Bill Moyers speech at Boston University on October 29, 2010, as a part of the Howard Zinn Lecture Series. I was honored when you asked me to join in celebrating Howard Zinn’s life and legacy. I was also surprised. I am a journalist, not a historian. The difference between a journalist and an historian is that the historian knows the difference. George Bernard Shaw once complained that journalists are seemingly unable to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization.
A chastened President Barack Obama signaled a willingness to compromise with Republicans on tax cuts and energy policy Wednesday, one day after his party lost control of the House and suffered deep Senate losses in midterm elections.
The Texas lawmaker who apologized to BP for the US government's insistence that the oil giant set up a fund to compensate oil spill victims may soon be the most powerful voice in the House on US energy policy.
California's marijuana legalization initiative, Proposition 19, didn't win a majority of votes, but it already represents an extraordinary victory for the broader movement to legalize marijuana.
The Associated Press's Robin Hindery reported on October 29, 2010 that the AP had found a remarkable fact: communities across the U.S. have been raising their local property taxes. The AP surveyed 39 states and studied 2,387 revenue measures that came before town, city, and county voters. In most of those elections, voters favored measures that raised their own property tax rates. Voters wanted to support their local schools and other services provided by local governments. The AP began Hindery's story as follows: “Forget all the talk about voters being fed up with high taxes.”
The United States' homeownership rate remained at its lowest in more than a decade, hampered by a rise in foreclosures and weak demand for housing.
The Obama administration is singing a different tune about foreclosures. A year ago, officials focused on stemming the foreclosure tide. Now they are touting the need for foreclosures to rebuild the housing market.
Europe is seeing some of the largest demonstrations since World War II, with labor agitation being the major trademark. The reasons for this labor unrest are easy to see. Let’s look at several facts, starting with unemployment. Europe has always had lower unemployment than the United States. No longer. Since 1982, unemployment (as an average of the EU-15) has been higher in the European Union than in the United States. Actually, unemployment had already started to rise in Europe by the late 1970s, coinciding with the first steps by the EU-15 countries to construct what they later called the European Union. One consequence of forming this Union was higher unemployment, and from that time, unemployment has increased, eventually exceeding that in the United States.
Meeting in Geneva in early October, representatives of the International Coalition to Break the Siege on Gaza (people from Britain, Switzerland, Greece, Sweden, Malaysia, Turkey, United Sates, Norway, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Algeria, Kuwait, Jordan as well as other Arab countries) have confirmed their determination to break the maritime blockade imposed by Israel on the population of Gaza. While the Swiss boat was ready as of August, the departure of the second Freedom Flotilla had to be postponed till next spring since an increasing number of countries want to join it. The 45 passengers who will leave aboard the Swiss boat (500 applications have been received) include members of parliament. Jean-Charles Rielle, 58, Socialist member of the Swiss Parliament, is one of them.
The dollar is in danger of losing 20 percent of its value over the next few years if the Federal Reserve continues unconventional monetary easing, Bill Gross, the manager of the world's largest mutual fund, said on Monday.
Residents in the Gulf of Mexico are facing a slew of illnesses in the wake of BP's oil spill--and many believe it's due to BP's use of toxic dispersants. TWO-YEAR-old Gavin Tillman of Pass Christian, Miss., has been diagnosed with severe upper respiratory, sinus, and viral infections. His temperature has reached more than 102.2 degrees since September 15, yet his sicknesses continue to worsen. His parents, some doctors and environmental consultants believe the child's ailments are linked to exposure to chemicals spilt by BP during its Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. Gavin's father, mother and cousin, Shayleigh, are also facing serious health problems. Their symptoms are being experienced by many others living along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
On the surface, Election Day 2010 couldn't be more different from Election Day 2008. Two years ago, Barack Obama was coasting to victory on a wave of enthusiasm encapsulated in his campaign slogan "Yes we can." The Democrats won big in congressional elections, achieving the biggest majorities in both houses than either party has had in a generation. This year, the Republicans are the ones who will win big, and the furthest-right reaches of their party are setting the national agenda.
