Columns & Articles

"Pete Seeger Carries Us On"

It was some garden party. Eighteen-thousand people packed into Madison Square Garden Sunday night to celebrate the first 90 years of Pete Seeger’s life.

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"Disclosure of ‘Secrets’ in the ’70s Didn’t Destroy the Nation"

Back in the Watergate era, the Church Committee documented and exposed extraordinary abuses by the government. Of course some people tried to block its work—Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. Sound familiar? We confront a similar challenge today.

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April 29, 2009 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles, COINTELPRO

"Torturers Should Be Punished"

The door to justice is open just a crack. After the release of four Bush-era Office of Legal Counsel memos that authorized "harsh interrogation techniques," President Obama said there should be no prosecutions. Though he may occupy the most powerful office on Earth, there is a force more powerful: committed people demanding change. Torturers should be punished.

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"Pacifica Radio at 60: A Sanctuary of Dissent"

The oldest independent media network in the United States turns 60 years old this week as a deepening crisis engulfs mainstream media.

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"U.S. Muslims Still Under Siege"

While Obama was in Turkey this week, he pledged a commitment to "bridge the divide between the Muslim world and the West." Meanwhile, in Tampa, Fl., Youssef Megahed was arrested on charges he had been acquitted of days before. In the murky world of immigrant detention, "double jeapordy," being charged with the same offense twice, is perfectly legal.

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April 08, 2009 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles, Arabs and Muslims in America

"Seattle’s Lessons for London"

The police chief who directed Seattle’s response to the 1999 WTO protests, now sounds more like one of the protesters his forces tear-gassed. On the G-20 Protest in London, he says, "We’re now reaping what we have sown."

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"Lessons of the Exxon Valdez"

Twenty years ago, the Exxon Valdez supertanker spilled at least 11 million gallons of oil into Alaska’s pristine Prince William Sound. The consequences of the spill were epic and continue to this day.

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"Those Hit Hardest Get No Bailout"

Obama has surrounded himself with financial advisers who are too cozy with Wall Street, like Summers and Geithner. It’s time to direct the stimulus to the people who need it, to those whose tax dollars are funding it.

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"Put Single-Payer on the Table"

President Barack Obama promises health-care reform, but he has taken single-payer health care off the table. In his proposed system, the government pays all the bills, but health-care delivery remains private.

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"Obama’s Coalition of the Unwilling"

President Barack Obama met recently with the prime ministers of Canada and Britain. The meeting was downsized from a full news conference to a small question and answer session. Are they hiding the growing divide between Afghanistan policies?

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March 04, 2009 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles, Afghanistan

"Toxins 'R' Us"

U.S. consumers are exposed to a vast array of harmful chemicals and additives embedded countless products. Industries in the US have fought regulation, while Europe moves ahead with prohibitions against the most harmful toxins.

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"Jailing Kids for Cash"

As many as 5,000 children in Pennsylvania have been found guilty, and up to 2,000 of them jailed, by two corrupt judges who received kickbacks from the builders and owners of private prison facilities that benefited. The two judges pleaded guilty in a stunning case of greed and corruption that is still unfolding. Judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan received $2.6 million in kickbacks while imprisoning children who often had no access to a lawyer. The case offers an extraordinary glimpse into the shameful private prison industry that is flourishing in the United States.

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"Obama’s Afghan Trap"

President Obama held his first prime-time news conference Monday night. When questioned on Afghanistan, he replied, "This is going to be a big challenge."

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February 11, 2009 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles, Afghanistan

"Facing Foreclosure? Don’t Leave. Squat"

Marcy Kaptur of Ohio is the longest-serving Democratic congresswoman in U.S. history. Her district, stretching along the shore of Lake Erie from west of Cleveland to Toledo, faces an epidemic of home foreclosures and 11.5 percent unemployment. That heartland region, the Rust Belt, had its heart torn out by the North American Free Trade Agreement, with shuttered factories and struggling family farms. Kaptur led the fight in Congress against NAFTA. Now, she is recommending a radical foreclosure solution from the floor of the U.S. Congress: "So I say to the American people, you be squatters in your own homes. Don’t you leave."

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"Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Jail"

Karl Rove recently described George W. Bush as a book lover, writing, "There is a myth perpetuated by Bush critics that he would rather burn a book than read one." There will be many histories written about the Bush administration. What will they use for source material? The Bush White House was sued for losing e-mails, and for skirting laws intended to protect public records.

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"A Long Train Ride"

It started with a train ride. Barack Obama rode to Washington, D.C., for his presidential inauguration on a whistle-stop tour. “To the children who hear the whistle of the train and dream of a better life—that’s who we’re fighting for,” Obama said along the tour, which was compared to the train ride taken by Abraham Lincoln from Springfield, Ill., to Washington, D.C., in February 1861, en route to his first inauguration.

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"Nothing to Fear but No Health Care"

Fifty million Americans are without health insurance, and 25 million are “underinsured.” Millions being laid off will soon be added to those rolls. At this perilous moment, we need sweeping New Deal-caliber changes, not the impotent tinkering that has been proposed.

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January 14, 2009 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles, Michael Moore

"Israeli Voices for Peace"

Israel’s assault on Gaza, by air, sea and now land, has killed (at the time of this writing) more than 600 Palestinians, with more than 2,700 injured. Ten Israelis have been killed, three of them Israeli soldiers killed by friendly fire. Beyond the deaths and injuries, the people of Gaza are suffering a dire humanitarian crisis that is dismissed by the Israeli government. There is, however, Israeli opposition to the military assault.

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January 07, 2009 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles, Gaza

"Voices of Resistance Sing On"

Strong voices for peace have left us this year, people who used their art for social change, often at a high personal price. A look at the lives and politics of Odetta, Miriam Makeba and Eartha Kitt.

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December 31, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles, Art & Politics

"One Man’s Bid to Aid the Environment"

A Utah student’s disruption of a federal auction has temporarily blocked a Bush-enabled land grab by the oil and gas industries.

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