Why We Need Media Critics Who Are Fiercely Independent

April 16, 2014
Why We Need Media Critics Who Are Fiercely Independent

NORMAN SOLOMON - The most renowned media critics are usually superficial and craven. That’s because -- as one of the greatest in the 20th century, George Seldes, put it -- “the most sacred cow of the press is the press itself.” No institutions are more image-conscious than big media outlets. The people running them...

“War Tax Resisters” Protest with their Money

April 14, 2014
“War Tax Resisters” Protest with their Money

RUTH BENN - On April 15 people in communities across the United States will be leafleting, marching, doing street theatre, committing civil disobedience, and picketing at post offices, IRS offices, federal buildings calling attention to what they see as the harmful effects of military spending.

Federal Judge Ignores the Law in Plowshares Case

April 12, 2014
Federal Judge Ignores the Law in Plowshares Case

JOHN LAFORGE - Any courtroom in China or Iran could have been the scene: An 84-year-old Catholic nun in prison garb, chained hand-and-foot and surrounded by heavy Marshals, is shuffled jangling into court. Her attorney asks if she might be allowed one free hand in order to take notes. The nun has been convicted...

Solartopia: Winning the Green Energy Revolution

April 11, 2014
Solartopia: Winning the Green Energy Revolution

HARVEY WASSERMAN - High above the Bowling Green town dump, a green energy revolution is being won. It's being helped along by the legalization of marijuana and its bio­fueled cousin, industrial hemp. But it's under extreme attack from the billionaire Koch Brothers, utilities like First Energy (FE), and a fossil/nuke industry that threatens our...

China to Shut Down 2,000 Coal Mines This Year

April 10, 2014
China to Shut Down 2,000 Coal Mines This Year

CECILIA JAMASMIE - China will shut down roughly 2,000 small coal mines this year, with a total capacity of 117.48 million tonnes, as part of the Beijing’s ongoing plan to reduce the alarming rates of air pollution and reduce the nation’s dependency on the fossil fuel.

Evangelicals Call for Action on Climate Change

April 8, 2014
Evangelicals Call for Action on Climate Change

ALAN NEUHAUSER - Hundreds of evangelical Christians gathered across the country Thursday for a “Day of Prayer and Action” on climate change. The event, made up of vigils, speeches and discussions, was part of a weeklong series being held on 20 Christian college campuses this week, all geared toward spurring churches and local communities...

“Limited” Nuclear War: 2 Billion at Risk

April 6, 2014
“Limited” Nuclear War: 2 Billion at Risk

IRA HELFAND and ROBERT DODGE - As physicians we spend our professional lives applying scientific facts to the health and well being of our patients. When it comes to public health threats like TB, polio, cholera, AIDS and others where there is no cure, our aim is to prevent what we cannot cure. ...

What Do World’s Two Biggest Dangers Have in Common?

April 4, 2014
What Do World’s Two Biggest Dangers Have in Common?

DAVID SWANSON - War and environmental destruction don't just overlap in how they're thought and talked about. They don't just promote each other through mutually reinforcing notions of machismo and domination. The connection is much deeper and more direct. War and preparations for war, including weapons testing, are themselves among the greatest...

Taking the War Activists to Task

April 2, 2014
Taking the War Activists to Task

DAVID SWANSON - War activists, like peace activists, push for an agenda. We don't think of them as activists because they rotate in and out of government positions, receive huge amounts of funding, have access to big media, and get meetings with top officials just by asking -- without having to generate a...

World Has No Idea How U.S. Decides on Wars

March 31, 2014
World Has No Idea How U.S. Decides on Wars

DAVID SWANSON - This, dear world, is more or less how the world's largest-ever killing machine operates. It turns its eyes away from the machine's work and, if pushed, debates the care of the machine itself -- maintaining more or less complete obliviousness to the horrors the machine produces in those far away...

Thanks for Killing the Planet, Boomers!

March 29, 2014
Thanks for Killing the Planet, Boomers!

TIM DONOVAN - The world as we know it is ending, and the indifference by Americans, politicians and mainstream press is maddening.

NSA Phone Collection Does Not Prevent Terrorism, According to Report

March 27, 2014
NSA Phone Collection Does Not Prevent Terrorism, According to Report

ANITA KUMAR - A new analysis of 225 terrorism cases in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks indicates that the National Security Agency's massive collection of phone records had a "minimal" on preventing acts of terrorism, according to a report released Monday by the New America Foundation, a...

From Helen to Hillary: Women in War

March 25, 2014
From Helen to Hillary: Women in War

DAVID SWANSON - The relationship of women to war has changed dramatically in recent decades, even while remaining the same. But make no mistake, waging war at the behest of female politicians is no different than waging war at the command of male politicians.