The campaign for the midterm US election Tuesday is coming to an end under the shadow of an intractable and deepening economic crisis and the evident inability of the Obama administration to develop any policies to overcome it. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 36 of the 100 seats in the Senate and governorships in 39 of the 50 states are at stake. The Democratic Party, which holds a 59-41 edge in the Senate and a 255-178 edge in the House, is expected to lose a significant number of seats in both houses, with media projections of a Republican takeover of the House but not the Senate.
APPROXIMATELY 200 people turned out for the "March Against Hate"--a much-needed demonstration in downtown New York City on October 23. Those who attended were fed up with the fear and bigotry being whipped by right-wing politicians and the media--particularly during a time when an alarming spike in hate crimes has swept over the city and nation, targeting the very communities that have been demonized.
The simple truth about America's marijuana prohibition: any law that allows the easy incarceration of any citizen any time those in power want to do it is the ultimate enemy of democracy. With 800,000 annual arrests over an herb used by tens of millions of Americans, it is the cornerstone of a police state.
Canada’s National Farmers Union wants the Canada-EU trade deal scrapped. US farmers face the same assault by agribusiness and the biotech industry under S 510. Epoch Times noted: “Under provisions in CETA [Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement], using saved seed could result in a farmer’s land, equipment, and crops being seized for alleged infringement of intellectual property rights attached to plant varieties owned by corporations such as Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta, and Bayer.
A former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton says that the only thing which can rescue Barack Obama’s increasingly tenuous grip on power as his approval figures continue to plunge is a terror attack on the scale of Oklahoma City or 9/11, another startling reminder that such events only ever serve to benefit those in authority.
In his latest reflections Fidel Castro refers to fragments of the text “The War Crimes of Stanley McChrystal, U.S. General” which, among other things, “reveals examples of how the Obama Administration continues walking in Bush`s footsteps”. That’s terrific! So I exclaimed when I read down to the last line about the revelations of the famous journalist Seymour Hersh, printed in Democracy Now! and collected as one of the 25 most censored news items in the United States.
The world’s monetary system is in the process of melting down. We have entered the endgame for the dollar as the dominant reserve currency, but most investors and policy makers are unaware of the implications. The only questions are how long the denouement of the dollar reserve system will last, and how much more damage will be inflicted by new rounds of quantitative easing or more radical monetary measures to prop up the system.
We are in the grip of yet another so-called terror plot designed to terrify the wits out of everyone. Anyone of a nervous disposition was sent in to a tailspin of panic over the increasingly dramatic news coverage… this manifested itself in a tsunami of 911 calls in America which paralyzed parts of New York, Maine and Philadelphia for several hours.
The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has switched 15% of its national reserves into gold, reported the official news agency IRNA Saturday, citing the CBI governor. "When the price of each ounce of gold worldwide was on average US$656, a few hundred tons of gold were imported," Mahmoud Bahmani was quoted as saying Saturday at a banking conference in Tehran. "At present, the price of each ounce of gold is $1,230. Consequently, the value of the national reserves has risen by a few billion dollars," he said.
"Every man is our brother, and every man's burden is our own. Where poverty exists, all are poorer. Where hate flourishes, all are corrupted. Where injustice reigns, all are unequal." - Whitney Moore Young Jr. Is net neutrality just a matter of the marketplace, or is it also a matter of ethics - a civil rights issue? And if the latter, how should broadband optimally serve the nation?
Conservationists worried as government plans to sell off about 150,000 hectares of forest land. The UK government has confirmed plans to sell off up to half of its state-owned forests to private companies. The around 150,000 hectares of land could be used for commercial development, which worries many conservations. Harry Smith reports from Sherwood Forest, one of England's most popular woodlands.
Washington Post political correspondent David Broder has kind words for President Barack Obama in in his opinion column Sunday, arguing that it isn't the president's fault the economy is stuck in reverse. But the four-decade-plus veteran of Washington politics offers a startling solution to the president's political and economic woes: March off to war with Iran.
Normally we wouldn’t post “readers comments” but this is different. Sent in by a reader, it indicates the extent to which people are no longer buying the official version of the “War on Terror”. Below are readers comments to the article “Al Qaeda ink cartridge bomb found on jet was linked to mobile phone SIM card”. In fact the readers comments are more interesting than the article itself, which repeats the official line that "Fears have been growing rapidly over the terror threat posed to the West by Islamic fundamentalists based in Yemen" etc, etc.
