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Why We Protest: A Message for Middle America

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 06:54
Ira Chernus

I live in a small, pretty typical middle-American city. For decades it was rock-ribbed Republican. Recently it’s been turning slowly but steadily more liberal. So now it is solidly purple.

When we stand out on Main Street (yes, it’s really called Main Street) at our weekly progressive vigil, we get plenty of approving honks from the cars driving by, a sprinkling of thumbs down or middle fingers up, and lots of blank apathy.

Resistance and Resolve in Russia: Memorial HRC

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 12:20
David Smith-Ferri

In late October, while traveling in Russia with a small delegation of peace activists from Voices for Creative Nonviolence, a young Russian lawyer and his brother took me to Dacha Na Pokrovke, a Moscow restaurant where we enjoyed some of the best food I’ve ever eaten: delicious Russian dumplings, tender kabobs, and the most exquisite, tender, and juicy beef tongue, cut in small, thin slices that I can still taste two months later. I had eaten tongue once before, in New York, and hated it, vowing subconsciously never to eat it again. But this was a revelation.

James Baldwin and the Meaning of Whiteness

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 10:10
Chris Hedges

Raoul Peck’s “I Am Not Your Negro” is one of the finest documentaries I have ever seen—I would have stayed in the theater in New York to see the film again if the next showing had not been sold out.

The For-Profit Presidency, Month One

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 10:07
Robert Weissman

One month into the Trump administration, and it’s clear that there has been a wholesale corporate takeover of the government

A day-by-day review of the administration’s first month shows that virtually every day there has been a new, extraordinary grant of power to corporate interests and/or another development in Donald Trump’s get-rich-quick-scheme known as the American presidency.

America has never seen anything like this, and it’s only the first month.

The 75th Anniversary of E.O. 9066 Is a Solemn Reminder to Fight Back Against the Trump Administration's Fearmongering

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 10:02
Dorothy M. Ehrlich

Seventy-five years ago, in one of the darkest moments in American history, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066. Immediately, the federal government began forcing 110,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry into concentration camps for fear they posed a threat to national security.

The Trump Administration has Definitely not Drained the Swamp

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 09:49
Jesse Heitz

For many Americans, the past several weeks have served as an intensive seminar in the generation of acute anxiety and animosity. Over these few short weeks, we've witnessed the gruesome collision between the promises of candidacy and the requirements for effective governing.

So far, this appalling spectacle has unleashed a torrent of public angst, and decimated the mystique that once surrounded the most unorthodox presidential candidate in modern history.

Don't Be Fooled by the Politics of Smart

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 07:36
Rick Salutin

Whatever happened to liberals? Sadly, they got smart.

For this insight I’m indebted to U.S. journalist Thomas Frank, whose 2004 book, What’s the Matter with Kansas? explained the success of right-wing populism in the George W. Bush years and whose recent, Listen, Liberal, described the Hillary Clinton debacle in advance. He lectured in Toronto last month. It served as a booster shot.

Are Liberals Helping Trump? Not Much, Apparently

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 07:33
Jim Naureckas

“Are Liberals Helping Trump?” asks the New York Times national correspondent Sabrina Tavernise (2/18/17). She seems to think they are.

Morbid Inequality: Now Just SIX Men Have as Much Wealth as Half the World's Population

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 06:39
Paul Buchheit

Yes, inequality is getting worse every year. In early 2016 Oxfam reported that just 62 individuals had the same wealth as the bottom half of humanity. About a year later Oxfam reported that just 8 men had the same wealth as the world's bottom half.

What Happened to Japanese Americans 75 Years Ago Is Newly Relevant

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 06:25
Shirley Ann Higuchi

In May 1942, just six months into World War II, a medical doctor in the US Army went to a notary in Fort Smith, Arkansas and signed over the sale of his family farm in San Jose, California. The rushed sale “for pennies on the dollar” happened because of an order his commander in chief, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, signed two months earlier. That medic was my uncle, James Higuchi. He was among those who were forced into prisons without trials because of 9066 — my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles.

