Monday, July 27, 2015
Chris Hedges
Why I Support the BDS Movement Against Israel
The Palestinians are poor. They are powerless. They have no voice or influence in the halls of power. They are demonized. They do not have well-heeled lobbyists doling out campaign contributions and...
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Wenonah Hauter
Three Ways The Energy Policy Act Ushered In The Frackopoly
This is a good week to reflect on Dick Cheney’s role in facilitating fracking. Early in the George W. Bush administration, he put together a task force made up of energy industry CEO’s and lobbyists...
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Nadia Kayyali
Stop CISA: Join EFF in a Week of Action Opposing Broad "Cybersecurity" Surveillance Legislation
How do you kill a zombie bill like CISA ? Grassroots action. That's why EFF and over a dozen other groups are asking you to join us in a Week of Action to Stop CISA. The Senate is likely to vote on...
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Gary Olson
Are Some Cultures Better Than Others at Cultivating Empathy?
Today's pop quiz: Which of the following countries has the most medical professionals working in the world's poorest countries; has doctors who have performed 3 million free eye operations in 33...
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Paul Pillar
The Unreality of the Iran-Nuke Fight
An air of unreality pervades much of the debate on the agreement to restrict Iran’s nuclear program. Opponents of the agreement raise issue after issue on which the agreement is clearly superior to...
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Alan Jenkins
Two Major Victories for Fair Housing
It’s a rare moment when two branches of our federal government take major steps to expand opportunity for all Americans. But, with relatively little fanfare, that’s what’s happened over the last few...
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Kirsten West Savali
#SandySpeaks: ‘I’m Here to Change History’
As I watched 28-year-old Sandra Bland assert her humanity by refusing to roll over and play slave for white Officer Brian Encinia, who had grown increasingly agitated by that refusal, the words of...
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Paul Buchheit
How Big Corporations Cheat Public Education
Corporations have reaped trillion-dollar benefits from 60 years of public education in the U.S., but they're skipping out on the taxes meant to sustain the educational system. Children suffer from...
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Sunday, July 26, 2015
Juan Cole
Turkey’s New “War on Terror” Mainly Targeting Kurds
What was at first announced as a new Turkish turn toward attacks on Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) on Friday has quickly become largely a campaign against Kurds instead . It is being alleged that the Turkish Air...
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Pastor Lilian Amaya, Lissette Castillo Vizcarra, Janis Rosheuvel
Ending Mass Incarceration: The Ongoing Call to Faith Communities
The crisis of incarceration this nation now faces demands people of faith act with swift and fierce moral authority to transform, not just reform, an irreparably broken system. It demands that all of...
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Gareth Porter
Obama’s Line on the Iran Nuclear Deal: A Second False Narrative
I’m glad that the United States and Iran reached an agreement in Vienna after nearly two years of negotiations and 35 years of enmity. A failure to do so under present political conditions would...
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Nizar Visram
Greek Austerity and Its Resemblance to African Debt Peonage
On July 16 this year protests erupted outside Greek parliament as lawmakers were approving further harsh austerity plan in exchange for a third European bailout. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras...
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Harvey Wasserman
Will Ohio Gov. Kasich’s Anti-Green Resume Kill His Presidential Hopes?
The latest politician to leap toward the GOP nomination is widely known as America’s most anti-green governor. But he has a critical decision coming up that could help change that. Ohio Gov. John...
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Richard Falk
Alliance Blackmail: Israel’s Opposition to the Iran Nuclear Agreement
The Vienna Agreement [formally labeled by diplospeak as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)] reached by the P5 + 1 on July 14, 2015 has been aptly hailed as a political breakthrough, not...
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Robert Reich
Happy Birthday Medicare
Medicare turns fifty this week. It was signed into law July 30, 1965 – the crowning achievement of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. It’s more popular than ever. Yet Medicare continues to be blamed for...
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Saturday, July 25, 2015
Marian Wright Edelman
10 Rules to Help Black Boys and Girls Survive
Democracy cannot breathe, and will die, if those enjoined to protect and uphold the law snuff it out unjustly and without consequence. Justice cannot breathe when Black men and boys and women and...
