Original Memorial Day Started by Former Slaves

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Memorial Day began as “Decoration Day” in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. Civil War. It was a tradition initiated by former slaves to celebrate emancipation and commemorate those who died for that cause.

Obama’s Evolving Position on Same-Sex Marriage Similar to Lincoln’s Evolution on Antislavery

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Like Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama has been “tardy.” Pushed by developments beyond his control, Obama’s public positions on marriage equality have continued to progress, though gradually.

Neo-Confederates and the Rebel Flag: ‘Sic Semper Tyrannis’

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Berry Craig: Even though some new-Confederates insist the Rebel flag doesn’t reflect racism, the survival of white supremacist thought is exactly what the neo-Confederates are all about.

The End of the Three-Legged Dog

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Steve Hochstadt: The future of Jacksonville lies partly in its past: the well-constructed buildings in the downtown and the well-preserved homes all around it are worth a visit now.

Who Is an American?

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Steve Hochstadt: Those who have argued for excluding some Americans from full rights, who have urged some Americans to leave because they weren’t American enough, who wanted to separate and classify and dominate people, have always been wrong.

Democratization: Indigenous Beats Imported

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Ivan Eland: Despite George W. Bush’s and Barack Obama’s efforts to topple foreign dictators and use military power to forcefully impose democracy from without, democracy usually works better if it bubbles up from below by popular desire.

The Lion and the Ox: The Winter of Our Discontent

Gary Corseri: In this winter of our discontent, the war clouds gather and austerity miseries grind the souls of those who have no homes, or broken homes. We’re in a poisoned mine shaft and the canaries are singing. … Can we interpret their varied notes in time?

Threat of War Against Iran and Syria Is Real

Shamus Cooke: The U.S. is creating the conditions for war in a region that is already boiling over from decades of U.S. backed dictators combined with past U.S. military aggression.

17 Days to Genocide in Camp Ashraf

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Denis Campbell: Ironic that Egypt’s pro-democracy demonstrators fought and freed a nation from a brutal dictator in 18 Days, yet in just 1 less day’s length 3,400 people in Camp Ashraf may be condemned to die in the middle of the Iraqi desert because of apathy and inaction.

Geneva Diary: In Search of the Voice of the South

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Vijay Prashad: What you have now is sullenness with most of the world defensive and annoyed with the arrogance of the United States and the other members of the Group of Seven (mainly Britain and France).

Libya Victory Portends Endless Intervention

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Ivan Eland: NATO’s “victory” in Libya has sown many seeds of possible future calamity. But none is fraught with as much danger as providing a new “war on the cheap” model for Western nations that have fallen on hard economic times.

A Higher Truth in Libya

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William Blum: In fact, it appears rather likely that a majority of Libyans supported Gaddafi. How else could the government have held off the most powerful military forces in the world for more than seven months?

Heart Attack Iraq

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Tom Hayden: Obama, the black candidate, the liberal candidate, the anti-war candidate, the candidate with not a moment of military experience, certainly saw a strategic opportunity to focus laser-like on bin Laden, from the 2008 primaries right through the first two years of his presidency.

Dysfunction in Congress a National Crisis

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Ray Smock: The current Congress has become largely dysfunctional because extreme partisanship and ideological differences are preventing the deliberative process from completing its most important function, which is to be one of the two governing branches of government.

King Memorial: Now More than a Scar on the Nation’s Conscience

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Anthony Samad: King meant different things to different people, but one thing is for sure…America, black and white, had not gotten over King’s death – not if you have any sort of a conscience.

Reason for [Not] Being a Republican

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Ted Vaill: The party of Lincoln has become the party of the Old Confederacy. There is no way Abraham Lincoln would be a Republican today – he would be a Democrat.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, GOP Fiscal Terrorists

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Jerry Drucker: The strongest answer to date in stopping the GOP onslaught is to replicate the wonderful and wise voters of Wisconsin.

Is Walmart the Cure for Homesickness?

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Susan J. Matt: While chain stores, the internet, and cell phones may be the next best thing to being there, they are not the same as being there.

Cain Turns History Upside Down

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Berry Craig: Herman Cain says liberal Democrats have foisted “economic slavery” on African Americans and the rest of the body politic just as conservative, white supremacist Democrats of old fastened shackles on his forbears.

Do We Care About Civilian Casualties in Our Wars?

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John Tirman: The initial enthusiasm of engaging in savage wars often turns sour as the war goes badly, and then the hard reality of innocent suffering is all the more difficult to acknowledge.

Rebel Flags and Locust Plagues

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Berry Craig: I’m pretty sure another reason for the in-your-face Rebel revanchism is because we have an African American president.

Sudan’s Lessons for Iraq

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Ivan Eland: The U.S. occupation has grown so unpopular in Iraq that those same receptive Iraqi politicians, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, are scared to publicly advocate a long-term U.S. military presence.

Sarah Palin’s Paul Revere Gaffe Should All Give Us Pause

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Mark R. Malebranche II: This is no excuse for Palin’s mistake, but perhaps herein lies an opportunity for all of us to brush up on what actually happened to Revere that night.

“Hostilities” and War Powers: Let’s Choose the Constitution

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John C. Pinheiro: Despite dozens of wars, invasions, occupations, air raids, and various other international “hostilities” over more than a century and a half, the U.S. Congress has rarely “declared war.” With the current Libyan intervention in mind, let’s explore this long history of Congress’s abdication of its Constitutional war powers.

There’s a Better Flag for the Tea Party to Rally ‘Round

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Berry Craig: to this history teacher, the Confederate flag looks like a better bet for the tea partiers. Their movement is almost entirely white. It seems to be more popular in Dixie than in any other part of the country.

Grover Norquist and the American Dream

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Robert Illes: Grover Norquist, toady of America’s wealthy business class who few but political wonks have heard of, heads the so called “Club for Growth” which requires every Republican who wants to keep his or her government job to promise not to raise taxes.

Washington’s Endless Wars

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William Astore: Our wars and their impact are kept in remarkable isolation from what passes for public affairs in this country, leaving most Americans with little knowledge and even less say about whether they should be, and how they are, waged.

‘Unprovoked’ Attacks, From 1812 to 9/11

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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.

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The Battle for the Soul of the GOP

Robert Reich: Tea Partiers have almost as much contempt for big business and the Street as they do for government. After all, the Tea Party was born in anger over the Wall Street bailout. This is the heart of the civil war in the GOP.

A Unified Theory of War and Taxes

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David Swanson: Taxes are a byproduct of wars. Were it not for wars and war propaganda, this country would have never begun paying taxes. If we were to end wars, and only if we were to end wars, we could consider ending taxes too.

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