KATHY KELLY – As COVID-19 threatens to engulf war-torn Yemen, it is even more critical to raise awareness of how the war debilitates the country.
KATHY KELLY – As COVID-19 threatens to engulf war-torn Yemen, it is even more critical to raise awareness of how the war debilitates the country.
COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENTAL LEGAL DEFENSE FUND – In an extraordinary reversal, two weeks ago, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) revoked a permit for a frack waste injection well in Grant Township. DEP officials cited Grant Township’s Home Rule Charter banning injection wells as grounds for their reversal.
JONATHAN GRANOFF and BARRY KELLMAN – As the coronavirus pandemic spirals around the world, and as militaries lie helpless before it, it’s appropriate to ask whether we would be better off if more resources and attention were pooled and devoted to addressing threats to human security.
ANDREW BACEVICH – Deferred for far too long, Judgment Day may at long last have arrived for the national security state.
NORMAN SOLOMON – Every day now we’re waking up into an extreme real-life nightmare, while responses are still routinely lagging far behind what’s at stake. Urgency is reality. The horrific momentum of the coronavirus is personal, social and political. In those realms, a baseline formula is “passivity = death.” The imperative is to do vastly better.
CHLOE FARAND – IEA head Fatih Birol is calling on heads of state and international financial institutions to make coronavirus recovery plans sustainable.
BERNIE SANDERS – This is a moment that we have got to be working together and going forward together. What I wanted to do is talk about a series of proposals that we are working on and that we will introduce to the Democratic leadership about how we can best go forward.
KATHY KELLY – U.S. sanctions against Iran, cruelly strengthened in March of 2018, continue a collective punishment of extremely vulnerable people. Presently, the U.S. “maximum pressure” policy severely undermines Iranian efforts to cope with the ravages of COVID-19, causing hardship and tragedy while contributing to the global spread of the pandemic. On March 12, 2020, Iran’s Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif urged member states of the UN to end the United States’ unconscionable and lethal economic warfare.
RASHAAN AYESH – Gender-based violence, WhatsApp message taxes and the rising cost of bread have set off some of the largest protests in the past year, and women were among the first in the streets, often risking their personal safety.
MARIE SOLIS – Naomi Klein explains how governments and the global elite will exploit a pandemic.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – We live in a dangerous and paradoxical world. OK, fine. But is our social infrastructure capable of calmly and sanely handling new dangers that emerge — or is it more likely to make them worse?
PEDRO RIOS – From challenging narratives justifying violence to know-your-rights trainings and cultural actions, border communities are building a powerful movement.
NICK ENGELFRIED – By tapping into existing networks and old campaigns, a new wave of student activism is making the fossil fuel divestment movement bigger, bolder and more creative.
GEORGE LAKEY – The trouble with pragmatism these days is that our country is becoming less predictable by the minute. What is going on among the 40 percent of the electorate that didn’t bother to vote in 2016’s general election? How about the new voters who’ve become naturalized citizens in the meantime, or the many who’ve turned 18? How much will the Russians skew the results?
ROBERT REICH – The Democratic establishment is viewing American politics through obsolete lenses of left versus right, with Bernie on the extreme left and Trump on the far right. This may have been the correct frame for politics decades ago when America still had a growing middle class, but it’s obsolete today.
HAL FREEMAN – On January 15, 2020 Vladimir Putin delivered a speech to the Federal Assembly that attracted quite a bit of attention. I was reluctant to write a blog on it. There were many articles that appeared in English which focused on the speech. Yet, the vast majority misrepresented what Putin actually said while missing the speech’s very important main topics.
OLIVER MILNE – Anti-nuclear campaigners said that any decision to upgrade Britain’s nuclear tech should have been debated by MPs.
ARNIE ALPERT – While New Hampshire seeks to prosecute #NoCoalNoGas campaigners for “bad behavior,” activists continue their struggle against the region’s worst offender.
BLAIR STENVICK – A bill that would aim to regulate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon is dominating this year’s short legislative session. But while the political dynamic in Salem is mostly focused on Democrats who support the bill and Republicans who oppose it, the bill is also receiving pushback from progressive environmental groups in Portland.
