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The Crisis Papers on DU
Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Mon Nov 07th 2011, 01:02 PM
l Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers l Over the past decade, I've met fairly regularly with "Shallow Throat,"** a mole high up in the former Bush Administration, currently a respected consultant in Washington, D.C. A well-connected insider, ST knows where the bodies are buried, and how the political game is played (and rigged) to benefit the powers-that-be behind the Republican and Democratic parties. Given the momentous events in the news, a good share of which puzzle me, it seemed appropriate...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Wed Jul 27th 2011, 08:07 AM
l Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers l Dear Wolfgang and Jacqueline: Always nice to hear from you and to get your queries about politics in the U.S. of A. To make it easier, I'll copy-and-paste your five inquiries in italics, with my responses below that. My answers will be in the way of informed speculations, since many of us progressive Americans can't believe what we're seeing either. It's like we're caught in a Republican-created whirlpool of crazy: spinning around and around with no way t...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Mon Jun 06th 2011, 12:46 PM
l Bernard Weiner l "The water is wide and I cannot cross over/Nor do I have wings to fly/Build me a boat that can carry two..." -- Fred Neil I've been writing about political depression on the Left for years now, especially during the horrific CheneyBush decade but also in the distressing Obama years. I can't tell you how many of my liberal friends have been fighting despondency (and I'm among that cohort) as the social/political/economic situation has gone from bad to worse to a bit better to...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Tue Apr 12th 2011, 05:13 AM
Ernest Partridge The Crisis Papers In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell Is there any limit to the outrageousness of the GOP lies? Is there any limit to the capacity of a large number of our fellow citizens to accept these lies? If it were in the interest of the ruling oligarchs to convince a majority of the public that the earth is flat, could they succeed? This is, after all, a public almost half of which refuses to accept evolution – the central ...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Tue Mar 29th 2011, 04:22 AM
Ernest Partridge Any citizen with even a casual awareness of the public debate over nuclear power is familiar with the usual talking points, pro and con, regarding this issue: safety, costs, environmental impacts, etc. I will not burden the reader with a rehash of these familiar issues. Instead, I propose to enrich the debate with some issues with which the general public might be less familiar, all of which issues lead strongly to the conclusion that electric power generation from nuclear ...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Thu Feb 24th 2011, 05:18 AM
Ernest Partridge On January 12, thirty thousand people attended a memorial service for the seven victims of the Tucson massacre. Thirty thousand: that’s about the same number of Americans who died in 2006 from gunshot wounds. . That is a statistic that stands alone among the civilized nations of the world. that the annual gun homicides in Finland were 17, in Australia 35, in England and Wales 39, in Spain 60, in Germany 194, in Canada 200, and in the United States 9484. This means that homi...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Wed Dec 08th 2010, 09:26 AM
l By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers l Hello darkness, my old friend... -- Simon & Garfunkel, "The Sounds of Silence" By nature, I'm usually an optimist. I've experienced and studied enough history to understand its cyclical nature and its ability to house enormous positive/negative contradictions. The worst of times can also lead to the best of times. What goes around can come around. Every cloud can have a silver lining. Etc. But those more positive views are overshadowed these days by a ...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Wed Nov 10th 2010, 10:01 AM
l Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers l Dear Diary: Watching the Democrats squirm in pain after last week's election is so much fun! It's even more enjoyable now when I don't have the levers of governmental power in my hands, so I have to be, get to be, more creative in defeating these liberal pinko weenies. The wimpy Left still hasn't caught on or figured out how to combat our smashmouth, in-your-face politics. They think of politics as a game. We know it's a war -- for power, control and free...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Wed Oct 20th 2010, 02:44 AM
l Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers l Dear Wolfgang and Jacqueline: Your recent email, wondering "what the f--- is going on" these days, questioning whether we Americans have taken "more than your usual amount of stupid pills," is well deserving of a considered response. How is it possible, you ask, that the very rightwing party whose policies helped create the current mess may very well take control of the House of Representatives and conceivably the Senate as well, in the upcoming November ...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Mon Sep 20th 2010, 10:07 AM
l Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers l Precis: There's a self-defeating listlessness on the left about the upcoming midterm election, refusing to recognize the horrific consequences of a GOP victory. As frustrated as we may be at the Democrats, we must re-energize ourself to work for the defeat of the extremist Republicans. Not to do so is to commit political suicide. I'm finding it difficult to believe that the following reminders are even needed but, given the volatile electoral situation we...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Thu Sep 09th 2010, 01:17 AM
Ernest Partridge The Crisis Papers (Link) I Place a few fruit flies in a bottle with a layer of honey at the bottom, and they will quickly multiply to an enormous number, and then, just as quickly, die off to the very last, poisoned by their wastes. Similarly, add a few yeast cells to grape juice, seal the bottle, and the cells will consume the sugar and turn it into alcohol. When the alcohol rises to 12.5% it will kill off all the yeast, and the wine will be ready for the table. Fruit flies ...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Wed Aug 04th 2010, 10:06 AM
l Bernard Weiner l <i>"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."</i> -- President John F. Kennedy It may well be time for a kind of revolution. For those too young to remember, or for those who believe history still has much to teach us, here's a primer before we get to our shared 2010 reality: Back in "The Sixties," as we ratcheted up our protests against the Vietnam War, we activist types saw daily evidence that The System (the finan...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Wed Jul 28th 2010, 03:10 AM
Ernest Partridge The Crisis Papers (Link) In the early sixties, the young black students in the South had had enough. Enough separate drinking fountains, enough all-night drives because no motel would provide a room, and enough refusal of service at restaurants and lunch counters. “Screw this,” they said, and so they sat at Woolworth’s lunch counters anyway, where they were taunted, spat upon, beaten, and arrested. The white restaurant owners resisted, most notably one Lester Maddox in Atl...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Tue Jun 29th 2010, 09:19 AM
l Bernard Weiner l Yes, all politics is indeed local -- at the same time it is national and international. The interconnections are more numerous and important these days. This is true for the major regional problem besetting us today. The bluefin tuna and other large fish that normally spawn in Gulf of Mexico waters probably will not show up this year off the New England coast. Another industry and region wrecked. And if the gushing oil gets into the Gulf loop and heads up the Atlantic coastl...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Israel/Palestine
Mon Jun 14th 2010, 10:27 AM
l Bernard Weiner Take a large dose of hubris, combine it with Lord Acton's famous dictum ("power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely"), and you emerge with an explosive, reckless abuse of authority on a number of fronts. 

