Thursday, October 30, 2014
Ann Jones
The Missing Women of Afghanistan: After 13 Years of War, the Rule of Men, Not Law
On September 29th, power in Afghanistan changed hands for the first time in 13 years. At the Arg, the presidential palace in Kabul, Ashraf Ghani was sworn in as president, while the outgoing Hamid...
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Ronnie Cummins
All Out for November 4th: Frankenfoods Fight at the Crossroads
On November 4, final votes will be tallied in two hard-fought and highly publicized state mandatory GMO food labeling ballot initiatives: Measure 92 in Oregon and Initiative 105 in Colorado. It is no...
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Richard Eskow
Corporations Act To Make Congress A Wholly Owned Subsidiary
As Election Day approaches, two reports show us exactly how corrupted our political system has become. Unless voters come out in force, it looks like corporate money is about to buy itself another...
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Amy Goodman
The Republicans’ Profane Attack on the Sacred Right to Vote
There is a database housed in Arkansas with your name in it ... that is, if you live in one of the 28 states participating in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. It’s one of the...
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Winnie Byanyima
Inequality Is Not Inevitable: It’s Time to Even It Up!
This January, Oxfam revealed that the richest 85 people in the world possess the same amount of wealth as the world’s poorest 50 per cent. Our report caught the public’s imagination, and keyed into a...
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Robert C. Koehler
Democracy's Most Cherished Act
Democracy! A word, a way of life, our highest ideal: Everyone is equal; no one is marginal. I still feel the force of this word, though the middle syllable — “mock” — grows increasingly dominant when...
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Mohammed Mesbahi
Rise Up America, Rise Up!
The time has come when America must rapidly transform its values through a more inclusive and spiritual vision, based upon a just sharing of the world’s resources. It is up to you, the youth of...
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Karl Nerenberg
Do Canada's Police and Spies Need More Power?
On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry used the 't' word -- terrorism -- to describe the violent events of last week in Ottawa and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. It's not surprising, since the...
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Jay Stanley
Ebola: Travel Bans, Quarantines, and Political Courage
The political reaction to Ebola has been a study in contrasts. On the one hand, we see some leaders insecurely trying to prove their “Ebola-fighting bona fides” by racing to go beyond what public...
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Evan Walker-Wells
Blocking the Youth Vote in the South
First they were supposed to vote early -- in a nightclub . Then students, employees, and faculty at North Carolina's Appalachian State University were supposed to vote early a mile from the farthest...
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Mark Morford
Don’t Believe Women Are Endlessly Harassed? Watch This
It’s a little surprising someone didn’t think of this before. But here it is: hard evidence, irrefutable proof, upwards of 100 undeniable examples revealing just what kinds of casual, routine...
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Katrina vanden Heuvel
Justice for Edward Snowden
It is time for President Obama to offer clemency to Edward Snowden, the courageous U.S. citizen who revealed the Orwellian reach of the National Security Agency’s sweeping surveillance of Americans...
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Mary Fitzgerald
TTIP: The Most Important Thing You‘ve Never Heard Of
Well, thanks to some encouraging ruckus in the last few months, you may actually have heard of TTIP: the anodynely-acronymed “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership”. In plain English, it’s a...
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Dean Baker
The Blame Teachers Game: Has Anyone Heard of the South?
Frank Bruni's column complaining about teachers and teachers unions undoubtedly has millions asking, "is our pundits learning?" The proximate cause is a soon to be published book by Joel Klein, the...
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Jim Hightower
Speech for Sale: How Toxic Slime-Fests Can Shrivel Voter Turnout
When five Supreme Court justices decreed that corporations are entitled to full free speech rights in our elections and that corporate money is a form of speech that can’t be restricted, they...
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Kevin Gosztola
The FBI Impersonated the Press to Catch a Bomb Threat Suspect
Both the Associated Press and Seattle Times are outraged that the FBI impersonated the Seattle Times in order to transmit malware to a bomb threat suspect so his location would be revealed. In June...
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Paul Pillar
The Arab Spring Hangovers
Look across North Africa, and at three adjacent countries in particular, and one can see the best and some of the worst of what the Arab Spring has produced so far. Comparing the experiences of the...
