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Monday, December 22, 2014
Karen Hansen-Kuhn
Supply But No Demand: U.S. Pushes Hormone Beef in Trade Deal
One of the big sticking points in the TTIP talks has been the EU’s prohibition on imports of beef treated with growth hormones. EU officials continue to insist the issue is off the table, but U.S...
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Fran Korten
The New Economy Comes of Age: 7 Steps Toward Shared Prosperity
In June, I attended an event in Boston that signaled to me that the concept of the New Economy—and the grassroots movement behind it—had come of age. The event was the conference of the New Economy...
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Chris Hedges
Banning Dissent in the Name of Civility
I had been invited to talk next April 3 at the University of Pennsylvania at a peace conference sponsored by the International Affairs Association , but last week after Truthdig published my column “...
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Greg Grandin
The War to Start All Wars: The 25th Anniversary of the Forgotten Invasion of Panama
As we end another year of endless war in Washington, it might be the perfect time to reflect on the War That Started All Wars -- or at least the war that started all of Washington’s post-Cold War...
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Timothy Karr
Four Ways 2014 Was a Pivotal Year for the Internet
The death of the Internet is at hand. Sound familiar? That’s what Internet pioneer Robert Metcalfe predicted in 1995 when he wrote that spiraling demands on the fledgling network would cause the...
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Paul Buchheit
12 Days of Christmas Apologies
If Christmas magic were real, America's political and business leaders -- the people with power and money -- would speak on behalf of the nation they've debased: 1. To Our Most Neglected Citizens By...
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Sunday, December 21, 2014
Gary Olson
CIA Torture and the Imperialist Toolbox
Last August, our Nobel Peace Laureate, President Barack Obama, admitted that “we tortured some folks,” but then added, this is “not who we are.” At best, his statement was a half-truth. First, it’s...
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Robert C. Koehler
Abolishing the CIA
The shock resonating from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s CIA torture report isn’t due so much to the revelations themselves, grotesque as the details are, but to the fact that they’re now...
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Ray McGovern
Torture’s Time for Accountability
I trust I was not alone in seeing irony in President Barack Obama’s public chiding of Sony on Friday for caving in to hacker demands to cancel distribution of its comedy “The Interview” – about a...
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Bill Fletcher Jr.
The Unfinished Civil War
I n the aftermath of the Republican victories in the midterm elections, some liberals have been asking whether they really “need” the South. In electoral terms, should progressives essentially ignore...
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Maira Sutton
It Doesn't Matter Who Does the Lobbying: Trade Agreements Aren't the Place for Internet Regulations
The Associated Whistleblowing Press released portions of draft text proposed by the United States for the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) this week, revealing some alarming provisions that...
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Saturday, December 20, 2014
Ralph Nader
Recommended Holiday Reading for the Agitated Mind
1. The Invisible Soldiers by Ann Hagedorn (Simon & Schuster, 2014). Ann Hagedorn, a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal tells the troubling story of the corporatization of America’s...
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Matthew Dominguez
No Doubt Remaining: Christie Sold Out Abused Animals for Campaign Favors
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie portrays himself as a "straight-talker" who ignores political calculations when it means standing up for his state. But that carefully-manicured image has crumbled over...
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Christine Ahn
Okinawa: The Small Island Trying to Block the U.S. Military’s 'Pivot to Asia'
On December 10 — International Human Rights Day — Takeshi Onaga began his term as the new governor of Okinawa. Last month, the citizens of Okinawa delivered a landslide victory to Onaga, who ran on a...
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Jeff Abbott
Mining Interests In Guatemala Challenged By Indigenous Direct Democracy
Conflicts over mining are expanding across Guatemala. According to a recent report by Amnesty International, the Canadian government and Canada-based multinational mining companies have played a...
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Friday, December 19, 2014
Vishwas Satgar
The Climate Is Ripe for Social Change
In a surprising departure from the corporate-controlled narrative on climate change, on November 30 2015, during the build-up to the recent United Nations COP20 climate summit in Lima, the New York...