We could talk in this regard about BP ("too big to take on") and its ruination of an entire region of the U.S., the Catholic Church's continuing coverup in its sexual-abuse-of-children scandal, President Obama's ratcheting up disastrous Chene...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Latest Breaking News
Thu May 20th 2010, 04:55 PM
"... right now can drive around on nothing but tap water." Sorry, Mark D., but it's time for you to go back to school and take a course in basic physics. "Nothing but tap water" can't drive a car, the first and second laws of thermodynamics say so. First law: Energy can not be created or destroyed. Second law: Energy "degrades" from useful (free) energy to useless (bound) energy. That's why you can't burn a lump of coal twice -- after the free energy has been bound. Also why carbonate ro...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Wed May 19th 2010, 03:08 AM
Ernest Partridge The Crisis Papers (Link) "What's good for General Motors is good for the country." This is the most famous quotation never said by Charles Wilson, Dwight Eisenhower's Secretary of Defense. (He actually said "For years I thought that what was good for our country was good for General Motors, and vice versa.") Still, the misquote nicely summarizes the central dogma of libertarianism and right-wing regressivism: "free market absolutism" -- the conviction that the "invisible hand...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Tue May 11th 2010, 09:50 AM
l Bernard Weiner l Many of us progressives now in our 60s and 70s spent years of our young lives in "The Sixties" trying to stop the U.S. war in Vietnam. Many in this cohort were beaten, jailed, lost jobs, suffered discrimination. We were, after all, considered "unpatriotic" and "traitors" by government leaders and their rightwing supporters. We didn't end the war on our own, of course, much as we would have liked to believe that. Mainly, it was the Vietnamese themselves who were responsible ...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Wed May 05th 2010, 05:58 AM
Ernest Partridge, Co-Editor The Crisis Papers An Uneven Contest: What if there were a great debate concerning the nature and future of American society, and only one side showed up? That approximately describes the condition of the U. S. media today. The right wing is operating a super-charged carnival of hype, hysteria and hoopla, while the left struggles along with a pipsqueek sideshow: a few magazines like The Nation, Mother Jones and The American Prospect, with minuscule circulation amo...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Wed Apr 28th 2010, 09:24 AM
l Bernard Weiner l Like a lot of progressives, I've been puzzling over the Tea Party phenomenon. Many on the left choose to believe that the hundreds and sometimes thousands who attend the group's rallies are the same old extreme rightwingers who always have been around -- usually content to remain isolated individuals or small groups in the shadows but this time encouraged out in the open by incitement from the FarRight media. While no doubt, there's a large truth in that observation, I think...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Wed Apr 07th 2010, 09:49 AM
l Bernard Weiner l Often in our busy daily lives, we miss the significance of a piece of news. Sometimes it's not until years later that we realize how very important that news event was in shifting the paradigm. For example: In 1981, President Reagan fired all 11,000 striking air-traffic controllers, and the liberal left didn't really organize itself to respond forcefully. That breaking of a labor union was the linchpin for much more anti-liberal mischief at the hands of the Reaganite conser...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Wed Apr 07th 2010, 02:52 AM
Ernest Partridge The Crisis Papers The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but can not do at all or can not do well for themselves in their separate or individual capacities. Abraham Lincoln It is written that when Rabbi Hillel (a contemporary of Jesus of Nazareth) was asked to recite the essence of The Law of Moses while standing on one foot, he replied: “What is hateful to thyself do not do to another. That is the whole Law, ...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Thu Mar 25th 2010, 10:08 AM
l Bernard Weiner l With the Democrats running the show, the Republican mole "Shallow Throat,"** now a high-priced political consultant, is no longer positioned inside the government, but still has a wide network of administration and party contacts, especially in the GOP. So using our usual code, I asked for a meeting to get Shallow Throat's take on what is going on in Washington a little more than a year after the new president was inaugurated. As we walked on a shade-covered path near Bethes...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Thu Mar 25th 2010, 04:17 AM