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Peter Hart
Nonvoters Are People Too
There's plenty of chatter about the upcoming midterm elections out there–though, as the right-wing Media Research Center ( 10/22/14 ) recently reported, not very much on the high-profile network...
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Marcy Wheeler
Are FBI and NCTC Trying to Pressure Prosecutors to Charge the Second Intercept Source?
Citing “law enforcement and intelligence sources who have been briefed on the case,” Michael Isikoff reports that the government has identified “the second leaker” — a source of information on drone...
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Robert Naiman
Concerned About ISIS, But Also About Endless War? Back Limits on the Use of Force
In response to the U.S. bombing of Islamic State ["ISIS"] fighters in Iraq and Syria, which Congress has never explicitly approved, Members of Congress long concerned about presidents and Congresses...
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Jesse Hagopian
Why This Public High School Walked Out on Budget Cuts
Seattle’s Garfield High School has once again moved into collective struggle—and we may to find out today if one of us is to be displaced from the building or if the power of protest has kept us safe...
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Sarah Anderson
The London Whale-Sized Loopholes in Wall Street Pay Reform
Just weeks after his first inauguration, President Obama delivered a landmark speech on the dangers of over-the-top Wall Street pay. Today, more than five years later, he’s still nagging regulators...
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Richard Eskow
GOP Betrays Social Security-Cutting Dems: Who Could’ve Seen It Coming?
Who could’ve seen it coming? Progressives could be forgiven for developing something of a Cassandra complex when it comes to the Democratic Party’s economic stances. Here’s the latest case in point:...
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Robert Reich
Empathy Deficit Disorder
Commenting on a recent student suicide at an Alaska high school, Alaska’s Republican Congressman Don Young said suicide didn’t exist in Alaska before “government largesse” gave residents an...
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Allan J. Lichtman
Pass the ACHE Act and Stop Destroying Appalachia
"It's time that the political games end and that we pass the ACHE Act, end mountain top removal coal mining and protect Appalachians from this concerted attack on our lives for coal. The supporters...
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Paul Buchheit
Grim Numbers from the 2014 Global Wealth Report
Global inequality, like global warming, is a disease that may be too far along to ever be cured. We seem helpless, both in the U.S. and around the world, to stop the incessant flow of wealth to an...
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Adam Federman
Deep Undercover: Police Officer in UK Fathered a Child with an Activist as Part of an Investigation
What are the limits — if any — to undercover policing? At what point is a moral, ethical, or legal threshold crossed when an undercover operative insinuates himself into a targeted group or the lives...
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Henry Farrell
Big Brother’s Liberal Friends
It is strange that the Obama administration has so avidly continued many of the national-security policies that the George W. Bush administration endorsed. The White House has sidelined the key...
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Alicia Ely Yamin
Ebola, Human Rights and Poverty – Making the Links
CAMBRIDGE, Massachussetts, Oct 27 2014 (IPS) - The catastrophic Ebola crisis unfolding in West Africa offers many lessons, not least for global anti-poverty efforts. These will culminate in a set of...
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Asher Miller
The Revolution That Wasn’t: Why the Fracking Phenomenon Will Leave Us High and Dry
America’s energy landscape has undergone a dramatic shift over the last decade—literally and figuratively—as a result of the widespread use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking...
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Monday, October 27, 2014
Andy Rowell
Big Oil Sets Up Crude Export Lobby Group
The growing political fight over relaxing America’s decades-old crude export ban intensified at the end of last week, when 14 oil and gas firms set up a lobbying group specifically to push to relax...
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Jon Walker
US For-Profit Health Care Industry is Always Innovating New Ways to Steal Your Money
The New York Times offers yet another example of the ongoing problem of consumer protection whac-a-mole . While the Affordable Care Act was meant to offer at least some limits on what people pay for...
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Pierre Tristam
Ebola Isn’t a Problem in the US. Hysteria and Xenophobia Are.
One of Philip Roth’s last books, published four years ago, was called “Nemesis.” It takes place in Newark in 1944. A polio epidemic is ravaging the city. There’s panic. There’s suspicion. There’s...
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Bill Moyers, Michael Winship
Don’t Let Them Silence You: Vote, Dammit.
