politics

Are We All Cult Members Now?

Reading Time: 19 minutesEvery day there are stories about how interactions between people have become increasingly tribal &; prompting individuals to trash facts, science, and objective reality in the service of a cause or a set of beliefs.It’s almost as if society has been taken over by c

Social Insecurity: When Retirement Means Hardship, States Move to Fill the Void

Reading Time: 5 minutesWhen signing the Social Security Act into law in 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said  that it is impossible to ensure the entire population against all hazards, but that the new program would “give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.”

The US Navy Supported Captain Phillips – One of the Most Inaccurate Movies I’ve Ever Seen

Captain Phillips tells the story of the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama - a US container ship - off the coast of Somalia, and the subsequent US Navy intervention that killed three of the pirates and arrested the fourth.  It is also one of the least historically accurate films

The DOD and Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor is a piece of absolute militaristic schlock, starring the whiny-voiced Marky Mark Wahlberg as Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell - the only survivor of Operation Red Wings, a 2005 special forces joint operation in the summer of 2005.  Over 100 pages of Navy documents show their heavy involvement in the film and how they covered

How the Pentagon Rewrote GI Jane

GI Jane is a crude, clumsy attempt to show a 'woman's perspective' on being in the military, that ruined Demi Moore's career as a leading lady.  Little known until now is how the Pentagon negotiated with Ridley Scott to rewrite the script, and even though the film didn't qualify for military support some of the scr

Trump’s Kind of Labor Day

Reading Time: 5 minutesLabor Day is a national holiday, but probably not one that generates much celebration in the Trump White House, which is moving to add regulatory insult to the existing injury of policies that depress the wages of low-income workers.

ClandesTime 191 – The ‘Disguised’ Political Film in Hollywood

Why isn’t the ‘political film’ a genre of cinema? Hollywood puts out a consistent stream of politically-themed films, but rarely if ever promotes them as such.

100 Years After Suffrage, Full Equality Eludes Women

Reading Time: 9 minutesHappy. One hundred years ago today, the US officially got around to giving half the American adult population the right to vote. The battle wasn’t easy.

ClandesTime 190 – Karl Rove and the Cultural Impact of 9/11

In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, President Bush’s chief spin doctor and senior advisor Karl Rove enlisted Hollywood’s help in selling the War on Terror.

FL Dems Call for Gun Control Session Following El Paso Shooting

Reading Time: 5 minutesJust a few weeks after the devastating shooting in El Paso, Democrats in the Florida House of Representatives have called for a special session to deal with the issue of gun control &; and they think the votes could be there to finally see action by state lawmakers t

Why Amazon’s The Boys is the Most Subversive TV Show of the Year

Amazon Prime's The Boys is not only the most enjoyable TV show I've seen all year, it's also the most subversive.  While it will appeal to audiences suffering from superhero fatigue after more than a decade of relentless Marvel and DC products, it is so much mo

Jeffrey Epstein Death: A Little Skepticism is Warranted

Reading Time: 2 minutesHow and why did Jeffrey Epstein die? Did he commit suicide to escape an embarrassing trial and a lengthy prison sentence as a child rapist? Or did he know too much about too many powerful people who did not want to be implicated? In any case, any serious person would admit that the timing was most convenient.

Progressive Insurgents Make Impeachment a Primary Issue

Reading Time: 9 minutesFew political leaders would seem more invulnerable than Nancy Pelosi (CA), the speaker of the House and a Democrat in one of the most heavily Democratic cities in the country.

ClandesTime 188 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Mubin Shaikh

The 2006 arrests of the Toronto 18 was a key moment in the post-9/11 war on terror. It helped internationalise the war effort and added Canada to the list of supposed terrorist targets. This week I examine the life and work of the main Canadian intelligence informant inside the Toronto 18 – Mubin Shaikh.

Minimum Wage Hike Would Benefit Millions

Reading Time: 2 minutesImagine giving 33.5 million American workers a raise, helping 6.2 million ease the pinch of poverty, and increasing the total annual wages for minimum-wage workers by $92.5 billion.

Documents: CIA Successfully Pressured Michael Bay To Change Benghazi Movie

I recently obtained 50 pages of documents from the CIA on the support they provided to Michael Bay's Benghazi movie 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.  In this investigation for Shadowproof I outline how the relationship between Bay and the Agen

US Anti-Drug Initiatives in Afghan: Another Dubious Expense

Reading Time: 3 minutesThe US has spent more than $50 million on drug treatment programs in Afghanistan, but these programs are losing money and may not even be working, a new report has concluded.

The Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing and Heartbreak Ridge

The US military's negotiations on the 1980s Clint Eastwood vehicle Heartbreak Ridge were protracted and complex, resulting in numerous changes before the movie could be approved for Pentagon support.  This included changing Clint Eastwood's character from a so

Mueller Hearings Matter Because Nobody Read His Report

Reading Time: 8 minutesFormer special counsel Robert Mueller made it clear in May that, if he were asked to testify before Congress, he would not “provide information beyond that which is already public.” That has led critics of Wednesday’s hearings to suggest that they are a waste of time.

ClandesTime 186 – NCIS

NCIS is a wildly successful TV drama, one of the most popular series of the last 20 years. This week I recount how the DOD, Navy and Marine Corps routinely rewrite episodes of NCIS to fit their PR and propaganda goals.

How the Western media support state terror – while millions die

In this guest article Matt Alford - alongside Drs Daniel Broudy, Jeffery Klaehn, Alan MacLeod and Florian Zollmann - lay out their case that news media has systemically downplayed or simply avoided discussing the bloody consequences of Western foreign po

Boston’s Busing Crisis Remembered Through the Eyes of the Affected

Reading Time: 7 minutesThe year is 1974 and the signs hanging from the windows of the south Boston buildings read “N***er Go Home.” In the streets below, crowds of rage-filled white and hurl bricks, as terrified African American pupils cower in

US Army Doesn’t Work on ‘Audience Participation’ TV Due to ‘Spontaneity’

The US Army's regulations on Public Affairs activities are over 100 pages of rules and restriction governing how the Army interacts with news media, entertainment media and other public events.  It outlines which activities require prior approval from Army Public Affairs chiefs (i.e.

What Will Erdogan Do After Losing Key Election?

Reading Time: 4 minutesEarly on Sunday evening, two hours after polls closed, people in Istanbul rubbed their eyes as the pro-government candidate, former prime minister Binali Yildirim, conceded the race for mayor of the city.Jubilation quickly spread on the streets and onto social media, though observers fear further chaos.

Tell Us, Mr. Sater, About Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin

Reading Time: 6 minutesFelix Sater, a business associate of President Donald Trump and a key figure in his efforts to build one of Trump’s signature towers in Moscow, is scheduled to appear before the House Intelligence Committee Friday. His testimony will be held behind closed doors —  which should suit Sater well.

Will Trump’s New Directive ‘Lobotomize’ Federal Brain?

Reading Time: 4 minutesWhen President Donald Trump issued an (EO) limiting the number of independent federal advisory committees last Friday, it didn’t make a big media splash.

Patriot Games — Chinese Consumers Protect Huawei From Trump’s Attacks

Reading Time: 6 minutes(BEIJING) — With a series of attacks, President Donald Trump tried to make Chinese electronics giant Huawei one of the casualties in the trade war between the US and the Asian superpower.

The Mystery of Stupidity

Reading Time: 6 minutesScience has always held the answers — or at least the promise of answers — to many of our problems. Deadly ones, like cancer, strokes, and heart attacks. And troubling, though non-deadly ones, ranging from blindness to baldness. We have been able to explore the deepest, darkest areas of the sea.

Study Claims Science Nonprofit Serves as Lobbyist for Food Industry

Reading Time: 5 minutesThis is how the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) describes itself on its website: ILSI is a nonprofit, worldwide organization whose mission is to provide science that improves human health and well-being and safeguards the environment. Scientific Integrity is essential to developing sound science that benefits society.

The Rebooted Designated Survivor: Sponsored by the CIA?

The soft reboot of the political drama Designated Survivor recently dropped on Netflix and in spite of Kiefer Sutherland making the least convincing president since Sarah Palin it is a considerable improvement on the first two seasons.

ClandesTime 183 – Fields of Fire

Fields of Fire is one of the greatest movies that was never made. A brutal but sympathetic portrait of the Vietnam War, it was denied military support despite being written by a former Secretary of the Navy. This week I examine the story of Fields of Fire using a file from the DOD’s entertainment liaison office.

Killer Loans — College Debt Triggers Depression and Suicide

Reading Time: 4 minutesWhen billionaire Robert Smith pledged to pay off the student loans of Morehouse College’s graduating class recently, the story went viral.

A Reminder of What Is Often Forgotten on Memorial Day

Reading Time: 2 minutesThis Memorial Day marks another year of young Americans serving — and dying — abroad. Regardless of how you feel about the wars they are fighting, or the politicians who got them there, the sacrifice of those who gave life and limb deserve to be remembered.

ClandesTime 181 – The Cinema of Iran-Contra

Iran-Contra is in many ways the definitive government conspiracy – involving guns, drugs, anti-communism and black operations, it went all the way to the White House.

ClandesTime 180 – The Politics of Monster Movies

Monster movies are one of the most beloved and distinctive genres in cinema, featuring a winning combination of exotic spectacle, ground-breaking visual effects and reflections on humanity’s relationship with nature.