John Buell

John Buell has a PhD in political science, taught for 10 years at College of the Atlantic, and was an Associate Editor of The Progressive for ten years. He lives in Southwest Harbor, Maine and writes on labor and environmental issues. His most recent book, published by Palgrave in August 2011, is "Politics, Religion, and Culture in an Anxious Age." He may be reached at

Articles by this author

"Throughout Central America extreme inequality along with ruthless and repressive governments have led to a pathological politics." (Photo: @NIJC/Twitter) Views
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Look Deeper: Child Detention and the US’s Paramilitary Politics Abroad
Attorney General Sessions didn’t lose any sleep over those children forcibly separated from their parents. He maintained most of the asylum seekers will be denied because “many of them . . . like to make more money . . .” Unfortunately, however, when children are used as bargaining chips we may...
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Wednesday, May 02, 2018
Who Is the Real Nuclear Threat?
Recently there was an extraordinary moment on corporate television. Earlier this week, CNN 's Chris Cuomo asked Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "Does Israel have nuclear capabilities and nuclear weapons, yes or no?" Netanyahu responded evasively, claiming: "we've always been the first to...
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Saturday, April 21, 2018
Students as Debt Slaves
Periodically the so-called deficit hawks—a club whose membership includes prominent members of both parties—warn us of the dire consequences of burgeoning government debt. Many propose such harsh remedies as balanced budget amendments. Yet while these warnings and draconian responses are...
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Tuesday, March 13, 2018
On False Alarms and Nuclear Realism
Sometimes life throws a bouquet our way, a little message that could make our lives better if only we scooped it up. The recent mistaken test of Hawaii’s nuclear warning system—complete with the false admonition that “this is not a drill”-- should be an occasion to examine the prevailing “realism”...
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A fireworks display in London marks the start of 2018. (Photo: Amanda Slater/flickr/cc) Views
Sunday, January 07, 2018
2017: Corporate Sins of Commission and Omission
As 2017 drew to a close, corporate media often presented some retrospective commentary on the most significant stories of the year. I would like to take the beginning of the new year as an occasion to award our media for some of the most outrageous, even reckless performances of the year. My lead...
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"Things have not worked out and privatization has become a means by which politically and socially well positioned have increased their power." (Photo: Donald Trump/cc/flickr) Views
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Will Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Become Another Attack on Democracy?
President Trump promises rapid economic growth compliments of his tax cut. Even if he is correct, however, the private sector expansion he celebrates will likely leave huge holes acknowledged even by many conservative economists. California is burning. Our highways, sewers, bridges, and tunnels are...
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"Not only did the Kennedy Administration pour fuel on the fire of the arms race, it practiced nuclear brinksmanship of the most dangerous sort." Views
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
President Trump: Nuclear Business As Usual?
Last winter when President-elect Trump tweeted: “United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes,” the tweet was portrayed as shockingly new and threatening. As President, Trump continues his inflammatory...
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Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Naomi Klein and the Quest for Environmental Justice
More than a program for economic and ecological renewal Naomi Klein’s No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need is a thoughtful analysis of how we have arrived at this point in our politics. Both rigorous and readable it is hard to put down. It spares no one,...
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Is Trump’s Infrastructure Plan an Attack on Democracy?
President Trump has pledged that his administration will soon propose a really big infrastructure program. Congress will likely debate its size and whether it will be financed through deficits or taxation. There are other issues at least as important. With our highways, sewers, bridges, and tunnels...
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Monday, May 01, 2017
Rural Consciousness and Democratic Politics
The loss of the so-called flyover states was the key—and very surprising—factor in Hillary Clinton's loss of last year's presidential election. Some pundits attributed the outcome to racism among white rural voters and even blamed these voters for supposedly making choices harmful to their own...
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