Jeff Riggenbach, RIP

My dear old friend Jeff Riggenbach died today.

Jeff was a brilliant writer who penned two pieces on Randolph Bourne, the namesake of Antiwar.com’s parent foundation, The Randolph Bourne Institute.

As a teenager, I was a news junkie. (That never changed.) I listened regularly to KFWB News radio in Los Angeles. One of their anchormen, Jeff Riggenbach, had a distinctive baritone voice. When I was 19, I was doing a bit of selling marijuana. A friend came to tell me of someone who wanted to buy a pound. I told him to bring his friend by. When the friend arrived and started talking, I said “You’re Jeff Riggenbach!” “I’m aware of that,” he replied.

Over the years I met Jeff over and over at events and homes of friends. In 1978 we were working in the same offices, Jeff at Libertarian Review and me at Students for a Libertarian Society. We became fast friends.

The Mises Institute says this about Jeff:

Jeff Riggenbach is a journalist, author, editor, broadcaster, and educator. A member of the Organization of American Historians and a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute, he has written for such newspapers as the New York Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle; such magazines as Reason, Inquiry, and Liberty; and such websites as LewRockwell.com, AntiWar.com, and RationalReview.com. His books include In Praise of Decadence (1998), Why American History Is Not What They Say: An Introduction to Revisionism (2009), and Persuaded by Reason: Joan Kennedy Taylor & the Rebirth of American Individualism (2014). Drawing on vocal skills he honed in classical and all-news radio in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston, Riggenbach has also narrated the audiobook versions of numerous libertarian works, many of them available on Mises.org.

Jeff was a brilliant and creative man. He died at 74 after a long illness. He made the world better and his passage is a great loss. I will miss him very much.

Call for International Day of Action on Yemen on Monday, January 25, 2021

From the Stop the War Coalition:

Antiwar, Yemeni, and humanitarian organizations from across the world are coming together to call an international day of action on January 25th 2021. We are asking organizations to call protests in towns and cities around the world.

This is a situation in which action can make a difference. The Saudis are making no headway in the war. Their war coalition cracked in 2019 when the UAE pulled out and they face serious economic problems at home. International opinion against the war is growing and leading politicians in the West, including President-elect Joe Biden, have been forced to speak out against it.

We call on people around the world to protest the war on January 25, 2021, just days after Biden’s inauguration and the day before Saudi Arabia’s ‘Davos in the Desert’ Future Investment Initiative.

Find your local protest or list your protest here.

Biden Could Reverse Six Harmful Israel Policies… With the Only Power That Stops Israel’s Lobby

Public confrontations with the Israel lobby’s systemic encroachments are the only means for politicians to beat it. In 2020 Minnesota Representative Betty McCollum stopped a massive coordinated Israel lobby media smear campaign in its tracks by accurately labeling AIPAC as a "hate group." Biden has the power to do the same, but unfortunately his entire career has been in servitude to injustice when it comes to Israel Palestine.

The Biden administration assumes power claiming it will reverse Trump administration policies it claims are harmful to Americans and the rest of the world. Biden will end the so-called Muslim ban – Executive order 13769 – on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The US will rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate change and cancel the Keystone XL pipeline. Biden will issue mask mandates, extend moratoriums on evictions and even rejoin the World Health Organization.

Absent from the announced Biden 100-day program are any proposed reversals of Israel policies implemented by the Trump administration that seriously harm the United States and rest of the world. Rolling back those policies would require bucking the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) which closely coordinates its activities with the Israeli government. One way to corral AIPAC would be to actually enforce the 1962 Department of Justice order that AIPAC register as an Israeli foreign agent.

Continue reading “Biden Could Reverse Six Harmful Israel Policies… With the Only Power That Stops Israel’s Lobby”