About John Peeler

John Peeler is a retired professor of political science at Bucknell University, specializing in Latin American and international affairs. His op-ed essays have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor and USA Today, as well as many in local papers in central Pennsylvania where he lives. He has had letters published in both the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Future of Capitalism? A Feast for the Far-Sighted

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John Peeler: If anything is to destroy capitalism, it will be the global ecological crisis brought on by the modern industrial society that is capitalism’s most characteristic feature.

Ukraine: A Feast of Fallacies

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John Peeler: The world is messy and complicated. It’s easy to miscalculate, and when multiple actors pile one miscalculation on another, the consequences are always un intended, and usually unpleasant.

Obama: Don’t Just Walk It, Talk It!

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John Peeler: Obama’s policy is to avoid getting into new conflicts and to get us out of the ones we’re in — not about policing the world.

Where Obama’s Done Well

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Obama Victories: Obamacare will change the provision of health care in this country by giving every American adequate health care free.

A New New Deal

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Equality and Democracy — Progressives should be prepared for the long game, building critical mass to seize the national agenda.

Democracy’s Global Dilemmas in 2014

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Global Dilemmas — It was a great gift when Karzai refused to allow American troops to remain. We should take that gift.

George Will: Off the Reservation, Again!

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George Will Mandatory Sentencing — With the folly of mandatory sentencing, Will seems to be pleading that we just stop making things worse.

NSA Loses a Round

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NSA Ruling — At least the issues can now be argued in court. Thank you, Edward Snowden!

Mandela: Africa Without Him

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John Peeler: He might have died in prison, tortured, broken, disappeared. And yet we can scarcely conceive how his country, his continent, the world would have been different without him. That is the measure of his greatness.

What To Say When They’re Ready to Talk

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John Peeler: Suppose that employers could get rid of their healthcare paperwork obligation, offloading it onto the federal government: we could back into single payer as a way to respond to employers.

Debt Ceiling: Obama’s Nuclear Option?

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John Peeler: If President Obama defers to Congress and accepts a default on the debt, with its attendant catastrophic economic consequences, he would be a party to Congress’ violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Obama, Putin, and Assad: It Just Gets Weirder

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John Peeler: Obama faces the likelihood of a defeat in Congress (and in public opinion), after which he would have to choose between acting anyway, in total political isolation, or backing off and looking weak. Either way he would look foolish.

Syria: Just Say No

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John Peeler: Barack Obama, apparently against his better judgment, is about to feed our nation’s addiction to addressing insoluble problems with bombs, with predictably perverse results. He ought to “just say no.”

Obama’s No-Fingerprints Foreign Policy

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John Peeler: It seems that Obama wants to collect intelligence just as badly as Bush ever did, but he doesn’t want us to know.

Egypt and the Arab Spring

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John Peeler: There cannot be democracy in Egypt, or elsewhere in the Middle East, unless the Islamists are brought in, and eventually brought around to accepting that electoral victories do not confer absolute power.

Liberals vs. Democrats in the Arab World

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John Peeler: Democracy in the Middle East as a whole, not just in Egypt, means Islamists in power, and it won’t be liberal. And as long as the urban, educated sectors and the military are opposed to Islamist democracy, it cannot be stable.

Voting Rights Act: Time to Make Lemonade

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John Peeler: Scalia, Roberts and their colleagues probably think they’ve struck a death blow to the Voting Rights Act, without actually ruling it unconstitutional. Time to prove them wrong.

Class, Moral Economy, and Protest: Brazil and Venezuela

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John Peeler: Even though Brazil has made progress in reducing inequality, it is clear that most people, even in the middle class, struggle daily to make ends meet.

Is Obama Dick Cheney’s Secret Love Child

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John Peeler: What is the common denominator of all these scandals? Simple: Obama is acting like a Republican! It was Nixon, after all, who had his “Enemies List.”

Coming to Terms with Iran

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John Peeler: Flynt and Hillary Leverett, almost alone among the Washington foreign policy elite, have for a decade been making the case for serious diplomatic engagement with the Islamic Republic.

Ríos Montt: Accountability at Last

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John Peeler: The transition to democracy, now 30 years old, has passed a major test with the trial and conviction of Ríos Montt. The impediments to full democratization remain huge, but there is still good cause for Guatemalans to celebrate.

Gullible’s Travails: Abuse and Scandal Around Obama

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John Peeler: Obama’s also gullible in failing, after more than four years, to grasp just how obsessed the Republicans are with making him fail, without regard to the consequences for the country.

Exceptional: But Not in a Good Way

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John Peeler: On guns and prisons, we are more like a Third World country than like other rich nations. On health care, Third World countries simply cannot afford to waste the amount of money we do. And it is doubtful that we can, either.

Margaret Thatcher: Like Reagan, She Casts a Long Shadow

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John Peeler: As with her ideological and political soul-mate, Ronald Reagan, her aggressive advocacy of both free-market economics and nationalist foreign policy established new parameters in her country’s politics.

Hugo Chávez: Rise and Demise of a Radical Democrat

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John Peeler: If Chávez’ elected predecessors had been serious about raising the living standards and life prospects of the poor majority, he would have been no more than a disgraced coup-plotter, a cashiered Lieutenant Colonel.

From Shining City on a Hill to Lighthouse on the Rocks

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John Peeler: A generation ago, even conservatives would acknowledge the need for stimulus, not deficit-reduction, at a time like this. That consensus is gone. The Tea Party is getting its wish: a government that cannot act.

A Decade of Droning

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John Peeler: We urgently need, as a society, to figure out how to contain the president’s war powers without crippling the president’s ability to defend us. When we finally decide that the most urgent threat comes precisely from the president, will it be too late?

Retirement: The Last Entitlement

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John Peeler: Since we glorify competition as good for both individuals and society at large, why not treat retirement as a job for which you apply? Then we could be sure that only the fittest, those most qualified, would get to retire.

Making the Electoral College Even More Undemocratic

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John Peeler: hese proposals are so blatantly discriminatory that even courts that have been tolerant of redistricting manipulation will have to take notice.

Cliff Notes

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John Peeler: Speaker Boehner’s debacle in failing to get his own caucus to support his “Plan B” is not only his failure, it shows the complete disarray of the congressional Republican Party.

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