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Tuesday, November 25, 2014
John A. Powell
A Response to Ferguson: Systemic Problems Require Systemic Solutions
Last night, like many across the world who were watching, we experienced deep disappointment in the decision by the St. Louis County grand jury not to indict Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren...
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Peter Hart
Big Media’s Crummy Advice for Democrats
Before anyone even knew just how badly the Democrats would get trounced in the 2014 midterm elections, some pundits were already sending the party a message: Be more like the Republicans. Now they...
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Gareth Porter
'Coercive Diplomacy' and the Failure of the Nuclear Negotiations
After more than a year of negotiations between the United States and Iran, the two sides have failed to reach an agreement by the agreed deadline in July. They have agreed to continue negotiating,...
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Isaiah Poole
Do Americans Really Want Hillary Clinton’s ‘Vital Center’?
Hillary Clinton invoked what she called the “vital center” in a speech before the New York Historical Society this past weekend as the place where most Americans want their politicians to be. But...
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Derrick Z. Jackson
Hysteria over Ferguson Grand Jury an Indictment of America
Even though a grand jury did not indict a white police officer in the killing of an unarmed black 18-year-old man in Ferguson, Missouri, the national hysteria leading up to decision is a fresh...
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Noam Scheiber
The St. Louis County Prosecutor Implicitly Conceded the Need for a Trial
Here is the irony of St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch’s announcement Monday night that a grand jury had declined to indict officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown: The...
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Alejandro Frid
Protesting on Burnaby Mountain Was My Obligation as a Scientist, Parent and Canadian Citizen
Harper’s conservative government is working hard to turn Canada into a petrostate. Their tactics include blatant inaction on climate change, dismantling environmental legislation, stripping...
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Carol Anderson
Ferguson Isn’t About Black Rage Against Cops. It’s White Rage Against Progress.
When we look back on what happened in Ferguson, Mo., during the summer of 2014, it will be easy to think of it as yet one more episode of black rage ignited by yet another police killing of an...
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Harvey Wasserman
Ask Not What Your Planet Can Do For You...
The images we ingest never cease to shape us. Just 51 years ago, the head of a profoundly gifted young man was blown apart. A few months earlier he’d given a speech that promised a new dawn. He...
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Adam Parsons
In Praise of Russell Brand’s Sharing Revolution
The political conversation on sharing is growing by the day, sometimes from the unlikeliest of quarters. And at the present time, there is perhaps no-one calling louder for a new society to be based...
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Dr. Hakim
Not Again, Mr. Obama! On ‘A More Expansive Mission’ in Afghanistan!
President Obama has authorized ‘a more expansive mission for the military in Afghanistan in 2015 than originally planned’. Imagine that, like the late U.S. war veteran Jacob George, you’re sent on...
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Tom Engelhardt
Iraq War 4.0?
Let’s play a game, the kind that makes no sense on this single-superpower planet of ours. For a moment, do your best to suspend disbelief and imagine that there’s another superpower, great power, or...
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Randall Amster
Ferguson: Cover of Darkness, Rays of Light
The announcement arrived at the telegraphed moment, conveniently scheduled for prime time in most zones. A decision said to shed light on a matter of national importance is revealed only after dark,...
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Mychal Denzel Smith
No Indictment for Darren Wilson, No Justice for Black Lives
It has now been announced that Officer Darren Wilson will not be indicted on criminal charges for the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown. But the writing has been on wall as well, and on the bodies...
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Monday, November 24, 2014
Medea Benjamin
Hagel’s Departure Should Open Debate on Obama’s Wars
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was supposed to steer the Pentagon away from a decade of war, including bringing US troops home from Afghanistan and paving the way for a reduction in the Pentagon...
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Marcy Wheeler
As Obama Embraces Multi-Fronted War, He Fires Chuck Hagel
In recent days, the press has reported that President Obama signed an order (or on second thought, maybe it’s just an unsigned decision that can’t be FOIAed , so don’t start anything, Jason Leopold)...
