Original caption: The Courtroom of the Supreme Court showing Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Bench Chair and the Bench in front of her seat draped in black following her death on September 18, 2020 (Wikimedia Commons)

On September 18, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died from complications related to pancreatic cancer. She was 87 years old and was surrounded by loved ones at the time of her death. Thousands attended a vigil outside the Supreme Court building and innumerable additional events took place in her honor throughout the country. Ginsburg was the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court and became known as a feminist icon and a pioneering advocate for women’s rights due to her dissenting opinions in cases like Gonzales v. Carhart, Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., and Burwell v…


“When war is declared, truth is the first casualty.”
-Arthur Ponsonby

On January 24, a headline in the right-wing Washington Times read, “Coronavirus may have originated in a lab linked to China’s biowarfare program.” The claim was largely debunked and ignored. However, the story was then notably resuscitated by Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin in April. By the end of the piece, Rogin admitted, “We don’t know whether the novel coronavirus originated in the Wuhan lab.” Shortly thereafter, the claim spread to Fox News and other mainstream outlets. …

A segment of Diego Rivera’s “Man at the Crossroads” featuring depictions of Leon Trotsky, Friedrich Engels, and Karl Marx (Wikimedia Commons)

As a socialist writer who has been regularly producing political commentary for the last three years, I’ve made some observations about the state of the American Left and it’s potential future prospects. Though my political education began with reading authors like Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn nearly two decades ago, I have more recently evolved in my political tendency and now consider myself a Marxist-Leninist. With the advent of Bernie Sanders and the prospects for social democracy in the United States, I was both inspired and frustrated during recent years.

My political views changed significantly over the course of the…


America is the Fyre Festival of countries. It is pure hype with little to no positive results. It is a back-alley drug deal culminating in a sweaty palm gripping a wrinkled bag of oregano. It is broken promises, shattered dreams, and shameful regret. All our lives we are told with inflated enthusiasm, with charismatic apologia, that America is a spectacular monument to freedom and democracy, a “shining city upon a hill” and a beacon to lesser nations. We are told our country is “exceptional.” …


A lot has happened during the last year. There was an unprecedented global pandemic that is still raging out of control in parts of the world. A man named George Floyd was murdered. If Floyd had been born white, he would likely still be alive. A massive protest movement erupted, some say the largest in U.S. history. The perpetrator was arrested. The protest movement continued. People began questioning the very notion of policing — embracing ideas like defunding and abolition.

Now the perpetrator has been convicted, but what happens next?

A heartening aspect of these events was the tenacious spirit…

A Palestinian boy and an Israeli soldier in front of the Israeli West Bank Barrier (Wikimedia Commons)

An op-ed by Jason Horowitz headlined “Stop Calling Israel Apartheid” appeared in the Times of Israel blog section today. This is my response.

While discussing the recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) report concluding that Israeli policy constitutes the crime of apartheid, Jason Horowitz never articulates a strong personal position on whether he agrees with this assessment. The closest he comes to a judgement on this controversial term is in his last paragraph, which could be interpreted as a denial that apartheid exists in the West Bank. However, the time period he references was before two major reports were released. Furthermore…

A work of fiction in which each sentence begins with a sequential letter of the alphabet

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Audrey was despondent. Better days had come and gone, and this formerly lighthearted service industry worker had developed a bleak outlook. Cinnamon and ginger filled the air — scents that were known to please most patrons, but not her — not anymore.

During her break, Audrey contemplated the dreams she had as a child, all those aspirations and fantasies that had not come to pass. Eventually, the sentiment became ominous, as though the weight of reality was crushing her, pummeling her sore feet into the tiled floor.

Feeling a bit disoriented, Audrey reached for a pint glass filled with dark…

White discomfort is a necessary component in our effort to defend Black lives

A photograph taken during the 1963 March on Washington (Unsplash.com)

*While this is a true account, pseudonyms and small fictionalizations were used to protect the identities of the subjects described herein.

I only recently unearthed dormant childhood memories of my Aunt Karen referring to Brazil nuts as “n***** toes.” She said it a number of times over the course of many years. Was it five times? Was it more? I couldn’t be sure. But I realized that, at the time, I didn’t understand the meaning behind this strange phrase. …

Wikimedia Commons

A pleasant surprise arrived on the annual stoner holiday known simply as 4/20. After a tumultuous year of monumental protests during the deadliest pandemic in recent history, a verdict on the Derek Chauvin case was finally reached. As CNN reported, “Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted on all charges in the death of George Floyd,” and “faces up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder and up to 10 years for second-degree manslaughter.”

Understandably, celebrations ensued.

But before the dust had settled, we received heart-wrenching news that another Black…

A work of fiction


Many years ago, I visited a museum exhibiting the work of Mark Lombardi, a conceptual artist who researched “the political and social terrain” that surrounded him. Over the course of several years, Lombardi mapped his findings in an aesthetic manner, constructing unique visual representations of complex financial transactions involving war, drug trafficking, exploitation, imperialism, terrorism, and other forms of social injustice. The diverse array of subjects included the bin Laden family, the Italian Mafia, prominent religious figures like Pat Robertson, former presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and more.

Lombardi’s final collection of diagrams, entitled “Global Networks”, was drawn…

Matthew John

Communist. Herbivore. Husband. Artist. I primarily write about politics and history. My work has also been published by The Hampton Institute.

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