ANDREW MOSS – America is one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Yet when compared to other advanced industrialized countries, it fares dismally in national laws and policies affecting workers. This is a major claim of a recent cross-national study sponsored by the humanitarian organization Oxfam America, a report that offers a powerful lens for understanding the major strike activity now underway in the U.S.
VICKI ELSON – We can safely abolish all nuclear weapons.
TOM H. HASTINGS – But the waste of war, including the massive diversion of the fruits of our labors to the war system instead of health care, education, and infrastructure, seems overwhelmingly stupid and maladaptive. Are we truly Homo sapiens, the self-anointed “Wise ones”? We shall see. It’s looking dubious.
AL JAZEERA – Protesters set up camp outside Israeli parliament as hundreds of thousands rally in Tel Aviv against far-right government’s judicial plans.
STEPHANIE COOKE – It’s hard to see how any of the nuclear hype becomes real unless Congress is ready to ignore market signals, nationalize the electricity sector, and rebuild an industrial infrastructure that disappeared decades ago.
ROBERT DODGE – I attended this weekend’s Los Angeles opening of Christopher Nolan’s epic film, Oppenheimer. This must-see film provides a critical opening for an essential conversation about nuclear weapons and their role in our security and the fate of the planet.
JIM MCLLROY – Environment groups said the refusal by [Australia’s] Big Four banks to renew a $1 billion loan to Whitehaven Coal — the country’s biggest coal-only mining company — is a win for people power.
CHRIS HEDGES – The same cabal of war mongering pundits, foreign policy specialists and government officials, year after year, debacle after debacle, smugly dodge responsibility for the military fiascos they orchestrate. They are protean, shifting adroitly with the political winds, moving from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party and then back again, mutating from cold warriors to neocons to liberal interventionists. Pseudo intellectuals, they exude a cloying Ivy League snobbery as they sell perpetual fear, perpetual war, and a racist worldview, where the lesser breeds of the earth only understand violence.
MEL GURTOV – Let’s remember that no one appreciates academic freedom more than visitors from China and other countries under authoritarian rule. When that freedom is violated by harassment and suspicion, word gets back to China very quickly, and the rewards for returning to China, in money and prestige, become tantalizing.
GARY M. FEINMAN – The New Gilded Age, wars along the Russian border, a global pandemic, battles for women’s rights, even the Titanic: history does rhyme with the present. Yet as former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert once observed: “If history tells us anything, it’s that we never learn from history.”
CHARLES M. BLOW – There is a recurrent theme in American history: the clawing back of hard-won progress. And the Supreme Court used the most specious of arguments to do so with affirmative action.
PATRICK HILLER – The War Prevention Initiative condemns the decision by the United States government to send cluster bombs to Ukraine in the latest arms shipment package. Cluster bombs kill and maim civilians indiscriminately during and after war. They are also a major threat to the environment, contaminating land for decades after they are used. In short, cluster bombs do not win wars and will only hurt current and future generations of Ukrainians.
ELEFTHERIA KOUSTA – Amid deportations, floods and shelling, grassroots groups have formed to help Ukrainians evacuate the frontlines and occupied territories.
ROBERT C. kOEHLER – Back to pesticides then. Back to weed killers. Back to climate change and the apparent inability of the polluters who purport to be in charge of Planet Earth to address it adequately: Superficial change won’t do it. The change has to be cultural. It has to be spiritual. Believe me, if we fail to change who we are and the bees — the pollinators — disappear, we’ll all feel the sting.
JON QUEALLY – Despite years of protest and warnings from environmentalists, the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog on Tuesday (July 4th) approved a plan by Japan to release tens of millions of gallons of water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean.
DEREK ROYDEN – In the years ahead, as climate change truly takes hold, wealthier nations are going to have to make even more difficult decisions about what to do about those fleeing unlivable situations. Unfortunately, as the story of the SS St. Louis and more contemporary reactions to migration show, we don’t have a very good track record in this regard. Can we repair our historical amnesia enough to not only avoid committing moral outrage, but once again strengthening our societies by welcoming immigrants and refugees?
NORMAN SOLOMON – The Fourth of July — the ultimate patriotic holiday — is [here] again. Politicians orate, American Flags proliferate and, even more than usual, many windows on the world are tinted red, white and blue. But an important question remains unasked: Why are patriotism and war so intertwined in U.S. media and politics?
