What Should Government Do?

war 2012

Steve Hochstadt: Unless Iran actually puts our nation in mortal danger, declaring war on Iran would violate the trust that Americans put in our government. It’s what our government shouldn’t do.

How Did TV Remember the ’92 L.A. Riots?

92 riots

Jill Edy: In the immediate aftermath of the 1992 riots, a struggle broke out over naming them. Some called them the “Rodney King riots,” but others objected that this term suggested King was responsible for what had happened.

Groups Sue to Stop Removal of Trees from Levees

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Dan Bacher: The Corps acknowledges vegetation removal may harm endangered species habitats, but instead of undertaking necessary consultation with wildlife agencies has tried to shift the burden of implementation and environmental compliance to local agencies and flood-control districts

Melting Down

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Robert Illes: A scant 11 months after British Petroleum’s deep water drilling gambit exploded, and kept profusely bleeding black blood into the Gulf of Mexico for weeks, the work of greedy, short-sighted men helped out immeasurably.

Pointing Our Oily Finger

commute

Dick Price: The reason we’ve got oil rigs drilling a mile deep into the ocean and fouling Alaska’s wilderness is because you and I insist on filling up our car’s gas tank anytime we want, right to the top, at a fraction of the cost others around the world pay, almost as an inalienable right. It’s why we’ve got soldiers dying in Afghanistan and Iraq these many years down the road, too, you know.

Exploit This Tragedy

bill gates

Tina Dupuy: The “don’t exploit this tragedy” knee-jerk catch-all phrase is absolutely meaningless. In American politics, we rule by crisis. There is no political will to act unless something is burning, melting or spewing. We don’t plan for the future – we brace for it.

Immigrants Cleaning Up Oil Spill Nothing New

bp cleanup

Andrea Nill: As Tyler Falk of Grist points out, there’s something seriously wrong with the fact that “British Petroleum can legally come to the Gulf and devastate an entire ecosystem and the economy it supports, but when “illegal” immigrants come to clean up the mess, they are treated like criminals.”

Haiti: “Americans Can See Exactly the Way We Live”

Haiti earthquake recovery

Georgianne Nienaber: Writing about the shattered hopes and dreams of the Haitian people is like trying to describe the movements of a symphony to a hearing-impaired person. How does one separate the elements of the whole, the hundreds of conversations, pleas, and stories that assault the senses, while explaining to an indifferent world that they must open their eyes because the cries of the Haitian people are certainly falling on deaf ears?

These Foliticians Are America’s Problem

oil spill

David Love: To be sure, the BP accident is an environmental threat that speaks to the deadly serious pitfalls of off-shore drilling. But it is also a crisis of bad political intentions, from the right-wing lobbyists such as FreedomWorks that worked with BP to push for more oil drilling, to the corporate lackeys at the 2008 GOP convention who shouted “drill baby dril.” Let’s not forget former Vice President Dick Cheney, who championed deregulation of the oil industry with his energy task force, and whose companyHalliburton figures prominently in the oil rig disaster.

Michael Brown Spins the Gulf Oil Spill Catastrophe

michael heckuva job brown

Joseph Palermo: So that’s what our political discourse has sunk to? Discredited figures like Brownie are on TV jockeying for partisan gain, milking a national tragedy that is probably going to change forever the ecosystem of the Gulf Coast? Brownie uses a catastrophe that threatens many of the nation’s most important waterways and will probably be a grave setback to any national economic recovery to score pitiful political points against the Democrats? Who are these people?

Susan Cowsill Soars with CD Release Lighthouse

Georgianne Nienaber: It has been five years coming, but Susan Cowsill’s second solo CD, Lighthouse (Threadhead), is a triumph over life’s uncertainties in the wake of natural and personal disasters. The album’s lyricism offers hope and inspiration that life indeed goes on if one carries fire in the soul, hope in the heart, and a belief that we are all here for a reason

Haiti Reminds Us of the Poverty at Home

Haiti Coverage

David A. Love: It is unfortunate that it took an earthquake to put the spotlight back on poverty in Haiti. To be sure, the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that leveled Port-au-Prince would have been devastating under any circumstances. But the people of Haiti had been suffering for years. The difference is that no one cared, because people often become weary hearing about black people suffering.

Media Coverage of Haitian Earthquake Can’t Go There

haiti's lament

Joseph Palermo: When the television cameras stop whirring and the famous correspondents leave Haiti and move on to the next Tiger Woods scandal, we should take a hard look at the power relations between the United States and Haiti that not only tolerated but helped create the Western Hemisphere’s best known economic, medical, political, judicial, educational, and ecological disaster long before the natural disaster hit.

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.

Building a Bush Memorial

bush-the-end

A letter to the editor in my local newspaper, the Charlottesville Daily Progress, has persuaded me to rethink the truly remarkable accomplishments of President George W. Bush and inspired me to join the movement to erect a Bush Memorial on the National Mall. The letter, published on February 9th, was from David H. Edmunds of [...]

Looking Back at the White House During Katrina

WHITE HOUSE – AUGUST, 2005- White House Kitchen – A woman wearing a tall white chef’s hat answers a ringing phone. No other person is in the expansive kitchen. She punches on a speaker phone. WOMAN CHEF: “Hello.” MAN’S VOICE: “Vice President Cheney’s office, please.” WOMAN CHEF: “He’s not here. I think he might be [...]

Stormy Weather

In early February 2008 , the world’s leading scientific body on global warming issued its latest report confirming what many of us have suspected: either we do something profound about greenhouse emissions or we will make our planet uninhabitable, if not for ourselves and our children, then for their children and the generations that might [...]