John Peeler: Many white Southerners even today think they can somehow celebrate the glories of the Confederacy while ignoring the oppressive, inhumane institution at its roots. I certainly thought so back then. It was a glorious lost cause; implicitly, the country would have been better off had the Confederate rebellion prevailed.
John Peeler: The wrenching drama of the latest coal mine disaster, this one at the Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia, reminds us to be careful what we wish for. Just as the Obama administration is finally imposing a moratorium and stronger regulations on “mountaintop removal” as a means of getting at coal through open-pit mining, an explosion in a deep mine points up the hazards of getting at coal the traditional way.
John Peeler: Vice President Biden’s visit to Israel didn’t go so well. When the Interior Ministry announced plans for a major expansion of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem just as Biden was helping to organize renewed—if indirect—negotiations with the Palestinians, he, on instructions from the White House, promptly condemned the plan, a condemnation, which was amplified in a long, “tough” conversation between Secretary of State Clinton and Prime Minister Netanyahu.
John Peeler: The defeat of Martha Coakley in the race to succeed Ted Kennedy certainly shows the folly of taking victory for granted and failing to mount a serious campaign. But it also puts on display the complete political incompetence of the Obama administration and the national leadership of the Democratic Party and the Congress.
Now, paying off the opposition does seem to have calmed things down in parts of Iraq (recent Baghdad bombings notwithstanding), and thereby provided us with an opening to carry through with the agreement we made with the Iraqi government to get our troops out of there. Maybe it can work in Afghanistan too.
You should use the clout and credibility from the prize to convene serious, multiparty negotiations aimed at verifiably eliminating nuclear weapons from all arsenals, backed up with cooperative intelligence-gathering to ensure that non-state actors do not acquire or independently develop such weapons.
It is up to us to defend and improve our democracy more effectively than the Germans of 80 years ago. This implies not only vigilance and willingness to do political battle, but as important, a willingness to acknowledge and respond to the real concerns of honest conservatives who might otherwise be seduced by Rush Limbaugh and his colleagues.
A key provision of the Voting Rights Act (first adopted in 1965), provides that jurisdictions with a history of racial and ethnic discrimination must get prior federal approval before changing election laws. Many, but not all Southern states, and a scattering of states, counties, and municipalities elsewhere, remain subject to that stipulation. In June, the [...]
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s overwhelming victory in Iran’s presidential election disappointed many who had hoped for a president who is not an international embarrassment and loose cannon. That is the image portrayed in the western media, and with such an image, many find it possible to explain such a victory only by fraud and intimidation. But we [...]
The recent release of memoranda used by the Bush administration to justify various aggressive interrogation techniques for use on suspected terrorists has led to widespread calls for prosecution, either against those who wrote the memos, those who approved them, or those who carried them out. The grounds for such prosecutions would be that the techniques [...]
During the recent Summit of the Americas, in Trinidad, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela gave President Obama a copy of Open Veins in Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, by Eduardo Galeano. Few in the American press corps or in the White House staff would have understood the importance of this [...]
Drug wars in northern Mexico, fed by guns and money from the United States, and spilling over into this country, remind us that the trade in illegal drugs remains a huge problem. We have been engaged since around 1970 in a succession of efforts by successive administrations to wage war on illegal drug trafficking, and [...]
After the shameful, embarrassing performance of the Bush administration in denying the most basic human rights to detainees at Guantánamo, Bagram, Afghanistan, and at CIA black sites elsewhere, the record of the Obama admininstration on this issue has been mixed at best. Initially, Obama canceled Bush executive orders that permitted torture (while denying such a [...]
It’s been going on for sixty years. Or a century. Or a millennium. Or more. It depends on how you look at it, but the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation defiantly resists resolution, yielding an unending harvest of blood. Decades of inconclusive conflict have made clear that neither side can achieve its goals by purely military means.
by John Peeler – It is a commonplace these days to argue that the Bush administration helped to bring on the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression by clinging blindly to the dogma of the free, unregulated market as the solution to every problem. That is certainly an accurate accusation. At virtually every opportunity [...]
by John Peeler – As President-Elect Obama goes about naming more and more of his cabinet and senior advisers, many of his left-of-center supporters are expressing increasing unease at the absence of certified progressives in the mix, and the prevalence of centrist Clintonites, including Hillary herself. This is very much in contrast with what happened [...]
Venezuela held regional elections on Sunday, 23 November, and opposition candidates made substantial gains against the governing party of President Hugo Chávez, winning at least five governorships (of 22), including the two most populous states and the mayorality of Metropolitan Caracas). Chávez announced that he accepted the results, and added that “these elections demonstrated that [...]
by John Peeler – Robert Reich, writing on the LA Progressive (November 19, 2008), calls for a “Bottom-Up Bailout,” by which he means not aiding the auto manufacturers, but rather providing direct credit and loan guarantees to small businesses and individuals, and supporting those big companies whose managers and workers are willing to put up [...]
This Democratic victory should be seen primarily as a rejection of the sectarian conservatism of the George W. Bush Administration. There is certainly a mandate to reimpose sensible regulation on the economy, to do something (exactly what is not so clear) about a failing health care system, and to find a way out of Iraq. [...]
This week, John Peeler presents “Testaments,” a series of poems that take the form of valedictory statements by each of the postwar presidents, in the poetic manner of Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology. George W. Bush They misunderestimated me. I’m the decider, and I decide what’s best. I’m going to try to see if [...]
This week, John Peeler presents “Testaments,” a series of poems that take the form of valedictory statements by each of the postwar presidents, in the poetic manner of Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology. Bill Clinton They beat me once; I’d not be too liberal again. I learned to feel folk’s pain, raise cash like [...]
This week, John Peeler presents “Testaments,” a series of poems that take the form of valedictory statements by each of the postwar presidents, in the poetic manner of Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology. Ronald Reagan A lightweight actor was my role: I voiced what many felt, and with a smile. When Congress told me [...]
This week, John Peeler presents “Testaments,” a series of poems that take the form of valedictory statements by each of the postwar presidents, in the poetic manner of Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology. George H. W. Bush Called Reagan on his voodoo economics, didn’t matter; people wanted to believe. So swallowed it and served [...]
This week, John Peeler presents “Testaments,” a series of poems that take the form of valedictory statements by each of the postwar presidents, in the poetic manner of Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology. Jimmy Carter After Watergate, the people wanted moral strength. I was a Sunday School teacher, a governor, a brilliant smile. Morality [...]
This week, John Peeler will present “Testaments,” a series of poems that take the form of valedictory statements by each of the postwar presidents, in the poetic manner of Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology. Gerald Ford Spiro’s disgrace was my new place. I never dreamed that I would hold that chair made void by [...]