Columns & Articles

"Invasion of the Sea-Smurfs"

A little-noticed story surfaced a couple of weeks ago in the Army Times newspaper about the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team. “Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months,” reported Army Times staff writer Gina Cavallaro, “the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.” Disturbingly, she writes that “they may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control” as well.

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October 02, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles

"Troy Davis and the Supreme Decision"

Troy Anthony Davis was scheduled to die by lethal injection Tuesday. Two hours before the state of Georgia was to execute him, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay until Monday. It had earlier agreed to hear Davis’ case on Sept. 29, but Georgia set his execution date six days before the hearing.

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September 25, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles, Troy Davis, Death Penalty

"Wall Street Socialists"

The financial crisis gripping the U.S. has the largest banks and insurance companies begging for massive government bailouts. The banking, investment, finance and insurance industries, long the foes of taxation, now need money from working-class taxpayers to stay alive. Taxpayers should be in the driver’s seat now. Instead, decisions that will cost people for decades are being made behind closed doors, by the wealthy, by the regulators and by those they have failed to regulate.

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September 18, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles

"The Party Police"

The Democratic and Republican national conventions have passed, but controversy surrounds how they were funded and how they were run.

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September 11, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles

"Why We Were Falsely Arrested"

Government crackdowns on journalists are a true threat to democracy. As the Republican National Convention meets in St. Paul, Minn., this week, police are systematically targeting journalists.

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September 03, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles, RNC 2008

"Poverty Is the Real Scandal"

Former Sen. John Edwards was supposed to speak in Denver at the Democratic National Convention, but he had an affair. Will the Democrats now forget about his signature issue?

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August 28, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles

"Cheney, Bush and Habbush"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is on a book tour, where she is being hounded by activists and questioned about her pledge that "impeachment is off the table." She responded on the TV talk show "The View," "If somebody had a crime that the president had committed, that would be a different story." Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind may have provided the evidence she doesn’t want to see.

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August 21, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles

"Don’t Cage Dissent"

Open opposition, the right to challenge those in power, is a mainstay of any healthy democracy. The Democratic and Republican conventions will test the commitment of the two dominant U.S. political parties to the cherished tradition of dissent. Things are not looking good.

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August 14, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles, RNC 2008

"Threats, Lies and Audiotape"

With no end in sight in Afghanistan and Iraq, military recruiters must be prevented from using desperate and aggressive measures to lure our nation’s young people—the poorest and most vulnerable—into the line of fire.

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August 07, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles

‘It’s a Global Election’

Amy Goodman reports from the Baltics: "When I arrived in Estonia last week—a former Soviet republic that lies just south of Finland—everyone had an opinion on Barack Obama’s speech in Berlin."

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July 30, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles

"Who’s Paying for the Conventions?"

The nominating conventions have become elaborate, expensive marketing events, but most people don’t know the extent to which major corporations fund them, pouring tens of millions of dollars into a little-known loophole in the campaign-finance system.

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July 24, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles

"Don’t Drink the Nuclear Kool-Aid"

While the presidential candidates trade barbs and accuse each other of flip-flopping, they agree with President Bush on their enthusiastic support for nuclear power.

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July 17, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles, Nuclear Power

"Colombia: Celebrate the Release, Not the Regime"

It is fantastic to see Ingrid Betancourt free, but the celebration of her release should not be confused with celebration of the Colombian government.

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July 10, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles

"It’s Not the Man, It’s the Movement"

I was on a panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado this week when Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter asked me, “Is Obama a sellout?” The question isn’t whether he is a sellout or not—it’s about what demands are made by grass-roots social movements of those who would represent them. The question is, who are these candidates responding to, answering to?

July 03, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles

"Funny Man in an Unfunny World"

The world lost one of its great comedians this week with the death at age 71 of George Carlin. Carlin had a career as a stand-up comic that spanned a half-century, in which he continually broke new ground, targeting those in power with his wit and genius.

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June 26, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles

"Weather Reports Are Missing the Story"

While the TV meteorologists document “extreme weather” with their increasingly sophisticated toolbox, from Doppler radar to 3-D animated maps, the two words rarely uttered are its cause: global warming.

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June 19, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles

"This Way to Better Media"

“This way to better media,” read the floor sign directing people through a skyway to the Minneapolis Convention Center. Thousands of people gathered there for the fourth National Conference for Media Reform, hosted by freepress.net. They came from all walks of life and all ages to address a central crisis in our society: our broken media system. I was one of the invited speakers.

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June 12, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles

"Obama Strikes a Chord With a Disaffected Republican"

David Iglesias is an evangelical, Hispanic Republican—yes, that one, the former U.S. attorney for New Mexico—and he has positive things to say about Barack Obama.

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June 04, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles

"Utah Phillips Has Left the Stage"

“Utah” Phillips died this week at the age of 73. He was a musician, labor organizer, peace activist and co-founder of his local homeless shelter. He also was an archivist, a historian and a traveler, playing guitar and singing almost forgotten songs of the dispossessed and the downtrodden, and keeping alive the memory of labor heroes like Emma Goldman, Joe Hill and the Industrial Workers of the World, “the Wobblies,” in a society that too soon forgets.

May 28, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles, Art & Politics

"Presidential Race Ignores Arms Race"

As the U.S. presidential race continues, so does the arms race worldwide. People—civilians, children—are being killed and maimed, on a daily basis, by unexploded cluster bombs and land mines. Thousands of nuclear missiles remain at hair-trigger alert. The U.S. government rattles its saber at Iran, alleging a nuclear-weapons program, while at the same time offering enriched uranium to Saudi Arabia.

May 21, 2008 |  Filed under  Columns & Articles, Pakistan, Iran

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