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Showing posts from August, 2014

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1914-2014: Echoes of the Great War

So - I assumed that I had already posted this documentary, entitled "1914-2014: Echoes of the Great War," by Catholic News Service. When I looked for it on my site, however, I couldn't find it. CNS is a news agency but nevertheless managed to put together a documentary of cinematic quality on the insanity of World War One. This is excellent, excellent stuff and hard to argue with. Great points and observations, in my view, especially in that the world is once again a "multi-polar world" for the first time in over half a century.

Do Americans Want A More "Active" Foreign Policy?

American media has alot to do with American wars - they're the propaganda outlets and from Saddam Hussein to Bashir Assad to ISIS, they drum the fear in to people and lead us into various destructive conflicts. Rand Paul is a very serious threat to this establishment as, unlike Obama - who campaigned on expanding the war in Afghanistan, Rand has his dad's philosophy of foreign policy - don't entangle yourself and lead by example.

In D.C. world, that is "isolationism." Wars make alot of money - possibly faster than any other industry - and their merger with defense of fossil fuels for Western use makes for a horrible mess in which the United States is perpetually at war in the Middle East. The propaganda shows in polls;

Among Republicans who say they identify with the tea party, 54% now say the U.S. does too little to help solve world problems, and only 33% say the U.S. does too much.

That’s almost a mirror image of opinions among that group last year, when 54%…

Q&A With Michael Maiello On Robin Williams, Capitalism And Life

It seems like this article got lost on Blogger somehow, which is why I am reposting it.. I don't know how or why. Fortunately it was also posted on Dagblog so it's not lost.

Michael Maiello is probably at the top of my list of internet and writing/publishing friends. He is a regular contributor at Dagblog and the author of several books and a comical play about the Iraq war. I have known him for three years now and he has helped me a bit - gotten me published and helped me through some traumatic life events such as my rehabilitation from SSRI antidepressant use and the loss of my fiancé Jennifer Reimer. He did all of this online too! Maiello, like me, is a deep thinker, and through our talks we don't really seek to avoid but rather to inform. This one is short but filled with some very weighty topics that I know are on many minds. Here goes.

What do you make of Robin Williams' death?

I can't claim to have ever been a huge Robin Williams fan so even though h…

Guest Post: Failed Business Unionism

Josh Deeds and I are long time friends - we both are long time contributors to Gonzo Times and Josh and I have talked a few times about getting him involved with Radical Second Things. I thought one of his latest articles, for his website Angry Syndicalist, would be a good place to start:
There are unions who are opposed to making headway for the worker in terms of revolutionary struggle and operate in terms of trade consciousness as opposed to class consciousness. This is a betrayal of principles according to how unions worked before they had the National Labor Relations Board.

They operate exactly like a business does and generally have the same hierarchical organization and instead of the laborers running things in a more co-operative and democratic manner, things really don't change.

I think these unions are too entrenched in the business mentality to deliver on what they promise. In my experience, with the Teamsters, they had become management in a sense. When Loca…

Dr. Paul In Guatemala

Apparently theatrical acts of altruism in Latin America are pretty popular amongst the right wing - first Glenn Beck feeding children near the US/Mexico border and now Rand Paul, M.D. doing "pro-bono" eye surgery in Guatemala. One of my first memories of a politician in action was Gary Locke (governor of Washington state) going to China, the land of his ancestry - local news stations made a pretty big thing out of it indeed. That lead to Locke getting a position as diplomat to China so maybe there is something to this beyond just a photo op. Nevertheless it illustrates that Paul is trying to boost his national profile heavily as 2016 approaches:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rand Paul And The Myths of Capitalism

I am currently working on a serious, full length article about Rand Paul for the Hampton Institute, a left wing policy think tank I contribute to regularly. In the meantime, I thought it'd be interesting to report on some of the things this possible Republican president is doing.

Paul believes in the myths of capitalism - something that you most often see in business schools by people who desperately want to move up the latter of success. The myths of capitalism are created by the bosses of capitalism but they are most often distributed by naïve twenty somethings who seek to gain employment - hoping that reiterating this nonsense will get them employed. I have a friend like this - his posts on Facebook obviously show that he is trying to make it in corporate America: pictures with CEOs, pictures at his business school and screeds about Kshama Sawant and homeless people. Oddly enough, he calls himself a liberal.

What's weird about Rand Paul is that he seems to be appealing to a…

Get Your CIA Funded ISIS Gear

Sometimes this world just gets too surreal. The Iraq situation is profoundly depressing - all that blood and toil was spent only for us, over a decade later, to return. We didn't create a lasting democracy there - instead much of it (and Syria as well) has been taken over by what is being portrayed as a terrorist supergroup called ISIS - the Islamic State In Iraq and Syria. All of that war didn't push them back - ISIS has tanks, has taken over oil fields and apparently has its own clothing line:

It's a little curious that they like the phrase "United We Stand." There is an almost sickening satire to all of this - one news video from a seemingly conservative source called NowThisNews (it contained an interview with Rand Paul) posited that "you can buy a hoodie online if you want to rep global jihad." The video posited a critical question - "ISIS has a huge amount of money for a terrorist organization, so where are they getting it all?"