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Jennifer Skene
Five-Year Anniversary of Kalamazoo Spill Reminds Us of the Dangers Tar Sands Present to Our Communities
Five years ago, on July 25, 2010, an estimated 843,000 gallons of tar sands oil spilled from an Enbridge-owned pipeline into the Kalamazoo River watershed in Calhoun County, Michigan. The tar sands...
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Amitabh Pal
Chattanooga Shooting Fuels Anti-Muslim Reaction
Never mind the fact that Mohammod Abdulazeez, the Chattanooga shooter, was gravely mentally troubled and abused alcohol and drugs. Also never mind that, by some estimates, rightwing extremists have...
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Robert Parry
Israel Clears the Bench in Iran Fight
Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer, acting like the coach of a football team, instructed congressional Republicans to “leave everything on the field” in the fight to defeat the...
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Christopher Brauchli
Vetting Voters? On Race, Democracy, and the US Supreme Court
As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? — William Marcy Tweed, Tammany Hall Statement (1871) The flag goes down and the bars go up. There’s a nice synchronicity to it. Of...
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Juan Cole
Obama in Kenya: Why the Horn of Africa Matters to Geopolitics
President Obama’s visit to Kenya is of course personal, though he has been there before both as a civilian and as a senator. But it does also have a geopolitical and economic dimension. Kenya is a...
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Adam Johnson
Politico Finds ‘Capital of American Jihad’–Based on 2 Cases, 6 Years and 268 Miles Apart
Roughly 10 hours after another white, apparently racist Christian senselessly opened fire in a public place in the American South, Politico ( 7/23/15 ) published what has to be one of the worst...
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Francis Njubi Nesbitt
Obama’s Last Chance in Africa
President Obama needs to unveil a new foreign policy initiative on Africa during his trip to Kenya and Ethiopia or risk going down in history as the worst president for Africa in recent memory. It...
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Jaha Dukureh
Millions of Women Risk Female Genital Mutilation. Will Obama Defend Them?
The return of a son of the diaspora to his ancestral homeland is always an emotional moment, even more so if this returned son is the first African-American President of the United States. That makes...
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Barrett Holmes Pitner
Can Bernie Sanders Be Less White?
A little over a decade ago, I met Bernie Sanders when I was a pimply-faced undergrad interning in his Washington office. I was attending college at a small liberal arts school in South Carolina, and...
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Ralph Nader
Sending Citizens Summons to Members of Congress
With the long congressional recess in August through Labor Day approaching, “We the People” have the opportunity to do more than complain about the Congress and individual Senators and...
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Friday, July 24, 2015
Jeff Bryant
Get Ready For The Next Wave Of Education "Reform"
Education activists are rejoicing that the latest versions of No Child Left Behind reauthorization coursing through Congress may give struggling schools a way to have more control over their own...
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Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Obama Should Release MH-17 Intel
A year ago, the U.S. government issued a sketchy report on the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shoot-down citing “social media” and other flimsy data implicating eastern Ukrainian rebels and Russia, but...
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Kate Aronoff
Reports of Capitalism’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
Late last week, economic journalist Paul Mason, whose Channel 4 blog has been one of the best English-language sources for making sense of the ongoing Greek crisis, published an excerpt from his...
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Murray Dobbin
Harper Is Right: Canada's Election Is About Security Versus Risk
Stephen Harper chose the Calgary Stampede (now Rachel Notley country) to launch the theme of the now full-blown election campaign. Harper proclaimed he was confident that "this October Canadians will...
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Danny Postel
Iranian Dissidents Explain Why They Support the Nuclear Deal
The debate on the nuclear deal with Iran has revolved mainly around the geopolitics of the agreement. Is it good for the United States? Does the deal represent a defeat or a victory for the Islamic...
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Donna Smith
Trump's Hair and My Teeth: Healthcare in the Age of Oligarchy
A few who are reading this won’t know what plush carpeting is, so the title of this piece may not make sense. I am not writing about Donald Trump’s hair as the plush carpeting. One definition I found...