WIM LAVEN – The Trump administration’s proposed budget is alarming in what it presents as the actual priorities of the White House. Among many other disastrous priorities, Trump’s budget for 2021 includes funding “for the orderly closure of the [National Endowment for the Humanities].”
MOHAMMED ALI – A meeting of the leaders of Russia, China, the United States, France and the United Kingdom, the permanent members of the UN Security Council, which was proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, can be helpful and even necessary in light of the changing international situation.
GAIL SKENANDORE and TOM HASTINGS – We believe a light needs to shine on the pockets of escalating violence on Indian reservations. The intersection of guns, drugs, poverty, scant education, substandard health care, high unemployment, and corruption are literally producing conditions that invariably redound the hardest and worst on young people of color.
BOB TOPPER – The religious right has changed what it means to be a conservative. And the religious right seems hell-bent on dictating “their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of ‘conservatism,’” as they try to rewrite American history, and change the meaning of the Constitution. Should they succeed, it will be sad day for everyone,…Christians included.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – The mainstream media imposes some serious certainties on the 2020 presidential election that drive me into a furious despair.
JULIA CONLEY – A study by British and American scientists revealed that a massive sheet of ice known as the “doomsday glacier” is melting faster than experts previously believed—edging the world closer to a possible sea level rise of more than 10 feet.
PAUL ANTONOPOULOS – Last week NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg explained why the U.S. are strengthening their military presence in Europe. The reason is unsurprisingly to pressurize and intimidate Russia, but also against China and the so-called fight against terrorism. Stoltenberg explained that there are now more U.S. soldiers in EU Member States, more than ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In the coming months, the Defender-Europe 2020 exercises, the largest of its kind in the last 25 years, will begin. And with this exercise, U.S. troop numbers will only increase in Europe with another 20,000 troops and officers arriving.
SARAH FREEMAN-WOOLPERT and ARNIE ALPERT – By escalating from symbolic actions to obstruction, the #NoCoalNoGas campaign is mounting a serious challenge to the fossil fuel industry with a growing network of climate activists.
DENICE ZECK – On Sunday, February 2, Earth Day Network ran a full-page ad in The New York Times announcing a global day of activism to mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2020. The advertisement ran nearly 50 years to the day that a full-page ad in The New York Times used the words “Earth Day” for the first time. The ad changed everything about environmental awareness.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – When the mainstream media writes about war, even critically, the image that often comes to mind for me is an infant wrapped in plastic. That infant is naked reality, a.k.a., the present moment, suffocating and screaming for its life; the plastics smothering it are the journalistic euphemisms by which murder and terrorism turn into abstract acts of national necessity.
MOVE THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS MONEY – In January 2018, New York City decided to divest the city’s $189bn pension funds from fossil fuel companies within the next five years. Now the city looks set to also divest from the nuclear weapons industry.
GRETA ZARRO – Just one month into a new decade, we face an ever-increasing risk of nuclear apocalypse. The U.S. government’s assassination of Iranian General Soleimani on January 3 intensified the very real threat of another all-out war in the Middle East. On January 23, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists accordingly reset the Doomsday Clock to just 100 short seconds to midnight, apocalypse. Where do we go from here?
GAYLE SPINAZZE – Doomsday Clock Now Closer to Midnight Than Ever in Its History; Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Cite Worsening Nuclear Threat, Lack of Climate Action & Rise of “Cyber-Enabled Disinformation Campaigns” in Moving Clock Hand.
MICHAEL PECK – In another sign that the nuclear arms race is heating up, the U.S. is ramping up production of nuclear bomb cores.
WINSLOW MYERS – The enthralling new documentary directed by Iranian film maker Taghi Amirani and edited and co-written by the renowned film editor Walter Murch (“Apocalypse Now”; “English Patient”) is a meticulous backward look at an event that still determines much of the resentment Iran feels toward the government of the United States—and Britain: the 1953 coup which overthrew Mohammed Mossadegh, the democratically elected leader of Iran.