Yeah, I w…

Utah Philips On Ammon Hennessy

I want to thank Josh Deeds for this one. I knew there had to be a strong strain of Catholic anarchism, even if it is not explicitly articulated as that, out there. Thanks for Deeds for directing me to it. "Get things done in the world without the boss and without the state." Yep, that's pretty much it.

Trouble In Conservative Paradise

When I entered the libertarian world, I was in search of ideas that I thought would be more liberating for me as an individual, and when I entered the conservative world, I was in search of ideas that I hoped would have a deeper bedrock and evidence of success than the experimental ones my hippie family background had banked on.

Those days are over for me, as I write in an upcoming piece for Hampton about my admiration and antipathy for Republican presidential possibility Rand Paul. As someone who checks in on it but has no dreams of ever entering conservative world again, I am regularly flummoxed by the strange and bizarre conversations that conservatives have amongst themselves and how bizarrely inaccurate their perception of themselves is.

In most of the liberal or radical world, going in to the developing world and feeding at risk children is something that would be admired almost without question. Organizations like UNICEF, the Salvation Army and Red Cross do this sort of thing d…

Alan Moore Doesn't Like Money But He Likes Darkness And The Occupy Movement

"Hollywood has not had an idea in at least three or four decades."

Alan Moore is an amazing writer and, as an anarchist icon and iconoclast (interesting that those two words have the same root), he's been in a bit of self-imposed exile from the mainstream, though not the world, for a while. Given that he created Watchmen, V For Vendetta, From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, one could imagine that his fame could be much, much larger than it is. He has released a number of graphic novels and even an LP over the last few years and is set to release a film with Mitch Jenkins, which he discusses in this video, but he has almost consciously avoided any sort of work with the mainstream since he finished up with "America's Best Comics" for DC Comics ten years ago.

There's alot of people that don't like him - especially his harsh attacks on comic book fanboys and an industry that caters to them. Nevertheless, his logic is hard to refute. Chec…

The Latest Picture Of Events In Ferguson, Missouri

Why War? The Military Industrial Complex Doesn't Care About You

In a recent speech, Pope Francis said bluntly that "our economic system leads to war." In an interview with Michael Maiello that I did for this website, Maiello said in response to one of my questions that "capitalism isn't designed to care and no amount of socially conscious corporate governance or philanthro-capitalism can change that.  We picked a system that makes it possible to manage materials but that doesn't meet human emotional needs at all."

War is an odd thing and I think those of us who have gotten old enough to have lived through several (either on the sidelines from much farther away or even in them) have recognized, whether we admit out loud, that the characters involved are almost superfluous. It's not about religion or skin color or geographic location. What is paramount is the need and desire for the war among its fiercest aggressors.

Decades after the Vietnam war, we began trading and accepting envoys from the Vietname…

Big Changes For Radical Second Things

Alot of people blog for free. I can understand that. Writing is therapeutic and stress relieving and there is gratification in knowing that your voice is being heard. The internet also makes it easier for the lowest and highest voices in the world to be heard instantaneously anywhere in the world from anywhere else in the world.

However, I need to eat and so does every other writer. I have advocated people reading this blog donate money and you still can do that:

I have also been putting a significant amount of time and energy in to figuring out how to monetize this website. Radical Second Things already has a partnership with PostJoint, a website that provides sponsored content for a reasonable fee, and that has earned me a respectable amount of money given the brief time this site has been around and its unsteady content. There will be even more.

I want this blog to be attractive to advertisers and investors so I am going to be working out a new graphic design scheme for the banner…

Kshama Sawant, Jess Spear, and the Uncompromising “Free” Market

 Seen above: Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant
This article was originally posted for the Hampton Institute.
As I am sure most Hampton readers know by now, socialist Kshama Sawant has been unusually successful in her progress as Seattle City Councilwoman. While it will take a good while to apply, she did succeed in pushing $15 minimum wage for the city of Seattle.
The Socialist Alternative movement continued with Jess Spear, who ran a pretty stellar campaign against Frank Chopp for the position of speaker. Nevertheless, Spear was “overwhelmed,” as the Seattle P.I. put it, with Chopp raking it 80 percent of ballots, and the explanations why are pretty storied.
Sawant’s honeymoon is over, especially among her more centrist-liberal backers. Liberal publications like ‘The Stranger’ and the ‘Seattle P.I.’ perhaps realized that when Sawant talked about “poorly paid workers and unpaid internships,” she may have been referring to organizations like their own, and not just corp…

Review: Shantaram

A little note: I am currently working on a book. This review will be going in to my book but I figured it would be ideal to share it with you first.

I am not sure what the setting should be for an epic novel but it seems clear that India would be one of them. India has over a billion people on a small subcontinent and, despite its own societal problems, seems to abstain from involvement in wars and armed conflicts. India is most often heard about for its up and coming appeal and its attraction as a place for investment and ingenuity in the future.

