THOMAS LINZEY – While itâ€™s certainly easier to blame the latest president for our state of affairs, the reality is much more troubling â€“ that we have a system of law and government which poses as a working democracy while guaranteeing the destruction of the planet. In other words, itâ€™s the hardware, not the software. Itâ€™s a faulty system.
HARVEY WASSERMAN – As Donald Trump launches his latest assault on renewable energyâ€”imposing a 30 percent tariff on solar panels imported from Chinaâ€”a major crisis in the nuclear power industry is threatening to shut four high-profile reactors, with more shutdowns to come. These closures could pave the way for thousands of new jobs in wind and solar, offsetting at least some of the losses from Trumpâ€™s attack. Like nearly everything else Trump does, the hike in duties makes no rational sense. Bill McKibben summed it up, tweeting: â€œTrump imposes 30% tariff on imported solar panelsâ€”one more effort to try and slow renewable energy, one more favor for the status quo.â€
TRI-VALLEY CARES – On January 10th, the Huffington Post leaked a draft of the Trump Administrationâ€™s Nuclear Posture Review, a Pentagon document that dictates the overall strategy for United States nuclear forces. The leaked document, which is rumored to be the final draft, demonstrates an aggressive shift from the Obama posture review by mandating â€œmore usableâ€ low-yield nuclear weapons, doubling down on building new bomb plants, and lowering the threshold to resume nuclear weapons testing.
GEORGE LAKEY – Weâ€™ve had our first year of tweets and leaks from the White House, complete with reactions and outrage in the United States and abroad. The tsunami of words and feelings about Trump has dominated the media and is likely to continue. The question is: Will reactivity to Trump continue among activists, or are we ready to channel our passion into more focused movement-building for change?
BRIAN TERREL – On Thursday, January 11, the sixteenth anniversary of the opening of the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba was marked by a coalition of 15 human rights organizations gathered in Lafayette Park, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House in Washington, DC.
INTERFAX – Russia will have justification for a symmetrical response if the US boosts its nuclear forces in violation of the START-3 treaty, the chairman of the Defence Committee of the Federation Council (parliamentâ€™s upper house), Viktor Bondarev, has said.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – Itâ€™s time to free MLK from his day of honor and put him back at the center of the national news.
KAZU HAGA – We find ourselves in an urgent moment in history. From climate change to the Trump agenda, we do not have the luxury to wait until tomorrow. We need a movement today. So maybe trying to make the moral argument is not the most strategic thing. But King taught us that it is never the wrong time to do the right thing. And so, I believe the time is right to make the argument that violence itself is our biggest enemy.
JOSE-ANTONIO OROSCO – About a century ago, Americans struggled to find a language to describe what a multicultural, racially diverse, and democratic society would look like. One group of progressive thinkers, led by figures such as John Dewey, Alain Locke, and Jane Addams, urged us to imagine a nation where immigrants were not forced to assimilate to a single mold, but encouraged to keep their traditions and enlarge the possibilities of what it means to be an American. This theme is missing from public discussions on immigration today. But if we are looking to the past for hints today about what to do with our immigration policy that do not involve reinventing a white nationalist vision, then perhaps this is a conversation we need to remember.
JAMES CARDEN – Last week, the Committee for a Responsible Foreign Policyâ€”a bipartisan advocacy group calling for congressional oversight of Americaâ€™s lengthy list of military interventions abroadâ€”released the results of a survey that show broad public support for Congress to reclaim its constitutional prerogatives in the exercise of foreign policy (see Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution) and for fewer U.S. military interventions generally. Undertaken last November by J. Wallin Opinion Research, the new survey revealed â€œa national voter population that is largely skeptical of the practicality or benefits of military intervention overseas, including both the physical involvement of the U.S. military and also extending to military aid in the form of funds or equipment as well.
GABE MURPHY and KEVIN MARTIN – As the U.S., the Korean Peninsula, and the world stare down the barrel of what would be a devastating war between the U.S. and North Korea, President Trumpâ€™s reluctant, kinda sorta endorsement via Twitter of proposed talks between North and South Korea triggered a collective sigh of cautious relief.
DAVID CORTRIGHT – Marcus Raskin died [in late December, 2017] in Washington DC. He was the founder and long-time director of the Institute for Policy Studies, the influential left-liberal think tank that was at the heart of the Vietnam antiwar movement and many progressive projects over the decades.
PRESS RELEASE – January 4, 2017 (Salem, OR)â€”Today, the Oregon Court of Appeals reversed, in large part, a Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) decision that invalidated Portlandâ€™s landmark Fossil Fuel Terminal Zoning Amendments, passed unanimously in December 2016. The Court ruled that Portland did not violate the Dormant Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Courtâ€™s decision opens the door for local governments to continue to take meaningful action to combat climate change.
MEDEA BENJAMIN – When I recently asked a prominent activist how she was doing, she took my hands, looked me in the eyes and said, â€œEverything Iâ€™ve been working on for 50 years has gone down the toilet.â€ With so many good people feeling depressed, letâ€™s point to the positive things that happened, even in this really, really bad year.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS – Here is a New Year’s resolution I hope you will share with me. In 2018 we will not only intensify the struggle against Trumpism, we will increase our efforts to spread the progressive vision in every corner of the land. Yes. We will create a vibrant democracy where the voices of all people are heard. Yes. We will create a nation which leads the world in the struggle for peace, and for economic, social, racial and environmental justice. The struggle continues.
CAREY GILLAM – As an invited expert to a European Parliament hearing last month, I joined scientists, regulators and others in what has become a global debate over the activities of the American seed and agrochemical giant, Monsanto, and the â€œscienceâ€ surrounding glyphosate, the active ingredient in its popular Roundup herbicide.