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Trevor Timm
Obama's New Leader at the Pentagon Will Mean More War – Not Less
Chuck Hagel resigned as US defense secretary on Monday morning , and the Obama administration must be ecstatic that the Washington press is agrip with the perennial Beltway question: “Was he fired or...
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Oscar Reyes
Rich Countries Pony Up (Some) for Climate Justice
It’s one of the oldest tricks in politics: Talk down expectations to the point that you can meet them. And it played out again in Berlin as 21 countries—including the United States—pledged nearly $9...
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Andrea Palframan
Can a First Nations-led Movement Stop Big Oil?
Can a First Nations-led, people-driven movement really have the power to stop Big Oil? The folks behind the Pull Together campaign think so. The Pull Together initiative supports First Nations in B.C...
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Dave Zirin
What the Media’s Not Telling You About the Late Marion Barry
A bevy of right-wing pundits, radio jocks, and late-night comics will mock the passing of four-time DC Mayor Marion Barry. In life and death, his enemies will take their shots without trying to...
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Chris Hedges
Why We Need Professional Revolutionists
No revolt can succeed without professional revolutionists. These revolutionists live outside the formal structures of society. They are financially insecure—Vladimir Lenin spent considerable time in...
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Juan Cole
Israel and Mississippi: Racist Plans for 2nd Class Citizens and Religious Legislation
The Guardian reports that “A controversial bill that officially defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people has been approved by cabinet despite warnings that the move risks undermining...
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Andrew Bacevich
Malarkey on the Potomac: Five Bedrock Washington Assumptions That Are Hot Air
“Iraq no longer exists.” My young friend M, sipping a cappuccino, is deadly serious. We are sitting in a scruffy restaurant across the street from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Manhattan’s...
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Paul Buchheit
7 Candidates for Corporate Rip-Off of the Year
There are so many to choose from. Every one of these selections is an act of corporate treachery that takes billions of dollars from the American people. 1. Selling Medication For Up To 100 Times...
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Sunday, November 23, 2014
Chemi Shalev
Top 20 Reasons We Leftists are Losing the Battle for Israel
1. Because the right has cornered the whole deal, cause and effect, chicken and egg, lock stock and barrel. First it laments that Israel has no partner, then it makes sure to undermine those that are...
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David Sánchez
The Last Straw for Irish Citizens: The Struggle Against Water Charges
A European country in crisis. Men in black come to the rescue. With the complicity of the national government, they impose painful measures on the population. Men in black never forget to be nice to...
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Sue Sturgis
Tallying Up Returns on Corporations' Political Investments
Amount that the 200 most politically active corporations in the U.S. spent on federal lobbying and campaign contributions between 2007 and 2012, according to a new report from the Sunlight Foundation...
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Kevin Horrigan
Halcyon Days for Rational Man
These are hard times for Compassionate Man. Every place he turns, Rational Man kicks sand in his face. Compassionate Man would like to bop Rational Man on the beak, but he can’t, because he’s...
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Christopher Brauchli
JPMorgan Chases Profits
Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. The Lord’s Prayer Here are some of the good things JPMorgan has done in recent years. In 2012 it reduced the compensation of Jamie Dimon, its chairman...
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Saturday, November 22, 2014
Kathy Kelly
Obama Extends War in Afghanistan
News agencies reported this morning that weeks ago President Obama signed an order, kept secret until now, to authorize continuation of the Afghan war for at least another year. The order authorizes...
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Bill Quigley
Warning to Ferguson Police: Protesters Win Millions for Police Misconduct
Police officers should approach Ferguson protestors with caution and fully respect their constitutional rights. That is the clear message from recent court awards and settlements against police force...
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Philip Caper
How ACA Fuels Corporatization of American Health Care
A new Harvard study has found that Americans’ trust in the medical profession has dropped dramatically in recent years and lags behind that in many other wealthy countries. At the same time, doctors...
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Sandra Steingraber
Why I Am in Jail
Breakfast in the Chemung County Jail is served at 5 a.m. This morning—Friday, November 21, 2014—it was Cheerios and milk plus two slaps of universally-despised “breakfast cake.” Along with trays of...
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Robert Freeman
Cold War 2.0 Not a Likely Win for the U.S.
