Friday, October 9, 2015
Adam Johnson
Media Reports ISIS Nuclear Plot That Never Actually Involved ISIS
The AP published this week ( 10/5/15 ) a thrilling account of how the FBI, in concert with Moldovan authorities, “disrupted” a smuggling ring that was supposedly trying to sell “nuclear material” to...
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Susan Watson
Alabama’s DMV Shutdown Has Everything to Do With Race
Don’t believe a word of it: It’s all about race. Despite state officials’ quick denial that the closing of 31 Alabama DMVs has nothing to do with race, it is a fact that the closures – mostly in poor...
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César Chelala
The Perverse Rise of Killer Robots
The development of “killer robots” is a new and original way of using human intelligence for perverse means. Human directing machines to kill and destroy in a scale not yet imagined is a concept that...
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Thursday, October 8, 2015
Janet Redman
Walking the Talk? World Bank Rhetoric on Climate Undermined by Financing It
At least in rhetoric, World Bank leadership has acknowledged for a quarter century that “the possible risks [of global warming] are too high to justify complacency or evasion.” The Bank itself has...
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Ramzy Baroud
Listen to Syrians: The Media Jackals and the People’s Narrative
Imagine the Syrian war from the point of view of ordinary Syrians from a variety of backgrounds. They are most likely to offer a different perspective and to hold entirely different expectations than...
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Juan Cole
What Is Russia’s Strategy in Syria?
Russian MiGs for the first time on Wednesday gave close air support to the Syrian Arab Army as it attacked rebels north of Homs. The Russians also continued their airstrikes against rebel-held Idlib...
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Robert Parry
Obama Boots Syrian Peace Chance
President Barack Obama is turning his back on possibly the last best chance to resolve the bloody Syrian war because he fears a backlash from Official Washington’s powerful coalition of...
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Seth Klein
Albertans Support Climate Action: Lessons for the Next Federal Government
Congratulations to the Pembina Institute on a poll they conducted with EKOS Research, assessing support for climate action among Albertans. The results are fascinating and hopeful. You can find the...
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Lara Ettenson
California Formalizes Big Energy Efficiency Step - Now the Hard Work Begins
The state's climate leaders gathered today for the signing of climate action legislation that will bolster California's efforts to clean our air and save Californians even more money and energy...
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Valerie Strauss
How a Billionaire is Trying to Control Los Angeles Public Schools
Eli Broad is a housing and insurance tycoon whose California-based Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation has poured hundreds of millions into “transforming” K-12 urban education by training administrators...
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Meg Borthwick
The Real Legacy of Stephen Harper
Want to know what the real legacy of the Harper government is? Look no further than Canada After Harper . Edited by veteran journalist and contributor Ed Finn, Canada After Harper is a collection of...
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John Feffer
Mouth Wide Shut
Barack Obama was, in 2008, the anti-torture candidate. It’s a sad comment on the state of U.S. democracy that such a thing ever existed. After all, it would be startling to hear appeals from a pro-...
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Andy Rowell
'Legislation to Remove Crude Export Restrictions Is Not Needed at This Time'
Just as the Republicans seemed to be gaining a head of steam in their efforts to overturn America’s decades-old crude export ban, the White House has announced it would veto any proposals. In a...
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Jeff Bryant
The Ugly Charter School Scandal Arne Duncan Is Leaving Behind
US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s surprise announcement to leave his position in December is making headlines and driving lots of commentary, but an important story lost in the media clutter...
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Michael T. Klare
Welcome to a New Planet: Climate 'Tipping Points' and the Fate of the Earth
Not so long ago, it was science fiction. Now, it’s hard science -- and that should frighten us all. The latest reports from the prestigious and sober Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)...
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Robert Parry
The Second Amendment’s Fake History
False history continues to kill Americans, as we saw once again last week at Umpqua Community College in Oregon where a disturbed young man whose mother had loaded the house with loaded handguns and...
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Michael Winship
The Trade Creature Walks Among Us!
Die, monster, die! Every time you think that beast called the Trans-Pacific Partnership — TPP for short — is finished, it comes back like a bad penny; or in this case, trillions and trillions and...