Military Recruiters Bully Counter-Recruiters in Portland School

March 23, 2014
Military Recruiters Bully Counter-Recruiters in Portland School

ANGIE HINES - On March 13, a fellow counter military recruiter and I went to Cleveland High School to talk with students. We were in a room filled with uniformed military recruiters, many more than necessary to staff a table. The Army, Army National Guard, Navy, and Marines were there. Within three to four minutes...

Peacebuilding: Powerful New Frame for the Peace Movement

March 21, 2014
Peacebuilding: Powerful New Frame for the Peace Movement

MATTHEW ALBRACHT - The prevailing notion and dominant cultural story is that violence is inevitable and there is really nothing significant we can do about it. Luckily, this is a false assumption. Many new methodologies are emerging, at almost every level of society, which are proving to be highly effective ways to address conflict...

Thermonuclear Monarchy and Revolution

March 19, 2014
Thermonuclear Monarchy and Revolution

DAVID SWANSON - Do nuclear weapons, by the nature of their technology, violate the U.S. Constitution? Do they violate the basic social contract and all possibility of self-governance? Thus argues a new book called Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing Between Democracy and Doom by Elaine Scarry. It's not unheard of for people to see...

Close Scrutiny of Pentagon Budget Shows Lavish Spending

March 17, 2014
Close Scrutiny of Pentagon Budget Shows Lavish Spending

JON RAINWATER - When people hear "the Army is being cut to pre-World War II levels," they are thinking about military forces as a whole. But the Air Force didn't even exist in 1940. The Marine Corps has grown exponentially since that earlier era. After the post- 9/11 spike is trimmed, a force far...

Small Arizona Town Challenges Border Patrol Excesses

March 15, 2014
Small Arizona Town Challenges Border Patrol Excesses

JOHN HEID - “You have no rights here!” barked a U.S. Border Patrol agent to a resident of Arivaca, AZ who was passing through a Customs and Border Protection checkpoint 23 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. This remark confirms a sense of violation of rights that many borderlands residents have when encountering one...

National Security: Going “Up” or “Down?”

March 13, 2014
National Security: Going “Up” or “Down?”

SUSAN C. STRONG - In his January State of the Union message, President Obama said two noteworthy things: the first was “America must move off a permanent war footing.” Of course this remark was preceded and followed by a lot of predictable stuff about keeping America strong by military means. But the President did...

Peace Activists Challenge Government Harrassment

March 11, 2014

ANTI-WAR COMMITTEE - On Feb. 26, 2014 we were successful in getting unsealed the application and affidavit used to obtain the search warrants for the 2010 raids on the Anti-War Committee office and on the homes of Mid-west anti-war and international solidarity activists. A review of these documents shows not only the extent...

Aftermath Would be Worse than a Nuclear War

March 9, 2014

KENT SHIFFERD - What could be worse than a nuclear war? A nuclear famine following a nuclear war. And what follows famine is epidemic disease. What can you do? The only way to assure ourselves this global disaster will not happen is to join the global movement to abolish all weapons of...

Obama Pronouncements about International Law Are Hypocritical

March 7, 2014
Obama Pronouncements about International Law Are Hypocritical

NORMAN SOLOMON - International law is suddenly very popular in Washington. President Obama responded to Russian military intervention in the Crimea by accusing Russia of a “breach of international law.” . . . Unfortunately, during the last five years, no world leader has done more to undermine international law than Barack Obama. He treats...

The Man Behind the Exploding Trains

March 6, 2014
The Man Behind the Exploding Trains

ERIC DE PLACE and RICH FELDMAN - In our previous installment, we explored how unsafe DOT-111s, the Ford Pinto of rail cars, make up the vast majority of oil-filled tank cars now riding the rails in North America. With DOT-111s, there is no margin for error. A serious derailment will almost always lead to...

The Purposely Confusing World of Energy Politics

March 4, 2014
The Purposely Confusing World of Energy Politics

RICHARD HEINBERG - Life often presents us with paradoxes, but seldom so blatant or consequential as the following. Read this sentence slowly: Today it is especially difficult for most people to understand our perilous global energy situation, precisely because it has never been more important to do so. Got that? No? Okay, let me...

Encouraging News from Oregon’s Junior Senator

March 3, 2014
Encouraging News from Oregon’s Junior Senator

JEFF MERKLEY - As a new member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I've fought to invest in, rather than undermine, our environment. And I have some good news: in the compromise spending bill that passed Congress (in late January), we secured renewed support for our Northwest environment, and succeeded in pushing back on several...

