Thursday, December 22, 2011

Panetta, Iran and Known Knowns

Dissident Voice
by Ben Schreiner

I.F. Stone once quipped, “All governments are run by liars, nothing they say should be believed.”  The Secretary of Defense, then, is certainly a rather poor source to consult if one is in pursuit of the truth.  The blatant diffusion of propaganda is merely part of the gig. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

American Withdrawal Coverage in the US Press

al-Akhbar English
by Ben Schreiner

On December 19, the last remaining US military convoy in Iraq crossed the border into Kuwait, effectively ending America’s nine-year long war and occupation. (Of course, the US will continue to maintain a heavy presence in the country via its massive embassy).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Class Struggle on the Waterfront: Portland Shuts It Down

CounterPunch/Dissident Voice
by Ben Schreiner

With less than a month’s time with which to plan, Occupy Portland set out early Monday morning to shutdown the Port of Portland.  Braving the morning’s freezing fog, protesters began arriving at Kelly Point Park around 6 a.m. for a final staging before breaking into two groups to march on the port.  A group of 300 or so protesters were directed to head to Terminal 6, the port’s busiest terminal, while another 200 or so headed to Terminal 5.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Shut Down the Port!

Read my article, "Answer the Call! Shut Down the Port!," in the Portland Occupier, the newspaper of Occupy Portland.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Occupy Portland's Street Smarts: A Tale of Re-Occupation

Dissident Voice/Intrepid Report
by Ben Schreiner

After being evicted from the two city parks held for nearly six weeks back in early November, Occupy Portland set out this Saturday with a goal of re-occupying another city park.  And in the process, Portland showcased once again why it remains one of the more dynamic Occupy sites in the country.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The American Way of Life

Dissident Voice
by Ben Schreiner

“The American way of life is not negotiable.”
President George H.W. Bush speaking in 1992.

All the splendors of the American way of life will be on full display this Thanksgiving weekend.  For nothing seems to make the American way of life shine quite like a holiday celebrating the nation’s genocidal conquest of the continent’s native inhabitants.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Fix to Bleed Social Security

My article, "The Fix: Peddling Jobs and Tax Cuts in Order to Bleed Social Security," is in the Nov/Dec issue of Socialist Viewpoint magazine.  The article originally appeared on this blog in September.  For those interested, the Nov/Dec issue of Socialist Viewpoint can be found here

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Battle in Portland

CounterPunch/Dissident Voice
by Ben Schreiner

Faced with a 12:01 a.m. Sunday morning eviction from the three city parks occupied for more than a month, Occupy Portland and its city supporters turned out in mass Saturday night and well into Sunday morning.  At their height around the midnight deadline, crowds swelled to over 6,000 strong.  This massive turnout came despite a police led fear campaign, in which reports were circulated via the local media claiming police “intelligence” indicating an influx of 150 out of town “Anarchists” coming into the city for a violent confrontation.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pending Police Crackdown Against Occupy Portland

CounterPunch/Dissident Voice
by Ben Schreiner

On Thursday, Portland Mayor Sam Adams announced that Occupy Portland would be forcibly cleared from its present encampments this Sunday morning at 12:01 am.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Phrasebook Guide to US Politics

My article ("A Phrasebook Guide to U.S. Politics") is now out in the November issue of Z Magazine.  The article can be found here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Terror’s Triumph

Dissident Voice
by Ben Schreiner

On word of Anwar al-Awlaki’s death at the hands of a CIA drone strike in Yemen, pundits and “terrorism experts” flooded the airwaves to celebrate what President Obama deemed a “major blow” to al Qaeda.  The world is a safer place with the slaying of al-Awlaki, we are told.  And much the same as with bin Laden before him, the assassination of al-Awlaki is said to have brought us “justice.”  Thus, al-Awlaki’s murder is a true triumph for America—a nation once again rewarded for its tireless and righteous pursuit of justice.  The moral beacon of the world shines bright. 

