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03.24 How Corruption Fuels Climate Change

03.24 ‘Moore’s law’ for carbon would defeat global warming

03.24 A river of rubbish: the ugly secret threatening China's most beautiful city

03.24 Europe poised for total ban on bee-harming pesticides

03.23 Daily Reads: World Enters ‘Uncharted Territory’ on Climate; Manafort and the Oligarch

03.23 Two Ohio coal-fired plants to close, deepening industry decline [hurrah!]

03.23 Exclusive: Lead poisoning afflicts neighborhoods across California

03.22 Dozens of Mich. water systems top Snyder’s lead limit

03.22 Carbon fibre: the wonder material with a dirty secret [making solid-state carbon products removes carbon from the atmoshere, diminishing CO2 as a warming factor]

03.22 Coal in 'freefall' as new power plants dive by two-thirds

03.22 World Water Day: one in four children will live with water scarcity by 2040 [watch and learn: "conservatives around the world will fight public water projects to support privatization and for-profit (mafia-like?) "solutions"]

03.20 Tensions rising as Chinese no longer willing to hold their breath on pollution problems

03.20 Medicare for All should replace Obamacare: Column

03.20 Atlantic City and Miami Beach: two takes on tackling the rising waters

03.19 Why I think there's still hope for the climate in 2017

03.19 19 House Republicans call on their party to do something about climate change

03.19 Elon Musk, meet Port Augusta: four renewable energy projects ready to go

03.19 Humans may have transformed the Sahara from lush paradise to barren desert

03.19 The eco guide to mainstream organics

03.19 The climate change battle dividing Trump’s America

News Media Matters

03.24 When lower regulations meet high-caliber reporting

03.23 The Media Should Become a True Opposition Party

03.20 Google braces for questions as more big-name firms pull adverts [practice confers unmerited legitimacy to extremist videos]

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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

03.24 Does It Matter Who Pulls the Trigger in the Drone Wars?

03.24 How the Donald Came to Rule

03.24 Healthcare bill hangs in balance as Republicans agonise over Trump's vote gamble [cross your fingers and make a wish]

03.24 Senate Democrats pledge to block Neil Gorsuch's supreme court nomination

03.23 Has the Trump Budget Blown Republicans’ Cover? [an immoral focus]

03.23 Predator Colleges May Thrive Again

03.23 ‘There’s a Smell of Treason in the Air’

03.23 AHCA would cost Americans roughly $33 billion a year in higher out-of-pocket costs by 2026

03.23 GOP’s Health Plan: Tracking Key Changes One Amendment at a Time

03.23 Citing FBI Probe of Trump, Democrats Told to 'Declare National Emergency'

03.23 Two Months In, Trump Breaking Every Vow to 'Drain the Swamp': Report

03.23 Trump’s Spending Cuts Would Create the Black America He’s Been Talking About [an immoral focus]

03.23 House GOP’s Proposed "Fix" for Health Bill Prioritizes Tax Cuts for Richest

03.23 Trump-Russia inquiry in 'grave doubt' after GOP chair briefs White House [0:56 video]

03.22 The smug style in American liberalism: It’s not helping, folks — but there’s a better way

03.22 President Trump and the Crisis of Governance

03.22 Dakota Access pipeline: ING sells stake in major victory for divestment push

03.22 US diplomacy in crisis amid cuts and confusion at state department

03.22 I was sent Donald Trump's 2005 tax return. We need the rest – right now

Justice Matters

03.24 TRUMP’S RUSSIA PROBLEM IS FAR FROM MARGINAL

High Crimes?
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03.23 Bank that lent $300m to Trump linked to Russian money laundering scam

03.23 What's In President Trump's Tax Returns?

03.22 Oil theft 'provides billions for terrorists and drug cartels'

03.21 Forbes billionaire list: Trump loses $1bn as elite club gets 233 new members [how're YOU doin?]

03.21 British banks handled vast sums of laundered Russian money [video]

03.19 Why transaction laundering is turning into a huge financial blindspot [what happens when bad actors–usually Republicans–weaken or stop effective regulations to avoid taxes]

