Marian Wang: Some banks and lenders played fast and loose with student loans, aggressively marketing them to borrowers who couldn’t afford that amount of debt
Vijay Prashad: The “safety net” that Romney mentioned has been frayed beyond recognition since the 1980s. One of the most grotesque problems is hunger.
Sherwood Ross: Several scores of civilians are buried in Jamaica’s May Pen Cemetery in consequence of a deadly attack by Jamaican forces in which, for all its denials, the U.S. played a significant role and was perhaps more closely involved than it has let on.
Walter and Rosemary Brasch: We really want to be able to write columns about Americans who take care of each other, about leaders who concentrate upon fixing the social problems. But we know that’s only an ethereal ideal.
Gareth Porter: Data on attacks by armed opposition forces and U.S. combat casualties since the U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan was completed last summer provide clear evidence that the surge and the increase in targeted killings by Special Operations Forces have failed to break the momentum of the Taliban.
Gary Corseri and Eric Shine: Today, the most disturbing sign of this take-over of all of the civilian commons by the military, at least in the U.S., comes in the form of a new, or reinvigorated, Department of War.
“These Senators visiting Fresno today don’t seem to care that Carly Fiorina laid off 33,000 Hewlett-Packard employees and now she is offering pink slips to more than 2,700 educators in the Central Valley who help our students learn in the classroom.”
David Love: The media-manufactured spectacle that is and was the Shirley Sherrod incident tells us all we need to know about Andrew Brietbart, Fox “News” and the dangers of extremist hack media – unregulated, irresponsible and unethical – run amok.
Cathy Cockrell: California’s obsession with incarceration — at $50K a year per adult, $250K per juvenile — is unsustainable, says criminologist Barry Krisberg
Ron Wolff: The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), a multilateral treaty promoted by the United Nations, commits its parties to work toward stated objectives for all its citizens. As of December 8th, 160 countries had ratified it. Not us. The United States has “signed,” but the Senate has never ratified.
Ron Wolff: I can’t tell you that my life has been saved by the efforts of government to reduce air pollution. But living in an area highly susceptible to the accumulation of dangerous particulates and ozone, I can tell you that I notice a distinct improvement in air quality over the last 15 years. And that has probably added several years to my life expectancy. Yes, government has saved my life. Maybe it has saved yours too. Is this worth paying for? I guess that depends on whether you want to pay your fair share of taxes to support these worthwhile endeavors.