Update: Radiation Leaks from New Mexico Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Facility

March 1, 2014

SUSAN GORDON - Southwest Research and Information Center (SRIC) has carefully followed information about the radiation leak from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) that was first identified at approximately 11:30 pm on Friday, February 14, 2014. (See PeaceWorker article, "Excessive Radiation Levels Detected at New Mexico Waste Site," published Feb....

Why Nonviolent Direct Action?

February 28, 2014
Why Nonviolent Direct Action?

RALPH HUTCHINSON - [Editor’s Note: In the wake of the sentencing of 3 nonviolent objectors at the Y12 bomb plant in Oak Ridge, TN to long prison terms, this author takes the judge to task for the advice he offered the defendants from the bench. He develops his challenge into an insightful explanation of...

Nuclear Weapon Resisters Sentenced to Long Prison Terms, Outrageous Fines

February 27, 2014
Nuclear Weapon Resisters Sentenced to Long Prison Terms, Outrageous Fines

JOHN LAFORGE - Three anti-war activists who easily snuck into what is touted as one of the country’s most secure nuclear weapons facilities were sentenced to long terms in federal prison Tuesday, Feb. 18. The three were convicted last May on felony charges of depredation of property and sabotage for their nonviolent action called...

U.S. Examines Afghanistan Option that Would Leave Behind 3,000 Troops

February 26, 2014
U.S. Examines Afghanistan Option that Would Leave Behind 3,000 Troops

KAREN DEYOUNG - One of the four options President Obama is considering for a U.S. military presence in Afghanistan beyond this year would leave behind 3,000 troops, based in Kabul and at the American installation at Bagram, U.S. officials said. The other options include more troops in two scenarios and none in another.

Fast Track to Income Inequality

February 24, 2014
Fast Track to Income Inequality

LORI WALLACH - Corporate interests were fiercely lobbying for President Obama to dedicate serious time in this State of the Union speech to pushing fast track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in order to try to overcome growing congressional and public opposition to both, but instead he made only a brief passing reference. No...

Excessive Radiation Levels Detected at New Mexico Waste Site

February 22, 2014

LAURA ZUCKERMAN - Underground sensors have detected excessive radiation levels inside a nuclear waste storage site deep below New Mexico's desert, but no workers have been exposed and there was no risk to public health, U.S. Department of Energy officials said on Sunday.

Obama Prepares Plan for Deeper Greenhouse Gas Pollution Cuts

February 20, 2014
Obama Prepares Plan for Deeper Greenhouse Gas Pollution Cuts

LISA F. FRIEDMAN - The Obama administration is quietly working on new greenhouse gas emissions targets to deliver to the United Nations, even as it struggles to craft regulations that will enable the United States to meet its current carbon-cutting goals.

If Obama Orders the CIA to Kill a U.S. Citizen, Amazon Will Be a Partner in Assassination

February 18, 2014
If Obama Orders the CIA to Kill a U.S. Citizen, Amazon Will Be a Partner in Assassination

NORMAN SOLOMON - President Obama is now considering whether to order the Central Intelligence Agency to kill a U.S. citizen in Pakistan. That’s big news this week. But hidden in plain sight is the fact that Amazon would be an accessory to the assassination.

Heads of 31 Nations Declare Zone of Peace

February 16, 2014
Heads of 31 Nations Declare Zone of Peace

DAVID SWANSON (post) - The Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), gathered in Havana, Cuba on January 28 and 29, 2014 at the Second Summit, declared a Zone of Peace.

Oregon Middle School Makes the Grade for “Zero Net Energy”

February 14, 2014
Oregon Middle School Makes the Grade for “Zero Net Energy”

CHRIS THOMAS - Two Oregon buildings are getting national attention for maximum energy-efficiency - and one is passing its benefits on to the next generation.

The Mythological Basis of Foreign Policy

February 12, 2014
The Mythological Basis of Foreign Policy

DAVID SWANSON - War gains support and acceptance from widespread belief in false information, and the accumulation of false information into generally false concepts or myths about war. This is good news, because it means we are not intractably divided by ideology or worldview. Rather, we will find more widespread agreement about war if...

World’s 85 Richest have Same Wealth as 3.5 Billion Poorest

February 10, 2014

RT - The world’s 85 wealthiest people have as much money as the 3.5 billion poorest people on the planet – half the Earth’s population. That’s according to Oxfam’s latest report on the risks of the widening gap between the super-rich and the poor.