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Marcy Wheeler
In Political Press, Hillary Clinton Gets Subjected to the Thomas Drake and Jeffrey Sterling Standard
The political press is abuzz with news that the State Department (State IG) and Intelligence Community Inspectors General (ICIG) have asked the Department of Justice to review whether the Department’...
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Mitchell Plitnick
Correcting the Critics of the Iran Nuclear Deal
From the standpoint of U.S. security, the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program announced on July 14 is a very good one. Iran consented to a significant rollback of its nuclear capacity and to a level...
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Laura Flanders
Will We Ever Stop the Drones?
Almost a year after the 2012 election, Florida congressman Alan Grayson decided to hold a hearing. The number of drone attacks were going up not down; sparse news reports from mostly military sources...
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Ronnie Cummins
You Don’t Matter. House Votes for Monsanto’s Right to Deceive Consumers
On Thursday, 275 members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of H.R. 1599, the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act. By voting for the DARK Act, these politicians voted against...
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Sonali Kolhatkar
‘This is a Movement, Not a Moment’
On July 24, The Movement for Black Lives National Convening will bring bringing together activists from all over the United States, organizing under the banner of Black Lives Matter. The organization...
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Bruce Dixon
NetRoots Nation Confrontation Wasn't About #BlackLivesMatter At All
The first thing to know about the #BlackLivesMatter confrontation with Democratic presidential candidates Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders is that it didn't happen on the street or some neutral...
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John Feffer
Greece, Iran, and the Rules of the Game
Alexis Tsipras had a choice. As the leader of the fledgling Syriza government in Greece, he could have told the European Union to stuff its austerity plan. He could have taken the risk that the EU...
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Robert Naiman
Is Scott Walker Less of an Extremist than Donald Trump?
Count me among the Democrats who are totally delighted that Donald Trump is running for the Republican nomination for President, that he is a frontrunner in polls of Republican voters, that he cannot...
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Thursday, July 23, 2015
Pepe Escobar
The Eurasian Big Bang: How China and Russia Are Running Rings Around Washington
Let’s start with the geopolitical Big Bang you know nothing about, the one that occurred just two weeks ago. Here are its results: from now on, any possible future attack on Iran threatened by the...
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Miyoko Sakashita
Obama’s Approval of Arctic Oil Drilling is a Bitter Betrayal
The news came swift and sudden, though not unexpected: The Obama administration had approved Shell’s permits to drill for oil in the Arctic this summer. It came like a punch in the gut. How could he...
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Adam Federman
Beyond PETA : SeaWorld Spy Also Attended 2014 Orca Conference
The covert work of a SeaWorld employee accused of infiltrating the animal rights group PETA extended far beyond his involvement with any single organization. Former SeaWorld orca trainers have...
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Mahli Brindamour, Ryan Meili
Will Wildfire Refugees in Canada Finally Spur Action on Climate Change?
A young child presents to emergency in respiratory distress, his asthma worsened by smoke exposure. An elder has uncontrolled blood pressure because there wasn't time to get her medications when the...
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Cherrie Bucknor
Criminal Justice Reform Shouldn't End With Release
Last Monday, President Obama commuted the sentences of 46 non-violent drug offenders. While doing so, he highlighted what he believed to be the harsh sentencing guidelines that kept these men and...
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Aliya Huq
ALEC and Polluters Release New, Uninspired Schemes to Block Climate Action
With most of America enduring major heat waves this week, mild and sunny San Diego is not a bad place to be -- especially if you want to ignore climate change and block clean energy solutions. Turns...
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Brendan Fischer
How San Diego Is a Petri Dish for the ALEC Agenda
This week, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) descends on San Diego, California for its annual meeting of lobbyists and legislators. In many ways, San Diego is an appropriate setting...
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Candace Clement
Now the Senate's Trying to Torpedo Net Neutrality
No member of Congress should be allowed to dismantle good public policy by sneaking language into funding bills. But that’s exactly what’s been happening in the latest attack on Net Neutrality. This...