November marks the 25 th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. One of the totemic structures of the Cold War came down. But with conflict between the U.S. and Russia heating up again, is...
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Ralph Nader
Big Pharma—Crony Capitalism Out of Control
Two recent news items about the voracious drug industry should call for a supine Congress to arouse itself and initiate investigations about the pay-or-die drug prices that are far too common. The...
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Friday, November 21, 2014
Nusrat Choudhury
Movement for Racial Justice Runs Wide and Deep
“Everyone is aware of race. Dealing with racism is another matter,” said a keynote speaker at Facing Race 2014: A Multi-Racial, Intergenerational Gathering for Racial Justice Advocates . I joined...
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Manuel Pérez Rocha, Julia Paley
What “Free Trade” Has Done to Central America
With Republicans winning big in the midterm elections, the debate over so-called “free-trade” agreements could again take center stage in Washington. President Barack Obama has been angling for “fast...
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Michelle Chen
What Will Happen to the Immigrants Left Out of Obama’s Executive Actions?
In his speech last night announcing his latest executive action on immigration policy, President Obama took great pains to tell the country what his new immigration policy is not: it is not “amnesty...
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Andrew Jones
The Long, Brutal History that Predicts Darren Wilson Will Get Off Scot Free
It’s an outcome that will appall many Americans, sparking outrage not only in Ferguson but throughout the country. And despite all of that, it’s an outcome that will not surprise any black person,...
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Robert Weissman
The US-China Emissions Deal Likely Meaningless
Is the US-China climate change agreement a big deal? Yes and no. It is quite a significant and consequential political achievement. But it is not particularly important in its direct effect on...
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Ray McGovern
CIA’s Torturous Maneuvers on Torture
“CIA may revamp how it is organized” announced a front-page Washington Post headline leading into an article based on remarks by unnamed “U.S intelligence officials” to the Post’s Greg Miller. The...
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Bill Moyers, Michael Winship
Dividing the Spoils
We’ve been watching Congress since the mid-term elections and reading Zephyr Teachout’s terrific history book, Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United . That...
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Prerna Lal
Executive Action on Immigration: Good, Bad, and Ugly
I went to bed last night mentally doing a checklist of everyone I know who qualifies and does not qualify under the President’s immigration action. As a community advocate and formerly undocumented...
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Ethan Cox
Clayoquot Sound 2.0: In Praise of the Climate Warriors of Burnaby Mountain
“It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now?” – Rage Against the Machine Late Monday afternoon a court injunction came into effect...
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Jay Walljasper
Walking is Going Places: Foot Power, Happiness, and the Common Good
Walking is going places. Humans’ most common pastime--forsaken for decades as too slow and too much effort-- is now recognized as a health breakthrough, an economic catalyst and a route to happiness...
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Louisa Loveluck
This Egyptian Girl Died After Undergoing FGM. Why Has No One Been Held to Account?
Dr Raslan Fadl's waiting room, nestled in the Nile Delta's sprawling flatlands, is a bustling place, busy with patients. Yet, just over a year ago, a child died here - in his recovery room. The...
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David Ragland
Wrong Priorities in Ferguson and Beyond: We Must Invest in Communities, Not Violence
In the lead-up to the grand jury outcome in the Michael Brown murder the St. Louis and Ferguson-area police have ramped up their preparation with stockpiles of more weapons and rhetoric that...
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Terrance Heath
Preparing For Injustice vs. Preparing for Justice in Ferguson
In Ferguson, Missouri, citizens and activists prepare for injustice, while government and law enforcement prepare for outraged reaction to injustice. But what about preparing for the justice Ferguson...
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Jim Naureckas
PBS to Treasury Official: 'Why Can't You Just Bomb Them?'
PBS NewsHour correspondent Margaret Warner ( 11/18/14 ) had on the US Treasury official, David Cohen, who's in charge of trying to counter ISIS by cutting off its finances. But it seems like it's...
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Thursday, November 20, 2014
William Greider
Should We Impeach Chief Justice John Roberts?
Republicans like to talk about impeaching President Obama, but there is a far more deserving candidate for impeachment—Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court. While the Republicans in...
