The Fallen of World War Two

Neil Halloran has produced an animated data-driven documentary about war and peace called The Fallen of World War II. It looks at the human cost of the second World War and sizes up the numbers to other wars in history, including trends in recent conflicts.

The data he presents challenged many of my tacit assumptions about the war.

You can view the video above, or access an interactive version at

Sanders and the Second Bill of Rights

In September of 2012, I wrote about FDR’s 1944 State of the Union Address which proposed a “Second Bill of Rights.”

I wonder what might happen if President Obama were to make these rights the foundation of his bid for re-election. Would the American people rally to such a program? Would we recognize that political rights alone cannot ensure liberty and justice for all? Would we recognize that today our freedom is most threatened, not by the government, but by the tyranny of the marketplace? Would we recognize, at long last, that there is no democracy without economic democracy?

Today, at Georgetown University, Bernie Sanders appears to have taken up the challenge, putting Roosevelt’s speech at the center of his own campaign.

Sander’s speech begins about one hour and eight minutes into the video.

You can read the full text of the speech here.

I can’t say that I agree with everything Senator Sanders said in this speech, but it is certainly refreshing, even heartening, to hear a presidential candidate make such a vigorous defense of Social Democracy in this era where political discourse in the United States seems limited to the range between Neoliberalism and Fascism.

I wonder what will happen next.

Kshama Sawant on Election Night 2015

“We have shattered the myth that there is nothing progressive candidates can do against the avalanche of corporate money. We have shown that it is entirely possible, if there is the political will, to refuse donations from big corporations and instead base ourselves on the support of working people and win. That is why we have won, and successfully I might add, not just independent of corporate cash but also independent of the two political parties that represent that corporate cash.”

Kshama Sawant spoke to her supporters on November 3rd as her reelection victory was confirmed.

Read the full text of the speech.

Racial Taboo Townhall Meeting October 27th

The Kankakee County Branch NAACP will be co-sponsoring a townhall meeting on race, featuring the film Racial Taboo, at the Kankakee Public Library auditorium on Tuesday October 27th, 2015 from 6 to 8 PM. The meeting will be an opportunity to learn more about the relationships in our society between people of various races, to discuss the topic in small groups, and to perhaps begin to establish your own friendships across racial lines.

Source: Racial Taboo Townhall Meeting October 27th – Kankakee County Branch NAACP


It’s been one of the pleasures of my life to attend the annual Socialism Conference in Chicago the past couple of years. Socialism 2015 is July 2nd through the 5th. Click the banner below for details.


A Conversation With Chomsky

Isabelle Kumar of Euronews interviews Noam Chomsky on a range of topics. On the subject of Greece’s debt (and that of Portugal and Spain and others) this is what he said.

Who incurred this debt? And who is the debt owed to? In part, the debt was incurred by dictators. So in Greece it was the fascist dictatorship, which the US supported, that incurred a large part of the debt. The debt I think was more brutal than the dictatorship, and that’s what’s called in international law, “odious debt” which need not be paid, and that’s a principal introduced into international law by the United States, when it was in their interest to do so. Much of the rest of the debt, what is called payments to Greece are in fact payments to banks, German and French banks, which had decided to make extremely risky loans with not very high interest and are now being faced with the fact that they can’t be paid back.

Read the Transcript: Chomsky says US is world’s biggest terrorist | euronews, the global conversation

Here’s the video.