Author Archive | John W. Whitehead

America Breaks Down

“This country has been having a nationwide nervous breakdown since 9/11. A nation of people suddenly broke, the market economy goes to shit, and they’re threatened on every side by an unknown, sinister enemy. But I don’t think fear is a very effective way of dealing with things—of responding to reality. Fear is just another word […]

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Is Trump a Blessing?

“Jesus! Where will it end? How low do you have to stoop in this country to be President? … We’ve come to a point where every four years this national fever rises up — this hunger for the Saviour, the White Knight, the Man on Horseback — and whoever wins becomes so immensely powerful … […]

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If You’re Autistic, Deaf, Mentally Ill, Disabled, or Old

“Anyone who cares for someone with a developmental disability, as well as for disabled people themselves [lives] every day in fear that their behavior will be misconstrued as suspicious, intoxicated or hostile by law enforcement.”—Steve Silberman, The New York Times Life in the American police state is an endless series of don’ts delivered at the end of a […]

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How Freedom Dies

“Every day I ask myself the same question: How can this be happening in America? How can people like these be in charge of our country? If I didn’t see it with my own eyes, I’d think I was having a hallucination.”—Philip Roth, novelist It is easy to be distracted right now by the circus politics that […]

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American Power Corrupts Everything

“All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.”― Frank Herbert Power corrupts. Worse, as 19th-century historian Lord Acton concluded, absolute power corrupts absolutely. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about a politician, an entertainment mogul, a corporate CEO or a police officer: […]

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The Military-Entertainment Complex

“Mass shootings have become routine in the United States and speak to a society that relies on violence to feed the coffers of the merchants of death. Given the profits made by arms manufacturers, the defense industry, gun dealers and the lobbyists who represent them in Congress, it comes as no surprise that the culture of […]

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Neo-America

“The Fourth Amendment was designed to stand between us and arbitrary governmental authority. For all practical purposes, that shield has been shattered, leaving our liberty and personal integrity subject to the whim of every cop on the beat, trooper on the highway and jail official.”—Herman Schwartz, The Nation Our freedoms—especially the Fourth Amendment—are being choked out by […]

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Battlefield America Is the New Normal

“If we’re training cops as soldiers, giving them equipment like soldiers, dressing them up as soldiers, when are they going to pick up the mentality of soldiers? If you look at the police department, their creed is to protect and to serve. A soldier’s mission is to engage his enemy in close combat and kill him. […]

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