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Ellen Brown
Russian Roulette: Taxpayers Could Be on the Hook for Trillions in Oil Derivatives
The sudden dramatic collapse in the price of oil appears to be an act of geopolitical warfare against Russia. The result could be trillions of dollars in oil derivative losses; and the FDIC could be...
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Jeff Bryant
Education’s Newsmaker Of The Year: Charter School Scandals
Since, it’s the time of the year when newspapers, websites, and television talk shows scan their archives to pick the person, place, or thing that sums up the year in entertainment, business, sports...
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Oscar Reyes
At the Lima Climate Talks, It Was Groundhog Day All Over Again
At 3 a.m., two days after the scheduled end of the UN Climate Change Conference in Peru, everything looked uncannily familiar. Exhausted negotiators applauded the Lima C all for Climate Action , a...
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Richard Heinberg
The Oil Price Crash of 2014
Oil prices have fallen by half since late June. This is a significant development for the oil industry and for the global economy, though no one knows exactly how either the industry or the economy...
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Robert Parry
The Crazy US ‘Group Think’ on Russia
Has anyone in Official Washington thought through the latest foreign policy “group think,” the plan to destabilize nuclear-armed Russia? All the “smart” people, including the New York Times editors,...
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Craig Aaron
Sunlight ‘Study’ Leaves Net Neutrality in the Dark
The Sunlight Foundation this week put up a post claiming that a “shadowy organization with ties to the Koch brothers” dominated the final round of Net Neutrality comments at the FCC. But scratch the...
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Rachel Shabi
CIA Torture? For the Arab World, That's No Surprise
The headlines scream of shock and revulsion. Described in UK newspapers as a "stain on America" and "the shaming of the West", and in the US as a "grim portrait" and "litany of brutality", the...
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Miriam Pemberton
What the US Should Learn from Russia’s Collapse
After months of whispered warnings, Russia’s economic troubles made global headlines when its currency collapsed halfway through December. Amid the tumbling price of oil, the ruble has fallen to...
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Richard Eskow
Hillary’s Choice: “Anti-Gridlock” or “Anti-Wall Street”?
We’re told that Hillary Clinton is spurning something her advisers call the “anti-Wall Street” movement and will run instead on a platform of “working across the aisle” with Republicans. Her camp is...
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Adam Federman
New York’s Fracking Ban is a Major Setback for the Oil and Gas Industry
Five years ago it wasn’t a question of if fracking would come to New York but when . Yesterday’s decision by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ban high volume hydraulic fracturing in the state is a measure of how...
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Matthew Johnson
From Slave Breakers to Community Partners
For the longest time I could not speak about Michael Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Akai Gurley, or any of the many black men who have been slain by police in recent months. I was caught...
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Patrick Kennelly
The Unspeakable in Afghanistan
2014 marks the deadliest year in Afghanistan for civilians, fighters, and foreigners. The situation has reached a new low as the myth of the Afghan state continues. Thirteen years into America’s...
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Margaret Klein
What Climate Change Asks of Us: Moral Obligation, Mobilization and Crisis Communication
Climate change is a crisis, and crises alter morality. Climate change is on track to cause the extinction of half the species on earth and, through a combination of droughts, famines, displaced...
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Thursday, December 18, 2014
Heather Barr, Patricia Gossman
Women Fighting for Justice in Afghanistan are Treated with Contempt by Foreign Donors
"Without international pressure, women's rights will be nowhere on the agenda," an activist in Kabul told us recently, regarding the new government of Ashraf Ghani. Afghanistan's civil society...
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Tom Hayden
Why the US-Cuba Deal Really Is a Victory for the Cuban Revolution
No one in the mainstream media will acknowledge it, but the normalization of American relations with Havana, symbolized by release of prisoners today, is a huge success for the Cuban Revolution. The...
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Mike Lavender
Corn Ethanol: A Lump of Coal in Your Christmas Stocking
You know that feeling of great anticipation… only to have it followed by complete and utter disappointment? ( Here’s a good seasonal example. ) Well, that feeling fits corn ethanol nicely. In 2007,...
