What’s Going to Happen to American Democracy?

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: How Democracies Die, by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. Penguin/Random House, 2018, 320 pages.   THESE DAYS, all sane Americans are wringing their hands over the threats to our democracy posed by the Trump presidency and the Republican power monopoly in Washington. Two thoughtful Harvard professors of government have now […]

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Daniel Ellsberg on Nuclear War

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, by Daniel Ellsberg. Bloomsbury, 2017, 424 pages.   WE ARE ALL NERVOUS about the current possibility of nuclear warfare, but Daniel Ellsberg has decided to do what he can to prevent it from happening. His recent book, The Doomsday Machine, reveals […]

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Spy vs. Spy: Anti-Nazi Undercover Work in L.A.

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots against Hollywood and America, by Steven J. Ross. Bloomsbury Books, 2017, 432 pages.   ADOLF HITLER’S determination to wipe out the planet’s Jews was aimed at America as well, according to Steven J. Ross, professor of history at the University of […]

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Six Million Ku Klux Klansmen

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition, by Linda Gordon. Liveright, 2017, 288 pages.   THE KU KLUX KLAN, America’s best-known racist society, has had three major phases of life since its founding right after the Civil War in 1866. […]

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Visiting Trump’s America

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, by Arlie Russell Hochschild. The New Press, 2016, 384 pages.   THESE days, people all over the world are desperately seeking to understand the appeal that Donald Trump has for millions of Americans. To help us in […]

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Powerless Puerto Rico

by Dusty Sklar HURRICANE MARIA has destroyed Puerto Rico’s electricity, along with just about everything else, but Puerto Rico itself has been powerless for decades. The U.S. invaded the 3,435-square-mile Caribbean island in 1898 and established a unique relationship. Puerto Rico is a territory and a commonwealth of the U.S. Its 3.4 million people have […]

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Fighting Back against Big Oil

by Dusty Sklar It’s common knowledge that big oil is at least in part responsible for the disasters caused by climate change, so it’s fair that they should shoulder some of the burden of the costs it causes. Now, two coastal cities in California, San Francisco and Oakland, have filed lawsuits against ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Conoco […]

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Lying About War

by Dusty Sklar   DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN presidents alike have this in common: They lie to us about war. Even Barack Obama, upright as he seems, lied to us about U.S. intervention in Libya’s 2011 civil war. When Obama addressed the nation on March 28, 2011, he told us that  the task assigned our forces  was “to protect the […]

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James M. Buchanan and the Radical Right

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, by Nancy MacLean. Viking, 2017, 366 pages. JANE MAYER’S book, Dark Money, taught us that billionaires like the Koch brothers are able to influence how we think and vote. Now a worthy successor, Democracy in […]

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