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Robert C. Koehler
Why Bombing a Hospital Is a War Crime
“We tried to take a look into one of the burning buildings. I cannot describe what was inside. There are no words for how terrible it was. In the Intensive Care Unit six patients were burning in...
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Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan
Grace Lee Boggs: A Century of Grass-Roots Organizing
Grace Lee Boggs died this week at the age of 100. “She left this life as she lived it: surrounded by books, politics, people and ideas,” said her friends and caretakers, Shea Howell and Alice...
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Wednesday, October 7, 2015
John Nichols
 TPP Prioritizes ‘Rights’ of Corporations Over Workers, the Environment and Democracy
T he way to begin any discussion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is with a simple question: Where does this sweeping global trade deal rest power—with the people and their elected representatives in...
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Mitchell Plitnick, Matt Duss
Escalating Violence In Israel, West Bank Is The Result Of Failed Peace Process
In what has almost become an annual ritual, an upsurge in violence has again put Jerusalem on edge. Originally centered on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount area in Jerusalem’s Old City, the clashes...
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Bob Dreyfuss
The US Massacre in Kunduz Exposes the Bankruptcy of Obama's National-Security Policy
The aerial destruction that rained down on a hospital complex run by Doctors Without Borders in Kunduz, a provincial capital in northeast Afghanistan, on October 3 puts an exclamation point on the...
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Stephanie Land
The Art of Balancing the Ledger While in Poverty
When you live at or under the federal poverty level, you’d better be good at crunching numbers. Every cent coming in or going out needs to be accounted for. My day planners have always been filled...
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Sarah van Gelder
Remembering Grace Lee Boggs and the Revolution She Inspired in Me
This week, I returned to Detroit as I have every few years. On Thursday, I visited the James and Grace Lee Boggs School and heard of the influence Grace had in founding a school that is deeply rooted...
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Glenn Greenwald
Why Is the U.S. Refusing An Independent Investigation If Its Hospital Airstrike Was An “Accident”?
In Geneva this morning, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) demanded a formal, independent investigation into the U.S. airstrike on its hospital in Kunduz. The group’s international president, Dr. Joanne...
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Michael Brune
Why the Oil Export Ban Must Stay
It’s easy to understand why the American oil industry would like to see the ban on crude oil exports lifted: Foreign markets would be a new source of profits while also helping to raise the price of...
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Jesse Hagopian
Recess in Seattle: How We Won the Right to Play
It was May of 2014. I had just picked up my son from his wonderful play-based preschool, and, as we headed home, I turned on the radio. Usually, my son would demand that I “turn off the boring news”...
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Joanne Liu
Enough. Even War Has Rules.
The following remarks were delivered by Dr. Joanne Liu, MSF International President, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 — just five days after the U.S...
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Dean Baker
‘Massive’ Media Hype for TPP
It is amazing how the elite media can be dragged along by their noses into accepting that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) can have a big impact on trade and growth. If I had a dollar for every...
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George Monbiot
Nato’s Bombs Fall Like Confetti, Not Containing Conflict But Spreading It
‘The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility.” This is how an anonymous Nato spokesperson described Saturday’s disaster in Afghanistan . Let’s translate it into...
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Bill Bigelow
Time to Abolish Columbus Day
Once again this year many schools will pause to commemorate Christopher Columbus. Given everything we know about who Columbus was and what he launched in the Americas, this needs to stop. Columbus...
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Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Clare Birkett
Will the Paris Climate Talks Be a COP of the Crops?
Tackling carbon emissions from agriculture from farming isn't even on the table at the UN climate talks in December. It ought to be, and it's big agribusiness that's at the heart of the problem. In...
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Tom Gallagher
The Source of Terrorism Revealed – Is Anyone in Congress Paying Attention?
If the U.S. body politic were susceptible to teachable moments, this would seem to be a prime one. Russia starts bombing Syria and the American establishment howls in outrage: Lt. Gen. Robert P. Otto...