Our country’s oldest and longest struggle has been to enlarge democracy by making it possible for more and more people to be treated equally at the polls. The right to participate in choosing our...
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Chris Hedges
The Myth of the Free Press
There is more truth about American journalism in the film “Kill the Messenger,” which chronicles the mainstream media’s discrediting of the work of the investigative journalist Gary Webb, than there...
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Rory Fanning
Why Do We Keep Thanking the Troops?
Last week, in a quiet indie bookstore on the north side of Chicago, I saw the latest issue of Rolling Stone resting on a chrome-colored plastic table a few feet from a barista brewing a vanilla latte...
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Michael Parenti
1918: On When a War Ended (Though Others Would Follow)
Looking back at the years of fury and carnage, Colonel Angelo Gatti, staff officer of the Italian Army (Austrian front), wrote in his diary: "This whole war has been a pile of lies. We came into war...
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Sunday, October 26, 2014
Emily Schwartz Greco
No Happy Ending to the Child Refugee Crisis
Did you notice that all that fuss over those Central American kids who were crossing the U.S. border alone suddenly died down? As recently as June, more than 10,000 children fleeing unchecked gang...
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Kate Aronoff
Ferguson Organizers Carry Momentum Into the Fall
Michael Brown’s murder this summer prompted a new wave of popular interest in state violence against communities of color. In mid-October, organizers from around the country gathered outside of St...
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Rania Khalek
Why Do Media Value Israeli Children’s Lives More Than Those of Palestinian Kids?
A young Palestinian man named Abd al-Rahman al-Shaludi rammed his car into pedestrians exiting the Ammunition Hill light rail station in northern Jerusalem on Wednesday, killing three-month-old Haya...
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Tamanna Rahman, Brendan Smith
Nurses Emerge as Front Line 'Climate Workers'
As the Ebola outbreak continues to dominate headlines, so too do the stories of health care workers fighting to contain the disease. The climate crisis is morphing into a public health crisis ,...
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Saturday, October 25, 2014
Kate Aronoff
Occupy Democracy Brings London a Blast From Its Past
Inspired partially by Occupy Central in Hong Kong, London’s newly formed Occupy Democracy is being called a revival of Occupy London, which for a brief time in 2011 served as a major center of the...
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César Chelala
Ebola Threatens West Africa's Economic Survival
Just as the African countries were overcoming the devastating effects of the AIDS epidemic, Ebola’s most recent epidemic is causing tremendous damage to the countries were the infection by the Ebola...
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Ralph Nader
Piercing the Technology Bubble
This weekend, October 25 and 26 , I will be joining leading critics, from the United States and abroad, of corporate-controlled technologies, who are also proponents of appropriate technologies for...
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Christopher Brauchli
Heather and the Alfalfa Sprouts
“If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble. . . “the law is a ass, a idiot.” — Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist As a reward for those who read my musings faithfully, I am always pleased when I can give...
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Samia Hossain
Odds Are, You Are Suspicious
When you get off a train, do you get off ahead of passengers? Or do you get off behind passengers? When you're going on a trip, do you come off as nervous? Or are you an unusually calm traveler? How...
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Friday, October 24, 2014
Victoria Bassetti
When It Comes To Torture, Silence Is Bipartisan
Torture politics makes for strange bedfellows. For those of you who think the Obama Administration doesn’t know how to work with Republicans, think again. North Carolina’s Republican Senator, Richard...
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Rainey Reitman
Snowden's Motivation: What the Internet Was Like Before It Was Being Watched, and How We Can Get There Again
Laura Poitras’ riveting new documentary about mass surveillance gives an intimate look into the motivations that guided Edward Snowden, who sacrificed his career and risked his freedom to expose mass...
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Laura Carlsen
The Mass Shooting in Mexico
Following a week of accolades abroad , President Enrique Peña Nieto returned home to face the worst political crisis of his administration. Protests rage after local police forcibly disappeared 43...
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Victor Menotti
'Koch Congress' Could Make Oligarchy Official
At a time when most Americans agree that the country has too much power in too few hands, the world’s two wealthiest men are only six seats away from seizing the Senate and consolidating their...