Reports reaching the Ogaden Online service desk confirm an increasing trend of new extra judicial killings, severe forms of torture and lootings of civilian property by the Ethiopian (Woyane) militias throughout Ogaden.
The X-ray machines have been brought in at Manchester, Gatwick and Heathrow.
But scientists say radiation from the scanners has been underestimated and could be particularly risky for children.
The recent Vatican synod on the deteriorating situation in Palestine-Israel did the right thing by pointing out that Israel ought to discontinue the use of the controversial concept of “the chosen people” to torment and dispossess the Palestinians. Perhaps the Roman Catholic hierarchy has woken up to the fact that tens of thousands of Palestinian Arab Christians are forced to leave their ancestral homeland as a result of the brutality and oppression stemming from the ongoing Israeli
The world is ill-prepared for the human toll from the expected increase in floods, droughts and extreme storms and hurricanes on the horizon. So say experts like Peter Walker, director of the Tufts University-based Feinstein International Center near Boston. In late 2008, his organisation authored a report titled "Humanitarian Costs of Climate Change" for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Throughout my conscious years, I have witnessed with disbelief and increasing hopelessness the limitless human capacity for cruelty and barbarism- quite often comfortably cloaked in terms of righteousness and piety. A vast number of instances of this ongoing blot upon the soul of humanity are readily attributable to the audacity of power, and the ability of the human animal to compartmentalize, commit the most inhuman acts, and go on living unperturbed to see another day.
A former US Marine who killed two unarmed Iraqis is running for a congressional seat in North Carolina and has received backing from the Tea Party. Ilario Pantano has said he has no regrets about fatally shooting the two at point-blank range after detaining them near Fallujah in April 2004. Despite his admission, the military cleared Pantano of wrongdoing in 2005. He is now in a tight race with incumbent Democrat Rep. Mike McIntyre in North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District. For more on this story, we talk to Salon.com reporter Justin Elliott, who has been following this race closely.
The TSA investigator arrived and asked for my account of the situation. I explained that the agents weren’t allowing me to pass through the checkpoint. He told me he had been advised that I was refusing security screening, to which I replied that I had willingly walked through the metal detector with no alarms, the same way I always do when commuting to work. He then briefed me on the recent screening policy changes and, apparently confused, asked whether they would be a problem for me. I stated that I did indeed have a problem with the infringement of my civil rights and liberty. His reply: “That’s irrelevant.”
In our dying democracy, those with power and the puppets they parade in election charades every two years are above the law and think nothing of breaking it. And in our raped republic, those with wealth from stealing the Sheeples’ tax money and savings by the billions have no problems paying millions in penalties for doing so. But in this wasteland of unbridled greed and moral decay, those of you with character and courage can still prevail...
The director of "Inside Job" writes about Obama's depressingly rational decision to give in to Wall Street. When I first decided to make a documentary about the financial crisis, in late 2008, my biggest question was how to handle Barack Obama. Alas, the answer rapidly became all too clear, as my film "Inside Job" shows in painful detail.
With only a few days remaining in the 2010 election campaign, one thing is certain: the Obama administration and the Democratic Party are preparing a further lurch to the right. Four years after a massive turnout at the polls to repudiate the Republican-controlled Congress and give the Democrats the majority, and two years after the election of Barack Obama to the White House by a margin of 7 million votes, the administration’s right-wing policies have shattered the popular illusions raised by Obama’s vague appeals to “hope” and “change.”
Millions of workers and students took to the streets across France Thursday to protest final approval by the National Assembly of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pension “reform” bill. The French economy was still crippled by gasoline shortages due to ongoing refinery and port strikes.
Rand Paul came to to the GOP table as an outsider, but there's no way to win without holding hands with the ultimate insider -- the Senate minority leader. So he is.
FTSE 100 company directors saw their total earnings soar by an average of 55 per cent during the past year in a startling recovery from short-lived restraint during the recession, according to research to be published today.
Scandal is spreading across Wall St. like a very bad case of poison ivy. A rash of fraudulent home foreclosures has exposed some of the nation's biggest banks to an even worse condition ... bankruptcy.
Paraguay's economy is currently growing at the fastest rate in Latin America, due to by growing demand and high prices for agricultural products, especially soy, which is driving the expansion. But the question is whether the benefits of the boom will trickle down to the poor majority.
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