1) The United States government (largely through the CIA and its predecessors) is directly responsible for the overthrow of at least half a dozen democratically elected governments around the world over the past hundred plus years.
2) The U.S. military is currently deployed in over 150 countries around the world. That’s over three quarters of all the supposedly independent countries on the planet.
3) The U.S. is single-handedly responsible for the total global prohibition of recreational drugs and the police state that goes hand in hand with efforts to curtail their production, distribution, and use.
4) While no longer the largest contributor of greenhouse gases thanks to China’s rapid industrialization in recent years, the U.S. continues to be the greatest impediment to concerted global action on addressing anthropogenic climate change.
Pundits and hyper-patriots love to talk about “American exceptionalism.” In plain terms this translates as, “Don’t mind us. We’re just better than you.” How incredibly arrogant and off-putting to everyone else. It seems to go hand in hand with another favored myth, “Manifest Destiny,” which supposedly justified our genocidal land grab against the native inhabitants of North America. It also ties into “God Bless America,” which implores the all-powerful creator of the entire universe to play favoritism with one particular segment of upright primates, who happen to live within an arbitrarily delineated geographic region of one small planet, circling an ordinary yellow star, in the outer reaches of one of at least a hundred billion galaxies. Wow. Furthermore, if we’re going to talk the talk, we sure as hell better walk the walk to back it up. As related above, our actions continually fall far short of the lofty rhetoric we proclaim to the world (and to ourselves). No wonder there’s so much rampant anti-Americanism on display among the other ninety-five percent of humanity.
The great irony of it all is that I guarantee many people will read this article and consequently brand me a traitor, a naysayer – any number of derogatory, reactionary terms to draw attention away from things they would prefer not to think about and certainly don’t want advertised. While not surprising, it’s profoundly discouraging (not to mention childish, unfair, and counterproductive.) It’s like a monkey throwing poo at his handler for bringing him medicine.
Source: Uncommon Friends: Life with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel & Charles Lindbergh (1987) by James Newton, p. 31.
The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches From The Front Lines
By Dr. Michael Mann, Ph.D
Columbia University Press; Cost $10 to $30 (
Available in paperback )
Imagine a place where you and your family are threatened, your employer pressured by the most powerful people on earth to fire you, your email hacked and posted by the usual suspects in accusatory snippets, and where a mysterious letter containing white powder mixed in with tons of traditional hate mail land in your inbox. A suspected communist sympathizer during the McCarthy era, or a Muslim in the wake of 9-11? Nope. All because you helped make one of the most important scientific discoveries in a generation. That’s life in the land of the free and the home of the brave for prominent climate scientists these days, which is why I’m personally thrilled to feature one today who not only didn’t shrink an inch, he is fighting back, hard. . . .