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Peter Hart
The Big Problem With Time's Teacher-Bashing Cover Story
With a cover that announces "Rotten Apples: It's Nearly Impossible to Fire a Bad Teacher" alongside an image of a judge's gavel about to smash a fruit, you might suspect Time magazine ( 10/23/14 ) is...
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Rebecca Smith
It Takes a Village to Enforce Fair Wage Laws
Seattle made history in June when it became the first major city in America to pass a livable minimum wage of $15 an hour. Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and other cities around the country are...
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Tom Engelhardt
Stand Tall America, We’re #1! (When It Comes to Our Military Budget, Knocking Off Wedding Parties, Military Bases, etc.)
We’re now passing through a no-name election season of a particularly lusterless sort, but don’t count on that for 2016. Here, in fact, is a surefire prediction for that moment, which (given the...
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Diane Ravitch
On TIME Magazine's Attack on America's Teachers
TIME Magazine has a cover story called “Rotten Apples,” in which it falsely asserts (on the cover) that “It’s Nearly Impossible to Fire a Bad Teacher. Some Tech Millionaires May Have Found a Way to...
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William Greider
What Would Bernie Do?
Whether or not Senator Bernie Sanders decides to run for president in 2016, we can count on him to serve as creative provocateur. The political gremlins hired to manage candidates and campaigns set...
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Emily Wurth
When Will EPA Meet with Residents Harmed by Fracking?
For over a year now, residents from communities affected by drilling and fracking for natural gas have tried to meet with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Specifically, residents from three affected...
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Sonali Kolhatkar
Stranger Than Fiction: ‘Citizenfour’ Is a Dire Parable of Whistle-Blowers and Government Spying
Laura Poitras seems to have an instinct for a good story. In an interview on “ Uprising ” about her new film “ Citizenfour ,” she told me, “When I first started receiving these anonymous emails [from...
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Shahid Mahmood
Harper and Malala
Ian Fleming famously wrote, "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times, it's enemy action." The day Malala Yousafzai was to be conferred with an honorary Canadian citizenship, a...
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Ray McGovern
Citizenfour’s Escape to Freedom in Russia
In early September in Russia, National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden told me about a documentary entitled “Citizenfour,” named after the alias he used when he asked filmmaker Laura...
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Thursday, October 23, 2014
Carolyn Raffensperger, Kaitlin Butler
Economics As If Future Generations Mattered
We have turned a corner on climate change -- a wrong turn-- and it is happening more rapidly than we have predicted. Climate change is already disrupting society, ecosystems, and national economies...
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Karl Nerenberg
Who are the Victims of Wednesday's Attacks at the War Memorial and on Parliament Hill?
The news that a soldier was shot at the War Memorial broke at just before 10.00 a.m. Wednesday, October 22. On CBC Radio One's local Ottawa newscast, reporter Giacomo Panico breathlessly described...
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Peter Hart
Chuck Todd, Militarism and Media Diversity
To his credit, NBC Meet the Press host Chuck Todd is doing interviews with some press critics; he spoke to NYU professor Jay Rosen ( 10/9/14) recently, and also to liberal watchdog group Media...
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Brandon Buskey
Pushed into Homelessness by Their Own Government
On the outskirts of Florida's Miami-Dade County, dozens of individuals formerly convicted of sexual offenses live as exiles on an abandoned strip of land near a railroad track. The area has no...
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Damian Kahya
What’s at Stake as EU Leaders Sit Down to Hammer out the Next Batch of Energy and Climate Targets?
Renewables targets, gas wars, power outages and nuclear subsidies - possibly the biggest energy issues over the past few years and all linked in one way or another to deals made in the EU over the...
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David Bromwich
The Importance of Being Exceptional
The origins of the phrase “American exceptionalism” are not especially obscure. The French sociologist Alexis de Tocqueville, observing this country in the 1830s, said that Americans seemed...
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Rajesh Makwana
The Coming Financial Crisis: A Harbinger of World Renewal?
A full six years after the global financial crisis, not only have governments failed to rethink the way we organise our economic systems, but politicians across the world have pressed forward with an...
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Kayla Schultz
Wind and Solar Create More Jobs When They’re Locally Owned, Report Finds
At last month’s People’s Climate March, among the most popular signs were ones supporting renewable energy like wind and solar as the best way to avoid a climate catastrophe. And because of the...