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Michelle Chen
 New York Fast-Food Workers Win Their Fight for $15
T hough New York’s lawmakers are infamous for their ethical failings, Albany just did the right thing for once: serve the state’s fast-food workers some long-overdue justice. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s...
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Emily Foster
Fight for $15 Advances With Bill Introduction In Congress
Sontia Bailey, a full-time federally contracted cashier at the U.S. Capitol, gets paid a mere $10.10 an hour. She works a second job at KFC, which actually pays more than her government contract job...
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Robert C. Koehler
Armed Insecurity in the Age of Endless War and Mass Shootings
“. . . no real security, just powers of retaliation.” This was Norman Mailer, four-plus decades ago, writing in Miami and the Siege of Chicago about the obsessive security measures – “helicopters...
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Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Medea Benjamin
Getting Down to Business in Cuba
In case you missed it, the United States and Cuba now have diplomatic relations for the first time in 54 years. Unfortunately, the outdated economic embargo is smothering the tremendous potential...
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Marjorie Cohn
The U.S. Aids and Abets War Crimes in the Philippines
After Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush declared the Philippines a second front in the war on terror (“Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines”). The Philippine government used this as an...
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Robert Reich
Why Progressives Must Stay United
A new report finds more U.S. children living in poverty than before the Great Recession. According to the report, released Tuesday from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 22 percent of American children...
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Ajamu Baraka
The Assassination of Sandra Bland and the Struggle Against State Repression
During the struggle in South Africa black activists who were captured by the state had a strange habit of jumping to their deaths from the windows of jails and court houses whenever the authorities...
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David Turnbull
Lift the Export Ban, Cook the Climate
On Tuesday, our organization released a new briefing, entitled "Lift the Ban, Cook the Climate: Why Eliminating the Crude Export Ban Fails the Climate Test, " detailing why Congress and the President...
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Jonathan Marshall
Hidden Origins of Syria’s Civil War
Since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, nearly a quarter million people have perished and fully half of the country’s inhabitants have been forced from their homes, creating the worst refugee...
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Katrina vanden Heuvel
Kerry’s Next Challenge: NATO, Ukraine, and Russia
The nuclear agreement with Iran provides ample proof of Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s remarkable commitment and skill in waging diplomacy. In an era when the Pentagon dominates our foreign...
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Glenn Greenwald
The Spirit of Judy Miller is Alive and Well at the NYT, and It Does Great Damage
One of the very few Iraq War advocates to pay any price at all was former New York Times reporter Judy Miller, the classic scapegoat. But what was her defining sin? She granted anonymity to...
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E.L. Doctorow
 A Calamity of Heart
This essay, commissioned by " America: Now and Here " curator Eric Fischl, will serve as the introduction to the portfolio of work by the artists participating in the project. Artists in America don’...
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Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Ray McGovern
Is the 'Military Option' on Iran Off the Table?
If, as seems likely, President Barack Obama retains enough support to complete the nuclear deal with Iran, it will be largely because enough members of the House and Senate are persuaded by his...
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Sarah Anderson
Is Wall Street Pay Too High?
As we reach the fifth anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Act , the Obama administration's thunderous attacks on Wall Street bonuses seem a distant memory. "I'd like to throw these guys in the brig," Vice...
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Robert Naiman
Will President Scott Walker Ask Congress for Authorization Before He Bombs Iran?
People who claim that they have an alternative to the Iran nuclear deal besides war might want to check in with Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, widely judged to be one of the three "serious"...
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Evan Popp
Hillary Clinton Is No Progressive
As a strong challenge from the left emerges in the form of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders , Hillary Clinton, who was once thought to be headed for a coronation in the Democratic presidential primary,...
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Tom Engelhardt
A Message in a Bottle from My Mother
Almost three quarters of a century ago, my mother placed a message in a bottle and tossed it out beyond the waves. It bobbed along through tides, storms, and squalls until just recently, almost four...
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Ted Rall
In Defense of Donald Trump’s Slam on John McCain
John McCain is a prick. It’s true. We have to acknowledge that out of the gate because media coverage of the controversy over Donald Trump’s slam on McCain omits the fact that McCain baited Trump...
