158 results for author: Phil Anderson


Criminalizing Protest

Republicans in Wisconsin have introduced fascist legislation to increase penalties for protesting. These bills would impose excessively harsh criminal penalties for trespassing and damage to property when protesting “energy providers” and “critical infrastructure.” This is bad legislation and a threat to our civil liberties. When did we become Russia? Or, more accurately, a corporate dictatorship?Assembly Bill 426 and Senate Bill 386 would expand a 2015 law which makes it a felony to trespass on, or damage, property owned, operated, or leased by an electrical or gas company. The new proposals expand coverage to oil, water, electricity, and ...

REAL FREEDOM IS A UNION JOB

“Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.”President Ronald ReaganOn Labor Day we remembered the sacrifice of union activists to improve the lives of all of us. We should remember that unions and the labor movement helped build the middle class in America. They brought us the weekend, healthcare, retirement, work place safety, and many other employment standards. Unions have also contributed, along with many other social justice advocates, to making “freedom” more than just a platitude. They give some reality to our over-hyped rhetoric on individual liberty. “True individual freedom cannot ...

THINNING THE HERD

“Either we limit our population growth, or the natural world will do it for us...”  David Attenborough, British naturalist producer of nature documentaries. “Reproductive rights are an environmental issue.”Center for Biological Diversity There is a cartoon that shows deer in the woods with a sprawling, traffic jammed, polluted city in the background. One of the deer is saying, “Let me get this straight, it is our herd that needs thinning?” The current world population is 7.7 billion and is increasing by 82 million each year. Estimates say it will reach 10.9 billion by the end of the century. Whose herd ...

Homegrown Tomatoes

The best things in life are free. We went to the beach this week. The weather was perfect and the clean, clear water of Lake Superior was not too cold for swimming. I was reminded of how precious the lake is for all of us and how important it is to keep this resource pristine. A perfect summer day by the big lake is priceless.Summer also brings good things from the garden. Rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, cucumbers, fresh peas, fresh greens, and vine ripened tomatoes that you can't buy in the store at any price. These aren't free. There is a lot of work that goes into raising them, but they taste a lot better than the corporate, shipped-f...

Asian Carp: Too Little Too Late

“It is time that a permanent and effective solution be implemented to prevent the spread of this invasive species. The Great Lakes are the crown jewel of the Midwest, and the potential damage both environmentally and economically from Asian carp is too great to risk, which is why we have asked the corps to close the Brandon Road Lock.”   Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette “Whatever can go wrong will go wrong”  Murphy's Law Wisconsin Public Radio recently had a story on the latest public statement on the Asian carp problem. The take away from the article is that the politicians are, as usual, dithering. Asian ...

Questions About Patriotism

Tell a lie a thousand times and it becomes truth. Repetition is essential to influencing people. Repetition of lies and half-truths is used to manipulate and control people. Advertisers, dictators, and politicians understand this strategy. But repetition is also essential for learning. Truth also needs to be repeated if we are to learn and avoid repeating past mistakes. It is in this spirit that I repeat last year's 4th of July article. ********************************************************************************************************** “Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because ...

Historical Perspective on Iran

In the last several articles I wrote about our aggressive, militarized foreign policy and how it leads to conflicts and disastrous wars. The current saber rattling with Iran is a classic example. Over the last seven decades our belligerence and interference in the internal affairs of Iran are illustrative of the mistakes we have made all over the world. Knowing this history, it is not hard to understand why we are considered the “great Satan” by Iran.This is all verifiable history – not ideological or political cherry picking. Since World War II the U.S. has overthrown a democratically elected government, bribed officials, interfered in ...

Choosing a Better Way

“Alternatives to particular wars are almost never seriously sought and the idea that there might be an alternative to war itself almost never occurs to people” “...in the 21st century it has become patently clear that making war does not create peace, as the case of the two Gulf Wars, the Afghan War, and the Syrian/ISIS war clearly demonstrate.”“War is always a choice and it is always a bad choice.” These quotes are from the World Beyond War (WBW) publication “A Global Security System: An Alternative to War.” This article continues our examination of the WBW's belief that peace is possible if we choose to build an alternative ...

An Alternative to War

“Thinking that war is inevitable makes it so; it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.” “Thinking that ending war is possible opens the door to constructive work on an actual peace system.”“There is more peace in the world than war. It is not inevitable. We have a record of doing things differently. We have changed in the past and we can do more in the future.”Most people think world peace is a Utopian pipe dream. Humans are the killer ape. War is as old as humans and it isn't about to go away. We live in a dangerous world and must rely on a strong military to keep us safe.But World Beyond War, an international peace advocacy organizat...

Militarism in America

“We must see now that the evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism are all tied together. And you can't get rid of one without getting rid of the other.” Martin Luther King, Jr.“War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.” President John F. KennedyAmericans believe we are the “good guys” that promote peace and democracy around the world. But too frequently we are part of the problem rather than the solution to conflicts between nations. As a nation we are dominated by the evil of militarism. Our militarism results in conflicts ...