Category Propaganda

Donald Trump’s First Amendment hypocrisy

Election 2016 has taken a turn into territory unfamiliar and perhaps mildly terrifying to many Americans, potentially heading down a road characterized by political violence and what social scientists call “authoritarian aggression,” defined by retired psychology professor Robert Altemeyer as “a general aggressiveness directed against deviants, outgroups, and other people that are perceived to be targets […]

Ben Carson’s War on Christmas, Sort Of

Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon turned Republican presidential contender, may have a skeleton in his closet that could disqualify him from leading the United States of America in the eyes of millions of his supporters. No, it’s not the fabrications of significant chunks of his life story that he’s told, nor his opposition to Muslims being […]

The Abject Failure of the ‘War on Terror’

Last week’s attacks in Paris offered a painful and tragic reminder that despite the unprecedented counterterrorism measures implemented since the attacks on New York and Washington 14 years ago, citizens in the West remain as vulnerable as ever to the threat of extremist violence. This may come as a bit of a shock to those […]

A modest proposal to end the ‘War on Christmas’

Just as the commercial extravaganza of the Christmas season seems to begin earlier and earlier each year, with displays popping up in some places not long after Labor Day, so too does the annual absurdity known as “the War on Christmas.” This year, we have an early taste of the asinine arguments to come with […]

Americans’ malleable views on violence

Recent public opinion surveys reveal somewhat disjointed attitudes toward the legitimacy of violence, with Americans on one hand embracing violent policies as they pertain to assassinating suspected terrorists, and on the other rejecting the use of violent protests against police brutality. In one recent poll, nearly three-quarters of respondents said that it’s acceptable for the U.S. […]

ACLU on wrong side of Redskins trademark dispute

The American Civil Liberties Union has weighed in on the debate over the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s decision to cancel the trademark for the Washington Redskins franchise on the grounds that it is disparaging to Native Americans. Unfortunately though, the group has taken an overly legalistic, narrow and absolutist approach to the controversy that […]

Washington Redskins, Charlie Hebdo and the free speech right to be racist

In a desperate attempt to hold on to its multi-million-dollar trademark, the Washington Redskins franchise submitted legal arguments last week seeking to overturn a 2014 decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel the team’s trademark because it is offensive to Native Americans. The team’s attorneys argued that denying the use of disparaging […]

This week’s completely ignored historic Senate debate on plutocracy and democracy

An important debate is underway in the United States Senate this week, but if you are, like most, a casual consumer of the news, you probably wouldn’t have heard about it. This is no indictment of your news-gathering habits, but rather of what passes for mass communication in modern America, in other words, the mainstream media’s […]

Lessons from the Syria sarin attack (or, why we were right to be war-weary)

Last summer, following a sarin nerve gas attack that left hundreds dead in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta on Aug. 21, it seemed that U.S. intervention in Syria was a foregone conclusion. Having witnessed the scenario play out time and again in recent years as the United States has prepared for military action against various […]

Black History Month, fried chicken and American historical ignorance

Nearly half way through Black History Month 2014, the only story remotely related to black history that seems to have broken into the national consciousness is one from California in which a high school came under criticism for offering the stereotypical African-American cuisine of fried chicken and watermelon on its lunch menu. Administrators at Carondelet […]