VOICES FOR CHANGE

To Share is Not Always to Share Alike
Froma Harrop
"

The online rental booking service Airbnb is a fast-growing empire that pairs travelers with people wanting to profit off a room in their house — or the whole house. Like VRBO, HomeAway and similar platforms, Airbnb occupies the lodging sector of the "sharing economy."

I come not to address the legal concerns such services raise. They do compete with motels and hotels, which are subject to a variety of regulations, while often depriving cities of ...

" ::
UN: Israel’s Military Action in Gaza May Amount to War Crimes
Juan Cole
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U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Wednesday that Israel’s military actions are responsible for the death of a child every hour in recent days and observed, “Respect for the right to life of civilians, including children, should be a foremost consideration. Not abiding by these principles may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.” (see below).  That is, in international law, Israel’s pretext for indiscriminate ...

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Monsanto Ordered to Pay $93 Million to Small Town for Poisoning Citizens
Christina Sarich
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Big wins can happen in small places. The West Virginia State Supreme Court finalized a big blow to the biotech giant Monsanto this month, finishing a settlement causing Monsanto to pay $93 million to the tiny town of Nitro, West Virginia for poisoning citizens with Agent Orange chemicals.

The settlement was approved last year, but details were worked out only weeks ago as to how the funds were to be spent.

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Overcoming the Media Blockade in Gaza
Amy Goodman
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According to the United Nations, one child has been killed in Gaza every hour for the past two days. Overall, the Israeli military has killed close to 700 Palestinians, the vast majority civilians, since the assault on Gaza began more than two weeks ago. Details of the slaughter make their way into the world’s media, with horrific accounts of children killed on the beach, of hospital intensive-care units bombed, of first responders, searching for wounded amid the rubble, ...

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Will the Blabbermouths Wake Democrats Up?
Froma Harrop
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It is often said, believed and undoubtedly right that the Republicans' ace in midterm elections is apathetic Democrats not showing up at the polls. But that once predictable waltz into November is threatened by blabbermouths of the right's seeking self-aggrandizement by hurling darts at the sleeping Democratic bear. 

 

It's not that they don't know better. It's that their fame and fortune rests not on electing Republicans but on nurturing their ...

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Requiem for the American Century
Tom Engelhardt
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First Paragraphs on Turning 70 in the American Century That Was

* Seventy-three years ago, on February 17, 1941, as a second devastating global war approached, Henry Luce, the publisher of Time and Life magazines, called on his countrymen to “create the first great American Century.”  Luce died in 1967 at age 69.  Life, the pictorial magazine no home would have been without in my 1950s ...

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Bad Blood Between Israel and Palestine Boils Over
Ashley Curtin
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Bad blood between Israel and Palestine has boiled over and violence imprisons the Gaza Strip, creating an intense conflict with further risk of escalation.

 

After 10 days of both sea and air attacks on the Gaza Strip along with failed attempts by Egypt to form a truce between the two countries, Israel launched a Gaza land offensive on Thursday, which sent ground forces into the most densely-populated area of Palestine. But with land attacks already devastating the ...

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The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions
Robert J. Burrowes
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All nonviolent struggles are conducted simultaneously in the political andstrategic spheres, and these spheres, which are distinct, interactthroughout. I have discussed this at length elsewhere: see 'The Strategyof Nonviolent Defense: A Gandhian Approach'

Despite this, only rarely have nonviolent struggles been conducted with aconscious awareness of this vitally important relationship. Gandhi's campaigns were very effective partly because he understood the ...

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The Map: A Palestinian Nation Thwarted and Speaking Truth to Power
Juan Cole
"

As part of my original posting, I mirrored a map of modern Palestinian history that has the virtue of showing graphically what has happened to the Palestinians politically and territorially in the past century. 

Andrew Sullivan then mirrored the map from my site, which set off a lot of thunder and noise among anti-Palestinian writers like Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, but shed very little light.  (PS, the map as a hard copy mapcard is available from ...

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A Local Fight for the Future of the Internet
David Sirota
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The business lobby often demands that government get out of the way of private corporations, so that competition can flourish and high-quality services can be efficiently delivered to as many consumers as possible. Yet, in an epic fight over telecommunications policy, the paradigm is now being flipped on its head, with ...

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Cargill’s Integrity-Free Soybean Oil
Jim Hightower
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Can you have your hypocrisy and eat it, too?

I don’t think so. But Cargill Inc. is doing its damndest to invalidate the old admonition that eating your cake today means not having it tomorrow.

As a leading producer and user of ingredients that contain genetically manipulated organisms, the food conglomerate with $136.7 billion in yearly sales faces a marketing problem: By huge margins, consumers here and around the ...