International

03.24 The Coming Ban on Nuclear Weapons

03.24 Trump's weekly list of 'immigrant crimes' is as sinister as it sounds

03.24 Outrage as Belarus arrests authors, publishers and journalists in crackdown

03.24 The Guardian view on UK’s tax havens: British laws or your own

03.22 Resisting the Siren Song: Stopping the Advance of the Right-Wing Populists

03.22 Myths of Migration: Much of What We Think We Know Is Wrong

03.21 Paul Manafort, Former Trump Campaign Chief, Faces New Allegations in Ukraine [birds of a feather...]

03.21 Rex Tillerson will miss Nato talks for China meeting and visit to Russia – reports

03.20 UN asks UK to suspend work on Hinkley Point [why allow the potential of a Fukushima catastrophe?]

03.20 Norway ousts Denmark as world's happiest country – UN report

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  Howard Zinn and the State of the Union

BEYOND RHETORIC:

Howard Zinn and the State of the Union

by Tom H. Hastings

Barack Obama is possibly the only public speaker capable of telling us that he's going to violate us in the name of saving us and we all choke up with gratitude.

Howard Zinn has crossed over. He was a mensch, a historian and a peace and justice activist. He was not convinced that nonviolence was always the answer, but he often provided expert testimony for nonviolent resisters seeking help in conducting a robust defense of their actions in opposition to militarism and injustice. He was a public intellectual of staggering stature, producing his germinal People's History of the United States that shattered myths and provided comfort to people who had been written out of history or misrepresented in our standard histories.

At the same time that the news of Zinn’s death flashed throughout the peace and justice world, we listened to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. It is both inspiring and chilling. He is justifying more military, more nuclear reactors, and more coal plants. His righteous rhetoric is great, and I hope more Americans understand that Republicans shame themselves constantly by their disinformation and obdurate obstructionism. But Obama’s actual policies are quite disappointing in many ways. Yes, he's a pragmatist, but he is also a brilliant orator. He builds up the citizenry's hopes in his integrity, and he seems to be working to honor his promises, but many of his promises are actually harmful.

Nuclear power is not a solution to any problem we have and will in fact exacerbate them all. Those power plants are the only power that is permanently poisonous.

An increased military budget is not wise, humane, or in anyone's enlightened self-interest. It squanders our resources and alienates our world neighbors.

Coal power is unnecessary and takes away sacred mountains, wild wooded creeks, and our clean air, and it will worsen global warming.

There was no serious mention of disarmament, ecological protection, a drawdown of our 1,000 foreign military bases, energy conservation, cessation of small arms and light weapons exports, and no realistic plan for either ending our Afghanistan quagmire or making Rooseveltian strides toward full employment.

Barack Obama is possibly the only public speaker capable of telling us that he's going to violate us in the name of saving us and we all choke up with gratitude. He is truly charismatic, truly talented, and, I'm chagrined to say, truly unable to change the war system.

Obama, problematic as his policies are, is light-years ahead of what we might well have endured otherwise with McCain as President.

That all said, I am so very glad it was not John McCain delivering the SOTU. Bush was an emetic speaker; McCain would have been harshly flogging a herd of dead peacenik horses with his faux populism and bellicosity—he just looks like hot conflict ready to explode, a barely suppressed bundle of hatred who paid some horrific prices decades ago and has been cashing in ever since, representing all that is most churlish and pugnacious in ‘his people,’ not the majority. Obama, problematic as his policies are, is light-years ahead of what we might well have endured otherwise.

I expect that Howard Zinn would have said, well, here is what you could do today to help promote peace and justice, and here are several historical examples from which you could draw inspiration. While I know Howard will rest in peace, I’m hoping the rest of us will act in peace and empower the best in Obama. The war profiteers have moved from the limelight to just off-stage, but their power is still a massive influence, an invisible hand of a marketplace that leaves the working middle class of this country increasingly bereft and no one—no individual—can match their power.

I believe Howard Zinn would remind us that only in our collective good and brave actions can we right our ship of state. o you, Howard Zinn, who crossed over at 87: those of us who teach and write will draw endless inspiration and challenge from your lifetime body of work and your example that, in life, was so very living.


Tom H. Hastings is core faculty in the graduate program of Conflict Resolution at Portland State University and is on the Governing Council of the International Peace Research Association.



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This story was published on February 4, 2010.
 

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