truths about the border that keep getting ignored

Borders are cruel. I know this because I’ve been studying the U.S.-Mexico border for more than 40 years. It features prominently in two of my books, written in different decades. It keeps pulling me back. Every time I cross that border, I say to myself that this is no big deal -- I’m used to it. And → Read More

America’s senior generals find no exits from endless war – A

“Veni, Vidi, Vici,” boasted Julius Caesar, one of history’s great military captains. “I came, I saw, I conquered.” This article originally appeared on TomDispatch. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed that famed saying when summing up the Obama administration’s military intervention → Read More