Break Out the Crutches—Here Come the Lame Ducks

Charles “Sparky” Schultz, whose 100th birthday was recently celebrated, was a mensch with remarkable talents. Never what you would call a flashy draftsman, he was able nevertheless to draw humor out of the unlikely raw material of existential dread, using children as his medium. Perhaps the most lasting image he inserted into our national imaginarium was that of Charlie Brown lying flat on his back after trying to kick a football which has been whisked away at the last moment by Lucy van Pelt. Charlie Brown’s chagrin is compounded annually. He knows he’s been through all this before. Maybe he’s smarter than Congressional Democrats. We’ll …

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Covid Inaction Leaves U.S. Facing “Major Storm Without Even an Umbrella in Hand”

by Kenny Stancil Refuting President Joe Biden’s recent claim that “the pandemic is over,” a group of physicians, epidemiologists, and other experts warned in an open letter published last month that Covid-19 remains a deadly and disabling threat, including in the United States, which is ill-prepared for a possible winter surge “fueled by the emergence of new Omicron strains.” “We know from our clinical and research experience that the pandemic is far from over, and that national efforts to secure the health and well-being of the American public are far from complete,” the scholars wrote in the esteemed British Medical Journal. “We are deeply concerned …

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Nation Spared Colossal Tragedy

Judging from the news reports, it could have been tragic: “Rainbow fentanyl,” produced by evil drug lords, handed out like candy to unsuspecting children from coast to coast. Halloween, 2022 was threatening to become the most tragic holiday since…. Well, since New Years Day, 2000, when, after months of breathless reporting and endless speculation about civilization grinding to a halt. When 1999 ended and 2000 began, as cable TV anchors held their breath…computers kept running and the world kept spinning. It turns out the programmers running the mainframes knew their jobs and how to do them. The true catastrophe of the year 2000 came in …

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Corporate Media Mostly Ignoring GOP Ploy to
Cut Social Security and Medicare

by Brett Wilkins Corporate media outlets are mostly ignoring a Republican ploy to use the debt ceiling fight to gut Social Security and Medicare if the GOP regains control of Congress—a plot that one leading watchdog called “perhaps the single most consequential story” of the midterm elections. “Social Security and Medicare are on the ballot next month,” said Media Matters for America senior fellow Matt Gertz. “If the American public doesn’t know that, it’s in part because the press isn’t telling them.” Common Dreams reported last week that Social Security and Medicare defenders are warning that the popular programs—which each serve tens of millions of …

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Cut Social Security and Medicare

This Anti-Bush Slander Will Not Stand!

In 1934, a cabal of leading U.S. businessmen tried to enlist U.S.M.C. Major General Smedley D. Butler in a plot to assemble a corps of disgruntled veterans of World War I and lead them in an effort to overthrow President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The plutocrats involved included J.P. Morgan Jr., General Motors head Alfred P. Sloan, and Irénée du Pont, ex-president of DuPont. Rather than become a traitor, Butler blew the whistle. Congress investigated. Butler’s story held up. The press, unwilling to challenge the powers-that-were, then let the story drop. From time to time, some have suggested that Prescott Bush—Father of President George Herbert [Hoover] …

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Conspiracy theories are dangerous even if very few people believe them

by Keith Raymond Harris There is an open question among pundits and researchers: Do more Americans believe in conspiracy theories now than ever before? But as a scholar of conspiracy theories and their believers, I am concerned that focusing on how many Americans believe conspiracy theories can distract from their dangers. Even if most people dismiss conspiracy theories or accept them only in some limited sense, leaving very small numbers of true believers, the high visibility of these false ideas can still make them dangerous. Association Without Belief Philosophers often suppose people can explain their actions in terms of what they want to do or …

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