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Border Children: ‘They Don’t Speak English, but They Understand Hate’
Amy Goodman
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Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas put a prominent, public face on the immigration crisis this week when he was detained by the U.S. Border Patrol in McAllen, Texas. After a number of hours and a national outcry, he was released. He first revealed his status as an undocumented immigrant three years ago in a New York Times Magazine article, and has since made changing U.S. immigration policy his primary work. Vargas was in Texas to support the thousands of undocumented ...

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History is Calling
Jim Hightower
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Most of us celebrated July 4 by barbequing, doing a few 12-ounce elbow bends and setting off some fireworks. Some of us might have paused for a moment to reflect on that thing Jefferson wrote about 238 years ago: The Declaration of Independence.

"We the People" are faced — right now — with another of those "when in the course of human events" moments Jefferson wrote about. Not only is this a month to reconnect with our revolutionary heritage but ...

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North Carolina’s Moral Freedom Summer
Jim Hightower
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The Moral Monday movement is mobilizing again.

This feisty coalition, based in North Carolina, is an inspiring model of workaday people coming together ...

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Israel is Captive to Its ‘Destructive Process’
Chris Hedges
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Raul Hilberg in his monumental work “The Destruction of the European Jews” chronicled a process of repression that at first was “relatively mild” but led, step by step, to the Holocaust. It started with legal discrimination and ended with mass murder. “The destructive process was a development that was begun with caution and ended without restraint,” Hilberg wrote.

The Palestinians over the past few decades have endured a similar ...

" ::
Borderline Behavior: GOP Demands Action, Blocks Solutions and Always Complains
Joe Conason
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Listening to Republicans in Washington (and Texas and Arizona) scream about the "crisis" of migrant children arriving from Central America on our southern border, it is puzzling to realize they don't actually want to do anything to solve the problem. Nor do these hysterical politicians — led by that down-home diva Rick Perry, the governor of Texas — want to let President Barack Obama do anything, either.

Except that they insist the president absolutely must ...

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Italian Mayor Proposes Fine for Public PDA Between Same-Sex Couples
Ashley Curtin
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While the world has come so far in the campaign for homosexual rights, there are some politicians that are virulently anti-gay. Russian President Vladimir Putin being one of them and the recent name added to the list is Gianluca Buonanno, the mayor of the municipality, Borgosesia in the Province of Vercelli, Italy. This week, Buonanno proposed a new ordinance that would ban public display of affection between same-sex couples.

Buonanno, who is known for his ...

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Brazil Announces Dengue Fever Emergency in GMO Mosquito Trial Areas
Christina Sarich
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Natural Society reported back in February that a UK company was planning to release GMO mosquitoes in Panama in order to reduce the populations of dengue fever, but now civil society groups in a town in Brazil where GMO trial mosquitoes were released are expressing alarm at an increase in dengue incidence, leading them to declare an emergency ...

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Is the Arrest of Andargachew Tsige the Final Straw for the people of Ethiopia
Graham Peebles
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Faced with a brutal repressive regime, the people of Ethiopia inside the country and within the worldwide diaspora – frustrated, angry and desperate – are considering all options to elicit fundamental change in the country.

 

The EPRDF, who seized power from the communist Derg in 1991, rule the country through fear and intimidation. Development aid, including food and other essentials, is distributed in a partisan manner, so too employment opportunities. The ...

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Restaurant Owner Pays $144K Out of Pocket to Employees After Fire
Christina Sarich
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In a world smattered with corporate greed, it is good to hear some uplifting news, and the owner of Culver’s restaurant in Platteville, Wisconsin is providing just that.

Bruce Kroll owned Culver’s for over 19 years, but last November the entire building was destroyed in a fire, leaving 40 employees wondering how they would make a living. Kroll did something few would even consider – he continued to pay his employees – out of his own ...

" ::

NOC BULLHORN

Fracking

Fracking is nowhere to be seen in Germany's near future.

Tar Sands

The measure is intended to stop ExxonMobil and partner companies from bringing Albertan tar-sands oil east through an aging pipeline network to the city’s waterfront.

Agriculture

Could small, biodiverse farms help the Aloha State transition to growing enough food to feed itself?

Climate Change

This is an invitation to change everything.

Genetically Modified Foods

According to the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University, marketing of cereals to children has increased significantly over the years.

Animals

We shall not be troubled by the inherent unknowns in quantifying poaching and exact numbers of elephants killed.

Fracking

Lots of people warned the citizens of Dryden not to do it, pointing out that a local ban on fracking would only invite ruinous lawsuits by armies of industry lawyers.

Monsanto Greed

Residents of the town filed a class action lawsuit against Monsanto in 2004 after ongoing health conditions were linked to the production of Agent Orange.

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