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Slavoj Žižek
Greece: The Courage of Hopelessness
The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben said in an interview that "thought is the courage of hopelessness" - an insight which is especially pertinent for our historical moment when even the most...
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Tim DeChristopher
The Value of Protest
As a strong supporter of Bernie Sanders, my first reaction to hearing about Saturday’s Black Lives Matter protest at Netroots Nation was disappointment. This looks bad, I thought. Bad for Bernie, who...
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Boots Riley
The Problem With the Fight for 15
Is the best way to achieve higher wages really legislation? Many think so. Across the country, working people are eagerly waiting to feel the effects of new laws that raise the minimum wage. Seattle...
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Kathi Wolfe
On 25th Anniversary of ADA, We Need to do More
July 26, 1990, was a life-changing day for people like me. Twenty-five years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. If you’re able-bodied, you may not realize how life-...
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Monday, July 20, 2015
Jim Naureckas
It’s Simple, Face the Nation: Iran Doesn’t Trust US Inspectors–and Shouldn’t
When Face the Nation ‘s John Dickerson (7/19/15) interviewed Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz about the Iran deal, his second question—after “when [Americans] see...
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Murtaza Hussain
Wesley Clark Calls for Internment Camps for "Radicalized" Americans
Retired general and former Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark on Friday called for World War II-style internment camps to be revived for “disloyal Americans.” In an interview with MSNBC’s...
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David Morris
Greece, The Troika and Maggie Thatcher
In its policies toward Greece, the "Troika" — a new shorthand for the combined will of the European Commission, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund — has actively and...
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Scott Klinger
For Love or Profit? The Different Worlds of the Pope and the President
President Obama is desperate to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, marshalling most Republicans and some Democrats last month to narrowly push through a pact that was earlier...
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Bill Quigley
New Orleans Katrina Pain Index at Ten: Who Was Left Behind
When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, the nation saw tens of thousands of people left behind in New Orleans. Ten years later, it looks like the same people in New Orleans have...
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Robert Parry
Seeking War to the End of the World
If the neoconservatives have their way again, U.S. ground troops will reoccupy Iraq, the U.S. military will take out Syria’s secular government (likely helping Al Qaeda and the Islamic State take...
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Chris Hedges
My Teacher
I drove to Hamilton, N.Y., last December to take part in the funeral service for the Rev. Coleman Brown . Coleman, who had taught at Colgate University, had the most profound impact of all my...
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Paul Buchheit
Private Health Care as an Act of Terrorism
The FBI defines terrorism as "Acts dangerous to human life...intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population." Much of the behavior of our current health care system meets that definition. The...
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Sunday, July 19, 2015
Nora Loreto
#This Isn't Quite a Coup: What Canadians Must Learn from Greece
Outside of Europe, Greece's battle with the Troika has become a spectacular spectator sport. From the referendum to Tsipras's capitulation, this story has all the makings of a once-in-a-generation...
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Carl Takei
What President Obama Didn’t Hear or Smell at El Reno
From several years of touring prisons, I’ve learned they all have a distinctive and oddly similar smell: sweat, human misery, and grime — sometimes overlain, but never hidden, by the acrid odors of...
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Tzeporah Berman
It's Time to Talk About the Oilsands
The debate over energy, oilsands and pipelines in Canada is at best dysfunctional and at worst a twisted game that is making public relations professionals and consultants on all sides enormous...
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Allen Armstrong, Iris SanGiovanni
You Call this Stewardship of Earth?
This column is a collaboration between a retired engineer and a university student regarding our perceptions of climate change. Allen Armstrong: As a 75-year-old grandfather, I represent the latest...
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Rick Salutin
Keeping Score in History: Who Won this Week?
Keeping score can be exhausting and confusing. On Thursday morning, we had more golds but the U.S. had more medals. So who's on first? And if you assign points metallically, who's winning then? But I...
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Saturday, July 18, 2015
Steven Choi
A Year Since Eric Garner's Death: Policing, Black Lives Matter, and Immigrant Rights
One year ago, Staten Island resident Eric Garner was killed by a New York police officer who put him in a chokehold. In a cell phone video of the incident that went viral, you can see and hear Eric...
