The Wrong Torture Question

By David Swanson

When Americans get “ethical” these days they ponder the great moral mysteries, like “Is public health coverage fair to insurance companies?” or “If we increase the military budget but reduce one section of it, can the whole world still be safe?” or “Would you still oppose torture if it worked?”

Let me suggest a few reasons why I think that last question is the wrong one.

First, torture DID work. It forced false agreement with war lies, read more

That's Religulous

By David Swanson

According to an Associated Press story on Friday, more than a half-million people have toured the creationism museum in Kentucky since it opened in May 2007. However, at least one of those people was there to make fun of it with a video camera.

In fact, a lot of what Bill Maher’s new film, “Religulous”, does is make fun of people. But by no means does Maher single out fringe religious believers. He interviews one of the few top scientists in the world who read more

Imagine There's No Heaven

By David Swanson

Article VI. of the U.S. Constitution says that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

The writers of the Constitution knew the recent history of wars of religion and religious persecution in Europe. Many of the thinkers who influenced them associated political freedom very closely with freedom of religion, with the dismantling of state religion, and — in some cases — with the abandonment read more

Resistance and Revolution

By David Swanson

Remarks made on May 24, 2008, in Radford, Va., at the Building a New World Conference:

Martin Luther King Jr. said:

“I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than read more

Building a New World

The first international conference of the World Prout Assembly, entitled, “Building a New World,” committed to ending imperialist wars and affirming models of cooperative, community-based economies and political activism, will be held May 22-25 at Radford University, Radford, Virginia.

World Prout Assembly Founding President Garda Ghista announced: “We seek to bring together activists from all countries fighting for justice in all spheres of life to form one universal coalition read more

The Trouble with Thankfulness

By David Swanson

Like most Americans, I’m appreciative of all the wonderful people and experiences in my life, and I like the idea of taking a day off from lamenting all the painful, tragic, and humiliating experiences in my life and the many more in the lives of so many people around the world impacted by my government (even if we are now losing an innocent life in Iraq alone at the rate of one every 10 minutes, or 144 in the day I take off to “be thankful”).

And in fact, I never read more

Mukasey and Digby Give Postmodernism a Bad Name

By David Swanson

I’ve often seen Bush compared to a child and Cheney to a monster, which I think is incredibly unfair to children and monsters. The following is a commentary on a blog posting by Digby that compares the Bush-Cheney crime gang to postmodernists and “relativists”, which I think is entirely unfair to postmodernists and “relativists”. In fact, I think the Bush-Cheney gang’s defense of cruel and criminal actions fits seamlessly with their opposition to “postmodern read more

Slavery, Iraq, and Justice Delayed

By David Swanson

The Governor of Virginia, Timothy M. Kaine, has just pardoned Gabriel Prosser for leading a slave revolt in Virginia over 200 years ago. Prosser sought to organize thousands of slaves to accomplish the “wholesale massacre” of whites in Richmond and other slave-holding areas, according to historian Virginius Dabney. Kaine cited Prosser’s “devotion to the ideals of the American revolution – it was worth risking death to secure liberty.” Kaine concluded read more

Rorty: The Best We've Ever Had

By David Swanson

Whenever anyone asks me what author has had the greatest impact on me, I don’t hesitate. There’s no doubt that it’s Richard Rorty. I consider him the most significant author of the past century, something I once told him, and which he had the humility to say and honestly believe was ludicrous. Richard Rorty died this week and took from this planet the most brilliant mind we’ve ever seen put to the kindest and most useful endeavors.

Rorty didn’t answer read more