High Time to Rethink the Cost of Wars

soldier

Tracy Emblem: Why have we so readily forgotten that Americans were told there were “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq as the reason for our military invasion when this turned out to be false. Like Iraq, there is absolutely no guarantee our troops will be withdrawn by 2012. From the Russian-Afghanistan experience, we should readily expect it will take much longer than the six years we previously spent in Iraq.

After Peak Oil, Are We Heading Towards Social Collapse?

coal wagons

Emily Spence: With the current peak-oil interval, we have a grace period when oil is still fairly inexpensive and abundant. At the same time, we cannot expect our government leaders to help society transition off of heavy oil dependence on account of their being controlled by “big business” interests. Therefore, it is up to average citizens to create the reforms that lead into localized economic and social development.

Haiti: Naomi Campbell’s Shot at Real Heroism

Naomi Campbell

Georgianne Nienaber: Health care in Haiti before the earthquake was inadequate. Now many health care workers have been killed, others have left the country and those that remain are overwhelmed not only with delivering care, but also with putting their own lives back together and dealing with friends and family who lost everything in the quake. So what happens? Predictably, the international NGOs roll in and force the closure of part of the established infrastructure. Why? One would suspect so that they can garner a part of the billions in funding promised by the UN donor conference.

Haiti: Diarrhea Outbreak among Infants Imminent

Wilson and Keenan at flooded camp area in Petionville. Haitians refer to this camp as the the "Club Med" of camps.

Georgianne Nienaber: Dr. Wilson is pulling no punches and is predicting the possible outbreak of infant diarrheal disease within 30 days. There is no time to waste and it seems unconscionable that CARE would issue a press release, picked up by Reuters (with a disclaimer, but no follow up) that all is well with sanitation in Haiti.

“Preserving Democracy” Theme of LA Media Event This Saturday

Please join the LA Media Reform Group, California Common Cause, and the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute on March 27, 2010, at Occidental College for our third annual summit. Given the recent Supreme Court decision, the changing media landscape, and the importance of the upcoming election cycle, we’ve decided to make this year’s theme, “Preserving Democracy.”

Does Anyone, Anywhere Have Real Courage?

Healthcare-how-we-got-here

Denis Campbell: When someone has to choose between health coverage and paying their home mortgage, what kind of a moral choice is that? How can any nation that pays nearly 18% of its GDP for healthcare not have the best coverage in the world covering everyone?

LA Progressive: 28 February to 6 March 2010

Articles by Carl Bloice, Carl Matthes, Rev. Irene Monroe, Tracy Emblem, Sherwood Ross, Andrea Christina Nill, Jim Cullen, Shamus Cooke, Ed Rampell, Sherwood Ross, Robert Reich, Berry Craig, Paul Hogarth, Ed Rampell, Georgiianne Nienaber, Charley James, Andrea Christina Nill, Bob Letcher, Walter Moss, and Dick Price

Help Provide Missing Haiti Coverage

Haiti-Georgianne

Dick Price: Next week, Georgianne Nienaber departs on a 12-day investigative research trip to Haiti where she will look to fill in gaps in the mainstream media’s news coverage while also providing emergency medical assistance to rural Haitians. As she works with Haitian human rights organizations to develop story ideas, she also invites LA Progressive readers to contribute their thoughts on where else she might look.

Media Ignoring Labor Union Successes

Sally Field in "Norma Rae"

Randy Shaw: The absence of labor reporters is a symptom of a larger media trend that now sees union activism and elections as deserved only of local coverage, while corporate news wins national attention. So the New York Times reports on Disney’s public relations event in Orlando, Florida is reported by, while UNITE HERE’s far more newsworthy event at Disneyland gets only local press.

The Democrats, the Deficit, and Social Security

Core Healthcare

Shamus Cooke: Unions and progressive groups must educate and mobilize their base to confront both the Democrats and Republicans over the protection of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. However, it is not enough for only the leaders of unions and community groups to pressure the Democrats over this issue, especially when Obama has made it clear that he prefers the advice of Wall Street CEOs.

Data Bombshell Crushes Congolese Death Reports

Displaced Persons Camp on outskirts of Goma

Georgianne Nienaber: A bunker-busting academic data bomb has just been dropped on the long-suffering Congolese people after the release of a report by the Human Security Report Project at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. The mainstream press fanned the resulting firestorm of academic debate on methodology by misquoting and misinterpreting death toll numbers in headlines that have now virally spread throughout cyberspace. The resulting confusion has dealt another body blow to humanitarian efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

What Was the Top News Story of 2009

New Year 2010

Ten years ago, the story dominating the headlines was Y2K. In 2009, according to Yahoo, the story that dominated in terms of searches online was — wait for it — Michael Jackson’s death! Not the economic meltdown, not the healthcare debate, not even the inauguration of the first black president of the United States!

ACORN ‘Not Guilty’

Fox-and-Acorn

The accusations put ACORN in a situation similar to a man who is asked, “when did you stop beating your wife?” Even though the accusations weren’t true, ACORN was put on the defensive, and lacked the resources to respond effectively to the onslaught of negative publicity.

Who’s a Nazi?

Salute

It occurred to me that calling somebody you dislike a “Nazi,” especially when they (or their programs) clearly are not, is a pretty Nazi thing to do.

Why TV Is the Pits

advertising

I am increasingly distressed by, and unhappy with, BBC Canada. And BBC America isn’t any better, based on the program schedule on its website. When BBC Canada launched as a stand-alone subscription service several years ago, it offered a truly remarkable array of programs. Now that it is established as part of a multi-channel, want-one-take-’em-all, [...]

Our House Is On Fire: Who Stopped the Presses?

investigative-tweet

Who stopped the presses? Obviously, it is a question that many are asking these days. It is a bit sobering to witness the apparent demise of the newspaper industry. Not unlike dominoes, newspapers around the U.S. are toppling, closing their doors, filing for bankruptcy, or ceasing their print operations and only remaining online. As someone [...]

The Way We Were

online-newspapers

It is a day of unrelenting light in Southern California, a moment in the burgeoning spring that forces the sun into every crevice of one’s life, whether he wants it or not. I am writing in our gazebo where diagonals of light trace criss-cross patterns on the tiled floor, and the warmth on my back [...]

“Word Cloud:” Your Brain On CNN

davidbohrman

Any viewers of cable news, who for even one silly second doubted corporate media’s desire to fry the brain of its audience and render it hopelessly confused, need only to have seen tonight’s bizarro ‘WORD CLOUD” on CNN. In fact, if you weren’t privy to this visual catastrophe of upside down sideways multicolored multi-sized words [...]