John Peeler: The transition to democracy, now 30 years old, has passed a major test with the trial and conviction of Ríos Montt. The impediments to full democratization remain huge, but there is still good cause for Guatemalans to celebrate.
John Peeler: On guns and prisons, we are more like a Third World country than like other rich nations. On health care, Third World countries simply cannot afford to waste the amount of money we do. And it is doubtful that we can, either.
John Peeler: As with her ideological and political soul-mate, Ronald Reagan, her aggressive advocacy of both free-market economics and nationalist foreign policy established new parameters in her country’s politics.
John Peeler: If Chávez’ elected predecessors had been serious about raising the living standards and life prospects of the poor majority, he would have been no more than a disgraced coup-plotter, a cashiered Lieutenant Colonel.
John Peeler: A generation ago, even conservatives would acknowledge the need for stimulus, not deficit-reduction, at a time like this. That consensus is gone. The Tea Party is getting its wish: a government that cannot act.
John Peeler: We urgently need, as a society, to figure out how to contain the president’s war powers without crippling the president’s ability to defend us. When we finally decide that the most urgent threat comes precisely from the president, will it be too late?
John Peeler: Since we glorify competition as good for both individuals and society at large, why not treat retirement as a job for which you apply? Then we could be sure that only the fittest, those most qualified, would get to retire.
John Peeler: Obama’s task—and that of his successors—will be to engage constructively with the changes the region will be undergoing, without repeating the errors of the imperialist past by seeking to dominate and control those changes.
John Peeler: The Chávez era in Venezuela and Latin America will be seen as opening the possibility of transcending liberal democracy in societies where the vast majority is poor. Its success will be up to his successors.
Carole Bartolotto: The problem with concluding that GMOs are safe is that the argument for their safety rests solely on animal studies. These studies are offered as evidence that the debate over GMOs is over. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Winona LaDuke: With Keystone XL still delayed, Alberta Clipper is widely seen as the most important and immediate pipeline battle, and thus much of the U.S. tar sands campaign has been shifting its focus to this project.