Ahmed Ghosh's book Sea Of Poppies set in motion the Ibis trilogy, a series of books that certainly illustrate the ability of India to be a setting for an epic literary adventure. There is a bit of a similarity between Ghosh's work and that of Gregory David Roberts. Some of the settings are even mirrors of one another, making me think that the authors were or are aware of one another. Both Ghosh and Roberts' books feature protagon…

Military, Empire and Why America Is A Loathsome Refuge

What the hell is wrong with America? That's what one is almost compelled to ask when they see what is occurring in Ferguson. There is something deeply warped about this country - something uniquely warped and it is puzzling for one to understand why it got so bad.

If one looks at the country of Australia, one will see all the excuses this country has had for why it has not taken care of its own people. Australia has a serious history of racism - Aboriginals represent a mixture of the American experience with Native Americans and African Americans - ghettoized, taken by force from their families and the subject of violence and riots.

There were race riots in Australia, back in 2005 - referred to as the "2005 Cronulla riots" in reference. There were pictures at the time of white youths pummeling black youths. If you look at the Wikipedia page, it appears like hate became uncorked just as it has here.

Except the pictures are so much different. Take a shot of the police duri…

Rand Paul Is To The Left Of HIllary Clinton

It's very foolish to put faith in politicians. Nevertheless, Rand Paul has come out swinging as one of the best hopes for reform in our deeply confused country. Paul has stood out on the correct side of most issues since Barack Obama became president, from the government shutdown to a potential war with Syria. His gravitas really came home in a jarring editorial he wrote on the police assault on the people of Ferguson, Missouri, which my editor at Hampton Institute found impressive as he acknowledged the deadly mix of institutional racism and militarism that created this. There weren't really any bones picked or sparsed with Paul - that editorial said bluntly that "we must demilitarize the police."

If we go by the traditional defnitions of "right wing" - unwavering faith in traditional centers of power and authority, lack of intrusion in the affairs of the corporations and the marketplace and an aggressive national defense, Hillary Clinton is by leaps and b…

Q&A With Michael Maiello On Robin Williams, Capitalism And Life

Michael Maiello is probably at the top of my list of internet and writing/publishing friends. He is a regular contributor at Dagblog and the author of several books and a comical play about the Iraq war. I have known him for three years now and he has helped me a bit - gotten me published and helped me through some traumatic life events such as my rehabilitation from SSRI antidepressant use and the loss of my fiancé Jennifer Reimer. He did all of this online too! Maiello, like me, is a deep thinker, and through our talks we don't really seek to avoid but rather to inform. This one is short but filled with some very weighty topics that I know are on many minds. Here goes.

What do you make of Robin Williams' death?
I can't claim to have ever been a huge Robin Williams fan so even though he's got an undeniable genius, this doesn't hit me the same way that other celebrity deaths have.  However, I agree with people who compare this death to both the suicide of David Fost…

Sponsored Post: 5 Of The Worst Attocities Against Women In Islam

The purpose of religion was to give people hope when times were troubled. As most religions were conceived when the society was not yet civilized, it is understandable that interpretation of religious scriptures has to grow as times change. Like most other religions, Islam too can be followed in a way that is peaceful and tolerant, like so many educated Muslims do.
A global poll conducted by Thomas Reuters Foundation revealed that among the 5 most dangerous countries in the world, 3 were Muslim dominated. But women in Iran like Nina Ansary have grown past the shackles that religious zealots impose on them. The women in Islam have faced many atrocities in the past and still do. Here are five of the worst atrocities against women in Islam –

1. Domestic Violence – The beating of wives, abusing them physically, is seen to be a tradition since early times. It appears to be an early tradition and was sanctioned by the society. Women were considered as good as slaves. Men could flog their wiv…

Tobit's Dog Review

Tobit's Dog articulates well how deeply reactionary and ignorant the Klan and white supremacy in the South was. It's a point that has been made thousands of times but can't be made enough - since the elements that caused it aren't completely gone no matter how far we have come. If you were not a WASP, you were dead meat in the Deep South:

Worst of all in the Klan’s eyes, unlike Harper Bay, where there were
separate churches, the white and colored Catholics actually went to the
same services here in Chatqua County. Years later he heard that one of
the Klansmen had pointed out that some of the coloreds from north of
Harper Bay had been coming into the county to attend those services.
Next thing you know, he had asserted, there’ll be Jews building one of
their Christless temples. It did not matter that there were fewer than
thirty Catholics in the county, and only six of them were colored; the
Klan hated Catholics near about as much as Jews and Negroes.
It made Tobit chuc…

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About Radical Second Things

Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

Mark Cappetta is a practicing Catholic and active LGBT activist. He has been instrumental in keeping Radical Second Things and updates the Facebook account almost daily.

Eva Gnostiquette is an artist, programmer, "future scientist," bi-trans girl and graphic designer. She voluntarily helped to create the first print issue Radical Second Things and designed our beautiful banners. Thanks so much, Eva!

Jordan Denato is a professional artist based out of Iowa. He took the initiative to illustrate both Jennifer Reimer's story and Michael Orion's Oscar Romero work. He has his own art studio, Tar and Feather Studios, and is a critical part of Radical Second Things.

Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

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