Most Americans Agree About Global Warming, But Not Congress

February 9, 2014
Most Americans Agree About Global Warming, But Not Congress

WENDY KOCH - The vast majority of Americans in each of 40-plus states surveyed say global warming is real, serious and man-made, and the concerns tend to be slightly higher in coastal or drought-stricken areas, says an analysis out today.

A Nickel a Year Could Prevent Starvation in Afghanistan

February 7, 2014
A Nickel a Year Could Prevent Starvation in Afghanistan

KATHY KELLY - In Afghanistan, funds have been available for tanks, guns, bullets, helicopters, missiles, weaponized drones, drone surveillance, Joint Special Operations task forces, bases, airstrips, prisons, and truck-delivered supplies for tens of thousands of troops. But funds are in short supply for children too weak to cry who are battling for their lives...

New Year’s Resolution: Push US to Withdraw Military from Afghanistan

February 5, 2014
New Year’s Resolution: Push US to Withdraw Military from Afghanistan

JOHN LAFORGE - After so much blood and destruction in Afghanistan, a lot of people dream of Secretary of State John Kerry reviving his monumental 1971 question, “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”

They Never Announce When You Prevent a War

February 3, 2014
They Never Announce When You Prevent a War

DAVID SWANSON - If we can stop one war, if we can stop two wars, why can't we stop them all and put our resources into protection rather than destruction? Why can't we move to a world beyond war?

The Keystone Principle: Stop Making Climate Disruption Worse

February 1, 2014
The Keystone Principle: Stop Making Climate Disruption Worse

KC GOLDEN - President Obama was all over the map on climate in his State of the Union address Tuesday night -- exhorting us to do what's right and necessary to protect our grandkids, then turning around and defending his senseless and climate-destroying "All of the above" energy policy. But now, the president faces...

Kentucky Senators Boost Your Electric Bill

January 30, 2014
Kentucky Senators Boost Your Electric Bill

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON - Kentucky's two Republican senators, who built their political careers railing against unions and government spending, stuck people and businesses in the Pacific Northwest with hundreds of millions of dollars of debts plus higher costs for electricity. They did it to save union jobs by wasting millions in federal dollars. Confused?...

Cut Off the NSA’s Juice

January 28, 2014
Cut Off the NSA’s Juice

NORMAN SOLOMON - The National Security Agency depends on huge computers that guzzle electricity in the service of the surveillance state. For the NSA’s top executives, maintaining a vast flow of juice to keep Big Brother nourished is essential -- and any interference with that flow is unthinkable. But interference isn’t unthinkable. And in...

Vietnamese Cyber-Army Hacks Pro-Democracy Activists, Analysts Say

January 26, 2014

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS - HANOI, Vietnam - Working on her blog in California one day, Vietnamese democracy activist Ngoc Thu sensed something was wrong. It took a moment for a keystroke to register. Cut-and-paste wasn't working. She had "a feeling that somebody was there" inside her computer. Her hunch turned out to be right.

The Only Way to Stop Climate Change Now May Be Revolution

January 24, 2014
The Only Way to Stop Climate Change Now May Be Revolution

ERIC HOLTHAUS - So it’s come to this. Last year, a researcher presented a paper on climate change at the American Geophysical Union’s meeting entitled ”Is Earth F**ked?” which advocated “environmental direct action, resistance taken from outside the dominant culture, as in protests, blockades and sabotage by indigenous peoples, workers, anarchists and other activist...

Will 2013 Be the Year Coal Died?

January 22, 2014
Will 2013 Be the Year Coal Died?

ANGUS DUNCAN - What was the biggest energy story of 2013 in the United States? Most observers would point to the vast, unlooked-for quantities of natural gas and oil released by new “fracking” recovery techniques. National oil production has surged by 30 percent just since 2011. Five yearsago the natural gas...

Nuclear Power: Not a Green Option

January 20, 2014

KENT D. SHIFFERD - There are other ways to make electricity, namely solar, wind, geothermal, and hydro dams, and there is always conservation. Why would anyone in their right mind risk going nuclear as a way to deal with global warming?

Retirement Theft in Four Despicable Steps

January 18, 2014

PAUL BUCHHEIT - The fear of running out of money in retirement is America's greatest financial concern. It's a fear greater than death. But the American workers who have paid all their lives for retirement security are being cheated by wealthy individuals and corporations who refuse to meet their tax obligations, and...

Former NSA Whistleblowers Plead for Chance to Brief Obama on Agency Abuses

January 16, 2014

RT.COM - A group of former National Security Agency insiders who went on to become whistleblowers have written a letter to President Barack Obama requesting a meeting with him to offer “a fuller picture” of the spy agency’s systemic problems.