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Terrance Heath
Rev. William Barber’s New Book Reminds Us Why We Must Vote
With Election Day just two weeks away, the words of Paul Wellstone Citizen Leadership Award recipient and Moral Mondays movement leader Rev. William Barber remind us, “If we ever needed to vote, we...
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John Feffer
The Sum of Our Fears
We who live in the industrialized world have put up a large retaining wall to safeguard us from the horrors that have plagued humanity throughout history. We no longer worry on a daily basis about...
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Nelofer Pazira
Ottawa Shooting: Harper’s Pro-US Agenda Has Turned Canada into a Target – and Divided Society
The safest country in the world is no longer a safe place and many Canadians will be asking today whether this is because the Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper pushed Canada into joining the...
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Robert C. Koehler
One My Lai a Month
“When somebody asks, ‘Why do you do it to a gook, why do you do this to people?’ your answer is, ‘So what, they’re just gooks, they’re not people. It doesn’t make any difference what you do to them;...
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Medea Benjamin
Don’t Ask the Pentagon Where Its Money Goes
President Barack Obama proudly signed the law that repealed the Pentagon’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, freeing lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans (although not trans people ) to openly serve in...
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Jeremy Scahill
Blackwater Founder Remains Free and Rich While His Former Employees Go Down on Murder Charges
A federal jury in Washington, D.C., returned guilty verdicts against four Blackwater operatives charged with killing more than a dozen Iraqi civilians and wounding scores of others in Baghdad in 2007...
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Miriam Pemberton
Combat vs. The Climate: The Military and Climate Security Budgets Compared
As the U.S. debates the President’s plan for new military engagement, hundreds of thousands converged on New York to urge the world’s nations to take stronger action against the threat of climate...
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Glenn Greenwald
Canada, At War For 13 Years, Shocked That ‘A Terrorist’ Attacked Its Soldiers
UPDATE : Multiple conservative commentators have claimed that this article and my subsequent discussion of it are about this morning’s shooting of a solider in Ottawa . Aside from the fact that what...
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Michael Winship
Chevron Greases Local Election With Gusher of Cash
When the Citizens United decision came down in 2010, many feared the Supreme Court had unleashed vast and unfettered campaign contributions from corporations bent on tightening their hammerlock on...
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Peter Hart
A 'Worthless and Whiny' Attack on a Genuine Journalistic Hero
In 1996, in the wake of his explosive "Dark Alliance" series for the San Jose Mercury News ( 8/18-20/96 ), the Washington Post was one of the major newspapers to attack Gary Webb ( FAIR Blog , 10/21/...
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Robert Reich
Getting a Grip on Ebola
We have to get a grip. Ebola is not a crisis in the United States. One person has died and two people are infected with his body fluids. The real crisis is the hysteria over Ebola that’s being fed by...
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Jim Hightower
Going From One Bad War to a Worse One
In 2004, Stuart Bowen of Texas was asked by a friend to take on a difficult and important job, which he did. Bowen's friend was George W. Bush, and the job was to investigate corruption and waste in...
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Jamil Dakwar
Will Obama Follow Bush Down the Made-Up Torture Loophole?
Twenty years ago, the United States ratified an international treaty banning the use of torture and cruelty worldwide. Three successive American presidents, with bipartisan support, threw their...
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Ramon Mejia
I, Too, Cry Justice for Jennifer
As a former US Marine, I am disgusted to learn about the killing of Filipina transgender woman Jennifer Laude in Olongapo City, with USMC Private Joseph Scott Pemberton as the prime suspect. I am...
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Dr. Hakim
My Father Was Killed by a Computer, Says 7-Year-Old Afghan Child
Imal, a 7 year old Afghan student in the 2nd grade, came to visit us in Kabul. As Imal grew up, he kept asking his mother where his father was. His mother finally told Imal that his father had been...
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Sarah Byrnes, Orion Kriegman
New England Can Feed Itself: A Vision for Regional Food Resilience
Earlier this month, one hundred people gathered at a church in Jamaica Plain, MA, to consider this question: Can New England Feed Itself? The answer is yes, New England can feed itself – at least...
