I provide analysis and commentary from outside the standard framework, challenging mainstream narratives, exposing government and media propaganda, and broadening the scope of the discussion.
I am an award-winning independent political analyst, author, and founding editor and publisher of Foreign Policy Journal.
In 2009, I received a Project Censored Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for my coverage of the US’s support for Israel’s 22-day full-scale military assault on the Gaza Strip, “Operation Cast Lead” (Dec. 27, 2008 – Jan. 18, 2009). As a result, I also wrote the update for that year’s Project Censored story number nine, “US Arms Used for War Crimes in Gaza“, which was featured in the book, Censored 2010: The Top 25 Censored Stories of 2008-09 (Seven Stories Press, 2009).
I am the author of two books, The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination: The Struggle for Palestine and the Roots of the Israeli-Arab Conflict (2009) and Ron Paul vs. Paul Krugman: Austrian vs. Keynesian Economics in the Financial Crisis.
My forthcoming book is Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Subscribe to my free newsletter to receive updates and exclusive inside looks at the book, as well as to be notified when it becomes available. You can click here to contact me. Also be sure to connect with me on social media!
After graduating from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a B.S. in Communications (emphasis in Film and Video), I made a decision that would end up forever changing my life in completely unforeseeable ways. Encouraged to make the leap and accompanied by an old friend, I moved to Taipei, Taiwan, with the idea that I would teach English there for a half-year or so before returning to whatever career I might pursue in the US.
I ended up staying for twelve years.
We had purchased our tickets to Taiwan the week before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. When that event occurred, I asked myself, “Why would anybody want to do this?” I found the answer provided by the US government, that the attacks were committed because the perpetrators hate our freedom, to be entirely unsatisfactory.
Arriving in Taipei the following month with nothing but a backpack and a few dollars in my pocket, I set up camp in a hostel and spent my days sightseeing and scouting for a teaching job. Although I had no experience, I managed to get hired before my cash ran out. Before I was able to afford my own apartment and buy a computer, I discovered an internet cafe nearby the hostel, where I began making daily visits in part to search for the answer to my questions about 9/11, among countless other subjects I read about with a voracious appetite (believe it or not, I had never much used the internet before, and if memory serves it actually wasn’t until I arrived in Taipei that I used Google for the first time).
I began to question not only the motive for the 9/11 attacks, but the official narrative of the events of that day, as well. It very quickly became clear, for example, that when top government officials claimed that they had no idea the attack was coming, they were lying.
As I dug deeper and deeper, it also became apparent that the government was going to try to use the 9/11 attacks as a pretext to invade Iraq. Throughout the latter half of 2002 and up until the war was launched on March 19, 2003, I was writing emails home to friends and family, warning them that the government was lying, that there was no evidence Iraq still possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or had ties to Al-Qaeda.
I continued educating myself in my spare time and sharing knowledge with others via email until someone suggested that I just start my own website. So I did. After several years, in addition to my personal site, I decided to start a new website where I publish not only my articles, but others’, as well. In 2008, I launched a new online source for news, analysis, and commentary on US policy and international affairs: Foreign Policy Journal.
Not long after launching FPJ, my coverage of Israel’s December 2008 to January 2009 military assault on Gaza (“Operation Cast Lead”) was recognized with a Project Censored Award.
When the massacre was over, I made up my mind to write a book about it. But I felt that the story of the punishment of Gaza and US support for it should be placed within a broader context. It was important to understand why the conflict has persisted for so long and why peace is so elusive, which required an examination of the conflict’s root causes. I set about researching and writing, and the result was The Rejection of Self-Determination: The Struggle for Palestine and the Roots of the Israeli-Arab Conflict, which I decided to publish as a separate book that would serve as a kind of prelude to the main book idea I had.
I continued to write articles about the conflict and other topics. One subject I began to focus increasingly on was the economy. I felt that an understanding of economies and financial interests was essential for proper analysis of foreign policy so began studying. I was naturally drawn to those economists who to me actually made sense, which meant those from the Austrian school of economic thought, such as Murray N. Rothbard, who quickly became my new favorite author.
In May 2011, I started writing my book on Operation Cast Lead and the US role in the conflict. While working on that, I took a little sidetrack in early 2012 during the presidential campaign season, with Ron Paul as a candidate and the economy a big focus of the discussion. I had some things I wanted to say so set out writing an article to compare the records of Ron Paul and Keynesian economist Paul Krugman to document how Ron Paul had accurately forecast how Fed policy would result in a housing bubble that would precipitate a financial crisis while Krugman had continually advocated the very same Fed policy. With the article becoming quite long, and with the consideration in mind of possibly self-publishing my book on the Palestine conflict, it became the book Ron Paul vs. Paul Krugman: Austrian vs. Keynesian Economics in the Financial Crisis.
Creating that book allowed me to say what I wanted to say about the economic situation while also giving me some more learning experience with publishing. My end conclusion from that experiment was that, rather than submit my main book project to a traditional publisher, I would start my own publishing company and do it on my own. I was pleased that without spending a dime on marketing, Ron Paul vs. Paul Krugman had enough word of mouth publicity that it ended up getting reviewed in no less prestigious a financial publication than Barron’s.
Then in fall of 2012, my life changed dramatically. My wife and I had a son. And, as much we liked our apartment in the north part of Taipei at the foot of the mountains, because we felt it would be a better environment for him to grow up (among other reasons), we decided to move back to my home state of Michigan. So in spring of 2013, on the back of one huge life change, we made another, leaving the financial security of our private English tutoring business behind for me to pursue writing as a full-time career. (Our golden retriever, Leia, came with us, too.)
In addition to being a contributing writer to FPJ, I have also occasionally written for other online and print publications, including The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and Barron’s (to my good fortune, I ended up getting acquainted with the editor who wrote the review of my book, and that relationship led to me in turn writing a few reviews for Barron’s).
It’s been a struggle, but so far I’ve managed to continue publishing Foreign Policy Journal and have completed the manuscript for Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, which will be available soon. I believe this is an important book that, with your help and activism, will have a positive impact on history. Noam Chomsky, who has been a major influence on my thinking and writing, has called it “carefully documented and highly informative study” that is “a welcome and timely contribution” and “a very impressive piece of work”. Stay tuned! For updates and exclusive sneak peeks at the book, please sign up to get my emails.