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Updated: 1 hour 33 min ago

Arms Bazaar: Needs Wars, Eats lives

Sat, 08/19/2017 - 03:25
Paul Rogers

It seems to be business as usual in the worldwide "war on terror". The United States military is currently embroiled in many hotspots where violence, fear, and the ever present reality or threat of high explosive are the order of the day. Those conditions mean, for people at the sharp end, multiple distress. But for suppliers of weapons and military equipment, the good times – which never really went away – are back.

Surprised by Charlottesville? You Haven’t Been Paying Attention

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 12:17
Steven Singer

America is a funny place.

On the one hand, we’re one of the first modern Democracies, a product of Enlightenment thinking and unabashed pluralism and cultural diversity.

On the other, we’ve built our entire society on a cast system that is the basis of our economics, politics and cultural mores.

We’re the land of Benjamin Franklin, the Wright brothers, Duke Ellington, Toni Morrison, and Sandra Day O’Connor.

But we’re also the land of Andrew Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Charles Lindberg, Bull Connor, and David Duke.

This Is All So 19th Century

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 11:06
Laura Bonham

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” 

Charlottesville and the Confederate Legacy

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 09:58
Keri Leigh Merritt

As Americans struggle to make sense of the bloodshed resulting from the white supremacist “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville this past weekend, we must remember the movement’s historical predecessors.

In their vicious quest to “Make America White Again,” this motley conglomeration of different hate groups did more than simply protest the removal of Confederate monuments. Armed for war, these incendiary racists employ several of the same aggressive tactics that the slaveholding leaders of the Confederate rebellion once relied on to achieve secession.

Can Anyone Stop Trump’s FCC From Approving a Conservative Local News Empire?

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 08:02
John Light

President Trump’s Federal Communications Commission, under chairman Ajit Pai, has been clearing the way for a merger between Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Media, two television companies that together own hundreds of local news stations.

Don’t Believe the Alarmist Propaganda About North Korea

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 06:42
Andrew Cockburn

Never underestimate the ability of the national security establishment to believe its own alarmist propaganda—remember those establishment members believed in the fable of Saddam Hussein’s weapons. Among the specters currently haunting our defense policymakers is the idea that Kim Jong Un has instituted a “dead hand” for his nuclear arsenal. This means that if the portly North Korean leader is suddenly obliterated in a drone strike or by some other means of assassination, his nuclear arsenal will automatically and immediately launch, speeding unstoppably toward pre-assigned targets.

How Did Guam Become a Target of North Korean Missiles?

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 06:25
Catherine Lutz

Guam doesn’t feel like a target.  When I have visited the island over the course of the past several decades, it has struck me as one of the most wildly beautiful places on earth, with an endless turquoise sea, dramatic limestone cliffs, and impossibly green hills, and one of the most welcoming. It residents’ contemporary Chamorro cultural values emphasize family, generosity, non-confrontation, and respect for one’s elders, neighbors, and guests.

As Trump Hits a New Low, Here’s How We Go High

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 06:25
Isaiah Poole

It has, today, come to this: The person holding the title of president of the United States in 2017 decries the loss of “beautiful statues and monuments” to white supremacy, “sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart.”

This is a new low for a presidency that is remarkable in its ability to sink to new levels of moral and intellectual depravity.

"Trump has unapologetically poured fuel on the fires of racial hate."

The Barcelona Attack and the Vicious Redundancy of the New Normal

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 06:11
Paul Rogers

The Barcelona attack followed a pattern that has developed over nearly three years and stems from the start of the intense US-led air war against ISIS which began back in August 2014.

After Years of Slammed Doors, Torture Survivors Finally End Impunity Streak

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 06:06
Dror Ladin

As an attorney representing victims of torture, one of the most inspiring things I have ever seen is the sheer determination of survivors standing up and publicly confronting those responsible. That’s why I’m so elated that our clients Suleiman Abdullah Salim, Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, and Obaidullah have surmounted so many obstacles in their long pursuit of justice.

Playing A Symphony On That White Skin

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 12:53
Les Leopold

Historically, the rise of racist fascism is linked to economic upheaval. But today, with unemployment rates near all-time lows, at first glance, there seems to be little or no connection between joblessness and the rise of violent white supremacist movements.

The Alt-Right and the 1%

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 10:46
Sarah Anderson

When President Donald Trump let loose at his Tuesday press conference, equating anti-racism protesters with neo-Nazis, it was a big hit with the men who’d taken part in the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.

But Trump wasn’t just playing to the kind of racist crowd that marches around carrying Tiki torches and waving swastika flags in the streets. He was also sending a signal to those in the executive suites.

Charlottesville, Oppression, and the Imperative of System Change

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 09:55
Dana Drugmand

We are living in deeply troubling times. Our democracy is eroding, wealth and income inequality has skyrocketed, and tragedy and violence seemingly erupt daily around the world. The recent events in Charlottesville, VA are just the latest reminder of the disturbing place we find ourselves in. Yes that incident was about race and hate, but it also connects to something much deeper. Anyone who pays attention to current events should be starting to connect the dots between the myriad problems plaguing our society.

The Road Back from the Brink

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 09:24
John Atcheson

These are perilous times.

At a time when the window of opportunity to avoid the worst—and increasingly, the irrevocable—consequences of climate change is closing, we have an anti-science president and Congress that is already doing its best to usher us into the new Dark Ages.

At a time when the social fabric of our nation is in danger of being ripped to shreds, we’ve elected a leader who feeds hate and divisiveness.

"Perhaps we needed to hit bottom. If so, is this bottom enough?"

Pardon Me! High Crimes and Demeanors in the Age of Trump

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 08:27
Tom Engelhardt

Let me try to get this straight: from the moment the Soviet Union imploded in 1991 until recently just about every politician and mainstream pundit in America assured us that we were the planet’s indispensable nation, the only truly exceptional one on this small orb of ours.

When Will the United States Transcend White Supremacy?

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 08:09
Robert Jensen

Now that the violence in Charlottesville has forced “white supremacy” into our political vocabulary, let's ask an uncomfortable question: “When will the United States transcend white supremacy?”

Why Does North Korea Hate Us?

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 07:46
Robert C. Koehler

And so we return to the Korean War, when North Korea was carpet-bombed to the edge of existence. The American media doesn’t have a memory that stretches quite so far back, at least not under present circumstances. One commentator at MSNBC recently explained, for instance, that the tiny pariah nation “has been preparing for war for 63 years.”

Meet the New NAFTA, Same as the Old NAFTA?

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 06:22
Ethan Goffman

During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump called for protection of jobs. Did he mean tariffs or other measures to keep employment in the United States? Or was he talking about stronger labor protection, such as the right to organize? The renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, which began August 16, mean the cards will soon be on the table.

Trump's Civil War

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 05:47
Robert Reich

Trump’s unwillingness to denounce the white supremacists who came to Charlottesville last weekend bent on violence has been part of his political strategy from the start.

Remember, weeks after he began his campaign by alleging that Mexican immigrants were criminals and rapists, two brothers in Boston beat up and urinated on a 58-year-old homeless Mexican national, subsequently telling police “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.”

Centrist Pundits Paved Way for Trump’s ‘Alt-Left’ False Equivalence

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 14:10
Adam Johnson

President Donald Trump sparked outrage Tuesday afternoon after he equated Nazis and counter-protesters in Charlottesville. To do so, he referred to the anti-racist activists as the “alt-left,” with the implication that they were the equivalent of the “alt-right,” two sides to the same coin, showing there was, in his words, evil “on both sides.”