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Andy Coates
Vermont's Governor Sadly Has It Wrong. Now IS the Time for Single-Payer Everywhere
On Wednesday, Vermont’s governor, after campaigning for single payer for years, announced that he would not work to pass single-payer legislation in Vermont this year. “Single payer” is shorthand for...
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Jeff Conant
REDD and the Green Economy Continue to Undermine Rights
BERKELEY, California - Dercy Teles de Carvalho Cunha is a rubber-tapper and union organiser from the state of Acre in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, with a lifelong love of the forest from which...
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Tom Engelhardt
The Senate Drone Report of 2019: Looking Back on Washington’s War on Terror
It was December 6, 2019, three years into a sagging Clinton presidency and a bitterly divided Congress. That day, the 500-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s long fought-...
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Wenonah Hauter
We Can Ban Fracking, New York Paves the Way
Fantastic news came from the state of New York this week when the Cuomo administration announced its decision to ban fracking in the state.This exciting decision is a tribute to everyone who has...
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Mairead Maguire
Non-Violence and the Lost Message of Jesus
I recently visited Assisi, the home of St. Francis and St. Clare, two great spirits whose lives have inspired us and millions of people around the world. St. Francis, a man of peace, and St. Clare, a...
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Ramzy Baroud
Whitewashing CIA Torture: "We Are [Not So] Awesome" After All
The logic that torture is a “stain” on US history is the heart of the problem, since it blocks an honest reading of whatever “values” Washington actually stands for. “This is not who we are. This is...
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Amy Goodman
Obama and the Beginning of the End of the Cuban Embargo
The failed United States policy against Cuba, which has for more than half a century stifled relations between these neighboring countries and inflicted generations of harm upon the Cuban people, may...
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Trita Parsi, Ryan Costello
If It's True on Cuba, It's True on Iran
America's Cuba policy has long been an open joke in international circles. Seldom has a country pursued such a futile policy for so long while clearly recognizing its senselessness. It's probably the...
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Marjorie Cohn
"Cuban Five" at Heart of US-Cuba Deal
In the course of delivering his historic speech dramatically altering US Cuba policy, President Barack Obama briefly mentioned that the United States released three Cuban agents. These men are...
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Emily Schwartz Greco
A Lump of Coal for Fossil Fuels
The fossil-fuel divestment movement got the perfect holiday gift in 2014: tumbling stocks. Founded only two years ago by experts and students fed up with the glacial pace of climate action, this...
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Kevin Prindiville
The Faces of Senior Poverty Are Likely Women of Color
Imagine the face of senior poverty. Who do you see? If you see a woman, especially a woman of color, you’d be spot on. That’s because the same challenges that affect women in their younger years,...
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Sreeram Chaulia
Book the Americans
The release of a summary of the US Senate select committee’s report on widespread torture and inhumane acts committed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during former President George W. Bush’s...
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Ame Trandem
Is the Mekong at a Tipping Point?
For thousands of years the mighty Mekong River Basin has served as a life-sustaining force, supporting the livelihoods and food security of more than 40 million people in the region. The river’s rich...
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Frances Fox Piven
Howard Zinn and the Joy of a Political Life
Note from The Nation: The following is reprinted from Frances Fox Piven's introduction to Some Truths Are Not Self-Evident: Howard Zinn's Essays in The Nation on Civil Rights, Vietnam and the "War on...
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David Morris
A Private-Public Partnership That Works
Every month the federal government issues a new jobs report. The stock market gyrates, pundits pundify, politicians politic. Whether employment expands slowly or fast one central fact remains. The...
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Glenn Greenwald
Jeb Bush v. Hillary Clinton: the perfectly Illustrative Election
Jeb Bush yesterday strongly suggested he was running for President in 2016. If he wins the GOP nomination, it is highly likely that his opponent for the presidency would be Hillary Clinton. Having...
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Dave Johnson
How "Citibank Budget" Push Foreshadows "Fast Track" For Trade Deals
It is worth examining how the process was rigged to push that budget deal through Congress over the weekend that contained Citibank-written derivative deregulation and all kinds of other goodies for...