LESLIE GREGORY and DR. TOM H. HASTINGS – Did Trump say out loud, “I’m going to gut the original environmental law of the US and it will affect everyone’s health negatively but the health of black and brown people the most?” Of course not. But that is exactly what is afoot with his intention to roll back major portions of the 1969 germinal environmental law—the National Environmental Protection Act—the original law upon which all such important protections are built.
JAMES A. HAUGHT – In violation of the separation of church and state, American tax dollars are funneled to fundamentalist private schools teaching crackpot absurdities – such as a claim that Noah probably took two baby dinosaurs onto his ark.
ALEX LANDON – The world is, finally, awakening to the imminent threats posed by climate change and pollution, and London is starting to do its bit to help. From zero-emissions streets to pollution-eating solar panels, along with restaurants trending towards zero-waste and veganism, the capital has begun to put greener, more sustainable methods into practice. Next in the war on global warming are three new City Trees, a series of CO2-filtering structures which have just been installed in Leytonstone.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – One thing that becomes clear to me when I wander into the world, and the minds, of geopolitical professionals — government people — is how limited and linear their thinking seems to be.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – The people do not want war, but right now we have almost no say in the matter. A future without war will not be an easy birth. We must continue learning how to become a democracy.
BISHOP THOMAS GUMBLETON – All Catholics should refuse to kill and should refuse cooperation with United States wars.
MEDEA BENJAMIN – Remembering some of the gains in the difficult year of 2019 can help inspire us for the critical struggles ahead.
LESLIE D. GREGORY and TOM H. HASTINGS – We can regain our global image as champion of human rights, which is currently undone. We can be the leader in environmental protection, which Trump is wrecking. And we may even catch up to the rest of the tech-advanced world in universal health care if we choose to drop the politics of division and start the politics of unity.
KATHY KELLY – What are the lessons learned from the rampage, destruction and cruelty of U.S. wars? I believe the most important lessons are summed up in the quote on Cynthia Banas’s T-shirt as she delivered water to Marines in Baghdad, in April, 2003: “War Is Not the Answer”; and in an updated version of the headline Ramzi Kysia wrote that same month: “Heavy-handed & Hopeless, The U.S. Military Doesn’t Know What It’s Doing” -in Iraq, Afghanistan or any of its “forever wars.”
ALEXANDER BOLTON – Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Friday introduced a resolution to block President Trump from further escalating hostilities with Iran. The resolution is privileged, which means Republicans cannot block it from reaching the floor, and comes the day after the surprise drone strike that killed Iraninan Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s elite Quds Force.
MATTHEW HOH – The United States killed Iranian Quds Forces Commander General Qassam Soleimani. There is no hyperbole or exaggeration too great to encapsulate what may befall tens of millions of families. The equivalent of the killing of General Soleimani would be as if the Iranians assassinated General Richard Clarke, the US four-star general in charge of all US special operations, but only if General Clarke had the name recognition of Colin Powell and the competency of Dwight Eisenhower.
NATYLIE BALDWIN – In response to an attack last Friday in Iraq that killed a U.S. military contractor and injured several U.S. service members, the U.S. bombed Iraqi Shia militias known as Popular Mobilization Units (PMU’s), particularly one known as Ketaib Hezbollah, which it claimed was responsible for the Friday attack. The Iraq government warned Washington not to conduct the retaliatory attack, citing violation of Iraq’s sovereignty. The conflict has arisen amid a climate of relations that were already frayed as many of the recent popular protests in Iraq were partly an expression of disgust about perceived foreign control of the country by both the U.S. and neighboring Iran, in addition to domestic grievances.
OLIVIER LOOSE – If we are determined to lessen the violence on our planet, are we then not kicking the can down the road by resorting to violent means?
YOTAM MAROM and GEORGE LAKEY – A worried young organizer confronts a movement elder who believes that now — in the midst of deep crisis — is our best chance to make big progressive change.
GEORGE BEEBE – As our debacles in Vietnam and Iraq demonstrate, expert consensus is not always a recipe for success. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that American policy toward Ukraine has also been steeped in illusions.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – A nonprofit employer is not necessarily a better boss than a profit-making one. That sad truth is reinforced by the experience of some 2,200 nurses at Albany Medical Center, who have been fighting for a contract since April 2018, when they voted for union representation.