RALPH HUTCHINSON – [Editorâ€™s Note: In the wake of the sentencing of 3 nonviolent objectors at the Y12 bomb plant in Oak Ridge, TN to long prison terms, this author takes the judge to task for the advice he offered the defendants from the bench. He develops his challenge into an insightful explanation of the way nonviolent direct action works to effect social change.]
JOHN LAFORGE – Three anti-war activists who easily snuck into what is touted as one of the countryâ€™s most secure nuclear weapons facilities were sentenced to long terms in federal prison Tuesday, Feb. 18. The three were convicted last May on felony charges of depredation of property and sabotage for their nonviolent action called Transform Now Plowshares at the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The convictions carried possible maximum sentences of 30 years in prison.
KAREN DEYOUNG – One of the four options President Obama is considering for a U.S. military presence in Afghanistan beyond this year would leave behind 3,000 troops, based in Kabul and at the American installation at Bagram, U.S. officials said. The other options include more troops in two scenarios and none in another.
LORI WALLACH – Corporate interests were fiercely lobbying for President Obama to dedicate serious time in this State of the Union speech to pushing fast track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in order to try to overcome growing congressional and public opposition to both, but instead he made only a brief passing reference. No doubt one explanation is that there is no upside to generating public debate on this issue.
LAURA ZUCKERMAN – Underground sensors have detected excessive radiation levels inside a nuclear waste storage site deep below New Mexico’s desert, but no workers have been exposed and there was no risk to public health, U.S. Department of Energy officials said on Sunday.
LISA F. FRIEDMAN – The Obama administration is quietly working on new greenhouse gas emissions targets to deliver to the United Nations, even as it struggles to craft regulations that will enable the United States to meet its current carbon-cutting goals.
NORMAN SOLOMON – President Obama is now considering whether to order the Central Intelligence Agency to kill a U.S. citizen in Pakistan. Thatâ€™s big news this week. But hidden in plain sight is the fact that Amazon would be an accessory to the assassination.
DAVID SWANSON (post) – The Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), gathered in Havana, Cuba on January 28 and 29, 2014 at the Second Summit, declared a Zone of Peace.
CHRIS THOMAS – Two Oregon buildings are getting national attention for maximum energy-efficiency – and one is passing its benefits on to the next generation.
DAVID SWANSON – War gains support and acceptance from widespread belief in false information, and the accumulation of false information into generally false concepts or myths about war. This is good news, because it means we are not intractably divided by ideology or worldview. Rather, we will find more widespread agreement about war if we can just achieve more widespread awareness of accurate information.
RT – The worldâ€™s 85 wealthiest people have as much money as the 3.5 billion poorest people on the planet â€“ half the Earthâ€™s population. Thatâ€™s according to Oxfamâ€™s latest report on the risks of the widening gap between the super-rich and the poor.
WENDY KOCH – The vast majority of Americans in each of 40-plus states surveyed say global warming is real, serious and man-made, and the concerns tend to be slightly higher in coastal or drought-stricken areas, says an analysis out today.
KATHY KELLY – In Afghanistan, funds have been available for tanks, guns, bullets, helicopters, missiles, weaponized drones, drone surveillance, Joint Special Operations task forces, bases, airstrips, prisons, and truck-delivered supplies for tens of thousands of troops. But funds are in short supply for children too weak to cry who are battling for their lives while wasting away.
JOHN LAFORGE – After so much blood and destruction in Afghanistan, a lot of people dream of Secretary of State John Kerry reviving his monumental 1971 question, â€œHow do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?â€
DAVID SWANSON – If we can stop one war, if we can stop two wars, why can’t we stop them all and put our resources into protection rather than destruction? Why can’t we move to a world beyond war?
KC GOLDEN – President Obama was all over the map on climate in his State of the Union address Tuesday night — exhorting us to do what’s right and necessary to protect our grandkids, then turning around and defending his senseless and climate-destroying “All of the above” energy policy. But now, the president faces a defining and unambiguous real-world test of his resolve on climate: whether to issue a permit for the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.