RUSSELL VANDENBROUCKE – Daniel Ellsberg, sent to Saigon in 1965 to evaluate civilian pacification programs, would spend 18 months with patrols into towns and villages. His skeptical reports about death and destruction and potential victory by North Vietnam went nowhere. Ellsberg struggled with his knowledge. He was a family man with a brilliant career, all of which would be at risk if he blew the whistle, and he knew it.
MEL GURTOV – Tensions between the Russian defense ministry and the head of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, had been running high for months, mainly because of differences over war strategy and Prigozhin’s accusations of insufficient battlefield support. Last week those tensions reached the boiling point. And now Putin is stuck, a position that the US and NATO can choose either to exploit or, hopefully, to press for peace.
NORMAN SOLOMON – When Daniel Ellsberg died on Friday, June 16, 2023, the world lost a transcendent whistleblower with a powerful ethos of compassion and resolve.
BENJAMIN ABELOW – I am not anti-American. I see my comments here, as well as my book and my broader efforts regarding the Ukraine war, as an expression of American patriotism—an attempt to help realign U.S. policies with the true interests of the United States as a nation. These are my attempts to peacefully influence policies so that they better reflect the highest ethical values of the United States. To achieve this end, a hope which many share, we must face reality, even if that reality is uncomfortable. We must be willing to speak openly.
ROB OKUN – Why are so many fathers and father figures standing mute on the sidelines of change?
JUSTIN PODUR – Currency systems reflect power relations in the world: they don’t change them. The Anglo gold standard and the American dollar standard reflected imperial monopoly power for centuries. In a multipolar world, however, we should expect more diverse arrangements.
ANN WRIGHT – The military finds it easier and safer to kill innocent civilians than put its own personnel on the ground to make on-site evaluations. Innocent persons will continue to die until we find a way to stop the use of this weapons system. The risks will increase as AI takes over more and more of the targeting and launch decisions.
JOHN LAFORGE – The important call from Russian President Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko for an end to the stationing of U.S. nuclear weapons in other countries, and its direct reference to the U.S. and its allies, helps clear the air around Russia’s threatened escalation — to deploy nuclear weapons to neighboring Belrus. The only practically workable way to move Putin to reverse his planned deployment, is to offer to reverse the Pentagon’s deployment. Call it a Cuban Missile Crisis Redux. That terrible confrontation was resolved when President Kennedy offered to, and then did, withdraw U.S. nuclear-armed missiles from Turkey. De-escalation works, and it can lead to further breakthroughs.
SHANE BURLEY – Many are celebrating the recent convictions against the Proud Boys, but they will only strengthen the state’s ability to target the left.
RAY BAILEY – By melding theory and practice, Philadelphia’s Vanguard S.O.S. are building skills and collective power.
SONALI KOLHATKAR – Of course Americans deserve to work fewer hours. But unless the move to a four-day workweek is accompanied by a massive pay raise, it merely frees up time to work more.
CATY BORUM – Humor in Native culture has never been simply about entertainment. Comedy is also used to fight cultural invisibility and structural oppression.
HALEY MORROW – A commonly held myth is that war concludes well with peace. In fact, conflict research shows that the losing side may accept defeat in a public-facing manner, only to fester and plot to get revenge later. Violence and war generally lead to further violence and war. Although it may lead to short-term “peace,” violent conflict rarely works to build sustained peace.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – Twenty-two years ago, Congress put sanity up for a vote. Sanity lost in the House, 420-1. It lost in the Senate, 98-0. Barbara Lee’s lone vote for sanity — that is to say, her vote against the Authorization for the Use of Military Force resolution, allowing the president to make war against . . . uh, evil . . . without congressional approval — remains a tiny light of courageous hope flickering in a chaotic world, which is on the brink of self-annihilation.
JUDD LEGUM – Across the country, right-wing activists are seeking to ban thousands of books from schools and other public libraries. Those promoting the bans often claim they are acting to protect children from pornography. But the bans frequently target books “by and about people of color and LGBTQ individuals.” Many of the books deemed pornography by activities are actually highly acclaimed novels. Now, one state is fighting back.
LAUREN PATERSON – Kathleen Ackley is the executive director of the Wallowa Land Trust. As more Northwest lake communities are being developed with vacation homes and Airbnbs, she says her organization’s focus is protecting natural areas, open spaces and farms in Northeast Oregon. The nonprofit recently gifted 30 acres of undeveloped land near the lake to the Nez Perce Tribe.
