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Author Archive | Dr. Paul J Balles


No Escape from Surveillance

Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. ~George Orwell Judging from all the reports, America’s National Security Agency (NSA) can do just about anything involving the communication of just about anyone. They can tell who you’ve been calling by phone; and if they suspect you’ve been calling the […]

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Defending Good and Evil

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.  –George Orwell Typically, people argue to defend what they do (or believe), attacking opposing views where they can, and ignoring arguments they haven’t considered. The more that kind of activity serves as American foreign policy–whether it’s in […]

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Right to Resist Oppression

In August 2004, Richard Hugus, critic of progressive injustice, wrote an article on the “Lies of the Israeli Peace Movement”. What Hugus wrote almost ten years ago has as much forgotten or neglected relevance today. In an announcement for a meeting, the public was invited to hear from “bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families supporting peace, […]

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Who Are The Terrorists?

When Helen Thomas told a Rabbi that the Jews should go back to where they came from, he asked where that would be. Her response was as honest and appropriate as it was direct: “Poland, Germany, America…” For that she lost her job as the best White House reporter America has had. Her response was […]

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Online Freedom Under Threat

I hope we will use the Net to cross barriers and connect cultures.–Tim Berners-Lee On November 23rd, 2013, British inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, warned that “Internet surveillance by British and US spying agencies has posed a threat to online freedom and the future of democracy.” Describing the activities by the US […]

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Israeli Hawks Resisting Deals

To the Israelis, any deal made between the world powers and Iran would be a bad deal. It’s obvious from Israeli reactions to the talks in Geneva that the only action acceptable to Israel would be to bomb Iran. Minister of Military Affairs Moshe Ya’alon describes any agreement with Iran as “a historic mistake”. Israeli […]

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The Olive Tree

The still slow life is mine, my days are years. Tied to the soil, I reach towards the sky, as men rush by, so driven by their fears, and with their fears intact pass on and die. From Plato’s Olive Tree Unknown author This is the olive picking season. Like other harvests, it should be […]

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Israel Benefits as World Loses

Is there any point in public debate in a society where hardly anyone has been taught how to think, while millions have been taught what to think? –Peter Hitchens What started off as Arab Spring has turned morbidly into Arab Fall. What began as a seasonal description became directional and self-destructive. Not only have movements […]

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Prove What You Don’t Have

Prove that you don’t have what I believe you have! That was an exact demand made on Saddam Hussein. He scoffed. That brought “shock and awe”, and Saddam was hanged on the mother of all ropes. Prove that you don’t have weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The neocons sold the logic of that empty demand […]

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Hypocrisy of the Paranoid

The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity. –Andre Gide Hypocritical behaviour: Carry fire in one hand and water in the other. To be duplicitous, to engage in double-dealing; to be two-faced, to speak with forked tongue. The expression comes from Plautus; it continues “to […]

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Shameful Exceptionalism

We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health lawyers destroy justice universities destroy knowledge governments destroy freedom the press destroys information religion destroys morals and our banks destroy the economy. ~ Chris Hedges Paul Schied, commenting in the Harvard Political Review writes, “American Exceptionalism argues that the United States is the best at […]

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Letter To A Rustic American

You’ve been living in rural America; and living the farmer’s life doesn’t leave much time or desire to follow what’s going on in the rest of the world. Even with your daily hour of TV news and Sunday read of the New York Times, you’ll be left with questions that the major news channels simply […]

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Filtered, Slanted and Censored Media

Twenty years ago several journalists expressed concern that the number of major news sources in America had diminished to fifty. Today, conglomerates have bought up most of those news sources; and the number of major news sources controlling the media has been reduced to six! These six control all of the news reported in America […]

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Mass Media Madness

Whoever controls the media, controls the mind. ~Jim Morrison The media is too concentrated, too few people own too much. There’s really five companies that control 90 percent of what we read, see and hear. It’s not healthy.~Ted Turner Media focus Television anchors and their guests waste hours of viewer’s time ridiculously focused.  Topics with […]

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