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Egberto Willies
The MayDay SuperPAC: A Lesson in Failure
Lawrence Lessig’s MAYDAY.US ( Mayday SuperPAC ) was an ambitious project. It exploded onto the scene with a mission to change the direction of the electoral process. Their website lists a four step...
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Amy Goodman
Keystone, Climate Change and the Cold
It was a dramatic scene in the Senate this week. As Sen. Elizabeth Warren, presiding, announced the defeat of the Keystone XL pipeline, a Crow Creek Sioux man from South Dakota sang out in the Senate...
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Jeff Bachman
'Foreign Victims of America’s Wars' Day
As Billy finds in Slaughterhouse V , the destruction caused by war cannot be rewound; it cannot be undone. Those who were killed stay dead. Children who lost parents stay orphans. And parents who...
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John R. MacArthur
How the New York Times Tries to Marginalize the Left
Among the several depressing outcomes of the midterm elections, perhaps the saddest has been the media establishment’s refusal to draw conclusions that run counter to the ones promoted by self-...
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Glen Ford
Ferguson Struggle Has Already Altered Black Politics
After Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon notified the National Guard that he might be calling on their services any day now and declared a state of emergency in anticipation of massive demonstrations, he...
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Nick Turse
A US Base Camp, an Authoritarian Regime, and the Future of U.S. Blowback in Africa
Admit it. You don’t know where Chad is. You know it’s in Africa, of course. But beyond that? Maybe with a map of the continent and by some process of elimination you could come close. But you’d...
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Brendan Fischer
Should Obama Use Executive Action on Immigration? Ask Ronald Reagan.
Republicans and right-wing groups like the Heritage Foundation are howling that President Obama will use executive action to defer deportation for some undocumented immigrants -- and trying to deny...
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Dean Spade
Remembering Leslie Feinberg—A Queer and Trans Fighter for Justice
I will never forget the first time I saw Leslie Feinberg speak – New York City, 1996. The auditorium was full of young people like me who had read Stone Butch Blues and wanted to hear about gender...
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Gwendolyn Ann Smith
Why We Still Need Trans Day of Remembrance
In 1998, spurred on by the murder of Rita Hester in Allston, Mass., I founded the Remembering Our Dead web project to chronicle those lost at the hands of anti-transgender violence. In 1999 the...
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Howard Friel
Obama’s Commitment to Nuclear Weapons Violates the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
There are two major threats to life on Earth—nuclear weapons and climate change. A recent decision by President Obama has heightened both threats. Two months ago, the New York Times reported that the...
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Kul Gautam
US Missing in Child Rights Convention
KATHMANDU - On Nov. 20, the whole world will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the world’s most universally ratified human rights treaty, the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)...
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Kathy Kelly
'Uncomplicated' in Afghanistan: On Health and Healing in a War-Torn Nation
On November 7, 2014, while visiting Kabul, The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, noted that NATO will soon launch a new chapter , a new non-combat mission in Afghanistan. But it’s...
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Ramzy Baroud
Talk of a Third Intifada: Where to from Here, Palestine?
When a journalist tries to do a historian’s job, the outcome can be quite interesting. Using history as a side note in a brief news report or political analysis oftentimes does more harm than good...
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Robert C. Koehler
Ferguson and the 'Us vs. Them' Illusion
As the grand jury’s decision on whether nor not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson loomed, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon told a TV reporter “ he’s preparing for peace and war .” What the...
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Emily Schwartz Greco, William Collins
Cashing In on the ISIS Crisis
Maybe you think the U.S. air war on the Islamic State is a fine plan. Maybe you don’t. Either way, have you considered how little Washington’s latest military foray in the Middle East has to do with...
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Joshua Holland
Obama Is Still Pushing Two Giant Trade Deals — Here’s What You Need to Know
Last week, Barack Obama called once again for establishing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a mega-deal regulating trade in 12 countries that account for about 40 percent of the world’s economic...
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John Buell
Why Myths of the "Free Market" Survive - And How To Resist Them
Fewer than half of the US population owns a single share of stock and even fewer Americans are in a position to start their own businesses. Nonetheless, at least in rhetoric this nation remains the...