Ernest Partridge The Crisis Papers March 24, 2004 Last Saturday I heard the news that I had been dreading: my good and great friend, Stewart Udall, had died. In the coming days, many tributes to Stewart will no doubt be written and published about his distinguished service to our nation as the Secretary of the Interior under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and as an environmental lawyer, activist and writer. So there is little need for me to add to these accounts of his public life. Instead,...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Tue Mar 09th 2010, 10:06 AM
l Bernard Weiner l I despise the implicit pro-Iraq War politics of "The Hurt Locker": There is no examination or even mention in the film of why the U.S. might be fighting there, no look at the neo-conservative ideology that sent our troops there, no questioning of the aggressive tactics aimed at Iraqi civilians, no overt politics at all, for that matter. But I cannot deny the movie's aesthetic power. It is a great film, one of the few war movies that really got into my gut. It well deserves i...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Wed Mar 03rd 2010, 03:47 AM
Ernest Partridge, Co-Editor The Crisis Papers (Link) The organizer of industry who thinks he has 'made' himself and his business has found a whole social system ready to his hand in skilled workers, machinery, a market, peace and order -- a vast apparatus and a pervasive atmosphere, the joint creation of millions of men and scores of generations. Take away the whole social factor, and we have not Robinson Crusoe with his salvage from the wreck and his acquired knowledge, but the native savag...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Wed Mar 03rd 2010, 02:09 AM
l Bernard Weiner l I finally finished reading Barbara Kingsolver's latest brilliant novel, "The Lacuna," and it's the kind of book that engenders discussion on a wide variety of important topics. For those who haven't read it yet, the sweep of the book -- which, clearly was composed during the CheneyBush years, for good reason -- is epic in scale. Dealing with several decades of Mexican and American history, from 1929 to the early 1950s, it touches on the end of empires, the pandering mass-me...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Wed Feb 17th 2010, 09:33 AM
l Bernard Weiner l I had a fascinating email conversation over the weekend on the Middle East conflict, and it seems worthy of reproducing here. Not just because of the issues raised but because they encapsulate the difficulty of even agreeing on what the central questions are. Americans seem so locked into hardened political positions -- not just Republican vs. Democrats, conservative vs. liberal, religious vs. secular -- that it makes the traditional way of dealing with difficult issues, of ...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Wed Feb 03rd 2010, 01:42 AM
Ernest Partridge The Crisis Papers With the Supreme Court Ruling, Citizens United v. FEC, the government of the United States has, in effect, become a subsidiary of Corporate America. So isn't it time to rethink a few of our government institutions? After all, the American public has a well-deserved reputation for discarding shopworn institutions that have ceased to serve any useful purpose, and to replace them with imaginative and appropriate innovations Thus passenger railroads were replace...
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Posted by CrisisPapers in Editorials & Other Articles
Wed Jan 27th 2010, 09:17 AM
The temptation is great to stick to the minor, more gossipy items in the political news. The Larger Issues (here are seven) are damn difficult to deal with. Are there political leaders ready to take them seriously? Or do we continue slouching toward
l Bernard Weiner l Sometimes when I'm on a photo shoot, I change my camera focus to close-up, which puts me just inches, say, from the inside of a flower. I can spend much time in-tight like that, marveling at the complexities of a leaf, pistil, stamen, occasionally even a bumblebee inside stuffing its pollen sacs. Sometimes when reading the news, I find myself caught up in the close-up mode: deep into the details, the news-of-the-day stories, the gossip, the momentary winners and the losers,...
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About the Crisis Papers
Ernest Partridge and Bernard Weiner are co-editors of The Crisis Papers, and have published their essays on Democratic Underground since 2001.

Bernard Weiner, an activist journalist and public speaker, holds a Ph.D.in government and international relations, has taught at various universities, worked as a writer/editor with the San Francisco Chronicle, and currently co-edits The Crisis Papers.

Visit Bernard Weiner's blog

Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He has taught Philosophy at the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He publishes the website The Online Gadfly and co-edits the The Crisis Papers. He is at work on a book, Conscience of a Progressive, which can be seen in-progress here.

Visit Ernest Partridge's blog
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