What a farce! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bleeding Social Security by Selling Jobs

by Ben Schreiner

A near constant refrain of President Obama, made both in his speech to a joint session of Congress on September 8th and since, has been that his jobs proposal (the American Jobs Act) contains “nothing controversial,” nor “nothing radical.”  In a certain respect, Mr. Obama is right; his jobs proposal is remarkably timid.  According to the most favorable estimates of the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, the president’s proposal would help create a grand total of 4.3 million new jobs.  But even by these rather optimistic estimates, the president’s proposal would still do little to cut into the swelling ranks of the nation’s unemployed.  Bear in mind that a staggering 14 million Americans remain unemployed, while over 10 million more are either underemployed or have simply dropped out of the labor force all together.  Aiming for a maximum creation of 4.3 million new jobs, therefore, is an astonishingly inadequate target.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Apocalypse Now

My article, "Apocalypse Now," is now out in the September issue of Z Magazine.  You can find the direct link by clicking here.  Access, however, is limited to current subscribers.  Information on becoming a subscriber, for those interested, can be found via the preceding link as well.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

NATO’s Libyan Triumph

By Ben Schreiner

After six protracted months, and well over 7,000 sorties, the NATO “humanitarian” mission in Libya has finally achieved its principal objective: the deposing of Colonel Mohmar Gaddafi.  The ousting of Gaddafi—who once upon a time was heralded as an anti-imperialist—is definitely not to be mourned.  Gaddafi ruled Libya with an iron fist, having readily succumbed to the corruption of unchecked power long ago.  However, his overthrow at the hands of Libyan rebels (the title bestowed upon all “good-guy” insurgents) and their NATO backers is not to be celebrated either.  For the downfall of the Gaddafi regime signals not a victory for democracy, but rather one for imperialism.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Media’s Narrowed Presidential Field: Handicapping The “Real” 2012 Contenders

By Ben Schreiner

We still have over a year till the 2012 presidential election.  Yet, eager to whittle down the still long list of presidential candidates to a short list of contenders—making the campaign more viewer and rating friendly in the process—the US media establishment has gone ahead and painstakingly determined just who the “real” 2012 contenders really are.  Hence, we learn that facing off against President Obama in November 2012 will be one of the following: Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, or Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Orchestrated Spectacle: The Politics of the Debt Ceiling

Dissident Voice
by Ben Schreiner

Lost amid the frenzy over the manufactured debt ceiling crisis, has been precisely what it is really all about.  Therefore, we must first begin by briefly laying out just what the debt ceiling is and what it isn’t.  After all, despite the sustained wall-to-wall media coverage, this critical element has been largely left ignored and obscured. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ralph Nader is Wrong: The Super-Rich Can’t Save Us

By Ben Schreiner

At the outset, let me just state that I have long admired Ralph Nader.  And to this day I remain proud that I voted for Nader in the 2008 presidential election.  But with this having been said, Nader couldn’t be more wrong in his latest pontification for progressive change put forth in his “practical utopia,” “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!” 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Obama’s Imperial Presidency

By Ben Schreiner

The ascension of Barack Obama to president in 2009, along with the presence of solid Democratic majorities in Congress, saw hopes abound for the dismantling of the imperial presidency and a return of constitutional checks on executive power.  It was to be a return to the light after eight years of Bush/Cheney imposed imperial darkness.  And who better to shepherd this return to a constitutionally bound executive than a former professor of constitutional law?   

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Our Brave New World

Political Affairs
by Ben Schreiner

“‘The optimum population,’ said Mustapha Mood, ‘is modeled on the iceberg—eight-ninths below the water line, one-ninth above.’”

In his 1932 classic, Brave New World, Aldous Huxley warned of a dystopian future.  The future world Huxley foresaw was one in which an enslaved society remained shackled and pacified not by brute force, but by abundant and pervasive spectacle. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Diminishing Hopes: The Politics of American Unemployment

By Ben Schreiner

The May jobs report was nothing less than abysmal.  The month’s meager—although not unexpected—level of job creation also signals a diminished hope for progressive politics heading into the 2012 presidential election.