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Rajesh Makwana
#GlobalGoals? The Truth about Poverty and How to Address It
As the star-studded endorsements and media hype surrounding the all-pervasive Global Goals campaign begins to subside, a very different truth is beginning to emerge about this latest attempt by the...
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Katrina vanden Heuvel
The War on Planned Parenthood
For a likely future speaker of the House, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) isn’t much of a speaker. “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?” he boasted to Sean Hannity on...
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Dave Johnson
What You Should Know About That Completed TPP “Trade” Deal
Countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) say they have reached a deal. So here it comes. Monday morning it was announced that a “ Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal Is Reached ,”...
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Frida Berrigan
Parenting on the Brink: Wrestling With Fears Too Big to Name
Madeline is in the swing, her face the picture of delight. “Mo, mo,” she cries and kicks her legs to show me that she wants me to push her higher and faster. I push, and push, and push with both...
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Danny O'Brien
No Safe Harbor: How NSA Spying Undermined US Tech and Europeans' Privacy
The spread of knowledge about the NSA's surveillance programs has shaken the trust of customers in U.S. Internet companies like Facebook, Google, and Apple: especially non-U.S. customers who have...
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Bri Holmes
The Real Cost of Higher Education
This September, millions of young Americans will start college, but at what cost? Each year, the collective student loan debt skyrockets as tuitions continue to rise and graduates compete for scarce...
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Kathy Kelly
The Obscenity of Our War
Before the 2003 Shock and Awe bombing in Iraq, a group of activists living in Baghdad would regularly go to city sites that were crucial for maintaining health and well-being in Baghdad, such as...
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Monday, October 5, 2015
(Image: FAIR) Ben Norton
Media Are Blamed as US Bombing of Afghan Hospital Is Covered Up
A US-led NATO military coalition bombed a hospital run by international humanitarian aid organization Doctors Without Borders (known internationally as Medecins Sans Frontières, MSF) in Afghanistan,...
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Grace Lee Boggs
Living for Change: If Not Now, When?
[Editor's note: The following essay by Grace Lee Boggs (1915-2015) was first published by Common Dreams on August 23, 2010. With the passing of Boggs announced on Monday, we share in the mourning of...
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Harvey Wasserman
Why Bernie and Hillary Must Address America’s Dying Nuke Reactors
But as a nation we must now focus on the 99 dying U.S. reactors that threaten us all every day. In terms of our national survival, this is what Sanders and Clinton really must discuss. In the biggest...
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Nathalie Baptiste
Abortion Rights are Under Attack all Over the Globe
All over the world, pro-choice activists held a day of action on September 28 to promote women’s right to reproductive health. They’re facing a difficult global climate. Every year 47,000 women die...
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Robert Fisk
Syria’s ‘Moderates’ Have Disappeared... and There Are No Good Guys
The Russian air force in Syria has flown straight into the West’s fantasy air space. The Russians, we are now informed, are bombing the “moderates” in Syria – “moderates” whom even the Americans...
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Gar Alperovitz
Even The Wall Street Journal Is Asking Questions About How Ownership Should Work in a Democracy
Just three years ago, I worked with the staff at the Democracy Collaborative to write this article , which made a very basic point about the way systemic solutions to economic inequality were treated...
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Glenn Greenwald
The Radically Changing Story of the U.S. Airstrike on Afghan Hospital: From Mistake to Justification
When news first broke of the U.S. airstrike on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, the response from the U.S. military was predictable and familiar. It was all just a big,...
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Robert Scheer
Amid the Crowing of the GOP and Clinton, Sanders Is on the Rise
How easy it is to mock the Republican candidates. They’re the gang in the clown car climbing all over each other to offer a reactionary message of disarray that has all but destroyed the chances of...
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Lori Wallach
If There Really Is a Final TPP Deal: Can It Pass Congress?
If there really is a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, its fate in Congress is highly uncertain given the narrow margin by which trade authority passed this summer, the concessions made to get a...
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Ray McGovern
The Hope Behind Putin’s Syria Help
Russia’s airstrikes on rebel strongholds in Syria, now in their fifth day, are a game-changer. To borrow an aphorism from philosopher Yogi Berra, “The future ain’t what it used to be.” Yogi also...
