Category: September 2016

New Cold War Spins Out of Control

ALASTAIR CROOKE – In the aftermath of the U.S. attack on the Syrian army positions overlooking and commanding the Dier A-Zor airfield – the airfield, whose daily “Berlin air-bridge” style flights, are the sole lifeline to a city long besieged by ISIS – the Russian U.N. Ambassador asked a pertinent rhetorical question at the United Nations Security Council: Who is running U.S. policy: Is it the Pentagon or the White House?

We Need to Ban Nuclear Weapons (in Spite of Canada)

CESAR JARAMILLO – Make no mistake: neither North Korea’s latest nuclear weapons test nor the recent high-stakes stalemate over Iran’s nuclear program are the root of nuclear insecurity. They are but symptoms of a nuclear disarmament regime in a severe state of disrepair. While every other category of weapons of mass destruction has been specifically prohibited under international law, nuclear weapons — by far the most destructive of them all — remarkably still have not. What is needed is a global legal ban on nuclear weapons, with specific provisions for the elimination of existing arsenals and a timeline for verified implementation.

Everything You Have Wanted to Know About Carbon Pricing

UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS – “Carbon pricing” is a market-based strategy for lowering global warming emissions. The aim is to put a price on carbon emissions—an actual monetary value—so that the costs of climate impacts and the opportunities for low-carbon energy options are better reflected in our production and consumption choices. Carbon pricing programs can be implemented through legislative or regulatory action at the local, state or national level.

This Is Our Lucky Day

DAVID SWANSON – This is our lucky day for quite a few reasons. We haven’t yet rendered the climate of this planet uninhabitable for our species. For those of us who are not in prison: we’re not in prison — and not because of some significant difference between us and many who are. For those of us not hungry or scared . . . (see note above re prisons). But there’s another big reason that this is our lucky day — a reason that is different in kind from these.

Pope’s World Day of Peace Message to Focus on Nonviolence

KEN BUTIGAN – The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will issue his annual World Day of Peace message for the first time on the theme of nonviolence. Entitled “Nonviolence: The Style of Politics of Peace,” the January 1, 2017 papal message will be sent to all foreign ministries worldwide. Announced by Vatican Radio this week, the traditional message is intended to indicate “the diplomatic concerns of the Holy See during the coming year.”

The Debut of Our Revolution: Great Potential. But.

NORMAN SOLOMON – While Bernie Sanders was doing a brilliant job of ripping into the Trans-Pacific Partnership during the livestreamed launch of the Our Revolution organization on Wednesday night, CNN was airing a phone interview with Hillary Clinton and MSNBC was interviewing Donald Trump’s campaign manager. That sums up the contrast between the enduring value of the Bernie campaign and the corporate media’s fixation on the political establishment. Fortunately, Our Revolution won’t depend on mainline media. That said, the group’s debut foreshadowed not only great potential but also real pitfalls.

What’s Really Behind the Election

ANDREW MOSS – You don’t have to be a poet to breathe new possibilities into an old, familiar metaphor. Recently, for example, author and New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman took a well-worn metaphor – the “web” – and reworked it in such a way as to recast the terms of the current presidential campaigns. His take is both provocative and wrong.