Essays & Videos

Is “Human Nature” a Barrier to a World Without War, Environmental Destruction and Inequality?

The following is a transcript of a talk I gave to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County at their Sunday Service on 4-10- 16. It is their custom for speakers to begin with a children’s story, after which the children leave the main congregation for Sunday School. I chose a selection from A.A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh.” This is the reason for my reference to Winnie the Pooh in my talk below. The talk itself is available as a podcast at

The Foxconn Con

A gush of political hot air accompanied the announcement in late July that Foxconn, a Taiwan based electronics manufacturing giant, would locate a new plant with 13,000 workers near Kenosha, Wisconsin. President Trump blustered that this is another step toward “making America great again by bringing in ‘middle class’ jobs.” He went on to predict that Foxconn would ultimately bring 50,000 new jobs to the American homeland. Governor Scott Walker proclaimed that this was “a once in a century opportunity.” But he cautioned that the deal is contingent on his re-election, claiming that a previous deal with Foxconn in another state was quashed when its governor was defeated.Wisconsin’s Foxconn deal includes $200 million in taxpayers’ cash going to Foxconn each year for 15 years, adding up to $2.85 billion.

Breaking Our “Mind Forged Manacles” In An Age Of Global Violence

A Message to The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County, Wisconsin, June 14, 2015‍I must confess to being a bit of a news junky. I start the day looking at a variety of news sources on TV, read various accounts during the day, more TV news in the evening…to the point where my grand daughter once said to me: “Grandpa, why do you keep watching all this depressing stuff.”

Police Violence and “Race” in a Disorderly World

The national outrage over the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and other black men by the police and the failure of authorities to indict the police officers responsible is best understood by understanding what “race” means in the U.S. at this time. Consider the following ideas.

The New World Disorder and the Environment

On September 21, well over 300,000 people demonstrated in New York City against global warming and there were many other demonstrations in cities around the world. The New York march was attended by many luminaries such as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and New York Mayor Bill DiBlasio. The following day there was an even more militant march called “Flood Wall Street” where demonstrators were pepper sprayed by police and 104 people were arrested including a super hero named Captain Planet and a polar bear who was angry about the loss of Arctic ice cover. There were many other demonstrations around the world that didn’t get the publicity of the New York actions but represented a massive movement to stop carbon emissions associated with climate change. Millions of people are both angry and frightened about human induced climate change.‍

The New World Disorder and U.S. Military Policy

My 10 year old granddaughter has never experienced a time when her country wasn’t at war. Her older sister who is 17 can’t remember such a time. Children in nations like Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Palestine have lived their lives directly confronted each day with the horrors of wars in which the U.S. was directly or indirectly involved. For all of these children war is normal and an era of peace unknown. During their lives, the U. S. has not only been waging war in many parts of the world but has implemented an unprecedented increase in the militarization of the U.S. border with Mexico; it has outfitted domestic police forces with weapons and equipment designed for combat, and generated an extensive program of domestic surveillance that includes U.S. citizens. The question I will explore in this essay and have developed in greater detail in my book, New World Disorder: The Decline of U.S. Power, is why.

Does Military Spending Make the U.S. Economy Stronger?

In several discussions of my book New World Disorder: The Decline of U.S. Power, people have asked me about the impact of U.S. military spending on the economy. In the book, I contended that military spending and government spending generally are contributing to the present economic crisis. One person disputed this saying he could see no difference between the government purchasing drone missiles and a worker buying a washing machine in terms of impact on the economy. Both, he argued, stimulate the hiring of people to make something. I disagree. The purpose of this essay is to elaborate and explain my view on the question.

David Ranney Lecture at Great Cities Institute - UIC

Dave Ranney, Professor Emeritus in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at University of Illinois at Chicago, presents his arguments from his most recent book, New World Disorder: the Decline of US Power on March 19, 2014.