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Robert Kuttner
Bernie Sanders Is About as Radical as Harry Truman
The mainstream media continues to be shocked that Bernie Sanders keeps gaining traction against frontrunner Hillary Clinton. However, if you look at what Sanders actually stands for, it is well...
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Howard Zinn
Empire or Humanity?
[Note from TomDispatch editor Tom Engelhardt: Here’s how I described Howard Zinn in 2005 when I met him for a TomDispatch interview : “He's tall and thin, with a shock of white hair. A bombardier in...
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Paul Buchheit
The Many Ways Women Are Beaten Down in America
In 1955 Mrs. Dale Carnegie, whose husband wrote the best-seller "How to Win Friends and Influence People," advised her fellow housewives: "The two big steps that women must take are to help their...
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Phyllis Bennis
Bombing Hospitals All in a Day's Work
The destruction of the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, with 22 dead so far , including doctors, other staff and patients, capped a week that also saw the bombing of​ another...
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Sunday, October 4, 2015
Ruth Conniff
Watching Republicans Flail is not a Strategy
It’s pretty amazing to watch the disaster unfolding in the Republican Party on both the home front and the national stage. Scott Walker, the “unintimidated” governor, has returned from the triumphant...
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Eric Margolis
The Russian Bear Growls
Frankfurt, Germany –Could anyone in the Obama administration have been so slow-witted to imagine that Russia wouldn’t move hard to counter US efforts to overthrow Moscow’s ally, Syria? The Syrian war...
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Christopher Brauchli
Nuts and Beatles
My object all sublime, I shall achieve in time- To let the punishment fit the crime. —Sir William Schwenk Gilbert, The Mikado Although I have never met Martin Winterkorn, the purpose of this column...
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Nicole Rothwell
Ayotzinapa On the Ground and Across Borders
The Haunting Agony of a Nation The incident has become a turning point in Mexican history: A year ago on the evening of Sept. 26, 2014 a group of 100 students from the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural...
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Roshini Nair
'Who is She?' Campaign Calls for Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous women
As the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous girls and women becomes harder to ignore in the face of mounting evidence and terrifying statistics, communities, families and activists have...
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Jim Naureckas
Media Coverage Is ‘a Sort of Advertisement to Mass Murder’
Investigators are reportedly looking into whether the apparent killer in the latest mass shooting announced his murderous intentions beforehand on the social media site 4chan . Because of 4chan ‘s...
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RoseAnn DeMoro
Don't Stop with Killing Cadillac Tax – Volkswagen System of Profiting Off the Sick Must Go Too
To unpack the hubbub over the fraudulently named “Cadillac tax” let’s lift the covers off the corporate ideology of both the tax and Affordable Care Act it funds, and ask again, why do we continue to...
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Saturday, October 3, 2015
John Atcheson
The Fingers on the Trigger
Here we are again. Another tragedy. Our souls cry out for justice, in the vain hope of erasing our collective national grief and shame. In the last decade, there have been 316,545 deaths from gun...
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Bill Scher
Will Any Presidential Candidate Support Banning Handguns?
With yet another mass shooting terrorizing the American public, some facts are in order. * Mass shootings in public places are on the rise in America over the past few years, but they still represent...
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David Morris
Now We Have a Judicial System Just for Corporations
In the last 20 years the Supreme Court has created a parallel judicial system to resolve disputes involving corporations that is effectively run by the very corporations whose behavior is under...
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Thomas S. Harrington
I'm Surprised
I’m surprised. I'm truly and breathtakingly surprised that another young American has decided to open fire indiscriminately on his fellow citizens in a public space. I'm surprised that another young...
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Ralph Nader
Monsanto and its Promoters Vs. Freedom of Information
Next year, the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) will celebrate its 50th anniversary as one of the finest laws our Congress has ever passed. It is a vital investigative tool for exposing...
