ARVIN PARANJPE – In the United States, St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated widely with candy, flowers, and private expressions of affection. I proposed to my wife on Valentine’s Day and my kindergartner daughter, who was born on its eve, observes it with heartfelt cards to friends and family. I never suspected that St. Valentine’s Day, so sweet and whimsical, actually stands tribute for the ancient struggle against war and oppression.
PRESS RELEASE – More than 500 businesses, people of faith, farmers and ranchers, and groups from communities of color from across the state are calling on the Oregon legislature to pass the comprehensive Healthy Climate Act (Senate Bill 1574) this legislative session.
JOHN LAFORGE – What is the government waiting for? Is a self-inflicted nuclear weapon disaster the only way to force the military to turn the nuclear pistols away from our heads and put the safety on?
MIKE FERNER – As the macho, gun-toting, testosterone-addled cowboys who took over the wildlife refuge in Oregon call it quits, their pitiful whine can be heard all the way to Florida: â€œWaaahhhâ€¦but we donâ€™t wanna get arrestedâ€¦â€ So much for the rugged-individualists and badass proponents of personal responsibility. Letâ€™s see what happens as their armed insurrection winds down. How will the system treat the militant bullyboys?
MEL GURTOV – How long must a so-called ally be tolerated and coddled, with mountains of arms, when its actions contradict US policy and violate international norms? Indefinitely, since access to oil, support of Israel, and reliance on the authoritarian Middle East monarchies have been staples of US policy for many decades. Yet wouldnâ€™t it be worth considering that the violence and deprivations of human rights in the Middle East might be alleviated by US adherence to a different set of priorities: social justice, environmental protection (with a focus on water), accountable and transparent governance, and demilitarization through substantial reductions of armaments and arms transfers?
RICHARD FALK, DAVID KRIEGER (pictured) and ROBER LANEY – By their purported test of a hydrogen bomb early in 2016, North Korea reminded the world that nuclear dangers are not an abstraction, but a continuing menace that the governments and peoples of the world ignore at their peril. Even if the test were not of a hydrogen bomb but of a smaller atomic weapon, as many experts suggest, we are still reminded that we live in the Nuclear Age, an age in which accident, miscalculation, insanity or intention could lead to devastating nuclear catastrophe.
NORMAN SOLOMON – The Bernie campaign could be a watershed for progressive organizing through the rest of this decade and beyond. That will largely depend on what activists do — in the next weeks, months and years.
MICHAEL N. NAGLER – He came out against the war. Against all advice. In his famous speech opposing the Vietnam War at New Yorkâ€™s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King announced to the world his departure, or rather expansion, of his role as civil rights leader to that of a prophet warning â€œthe greatest purveyor of violence in the world, my own government,â€ that they had put themselves on a course â€œapproaching spiritual death.â€
PRESSTV – The Israeli regime has received of a fifth submarine from Germany, amid pressure on Berlin to halt the delivery of the state-of-the-art weaponry that is capable of being armed with nuclear warheads.
DR. BARRY GAN – Gun rights advocates rest their case heavily on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, insisting that the Second Amendment gives people the right to keep and bear arms. They are mistaken in their claim.
ARI PAUL – Skeptics said it wouldnâ€™t last, and they were right. On January 13, the world learned that Al Jazeera America would soon close. And while some employees could migrate into the networkâ€™s expanded digital operations, many will spend the coming days and weeks looking for new work.
COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENTAL LEGAL DEFENSE FUND – Communities across the U.S. are stripped of their right to local self-government, and the right to protect themselves from corporate harms and the corporate state. Read how we are â€œSlaves in all but Nameâ€ in Community Rights Paper 11 â€“ and what is possible with the Community Rights Movement.
ERICA CHENOWITH and DR. MARIA J. STEPHAN – Since 2011, the world has been a deeply contentious place. Although armed insurgencies rage across the Middle East, the Sahel and Southern Asia, violent civil conflicts are no longer the primary way that people seek to redress their grievances. Instead, from Tunis to Tahrir Square, from Zuccotti Park to Ferguson, from Burkina Faso to Hong Kong, movements worldwide have drawn on the lessons of Gandhi, King and everyday activists at home and abroad to push for change.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – â€œJust as we stood for freedom in the 20th century, we must stand together for the right of people everywhere to live free from fear in the 21st century. And . . . as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it, we can start it. â€œSo today, I state clearly and with conviction Americaâ€™s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.â€ Uh . . . These words, the core of President Obamaâ€™s first major foreign policy speech, delivered in Prague in April 2009, now resonate with nothing so much as toxic irony â€” these pretty words, these words of false hope, which disappeared into Washingtonâ€™s military-industrial consensus and failed to materialize into action or policy.
NEIL SMITH and TONIA MORO – The great majority of Oregonians want to see smart, practical action to slow climate change. We know the effects of climate disruption â€• heat waves, drought, wildfires, unrecognizably extreme weather â€• will be too destructive to delay action. Further, we have the opportunity to animate our economy by transitioning to energy-efficient practices. We can take advantage of this transition if we insist that our state government provide a legislative framework to support businesses in this emerging economy.
RIVERA SUN – Many United States citizens are appalled at recent remarks by Donald Trump and other bigoted politicians advocating policies against Muslims that are eerily reminiscent of Nazi policies toward the Jews. The parallels between the 1930s-40s in Germany and the United States in 2015 are frightening. It is clear to many citizens that the rise of bigotry and fascism in our nation cannot be allowed to continue unchallenged. Organized resistance is essential. In this effort, revisiting the history of resistance to the Nazis offers us some tantalizing concepts.
JOHN LAFORGE – A full accounting and criminal investigation of the torture regime must be made, including disclosure of videotapes of CIA interrogations under Bush and of force-feeding under Obama. There is no other way to demonstrate that law binds U.S. presidents, to ensure that such crimes are not repeated, to recover the right to condemn torture by other states, and to reduce the chances that captured U.S. soldiers will not be tortured using the same sickening rationale that Cheney still spews on Sunday talk shows.
BASHKAS JUGSODAAY – A group of Kenyan Muslims travelling on a bus ambushed by Islamist gunmen protected Christian passengers by refusing to be split into groups, according to eyewitnesses.
TOM H. HASTINGS – John McCain frequently justifies his most war whacky ideas with, â€œIâ€™d rather fight them over there than fight them here.â€ As if those are the two choices. As if presenting a non sequitur null set false dichotomy is a response that would ever work.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – Many Americans are becoming fed up with economic inequality. Of course, they might be distracted by xenophobia and fear-mongering, which have been promoted assiduously in recent months by pro-corporate politicians. Even so, there are growing indications that Americans favor democracy not only in their politics, but in their economy.
NICHOLAS J. S. DAVIES – We need to restore legitimacy and reason to our own country’s international behavior, so we can begin to regain the moral and legal ground from which to defeat terrorism – theirs and ours.
JEFF WRIGHT – Peg Morton, arguably Eugeneâ€™s best-known peace activist, has died at age 85.