Remembering Bob Edgar

Bob Edgar

Peter Laarman: Bob Edgar had to contend with timidity among the good and the great especially during his years with the NCC, where denominational bigwigs (Bob’s bosses on the governing body) were privately horrified that their point person should actually seek to change oppressive systems rather than simply make mewling noises about them.

C-SPAN Is America

brain lamb, c-span

Brent Budowsky: While our politics have become a shouting match of pander and slander, name-calling and talking points, celebrity media and instant misanalysis, C-SPAN shines as an exemplar of what a free press in a free nation should be.

Who’s the Scrooge?

compassion

Steve Hochstadt: The calls to flatten the income tax, to eliminate welfare payments, and to repeal regulation of industry are about going back to an earlier America, where the rich and powerful could use their advantages without hindrance.

“Hurray! Congress Is to Adjourn!”

mark twain

Ted Vaill: Seventy or eighty arch-conservative Tea Party members of the House and Senate have held this country hostage to their right-wing demands that we sacrifice entitlements belonging to ordinary, hard working Americans for the benefit of their rich friends. What is the mood of the ordinary American? Disgust.

Torture Victims: From DC to Damascus

Kyaw, with California State Senator Kehoe.

Julie Gutman: One of the most profound contributions we can make to the cause of freedom, democracy and human dignity is to rebuild the lives of those who have sacrificed so much in the defense of these ideals — the very principles upon which our country was founded.

‘Unprovoked’ Attacks, From 1812 to 9/11

grenada

Ivan Eland: American history vindicates the old saying that “truth is the first casualty of war,” but the passage of time should allow a republic to undertake a more honest and dispassionate examination of historical events. It rarely does, with truth being swept under the rug in favor of assuming uncaused indignities.

WikiLeaks Versus the Empire

wikileaks

Tom Hayden: Informed sources say that the current deluge of WikiLeaks documents will continue for another week and grow in significance. Why is this drama important? Not because of “life-threatening” leaks as claimed by the establishment, but because the closed doors of power need to be open to public review.

Seeking Republican Patriots

attack ads

Paul Loeb: Do Senators like Olympia Snowe, Scott Brown, Susan Collins, and Mark Kirk really want to open themselves up to unlimited anonymous attack ads, where they can’t even turn the mud potential primary opponents will be slinging into a potential electoral liability?

A Pro-Democracy Movement in the USA

democracy

Lydia Howell: The Democratic and Republican parties’ political monopoly works just like Wal-Mart does in small towns across the country: competition is crushed and an already powerful, wealthy minority is furthered emboldened to act against the public interest; it faces neither accountability nor electoral opposition.

Citizens United — Game Changer

Joseph Palermo

Joseph Palermo: The 2010 midterm campaigns have shown us that Alito and his four fellow Justices were not only wrong about the potential effects of Citizens United they greased the wheels for a corporate takeover of the governing institutions of the country.

Review of Dave Eggers’s “Zeitoun”

kartina

Jim Cullen: Zeitoun is revealing less in what it shows about those awful days in August and September of 2005 than as a lightning-illuminated snapshot of the ongoing decay of an egalitarian American democracy.

“Why Is the Media So Anti-Union?”

ill Londrigan, president of the Kentucky State AFL-CIO, leafletting Louisville packing plant. (Photo: Mandy Dixon)

Berry Craig: Generally, the smaller a paper or TV or radio station is, the greater its bias against unions. Their anti-unionism is sometimes as plain as their front doors, which are often plastered with decals or stickers proudly proclaiming chamber membership. The fact that the chamber is openly pro-business and anti-union apparently doesn’t trouble local media owners about conflicts of interest.

Helen Thomas: Asking the Questions Real Democracy Demands

helen thomas

Lydia Howell: When one considers how many scoundrels remain in powerful positions in both public and private life, the swiftness with which Helen Thomas was dumped after 50 years of reporting on U.S. presidents was breathtaking. More so when you listen to TV talking-heads blandly repeating corporate and Pentagon PR as “news” and Faux News blowhards like Beck and Limbaugh shamelessly make vicious slanders, perpetrate outright lies and create disinformation.

Charley and Steinbeck’s America, 50 Years Later

Hunter S thompson

Tom Degan: ack in our Mickey Mouse capital, our Mickey Mouse politicians, lovingly gazed upon by their butt-ugly Mickey Mouse wives, firmly secure in their Mickey Mouse careers, are busy passing worthless Mickey Mouse laws that their clueless, Mickey Mouse constituents will thank them for by reelecting them to one Mickey Mouse term after another and another and another.

Black Robes, Black Shirts

Ravensbruck slave labor

Joseph Palermo: With the latest Supreme Court ruling by the “fabulous five,” Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a single corporation will be able to disfranchise a million citizens. What’s to stop these conglomerates from implanting their servants at every level of municipal, state, and federal government?

Name That Decade: the ’00s, the Whatever Decade

Hopelessness

Great pessimism during economic busts is as characteristically American as great optimism during boom times. The oh-ohs’ whateverism is less fleeting and thus more dangerous. A culture of denial, disengagement, dissociation is dysfunctional. We need a culture of engagement and responsibility, even with all our traumas, distractions and high-tech toys.

Adam Schiff’s Town Hall Fracas

adam-shiff

Last night tempers flared during a boisterous town hall meeting on health-care reform attended by 3,000 people. The event was organized by U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D- Burbank). The townhall meeting was originally to be held in a inside the Alhambra Civic Library. But, due to the huge turnout, the meeting was instead held outdoors [...]

When They Drove Old Dixie Down

They should have played “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” when Barak Obama was elected president of the United States. It’s a song about a defining moment in the Civil War that saw the old South and all that it stood for going down to defeat. They should have put the version by Joan [...]

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