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Ellen Brown
This Publicly-Owned Bank Is Outperforming Wall Street
While 49 state treasuries were submerged in red ink after the 2008 financial crash, one state’s bank outperformed all others and actually launched an economy-shifting new industry. So reports the...
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Ajamu Baraka
Violence and Resistance in Palestine
For the many thousands of tourists who fly into Israel/Palestine every year, landing in the modern Ben-Gurion airport in Tel Aviv marks the beginning of a great adventure in the “holy land.” But for...
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Benjamin Dangl
Who Rules the World? How Concentration of Wealth and Political Power Undermines Global Democracy
With a $4 billion price tag, the recent US midterm election was the most expensive in the country’s history. For the first time in eight years, the Republicans gained complete control of Congress, as...
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David Suzuki
'Keen Observers of the Natural World' Wanted
Our ancestors may not have called themselves “citizen scientists” or organized to collect data for scientific inquiry, but they were keen observers of the natural world. Their survival often depended...
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Jim Naureckas
A 'Child' Is Missing–From a New York Times Headline
Read this headline from the New York Times ( 11/16/14 ): Palestinian Shot by Israeli Troops at Gaza Border Think for a second about what kind of image that calls up. How much does that image change...
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Mary DeMocker
11-Year-Old Takes Vow of Silence Demanding Climate Action
Eleven-year-old Itzcuauhtli Roske-Martinez is proving to the world that sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is absolutely nothing. Today marks Day 22 of the indigenous eco-rapper’s silent...
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Russell Mokhiber
Gag Order in Blankenship Case Under Fire
It’s a remarkable gag order. And reporters and news organizations in West Virginia are circling the wagons, looking to overturn it. The criminal indictment of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship...
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Glenn Greenwald
On Media Outlets That Continue to Describe Unknown Drone Victims As “Militants”
It has been more than two years since The New York Times revealed that “Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties” of his drone strikes which “in effect counts all...
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William Pfaff
Obama Remains High-Handed—And Wrong—About Ukraine
For a man who had taken a stunning electoral blow two weeks earlier, Barack Obama completed his Asian trip with an air of unperturbed leadership of the world—whatever the Republicans at home thought...
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Juan Cole
Is Another War Coming to the Occupied West Bank?
Observers of the evolution of the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians have long argued that there are only two likely outcomes of the alternating violence and diplomacy between the two...
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Jamie Henn
Holding the Line on Keystone XL
Once again, the climate movement has demonstrated our ability to hold the line against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Today, after six hours of debate, a bill that would have approved Keystone...
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Astra Taylor
You Are Not A Loan: It's Time to Bring Student Debt Down to Zero
The American higher education system is broken: between predatory student lenders, rapacious for-profit colleges, skyrocketing tuition rates and the number of people taking on a lifetime’s worth of...
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Jane Kleeb, Randy Thompson
Letter to Sen. Mitch McConnell from Randy Thompson and Jane Kleeb
Dear Senator McConnell, The ink barely dried on the voting ballots before Congress decided that the Keystone XL pipeline was the most pressing issue facing our nation and had to be addressed...
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Martin Kirk
Do We Live on a One Party Planet?
The truth can be a slippery thing. We each have a version but it slips and slides about in our minds as we deal with the constant flood of information coming at us from all sides, not to mention...
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Katrina vanden Heuvel
When Mega Corporations Get Mega Tax Breaks, We All Pay
Is corporate CEO pay really out of control? Well, consider Fleecing Uncle Sam, a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Effective Government. Of the 100 highest-paid CEOs...
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Robert Parry
Letting the Neocons Lead
In a rational political system, the American neocons would be the most discredited group in modern U.S. history. If not in the dock for complicity in war crimes – from Central America in the 1980s to...
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Nick Turse
RoboCop, Detroit, and the Rise of Our Contemporary Dystopia
It was July 1987 and I found myself in a cool, dark, completely packed movie theater, perched on the edge of my seat. The crowd was raucous, the mood electric. That night, I didn’t care about popcorn...