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Friday, October 2, 2015
Nina Perkowski
More 'Frontex' Is Not the Answer to the Refugee Crisis
As media and politicians have declared a ‘refugee’ or ‘migration crisis’ this summer, EU Member States are scrambling for a common response to recent events. Amid attempts to redistribute refugees...
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Joseph Stiglitz, Adam Hersh
The Trans-Pacific Free-Trade Charade
NEW YORK – As negotiators and ministers from the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries meet in Atlanta in an effort to finalize the details of the sweeping new Trans-Pacific Partnership (...
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Robert Reich
Why the Washington Post’s Attack on Bernie Sanders is Bunk
The Washington Post just ran an attack on Bernie Sanders that distorts not only what he’s saying and seeking but also the basic choices that lie before the nation. Sanders, writes the Post’s David...
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Robert Parry
Should US Ally with Al Qaeda in Syria?
The key sentence in The New York Times’ lead article about Russian airstrikes against Syrian rebel targets fell to the bottom of the story, five paragraphs from the end, where the Times noted in...
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Walden Bello
China’s Stock Market Crash Is the Latest Crisis of Global Capitalism
It’s always amazing how the stock market pulls big surprises on those who should know better. The momentous rise in share prices in the Shanghai stock exchange from mid-2014 to the middle of this...
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Kate Aronoff
Inside the Dream Defenders’ Social Media Backout
Last week, the Florida-based Dream Defenders announced a six week “ social media sabbatical ” from their personal and organizational Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, promising to digitally...
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Immanuel Wallerstein
Resurgence of the World Left?
The sweeping triumph on September 24 of Jeremy Corbyn to be the leader of Great Britain’s Labour Party was stunning and totally unexpected. He entered the race with barely enough support to be put on...
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Amy Fettig
Obama! There is No Time to Lose, Let’s End Solitary Confinement Once and For All
Most Americans have never seen what solitary confinement looks, feels, sounds, and smells like, but I’m a lawyer for the ACLU who represents thousands of men, women and children held in solitary...
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Rania Khalek
Netanyahu’s Dreary and Menacing UN Speech Provokes Internet Mockery
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s mean-spirited and angry address to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday was mostly as predictable as it was desperate and creepy. But it did...
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The Nation Editors
How to End the Civil War in Syria
T he refugee crisis now confronting Europe, with hundreds of thousands of desperate migrants pouring across multiple borders, has opened up deep fissures in the European Union. The crisis threatens...
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Eugene Robinson
Rock-Star Appeal of Bernie Sanders Should Make Clinton Very Worried
First came the big crowds, now comes the big money. At this point, anyone who doesn’t take Bernie Sanders seriously must not be paying attention. Sanders’ campaign announced that it raised an eye-...
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Sonali Kolhatkar
Befriending the Saudis Highlights U.S. Hypocrisy on Human Rights
Since World War II, the United States has maintained a close friendship with one of the world’s worst human rights violators, Saudi Arabia. Given mounting evidence of the Saudi monarchy’s appalling...
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Mike Scahill
Pope Francis Embraced the Most Subversive Voices in Modern American Catholicism
I am not now nor have I ever been a journalist. I am however a practicing Catholic who has closely followed the recent visit of Pope Francis to the United States. I must say I was stunned when my...
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Thursday, October 1, 2015
Cecilia Velasco
A Pilgrimage for Love, Justice, and Dignity
One hundred women walked 100 miles to welcome Pope Francis to Washington. Their goal? To bring attention to the U.S. immigration crisis — and to touch the hearts of our nation’s leaders. They started...
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Karen Dolan
A Significant Step Forward on the Road to Reform
Weldon Angelos is a young father who wouldn’t have been able to be in his two children’s lives until he was 80 and his children were old and grey themselves. Angelos made mistakes and sold some...
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Michael Winship
Who’s the Guy in the White Suit Next to All Those Billionaires?
Many of you know the words: “And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” So sayeth Jesus in the New...
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Danny O'Brien
France's Government Aims to Give Itself—and the NSA—Carte Blanche to Spy on the World
The United States makes an improper division between surveillance conducted on residents of the United States and the surveillance that is conducted with almost no restraint upon the rest of the...