VIJAY PRASHAD – Jared M. McKinney and Peter Harris, in s widely circulated paper from the U.S. Army War College, published in November, 2021, wrote, “The United States and Taiwan should lay plans for a targeted scorched-earth strategy that would render Taiwan not just unattractive if ever seized by force, but positively costly to maintain. This could be done effectively by threatening to destroy facilities belonging to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, While Taiwan’s minister of defense Chiu Kuo-cheng responded to Moulton’s statement about a military strike on TSMC, in fact, the U.S. government has already attacked the ability of this Taiwanese company to remain in Taiwan.
WILLIAM J. ASTORE – Together, it’s time to find an exit ramp from the wars and weaponry highway to hell that we’ve been on since 1953 and look for the on-ramp to President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s highway to peace.
TOM CONWAY – Workers at Blue Bird Corporation in Fort Valley, Georgia, launched a union drive to secure better wages, work-life balance, and a voice on the job. The company resisted them. History defied them. Geography worked against them. But they stood together, believed in themselves, and achieved a historic victory that’s reverberating throughout the South.
BERNIE SANDERS – The debt ceiling is about paying money that has already been appropriated and spent. It has nothing to do with future budgets and future spending. Yet, Republicans have hijacked the debt ceiling process to impose savage cuts on the needs of working people, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor. President Biden has the authority and the responsibility under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to make sure that we continue to pay our bills.
APRIL M. SHORT – How Paicines Ranch in California works to bring business and investment up to date with our times and closer to nature—prioritizing ecosystem health, habitat, and the sequestration of carbon through soil practices.
PATTY DURAND – Urgent utility business model reforms are needed to create a 21st-century, people-centered grid that delivers affordable fossil-free solutions.
ROBERT C KOEHLER – We belong to the Earth rather than to a nation.
DEREK ROYDEN – The U.S. never wants war on its own soil, but seems perpetually eager to generate massive profits for its overwhelmingly powerful armaments industry by supplying weapons to the world in conflict. The rest of the world may at last be rejecting that war footing, if the signs from new initiatives are an indication.
WIM LAVEN – Fear of guns is rational; unbiased research is clear: they kill innocent people all the time; it is time we did something about it.
PETER BERGEL – A coalition of dozens of peace and justice organizations (https://bit.ly/StopWarOrgs) is collecting signers on a statement to Presidents Biden, Zelensky and Putin telling them that the time has come to end the war in Ukraine.
BRAD WOLF – Today, the actual and still-flourishing and prospering Merchants of Death thrive behind a veil of duplicity and slick media campaigns. They have assimilated mainstream media and academia into their conglomerate. But their crimes are clear, and the evidence is overwhelming. Wherever they go, suffering and death, war crimes and atrocities, profits and stock buybacks follow.
PRABIR PURKAYASTHA – We celebrate World Press Freedom Day in May as a reminder that the role of news organizations is to speak truth to power. Not for manufacturing consent—to use Chomsky’s famous words—for the government and the ruling classes. It’s an occasion to remember three people who exemplify the need to speak the truth: Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame and Julian Assange of WikiLeaks; and also of Chelsea Manning, without whom we would not have the proof of what the United States was doing, not only in Iraq and Afghanistan but all across the globe. In doing so, I will also deal with the changing nature of government “secrets”, what outing them means then and now.
JOSEPH GERSON – The Ukraine War is about far more than Ukraine. It’s not simply a criminal Russian war of aggression, which it is. But as the recent U.S. National Security Strategy informs us, “The post-Cold War era is definitely over, and competition is underway between the major powers to shape what comes next.” The war, its devastations and nuclear threats, and its catastrophic climate fallout are major elements of the collapse of the bi-polar world disorder, the birthing of a new multi-polar order, and the resulting global competition for power and privilege.
Governments alone will not deliver us peace, nuclear disarmament, or deeper international cooperation and unity. Those goals can only be achieved with pressure from below.
JOHN P. RUEHL – The struggles of Russian weapons manufacturers have added to historic shifts in the global arms market.
HALEY MORROW and TOM H. HASTINGS – The peace movement in the US lobbies for a cessation of military aid, including to the current Sudanese combatants. Lethal aid, paid for by our taxes, is sold or given away, the profits go to military corporations, and the regular tax-paying citizens pay to be part of the bloody business overseas. To the extent we can stop this flow of deadly force, we can help empower nonviolent people power and increase the chances for peace and democracy.
ARIC SLEEPER – Attorney Frank Bibeau found a way to legally protect nature by suing the state of Minnesota in the name of manoomin, or wild rice, sacred to the Ojibwe people.
LAURA FINLEY – While there is much to be done to address the many problems with policing in the US, the fix here seems quite simple: Stop hiring and rehiring people who are not good at their jobs.