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Jonathan Hafetz
After Torture Report, Lawsuit Tests US Commitment to Accountability
A week after the release of the executive summary of Senate Intelligence Committee's torture report , the world's attention is rightly focused on the flagrant abuses committed by CIA officials in the...
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Nat Parry
Torture Impunity and Police Shootings
The international fallout from last week’s long-delayed release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 500-page executive summary of its still-classified 6,000 report on CIA torture could hardly be...
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Peter Hart
NBC: Someday We Might Learn That Drones Kill Civilians
A critical look at US drone attacks is not the kind of thing you expect to see on a Sunday chat show, but that is what NBC 's Meet the Press gave viewers on December 14. Still, there were some...
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Nick Fillmore
Climate Talks Face a Long, Hard Road Ahead If Countries Are to Reach Agreement in Paris
With yet another United Nations-hosted climate change conference making very little real progress, a near miracle will be required if countries are to reach a meaningful and binding global agreement...
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Glenn Greenwald
US Television Provides Ample Platform for American Torturers, But None to Their Victims
Ever since the torture report was released last week , U.S. television outlets have endlessly featured American torturers and torture proponents . But there was one group that was almost never heard...
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Bianca Jagger
At the Heart of COP20: Loss and Damage
Editor's Note: The following dispatch was written on the final evening of the recent UN climate summit (COP20) that took place in Lima, Peru and concluded, after an extension of the talks, on Sunday...
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Dennis Kucinich
Three Members of Congress Just Reignited the Cold War While No One Was Looking
Late Thursday night, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a far-reaching Russia sanctions bill, a hydra-headed incubator of poisonous conflict. The second provocative anti-Russian...
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Katrina vanden Heuvel
Fixing a Broken Justice System
When a grand jury decided not to indict a Ferguson, Mo., police officer in the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, Brooklyn resident Jon Robinson declined to join the public protests. Two...
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Heather Smith
Theo Colborn: Remembering the Genius Who Got BPA Out of Your Water Bottles, and So Much More
It was the late 1970s and Theo Colborn was, like pretty much everyone else in the ’70s, getting divorced. She was in her 50s and already retired from a career as a pharmacist. She’d moved to a hobby...
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Pepe Escobar
East vs. Rest: China's Eurasian Integration vs. the West's Empire of Chaos
November 18, 2014: it’s a day that should live forever in history. On that day, in the city of Yiwu in China’s Zhejiang province, 300 kilometers south of Shanghai, the first train carrying 82...
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Chris Hartmann
A Canal at What Cost?
What does a canal have to do with human rights? Plenty, according to the thousands of Nicaraguan protesters who filled Managua’s streets on December 10, International Human Rights Day . With banners...
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Mychal Denzel Smith
In the Struggle Against Police Violence, the Youth Shall Lead
More than 50,000 people marched on the streets of New York City this past Saturday, December 13, to protest the two recent grand jury decisions—in Ferguson, Missouri, and in New York City—not to...
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Juan Cole
In Peshawar Attack, A Desperate Pakistani Taliban On Display
On Tuesday, six members of the Movement of Pakistani Taliban (Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan or TTP) invaded a school for children run by the Pakistani army in Peshawar The Pakistani military counter-...
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Monday, December 15, 2014
Steven Watt
Now Can Torture Survivor Khaled El-Masri Have His Apology?
The CIA's unlawful detention and torture of Khaled El-Masri has left him "a broken man," according to a McClatchy article published yesterday. The story of El-Masri, an ACLU client, is especially...
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Naomi Klein
Why #BlackLivesMatter Should Transform the Climate Debate
As the annual United Nations climate summit wrapped up in Lima, Peru, and on its penultimate day over the weekend, something historic happened. No, not the empty promises from powerful governments to...
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Roberto Savio
The Sad Future of Our Planet
It is now official: the current inter-governmental system is not able to act in the interest of humankind. The U.N. Climate Change Conference in Lima – which ended on Dec. 14, two days after it was...
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Maryam Adamu, Katie Hamm
How Low Child Care Wages Put All Children at Risk
Many parents who have faced the daunting task of finding quality, affordable child care have a list of things they look for when they visit a prospective program. Perhaps that list includes an...