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Steve Vladeck
The Bass-Ackwards Detainee Transfer Provision in the FY2016 NDAA
There’s a lot to say about the 1,915-page National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016 that was unveiled yesterday by the House and Senate Armed Services Committees–and much of it...
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George Kimbrell
Big Industry’s All Out Assault on Democracy and Your Right to Know
In an op-ed published by Forbes last week, a pro-biotechnology mouthpiece who used to work for the tobacco industry wrote a provocative piece arguing that a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision...
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Nomi Prins
Trumpocrisy: How 'The Donald' Became a Billionaire and What That Means for the Rest of Us
The 2016 election campaign is certainly a billionaire’s playground when it comes to “establishment candidates” like Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush who cater to mega-donors and use their money to try to...
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John Feffer
The Middle East’s New Nakba
After midnight on August 15, 1947, India and Pakistan became separate countries. What should have been a joyous occasion — a celebration of independence from three centuries of British colonial rule...
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Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan
No Papal Bull: Francis Hails Peace and the Activists Who Fight for It
Pope Francis has left the building. His first trip to the United States created news at every turn. On Thursday, Sept. 24, Pope Francis made his historic address to the joint session of Congress, the...
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Dave Johnson
You Knew the TPP Was Bad. Here's How It Gets Even Worse
Negotiators are meeting in Atlanta, trying to wrap up the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It might be wrapped up as soon as Thursday. While the agreement is secret, there are reasons for people to...
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Robert C. Koehler
The Moral Rabbit Hole
And down the moral rabbit hole we go. The New York Times reported last week that U.S. soldiers still fighting the war in Afghanistan — 14 years on — are under orders to be “culturally sensitive”...
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Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Robert Parry
Obama’s Ludicrous ‘Barrel Bomb’ Theme
The U.S. government has dropped hundreds of thousands of tons of bombs on Iraq alone in the last dozen years – and even hailed the start of the bombing campaign in 2003 as “shock and awe” – but now...
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Christian Christensen
The US Gazes Into the Islamophobic Abyss
"When we think of Islam we think of a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. Billions of people find comfort and solace and peace. And that's made brothers and sisters out of...
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Tom Hayden
Days of Miracle and Wonder
We are living in a time of miracles and wonder Don't cry baby, don't cry It was a dry wind and it swept across the desert and it curled into the circle of birth and the dead sand falling on the...
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Katrina vanden Heuvel
When It Comes to War: Listen to the Pope, Not the Armchair Warriors
In his historic visit to the United States, Pope Francis spoke frequently about the importance of peace and of negotiation and cooperation. His words clashed with a U.S. presidential debate marked by...
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Russell Mokhiber
Single Payer and the Case Against 'Clicktivism'
Obamacare, with its promise of healthcare reform, took the wind out of the sails of the single payer movement. In the House of Representatives, the number of co-sponsors of the single payer bill, HR...
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Reese Erlich
The Black Panthers are Back
Seeing a documentary on the Black Panthers while sitting next to Bobby Seale is quite an experience. As we watch a press preview of the film in an East Oakland home, the co-founder of the Panthers...
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John Atcheson
Reaganism Has Been The Problem — Bernie Sanders Is The Solution
One of the great mysteries in politics is how a country that polls well to the left of center , on an issue-by-issue basis keeps electing politicians from both parties who are to the right of center...
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Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Rebecca Vallas
Instead of Shaming the Poor, Let’s Raise the Minimum Wage
Yesterday I joined Fox and Friends for what they billed, in typical Fox News fashion, as a “fair and balanced debate.” The topic was a Maine mayor’s call to publish the names and addresses of all...
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James A. Haught
The Enlightenment Keeps on Winning
If you study history, you’ll see episodes that changed civilization. For example, in Ancient Greece, for the first time, bright thinkers sought natural explanations for the world around them, instead...
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Joe Lauria
Obama’s Self-Deceit
There was stunned silence in the General Assembly Hall on Monday as U.S. President Barack Obama warned leaders against falling back to pre-United Nations days, in which strong nations imposed their...
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