Science Isn't Just for Scientists—We Can All Take Part

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 07:12
Madeline Ostrander

After he moved to London in his early 20s, Luke Howard became obsessed with the weather. Howard had a day job running a pharmacy business in the 1790s and early 1800s, but he spent a lot of his spare time staring at the sky. He collected a set of makeshift weather instruments—glass thermometers; a hygrometer (to measure moisture in the air) cobbled together from a wire spring and a strip of whalebone; and a barometer attached to an old astronomical clock that he bought secondhand and repaired himself.

Protesters, True Patriots

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 06:36
Pierre Tristam

One of the most noble protests in the history of protest was that of Thick Quand Duc, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk who doused himself in fuel and lit himself on fire on a Saigon Street in 1963 to protest Buddhists’ treatment at the hands of the corrupt American-backed regime, and by extension, to protest American involvement in his country. He never flinched until he collapsed, consumed by the flames. And he started a trend, as other monks followed.

Why Trumponomics Fails

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 06:07
Robert Reich

When Donald Trump gave a speech last Friday at Boeing’s factory in North Charleston, South Carolina – unveiling Boeing’s new 787 “Dreamliner” – he congratulated Boeing for building the plane “right here” in South Carolina.

It’s pure fantasy. I’ll let you know why in a moment.

Trump also used the occasion to tout his “America First” economics, stating “our goal as a nation must be to rely less on imports and more on products made here in the U.S.A.” and “we want products made by our workers in our factories stamped by those four magnificent words, ‘Made in the U.S.A.’”

John Kasich is a Nitwit

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 05:59
Diane Ravitch

During the Republican primaries last year, many friends of mine considered John Kasich the adult in the GIP field. When I explained his demonstrated hostility to public education, they thought I must be exaggerating.

But now the proof is there for all who are willing to learn about it.

Kasich wants all teachers to spend some time visiting businesses so they know how to prepare their students.

The Stakes in the Race for Democratic National Committee Chair

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 00:13
Tom Gallagher

One leading candidate for Democratic National Committee Chair recently said, "We heard loudly and clearly yesterday from Bernie supporters that the process was rigged and it was. And you've got to be honest about it. That's why we need a chair who is transparent."

Wild Cats Grab Back

Sat, 02/18/2017 - 22:07
Rev. Billy Talen

The big wild cats are dying. The leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, lions, pumas, snow leopards, and tigers…

Each of these cats leaps from the top of their own ecosystem, and yet we humans are above the cats and we’re killing them all.  We are the apex predator in the era we’ve named after ourselves, the Anthropocene.  

Scrutiny for Supreme Court Pick Fails to Focus on Rights of Disabled

Sat, 02/18/2017 - 13:51
Janine Jackson

Since Donald Trump announced Neil Gorsuch as his nominee for the Supreme Court, media have coalesced around a few themes: One is about whether any Trump appointment should be blocked as payback to Republicans, as expressed in a New York Times headline (2/13/17): “Democrats’ Quandary on Gorsuch: Appease the Base or Honor the Process.” Spoiler: The paper thinks the real strain is on “those in the middle.”

The Same Republicans Who Pushed For Invasive Surveillance Are Complaining About It Now

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 23:58
Elizabeth Goitein

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, is not particularly concerned by the fact that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn discussed sanctions against Russia with the Russian ambassador during the transition.

When Women Speak Out for All

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 23:52
Susan Quinn, Joyce Antler, et al.

As scholars of women’s history, we are aware of times in our past when advocates for women’s rights and advocates for black rights competed against one another. But not this time. We need look no further than Elizabeth Warren’s historic silencing on the floor of the Senate last week.

This Isn’t Just Trump. This Is Who the Republicans Are.

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 23:42
Dave Johnson

So far President Donald Trump has signed very few bills. One lets coal companies dump waste into streams. Another lets oil companies bribe foreign dictators in secret. Now he is moving to block a Labor Department “fiduciary rule” that requires financial advisers to act in the best interests of their clients when advising on retirement accounts.