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Michael Halpern
800+ Scientists Urge Greater Freedoms for Canadian Government Experts
New restrictions have made it difficult for scientists around the globe to collaborate with Canadian government scientists. In response, more than 800 scientists from 32 countries have signed a...
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Karen Greenberg
Will the US Go to "War" Against Ebola?
These days, two “wars” are in the headlines: one against the marauding Islamic State and its new caliphate of terror carved out of parts of Iraq and Syria, the other against a marauding disease and...
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Sha Grogan-Brown
One Month After Historic People’s Climate March, 'Climate Action' from Global Leaders Still Disappointing
It’s been one month since the largest climate march in history, and recent “Climate Action” pledges from global leaders like the Department of Defense, President Obama and the United Nations do not...
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Eugene Robinson
Where Too Many Democrats Refuse, Elizabeth Warren Makes a Powerful Case
Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she isn’t running for president. At this rate, however, she may have to. The Massachusetts Democrat has become the brightest ideological and rhetorical light in a party...
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Dean Baker
Ebola Hysteria Fever: A Real Epidemic
Thus far, the Ebola virus has infected three people in the United States that we know of, however Ebola hysteria seems to have infected somewhere close to 300 million. There are reports of kids being...
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Matthew Dominguez
More Self-Inflicted Wounds for the Meat and Dairy Industries
As we look ahead to the future of meat, dairy and egg production, it is important to reflect on why these industries are so desperate to close the factory doors on transparency. Sunshine is the best...
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Monday, October 20, 2014
Murray Dobbin
From Israel to ISIS: Harper's 'Orwellian' Foreign Policy
It's getting difficult to remember a time when the Canadian Parliament actually tried to make principled decisions regarding foreign policy and our place in the community of nations. But we should...
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Maude Barlow
Everyone in Detroit Should Have Access To Clean Water
Today, two UN experts, Catarina de Albuquerque, the special rapporteur on the human right to drinking water and sanitation and Leilani Farha, the special rapporteur on housing, will visit Detroit...
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Michael Waldman
How the Supreme Court Made a Mess of Our Voting System
Alexis de Tocqueville famously observed in 1835, “Scarcely any political question arises in the United States that is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question.” That certainly...
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Marcellene Hearn
The Torture Secrets Are Coming
Once you've seen the Abu Ghraib photos , they're not easily forgotten. The hooded man, the electrodes, the naked bodies piled upon each other, and the grinning soldier with a thumbs up. The images...
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Sam Pizzigati
On a Top-Heavy Planet, Nordic Nations Show Path to Healthier Wealth Equity
The latest annual Global Wealth Report from the Credit Suisse Research Institute has everything you would expect from a report on global wealth. And one thing you wouldn’t: a mystery. The media...
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Kwei Quartey
What West Africa Can Teach the US About Ebola
When the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital missed a crucial diagnosis of the Ebola virus and released Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan to go home, it unleashed a sequence of events that is still...
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Harvey Wasserman
When Solartopia Transcends King C.O.N.G.
A green-powered future is our only hope. A planet run by King CONG —Coal, Oil, Nukes & Gas—cannot be sustained. But to get beyond it, our Solartopian vision must embrace more than just a...
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Robert Freeman
ISIS: A Monster Created by the West
It is a laughable routine of the mass media to demonize all of the leaders of U.S. enemies as latter-day Hitlers. Saddam Hussein was a Hitler. Hugo Chavez in Venezuela was a Hitler. Gaddafi in Libya...
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Chris Hedges
The Imperative of Revolt
TORONTO—I met with Sheldon S. Wolin in Salem, Ore., and John Ralston Saul in Toronto and asked the two political philosophers the same question. If, as Saul has written, we have undergone a corporate...
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Laura Poitras, Tom Engelhardt
Edward Snowden and the Golden Age of Spying
Here’s a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! stat from our new age of national security. How many Americans have security clearances? The answer : 5.1 million, a figure that reflects the explosive growth of...
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Rose Ann DeMoro
Help Stop Ebola by Telling Congress and the White House to Order Hospitals to Put Safety Standards First
Now that nurses, who have been sounding the alarm about Ebola for more than two months, finally have the attention of policy makers and many others, let’s have no more excuses and take the steps...
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