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Ray McGovern
Clashing Face-to-Face on Torture
When you get an opportunity like this, don’t fall back – I heard my Irish grandmother telling me last Thursday as I took my place at the table to discuss torture with a former congressional committee...
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Jeff Bachman
From Torturing to Killing Innocent People: This Is Who We Are
Following the long awaited release of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's "Committee Study of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program," President Barack Obama proclaimed, "Throughout...
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Erik Molvar
Congress's Hostile Takeover of Endangered Species Efforts
Last week, Congress attached a rider to the omnibus spending bill that blocks the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from issuing new protections for both greater and Gunnison sage-grouse over the next...
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Amy Davidson
Torture in a Dick Cheney Minute
What, exactly, has President Barack Obama done to make sure that future Presidents don’t torture prisoners? On “ Meet the Press ” on Sunday, Dick Cheney, the former Vice-President, made it clear that...
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Juan Cole
The Banality of Terrorism: Sydney’s other Hostage Crisis, of 1984
IC doesn’t usually cover hostage-taking, since it is an artificial and manipulative criminal act. Any two-bit thug can grab someone off the street and push them into a car, and subsequently kill them...
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Tom Engelhardt
The National Security State as a Criminal Enterprise
It came from the top and that’s never been a secret. The president authorized the building of those CIA “black sites” and the use of what came to be known as “enhanced interrogation techniques” and...
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Paul Buchheit
The 6-Step Process to Wipe Out the Poor Half of America
One of the themes of the superb writing of Henry Giroux is that more and more Americans are becoming "disposable," recognized as either commodities or criminals by the more fortunate members of...
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Alice Slater
Time to Ban the Bomb
Global Momentum is building for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. While the world has banned chemical and biological weapons, there is no explicit legal prohibition of nuclear weapons, although the...
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Rebecca Gordon
American Torture: Past, Present, and… Future?
It’s the political story of the week in Washington. At long last, after the endless stalling and foot-shuffling, the arguments about redaction and CIA computer hacking , the claims that its release...
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Jameel Jaffer
Those Who Approved Torture Shouldn’t Be Above the Law
The Senate report released last week makes clear that the CIA tortured more men, and far more brutally, than anyone outside the intelligence community previously understood. Given the report’s...
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Sunday, December 14, 2014
Monia Mazigh
Hiding Torture From Us
In my October rabble column , I spoke about the horrible treatment of Abu Wa'el Dhiab, one of the Guantanamo detainees who was abusively force-fed by his American guards to dissuade him from...
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Hans von Sponeck, Denis Halliday
Stop Torture! Accountability: YES – Impunity: NO
Statement and petition initiated by two former UN Assistant Secretaries-General, UN Humanitarian Coordinators for Iraq: Hans von Sponeck and Denis Halliday. On 9 December 2014, the US Senate released...
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Dustin Axe
Ferguson: Revolution, Democracy, and Empire
Ferguson and Revolution Many people might be shocked and even appalled to see such a fervent national reaction to the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. There have not only been weeks of...
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Canadian Youth Climate Delegation
Youth and Frontline Voices Silenced at UN Climate Talks
As the COP 20 negotiations drew to a close and negotiators argued over amendments to the proposed text, an action calling attention to the devastating effects of climate change was hidden from the...
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Gareth Porter
Why the CIA Tortured
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s 500-page “executive summary” of the 6,700-page full report on the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” programme has completely shattered the official myth that the...
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Eric Margolis
Torturers Are Not Patriots
Torture is a crime under both American and international law. The Bush administration repeatedly broke the law from 2002 to 2006 by unleashing a wave of torture, kidnapping, and murder, all under the...
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Saturday, December 13, 2014
Victoria Law
8 Ways to Support Protests Against the Criminal Punishment System, if You Can’t Get Out on the Street
These days, it seems like everyone with a stake in racial justice is out on the streets. Students in high schools across the country, including my daughter, responded to the call for #HandsUpWalkOut...
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Chuck Collins
Racial Wealth Inequality and the Dream Deferred
As protesters march through our cities, a new study dramatizes that at the heart of our racially fractured society is a hidden system of racial wealth inequalities. The marches in the streets may...
