The Most Revolutionary Act

Diverse Ramblings of an American Refugee

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall
New Plymouth, New Zealand
December 02
Retired psychiatrist, activist and author with a new young adult novel - A Rebel Comes of Age - due for release on Dec 21, 2013. My 2010 memoir THE MOST REVOLUTIONARY ACT: MEMOIR OF AN AMERICAN REFUGEE describes the circumstances that led me to leave the US in 2002. More information about both books (and me) at




Edward Bernays

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds – Bob Marley, “Redemption Song”

Public relations is the polite term for the systematic dissemination of propaganda and disinformation by corporations and the corporate-Read full post »

MARCH 4, 2014 6:20PM

Confessions of a Carnivore

red meat

As a strong sustainability activist, I feel quite embarrassed admitting that I derive nearly all my dietary protein from animal sources (eggs and fish). Explaining why I do so is even more embarrassing, a 20-year chronic intestinal infection that makes it

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Population control is a taboo topic among in most sustainability circles. It shouldn’t be. According to a University of Oregon study, childbearing is the number one carbon intensive activity. Having just one has twenty times the impact of a lifetime of

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FEBRUARY 28, 2014 3:19PM

The Failure of Nonviolence

failure of nonviolence

The Failure of Nonviolence: From the Arab Spring to Occupy

 By Peter Gelderloos (2013 Left Bank Books)

Book Review

You occasionally read a totally mind bending book that opens up a whole new world for you. The Failure of Nonviolence  by

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FEBRUARY 26, 2014 2:05PM

NZ's Dioxin Legacy: Lies and Cover-up


The the long battle to get the New Zealand government to acknowledge the major health problems of dioxin-exposed New Plymouth residents (see my last post) first began in 1973. Instead of attempting to understand and address residents’ health problems, the New Zealand government, an… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 24, 2014 9:54PM

New Zealand's Love Canal

ivon watkins dow

(Note: this post should be of particular concern to Americans, as Dow is trying to get the USDA to approve a dioxin-related toxin, 2,4-D, as a weedkiller)

“I have long dreamed of buying an island owned by no nation and of establishing the world headquarters of the DowRead full post »

FEBRUARY 22, 2014 5:52PM

Lowering the Voting Age

vote 15 16

In late January, the British Labour Party announced that lowering the voting age to 16 would be one of the first acts of a new Labour government. According to Labour’s shadow justice secretary Sadiq Kahn, lowering the voting age is a crucial way of tackling “the/… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 19, 2014 8:22PM

The Case for Proportional Representation

proportional representation

The US, UK and Canada are the only western democracies that still conduct their national elections via archaic “winner takes all” systems. These so-call “first past the post (FPP)” voting systems only give people a choice between two corporate-sponsored candidates.… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 17, 2014 9:55PM

Activism in New Zealand

Maori protest

(The last of 8 posts describing my new life in New Zealand)

For me personally, the advantages of living in New Zealand far outweigh the negatives. One of the major positives is the greater willingness of Kiwis to get involved in grassroots

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FEBRUARY 15, 2014 1:18AM

In New Zealand We Call It Rogernomics

roger douglas

Roger Douglas, from Wikimedia

(The 6th of 8 posts about my new life in New Zealand)

In brief, the policies introduced by Minister of Finance Sir Roger Douglas in the 1980s included the rapid elimination of import tariffs that protected New Zealand farmers and manufacturers; rapid privatizati

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FEBRUARY 10, 2014 9:08PM

The Chile of the Pacific

Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman from Wikimedia Commons

(The 5th of 8 posts about my new life in New Zealand.)

An Early Laboratory for Neoliberal Reforms

Overall I have enjoyed numerous lifestyle advantages living in New Zealand. There are a few notable exceptions, of course, beyond

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FEBRUARY 9, 2014 2:46PM

The Common Misfortunes of Capitalism

cow in streamNote cow in stream

(The 5th of 8 posts about my new life in New Zealand)

Obviously there is both an upside and a downside to living in New Zealand. All developed and developing countries are forced to operate under the same corporate-dominated

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FEBRUARY 5, 2014 11:53PM

The Sacrifices of Empire

(The 4th of 8 posts regarding my 2002 decision to emigrate from the US to New Zealand)

It only became clear once I left the US the immense sacrifices Americans make for their cheap gasoline and consumer goods (see previous post). The most obvious is a range of domestic… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 5, 2014 2:20PM

American Ambivalence Towards Empire



(The 3rd of 8 posts about my decision to emigrate to New Zealand)

I had to move overseas before it sank in that Americans owe their high standard of living to US military domination of third world resources. The concept

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FEBRUARY 4, 2014 3:13PM

My New Expatriate Identity


(the 2nd of 8 posts about my new life in New Zealand)

For people over fifty, starting over in a new country is like dropping a lab rat in a gigantic maze. Like the rat, you suddenly find yourself in an alien

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(The 1st of 8 posts describing my 2002 decision to emigrate from the US to New Zealand)

When I finally left the US in October 2002, I had been thinking of emigrating for many years. In June 1973, I

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FEBRUARY 2, 2014 1:15PM

Progressives Who Oppose Gun Control

2nd amendment

I’ve always been curious how American progressives got on the anti-civil liberties side of gun control. It strikes me as a grave strategic error. I have written elsewhere about the extreme difficulty liberals and progressives face in engaging the working class.

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FEBRUARY 1, 2014 2:24PM

In Defense of Smokers


(An update of a blog I first posted in 2010)

As a doctor, I’m well aware of the negative health effects of smoking. Studies show a life time of smoking subtracts an average of ten years from your life expectancy. I’m

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In western countries, I see a frightening tendency to make sick people personally responsible for being ill. We are all bombarded with constant media messaging that anyone can stay healthy if they eat the right foods, exercise, and manage

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Contrary to popular belief, the primary determinant of your lifelong health status and life expectancy has nothing to do with your weight, fitness level and whether you smoke. According UW epidemiologist Dr Stephen Bezruchka, the most important determinant of your adult health status/… Read full post »


Liberals and progressives frequently bemoan the

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JANUARY 28, 2014 2:41PM

Deer Hunting with Jesus


Deer Hunting with Jesus

by Joe Bageant

Book Review

Deer Hunting With Jesus is a graphic account of the abandonment of the white working class by the American left. And how this left the door wide open for right wing

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JANUARY 27, 2014 8:20PM

Where the Mask Comes From


Britain's Famous Anarchist Superhero

I have spent the last few days enjoying the ten-issue graphic novel whose superhero “V” wore a Guy Fawkes mask that Anonymous has adopted for their hactivist campaign against banks, defense contractors, the Pentagon,

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JANUARY 26, 2014 4:38PM

A Primer on Anarchism



Revolt! – The Next Great Transformation from Kleptocracy Capitalism to Libertarian Sociasm through Counter Ideology, Societal Education, and Direct Action

By Dr John Asimakopoulos (2011 Transformative Studies Institute Press)

 Book Review

The general public has a lo

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JANUARY 25, 2014 5:58PM

The Me-Too Drug Ripoff


In addition to the billions of health care dollars drug companies waste on disease mongering (see earlier posts), billions more are wasted on developing and marketing hundreds of “me-too” drugs. By definition, a “me-too” or “copycat” drug is a very

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