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Commentary

Commentary
The Colonized Mindset and the Failure of New Mexico Public Education
Elia Vasquez: My time in New Mexico public education certainly taught me one thing – that our public schools are woefully ill-equipped to prepare the next generation with the tools we need to solve the climate crisis. ... We never talked about the fatal flaws of creating an economy based on the extraction of land, lives, and livelihoods and how that practice would ultimately create fossil fuel barrons and climate catastrophes. ... The world is changing. ... Now, our leaders must step up, turning their climate rhetoric into actual policy, abandoning the colonizing mindset for a frame of climate justice.. Visit Website ]
Sep 6, 2021, 12:23pm

Commentary
The Power Is Still Out in New Orleans After Hurricane Ida. We Need Public Control of Our Energy Systems.
Thomas M. Hanna: The damage from Hurricane Ida is the latest reminder that the climate change era requires public ownership of infrastructure. ... In the case of New Orleans’ electric grid, for instance, Entergy has long been accused of neglect, poor maintenance and manipulative business practices in the pursuit of profit. ... And in March of this year, the Louisiana Public Service Commission, the Arkansas Public Service Commission, and the New Orleans City Council filed a federal complaint against Entergy asserting that the company overcharged (and should refund) customers to the tune of $1.1 billion related to its shoddy attempts to refurbish the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station in 2012. ... what public ownership and control does provide is an opportunity and a tool for communities at various scales to democratically and collectively determine and implement priorities, goals... Visit Website ]
Sep 2, 2021, 4:58pm

Commentary
Afghanistan: Same, Same; Again, Again
Patrick Armstrong: The difference between the U.S. performances in Vietnam and Afghanistan is that in the first, the vehicles were painted green and in the second, sand. ... The Americans never think to reflect on Putin’s observation of five years ago: The extremists in this case are more cunning, clever and stronger than you, and if you play these games with them, you will always lose. ... Hearts and minds sounded great on paper, but it was often seen as an empty promise to the locals… We would inevitably break those promises ... reports in both wars were, to put it gently, doctored to make things look better than they were ... Worthless metrics. Inability to see things from the enemy’s perspective... Visit Website ]
Sep 1, 2021, 3:41pm

Commentary
Arizona launches a bold new experiment to limit racist convictions
Ian Millhiser: The state embraces a reform proposed by Justice Thurgood Marshall more than three decades ago. ... Arizona’s conservative state Supreme Court ... announced that it will eliminate “peremptory challenges” in Arizona — a practice that allows trial lawyers to remove jurors from a case, often for arbitrary or ill-defined reasons. ... Although criminal justice reformers, including some who sit on the Supreme Court of the United States, have warned for decades that peremptory challenges are often used to exclude jurors because of their race, the practice remains widespread in the United States... Visit Website ]
Aug 31, 2021, 2:25pm

Commentary
How Richmond Steered Public Money Away From Police to Human Needs
Mike Parker & Shiva Mishek: Richmond is leading the way on shifting public resources away from more and more policing and toward social programs that can achieve real public safety. ... four key programs, all to be funded by police budget funds: The first builds out the Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) ... research methods to assess which residents are most likely to either shoot someone or be shot themselves ... The second recommendation establishes a Community Crisis Response Program ... a three-person team with mental health and medical expertise ... The third prong of our proposal expands support for unhoused people ... Finally, the city’s YouthWORKS program ... assists young people, aged 14–24, in job training and placement... Visit Website ]
Aug 28, 2021, 12:29pm

Commentary
America’s Merchants of Death Then — and Now
Sam Pizzigati: More Afghan-like tragedies will be inevitable until we squeeze the personal profit out of prepping for war. ... A modern-day, high-profile panel on war profiteering might not be a bad idea. ... Our Pentagon and military, Lindsay Koshgarian of the National Priorities Project points out, currently “take up more than half of the discretionary federal budget each year,” and over half that spending goes to military contractors. ... Over the past two decades, the Center for Responsive Politics reports, the defense industry as a whole has spent $2.5 billion on lobbying “to influence defense policy” and directed another $285 million to political candidates... Visit Website ]
Aug 23, 2021, 4:02pm

Commentary
Israel’s Secret Arsenal: It’s Not So Secret Anymore
Philip Giraldi: Israel, as is so often the case, gets a free pass on what is for others criminal behavior. Its nuclear program was created by stealing American uranium and weapons technology. ... Preventing nuclear proliferation was in fact a major objective of the U.S. government when in the early 1960s President John F. Kennedy learned that Tel Aviv was developing a nuclear weapon from a CIA report. ... He told the Israelis to terminate their program or risk losing American political and economic support but was killed before any steps were taken to end the project... Visit Website ]
Aug 19, 2021, 3:48pm