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Allie Yee
The Uncertain Future of Voter ID in North Carolina
In the federal trial underway in Winston-Salem, North Carolina challenging the state's restrictive 2013 voting law, one much-discussed provision is not under consideration: the voter ID requirement...
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Pierre Tristam
Donald Trump Isn’t the Exception. He’s the Republican Prototype.
Republicans are panicking that Donald Trump is ruining their good name while Democratic atheists are praying to god that Trump somehow manages to stay in the race through many a debate. They think...
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Kathy Kelly
Pushing Up
Last weekend, about 100 U.S. Veterans for Peace gathered in Red Wing, Minnesota, for a statewide annual meeting. In my experience, Veterans for Peace chapters hold “no-nonsense” events. Whether...
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Christopher Brauchli
A 21st Century Parable-The Lord and The Baker
The hippopotamus’s day Is passed in sleep; at night he hunts; God works in a mysterious way- The Church can sleep and feed at once. — T.S.Eliot, The Hippopotamus The Lord works in mysterious ways and...
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Friday, July 17, 2015
Bob Burnett
Five Keys to the Iran Agreement
On July 14th, the United States, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, and Russia reached an agreement with Iran to “significantly limit Tehran’s nuclear ability for more than a decade in return for...
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David Suzuki
The Climate Crisis Is Starting to Create a Global Consciousness Shift
When an assassin killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in 1914, no one called it the start of the First World War. That happened years later, after the implications, consequences and scale of...
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Timothy Karr
When Talking About U.S. Broadband, Don’t Say the ‘I’ Word
Want a blazing fast Internet? Well, you can get it if you live in select parts of the United States where ultra-high-speed services are available — and if you’re willing to pay a lot of money. On...
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Lawrence Wittner
Are Nuclear Arms Control and Disarmament Agreements of Any Value?
The recent announcement of a nuclear deal between the governments of Iran and other major nations, including the United States, naturally draws our attention to the history of international nuclear...
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The 9x9 Film Festival
Mother's Earth
The nine films featured in the '9x9 Film Festival'—created by The Source Project and presented here on Common Dreams in partnership with /The Rules project—have been made for one reason: to help...
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Brendan Fischer
Five Things to Know About the Scott Walker John Doe Ruling
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has single-handedly rewritten the state’s limits on money in politics, rendering the state’s disclosure laws and contribution limits meaningless, and opening the door to...
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Mary Petiet
Suffragettes, Sanders, and When to Vote
My Aunt Louisa was a suffragette. As a girl she ran away from home and a well-planned future. She secretly took the train from Annapolis to Boston, and enrolled herself at Radcliff College before...
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Alisa Opar
Bringing the Noise: How Will Shell’s Arctic Drilling Affect Marine Mammals in the Chukchi Sea?
The Arctic Ocean is hopping right now. Royal Dutch Shell plans to start drilling for oil in the Chukchi Sea later this month, and its two massive drill rigs, the Polar Pioneer and the Noble...
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Steven Singer
The Democrats May Have Just Aligned Themselves With Test and Punish – We Are Doomed
Almost every Democrat in the US Senate just voted to keep Test and Punish. But Republicans defeated them. I know. I feel like I just entered a parallel universe, too. But that’s what happened. Some...
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Thursday, July 16, 2015
Donald Kaul
Smashing the Austerity Idols
I’d like to apologize to the people of Greece. I’ve been pretty hard on them over the years. I’ve made fun of their freewheeling spendthrift habits, their unwillingness to pay their taxes, and their...
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Kate Siegfried
Why I Fight: To Push the Media to Cover War in All Its Complexity
When I was 10 years old, I saw my dad on TV. On the nightly news, to be exact. I was sitting in the living room of my great-aunt’s house in Southern Indiana reading a book when I heard an...
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Peter Bosshard
30 Things You Didn’t Know About Rivers
1. Rivers are some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. Rivers and lakes sustain more fish species than the sea even though they contain 600 times less water. 2. Rivers feed us. Freshwater...
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