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Michael T. Klare
A New Congress, Fossil-Fueled Republicanism, and Planetary Disaster
Pop the champagne corks in Washington! It’s party time for Big Energy. In the wake of the midterm elections, Republican energy hawks are ascendant, having taken the Senate and House by storm. They...
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Robert Reich
And Now the Richest .01 Percent
The richest Americans hold more of the nation’s wealth than they have in almost a century. What do they spend it on? As you might expect, personal jets, giant yachts, works of art, and luxury...
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Ralph Nader
Obama, Not the Giant Telecoms, Is Right on Net Neutrality
In the aftermath of his party's defeat in the midterm elections, President Obama surprised many when he reaffirmed his overwhelming support for net neutrality, proposing that the Internet should be...
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Michael Winship
'Dude Needs a Vacation': FCC Chairman Flails on Net Neutrality
A week has passed since President Obama surprised everyone with a strong statement in support of Net neutrality, declaring that the Internet should be available to everyone — reclassified under Title...
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Tom Athanasiou
No Time To Spare: Capitalism and Justice in the Age of Climate Change
The first thing to say about Naomi’s Klein’s latest book is that its title makes a grand promise, This Changes Everything – and that’s before you even get to the subtitle, which sets up a face-off...
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Monday, November 17, 2014
John Pilger
The Siege of Julian Assange is a Farce - A Special Investigation
The siege of Knightsbridge is a farce. For two years, an exaggerated, costly police presence around the Ecuadorean embassy in London has served no purpose other than to flaunt the power of the state...
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Minnie Bruce Pratt
Transgender Pioneer and Stone Butch Blues Author Leslie Feinberg Has Died
Leslie Feinberg, who identified as an anti-racist white, working-class, secular Jewish, transgender, lesbian, female, revolutionary communist, died on November 15. She succumbed to complications from...
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Mark Jaycox
The USA Freedom Act: What's to Come and What You Need to Know
The USA Freedom Act, the leading contender for NSA reform, is set for a vote this week. The bill has some problems , but is a major step forward for surveillance reform. That's why we're asking you...
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Ray McGovern
ISIS and the Viet Cong: Just How Many Islamic State Fighters Are There?
Why was I reminded of Vietnam on Saturday when Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Iraq to “get a firsthand look at the situation in Iraq, receive briefings, and get...
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Marc H. Ellis
Europe is a Weenie on Palestine
It’s amazing that at this late date, the European Union, in secret , is considering , upping its disapproval of Israel’s occupation policies, drawing, perhaps , some redlines, that don’t even pretend...
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Alexis Agathocleous
Rampant Use of Solitary Confinement in the US Constitutes Torture
George Ruiz is 72 years old. For the past 30 years, he has spent every day alone — locked in a cramped, windowless cell inside the Security Housing Unit (SHU) first at California’s Pelican Bay State...
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Bill Quigley
Ten Illegal Police Actions to Watch for in Ferguson
When the Michael Brown verdict is announced, people can expect the police to take at least ten different illegal actions to prevent people from exercising their constitutional rights. The Ferguson...
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Tighe Barry
I Am a Patriot. Stop This Madness. No More Killing In Our Names.
On Thursday, November 13, I dropped down in my seat at the hearing room of the House Armed Services Committee on the Administration’s Strategy and Military Campaign against ISIL, a little depressed...
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Laura Gottesdiener
Separate and Unequal: A Journey Across a Divided Detroit
In late October, a few days after local news cameras swarmed Detroit’s courthouse to hear closing arguments in the city’s historic bankruptcy trial, “Commander” Dale Brown cruised through the stately...
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Chris Hedges
The Last Days of Tomas Young
Tomas Young was shot and paralyzed below his waist in Iraq in April 2004 when he and about 20 other U.S. soldiers were ambushed while riding in the back of an Army truck. He died of his wounds Nov...
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Lawrence Wittner
Do Wars Really Defend America’s Freedom?
U.S. politicians and pundits are fond of saying that America’s wars have defended America’s freedom. But the historical record doesn’t bear out this contention. In fact, over the past century, U.S...
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