Commentary
A Hell Of Our Own Making
Edward Snowden: Because for all the talk of democratizing Afghanistan, it was never clear that it was Afghanistan we were fighting. Weren't we fighting the Taliban? Or Al-Qaeda? And weren't they backed by Pakistan? And what about Saudi Arabia? ... Ultimately, we Americans were fighting ourselves, or our own governance, as we came to understand how the agony of 9/11 had been politicized. ... If there are any lessons to be learned from this tragic sequel to Saigon, you can be assured, we will not learn them. ... We will just sit by as the people of Afghanistan—many of whom were as deluded by American promises as Americans themselves—cling to hopes and cling to planes and fall, lost to the desert of theocratic rule. ... Some will say, they didn't fight! They get what they deserve! To which I say, “And what do we deserve?”... Visit Website ]
Aug 18, 2021, 12:25pm

Commentary
The Houses of Dead and Crooked Souls
Edward Curtin: "A house constitutes a body of images that give mankind proofs or illusions of stability." Gaston Bachelard ... There is a vast and growing gulf between the world’s rich and poor. An obscene gulf. If we can read houses, they will confirm this. They offer a visible lesson in social class. ... Such ostentatious displays of wealth and power clearly reveal the delusions of the elites, as if there are no spiritual consequences for living so. ... The houses of the rich dead and crooked souls, erected to project the stability of their bloody illusions, start to crumble into sand when people dissent one by one... Visit Website ]
Aug 15, 2021, 1:46pm

Commentary
War, Herbicides, and Moral Disengagement
Robert C. Koehler: On August 10, 1961, the United States, several years before it actually sent troops, started poisoning the forests and crops of Vietnam with herbicides. ... Agent Orange, the most powerful of the herbicides used in Operation Ranch Hand, contained dioxin, one of the most toxic substances on the planet. ... We dropped 20 million gallons of this and other herbicides on Vietnam, contaminating 7,000 square miles of its forests. ... How is it possible to make such a decision—to place short-term military strategy ahead of moral restraint and compassion for civilians? ... Here's a starting place ... "moral disengagement"... Visit Website ]
Aug 13, 2021, 11:06am

Commentary
Give Cubans a Chance
Cesar Chelala: If there were a category in the Guinness World Records for most ineffective foreign policy decision, the embargo on Cuba would probably be among the leading contenders. ... If anything, the embargo has succeeded in subjecting Cubans to a miserable standard of living. ... The embargo has tarnished the U.S. image around the world. ... Can anything be done now to alleviate the situation of the Cuban people? I believe so. To begin with, the U.S. government should change the tone of the relationship with Cuba from one of confrontation to one of cooperation.... Visit Website ]
Aug 11, 2021, 4:00pm

Commentary
Funding the resistance: social banditry for the 21st century
Phil Wilmot: The phenomenon of social banditry — theft for the good of the poor — transcends history, geography and culture. ... Straightforward robbery — that is, transferring money or assets from party X to party Y through theft — is not the only means of liberating funds. Money laundering — practiced daily by billionaires with impunity — can also be used for good. ... Social bandits thus have a responsibility to recognize the validity of the experiences of the oppressed, and to affirm them through action. ... Whatever ethic we create for social banditry in our neoliberal era will be riddled with ambiguities, but the urgency of our moment calls us to navigate these complexities.. Visit Website ]
Aug 8, 2021, 3:30pm

Commentary
A hard rain did fall - “Black rain” victims finally win in court
Linda Pentz Gunter: Just weeks before the 2021 commemoration of the August 6, 1945 US atomic bombing of the city of Hiroshima, a Japanese court ruled that victims of the radioactive “black rain” who were living beyond the officially recognized contamination zone at the time, should be included in the group considered bomb “survivors” or “Hibakusha” and receive the same benefits. ... “Black rain” was described in a CNN story as a “mixture of fallout particles from the explosion, carbon residue from citywide fires, and other dangerous elements. The black rain fell on peoples’ skin and clothing, was breathed in, contaminated food and water, and caused widespread radiation poisoning.”... Visit Website ]
Aug 6, 2021, 2:11pm

Commentary
US gymnast Simone Biles, the Olympic games and “the weight of the world”
David Walsh: The Biles affair concentrates within itself much of what is so horribly wrong about the Tokyo Olympics, contemporary sports and, more broadly, the social order as a whole. ... These “2020” games, as every public reference to them bizarrely proclaims, should never have been held. ... Although the IOC “portrays itself as a sporting league of nations,” according to the AP, it is, in reality, “a multi-billion dollar sports business.” .. How can one separate this corrupt atmosphere, with the threat of disease and death hanging over the games, from the mental state of Biles and other athletes? ... the quadrennial event is dominated by bitter nationalist rivalries, with militarist connotations, and each country’s establishment takes the opportunity of the games to incite chauvinism and xenophobia... Visit Website ]
Jul 30, 2021, 12:04pm

Commentary
Stuck in the Smoke as Billionaires Blast Off
Naomi Klein: Climate inaction was never really about denial. Rich countries just thought poorer countries would bear the brunt of the crisis. ... “No one is safe.” We are all trapped in this crisis — whether under that relentless pall of smoke, or in a heat that hits like a physical wall, or under rains and winds that will not stop. ... the climate crisis can no longer be fobbed off on some faraway place or to some far-off future time. ... We are fresh out of “out theres” — whether spatially or temporally... Visit Website ]
Jul 23, 2021, 11:37am


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