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Chicago teachers' strike is a key battle for U.S. labour movement

(Photo: peoplesworld / flickr)
First it was red squares, now red shirts -- Chicago school teachers take action for public education. (Photo: peoplesworld / flickr)

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Wisconsin weeps: Vigil held for victims of mass shooting

A candlelight vigil was held last night for victims of the mass shooting.
A candlelight vigil was held last night for victims of the mass shooting of Sikhs in Wisconsin. (Photo: Overpass Light Brigade)

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Racism and violence, past and present: Understanding the Wisconsin shooting

Yesterday morning the orgies of the lone gunman took hold in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, a town in the dragnet of Milwaukee. He targeted a Gurdwara, the religious home of the local Sikh community. The gunman entered the Gurdwara, and as if in mimicry of the school shootings, stalked the worshippers in the halls of the 17,000 square foot "Sikh Temple of Wisconsin."

Police engaged the gunman, who wounded at least one officer. The gunman killed at least seven Sikhs, wounding many more. He was then killed. A few hours after the shooting Ven Boba Ri, a committee member of the Gurdwara told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "It's pretty much a hate crime. It's not an insider."

The local police smartly said that this is an act of domestic terrorism.


It's Terror Tuesday: Drones and remote control killing

Protest against drone attacks. (Photo:  Syracuse Peace Council / flickr)
It's another "Terror Tuesday," the day when Obama and his national security team gather to handpick the next alleged national security threats to be executed by remote control.

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The whole world is watching Chicago today: Protests say 'No to NATO'

Chicago hosts NATO this weekend. (Photo: Sarah Bennet)
A massive anti-war demonstration took place Sunday, on the first day of Chicago hosting the NATO Summit.

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What Eisenhower could teach the Tea Party

Fifty years ago this month, on January 17, 1961, outgoing U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower made one of the truly memorable presidential speeches of all time. Through his justly celebrated farewell address, Eisenhower wanted to alert his fellow Americans to two great dangers threatening public life in the Republic. For the first time in its history, the U.S. was home to a permanent arms industry. Allied with the military, this newly created military-industrial complex constituted a menace of "unwarranted influence" over U.S. decisions on momentous issues of war and peace, and for the structure of American society itself.


Internet freedom getting stifled in the U.S.

One of President Barack Obama's signature campaign promises was to protect the freedom of the Internet. He said, in November 2007, "I will take a back seat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality, because once providers start to privilege some applications or websites over others, then the smaller voices get squeezed out and we all lose."

Jump ahead to December 2010, where Obama is clearly in the back seat, being driven by Internet giants like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast. With him is his appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski, his Harvard Law School classmate and basketball pal who just pushed through a rule on network neutrality that Internet activists consider disastrous.


We need inspired political leadership to champion greater equality

Nobody ever accused Barack Obama of having too stiff a spine.

Even so, there is something crushingly disappointing about reports last week that the U.S. president is likely to retreat from his promise to cancel George W. Bush's tax cuts for the rich.

Such a capitulation to the Republicans would concede defeat before the battle to achieve greater equality and to "spread the wealth around" is even waged. The audacity of hope seems to have turned into a readiness to choke.

Obama's promise was a modest one -- to push the top marginal tax rate from 35 per cent back up to its Clinton-era level of 39 per cent.


Conrad Black's inner child

Black's Bad Boy: My stab at what got Conrad Black through a prison stretch isn't his arrogance or sense of rectitude. It's his not-so-inner child, an eternal boyishness. You hear it in the piece he wrote last weekend for the National Post. It has a sense of adventure with an improbably happy ending; it could have come out of the Boy's Own Annual, which I can picture him reading, absorbing the Dickensian stylistics. (He's always been a Victorian figure, which helps explain his choice of British lordship over Canadian citizenship.)

Marc Emery: An interview before U.S. prison

A contemplative Emery spoke earlier this year about his extradition and five-year prison sentence.
A contemplative Emery spoke earlier this year about his extradition and five-year prison sentence.

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