This just in . . .
As the horror show at Fukushima worsens by the day, our opposition to atomic energy becomes ever more vital. Now more than ever, we advocate a total “solartopian” shift to renewables for our planet’s energy supply. That transition has become even more essential as the nightmare at Fukushima deepens.
In a speech in Buffalo, New York today, President Obama unveiled a new plan that aims to reduce the rising costs of higher education. That plan includes a rating system for colleges that would rank schools using tuition costs, student debt, graduation rates and the income made by those who graduate. Financial aid to schools would be based on rankings, though Congress would have to approve that part of the plan. But some progressive economists, professors and student advocates, including Green Shadow Cabinet Secretary of Education Kimberly King, say the plan doesn’t address the root causes of unequal access to education, and are calling for more structural changes that would forgive student debt now and prevent it in the future.
Army colonel Judge Denise Lind sentenced Pvt. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison, functionally equivalent to life in prison. In addition, the government, determined to make sure that no one could mistake its chilling message dishonorably discharged Manning, reduced his rank and confiscated all pay. Private Manning admitted turning over 700,000 diplomatic cables and other documents to Wikileaks, including a video of U.S. troops laughing and joking while they murdered innocent Iraqis.
To senior government officials whose very election to so-called public office is largely predicated upon being bought and sold by corporate campaign donations, there is no more frightening a threat than a conscientious subordinate who cannot be bought. Unlike those who—despite their crimes—will have presidential libraries erected in their name and quarter million dollar honoraria for speaking engagements that perpetuate their lies, Manning and Snowden did not sell out. It must give our noble public servants pause to know that these whistleblowers disdain the elite’s crowning cynicism—that everyone has a price.
The right to peacefully assemble is an internationally recognized human right that must be protected under all circumstances. The more than five hundred men, women and children who were slaughtered by Egyptian military forces as they attempted to exercise that fundamental right is a crime that demands not only international condemnation but also criminal prosecution of those responsible. The attacks on anti-military demonstrators also compel us to demand that the Obama Administration end its immoral prevarication and call the Egyptian coup what it now clearly is – a coup.
Finally, after working to see the end of mandatory minimum sentencing for nearly 30 years, hearing Attorney General Holder say the obvious – that mandatory sentences don’t work, are costly, unfair and need to be ended – was welcome. Unfortunately, Mr. Holder’s comments are mostly rhetoric with inadequate policy change. There are important steps that could be taken by President Obama and Attorney General Holder right now, without Congress, that could end injustice being suffered by tens of thousands and prevent future injustices.
For the past several years, the U.S. press, pundits, and apologists for both liberal and conservative politicians in the U.S. have jumped at every slight indication of this or that monthly economic indicator showing improvement. The hype that followed typically declared the ‘recovery was now solidly underway’. That has been the media ‘mantra’ now for the past four years. Each time, the temporary good news was reverse . . .
In a ruling that will change racially unfair police practices in New York, a federal judge has found the NYPD stop and frisk program to be unconstitutional.
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