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Jim Naureckas
Refusing to Take Sides, NPR Takes Sides With Torture Deniers
National Public Radio , following the lead of the Washington Post ( FAIR Blog , 12/9/14 ) (and in contrast to the New York Times – FAIR Blog , 8/8/14 ), tries to avoid applying the word "torture" in...
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Ralph Nader
Senate Report Condemns Government Torture Abroad
The 528 page Senate Intelligence Committee report on C.I.A. torture may come as a shock to many, but would not have surprised the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY). In 1991 and again in...
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Ellen Brown
Bail-In and the Financial Stability Board: The Global Bankers’ Coup
On December 11, 2014, the US House passed a bill repealing the Dodd-Frank requirement that risky derivatives be pushed into big-bank subsidiaries, leaving our deposits and pensions exposed to massive...
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Jeff Bryant
Who's Really Failing Students
“Failure is not an option,” has been a popular slogan in public education for years. Although, flight engineers and astronauts in the Apollo 13 program originally coined the phrase as a motivator for...
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Friday, December 12, 2014
Dave Johnson
Take Action: Stop The Citibank Budget – No More Rigged Backroom Deals
The “Citibank budget” has not passed the Senate. There is time to fight this giveaway to Wall Street. Call your senators today and tell them take the Citibank bailout part out or block the budget...
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Ben Lilliston
Farmers and Eaters Lose, Corporate Money Wins in Budget Deal
The amazingly terrible new spending agreement reached by the House and Senate this week illustrates the heavy price we all pay for a government increasingly influenced by big corporate and financial...
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Josh Silver
5 Awful Things Congress Snuck Into the Omnibus Budget Deal
On Thursday night, the US House passed the omnibus spending bill - backed aggressively by President Obama and GOP leadership - to avert another government shutdown and put off our next completely...
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Michael Winship
At The New Republic, “Black Lives Don’t Matter Much at All”
Over the last week and a half or so, in Washington especially but here in New York City, too, much has been written about the turmoil at The New Republic magazine after the resignation of editor...
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Robert Parry
How 'Awesome' Is America?
Fox News host Andrea Tantaros is facing some well-deserved ridicule for refuting the stomach-turning Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture by declaring that “The United States is awesome...
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Michelle Gunderson
Learning From Karen Lewis
Karen Lewis is a woman who speaks truth to power— boldly and without hesitation. When you listen to her words and watch her actions, you realize the possibility of winning, the possibility of what it...
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Sam Husseini
What "Both Sides" Are Ignoring: Torture Did Work... to Produce Iraq War
Nothing solidifies the establishment more than a seemingly raging debate between two wings of it in which they are both wrong. Not only wrong, but in their wrongness, helping to cover their joint...
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Jamie Henn
The Climate Talks Find an Enemy at COP20: The Fossil Fuel Industry
The UN Climate Talks in Paris next December are shaping up be high noon for the fossil fuel industry. Over the last week, negotiators here in Lima have been working on the draft of a new climate...
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Sonali Kolhatkar
Ferguson Is Baghdad Is New York Is Kabul
There is a pattern emerging in my Facebook feed this week. One group of friends has been posting stories of police brutality and protests accompanied by personal statements of outrage. Another group...
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Katherine Paul
GMO Labeling Activists Protest Bill to Preempt States’ Rights to Label GMOs
From the minute the first bus arrived outside Washington D.C.’s Rayburn Building, and 50 sleep-deprived but enthusiastic activists spilled out onto the sidewalk, it was clear. This would be a day of...
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(Photo: United States Interagency Council on Homelessness) David Nibert
The Hilarity of Developmental Disability
It is disheartening that, 20 years after the 1994 film Dumb and Dumber, not only has a sequel been released but the new film also has earned largely favorable reviews. While harmful stereotypes and...
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Isaiah Poole
The Ominous ‘Cromnibus,’ A Budget Bill That Should Have Died
With all of the justifiable anger directed at what’s in the 2015 spending bill – the omnibus continuing resolution or “cromnibus” – that the House struggled to pass late Thursday, there is also a...
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