"As long as justice is postponed we always stand on the verge of these darker nights of social disruption." So said Martin Luther King Jr. in a speech on March 14, 1968, just three weeks before he was assassinated.
It was a dramatic scene in the Senate this week. As Sen. Elizabeth Warren, presiding, announced the defeat of the Keystone XL pipeline, a Crow Creek Sioux man from South Dakota sang out in the Senate gallery. A massive people's climate movement against extracting some of the dirtiest oil on the planet had prevailed ... at least for now.
It was a Democrat, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, representing oil interests, who tried to push the pipeline through. She hoped its passage would help her in the Dec. 6 runoff election against her challenger, Congressman Bill Cassidy, who sponsored a similar bill in the House. The Republicans have promised to reintroduce the bill when they take control of the Senate in January.
There were 8,920,000 military veterans in the United States as of last June, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sometime last Sunday or Monday, hours before Veterans Day began, that number dropped by one, when Tomas Young died at home in Seattle, with his wife by his side. He was one of many soldiers who were sent to Iraq and were grievously injured there.
The public may know more about Tomas Young than about most veterans, thanks to the remarkable documentary Body of War, directed and produced by legendary talk-show host Phil Donahue and filmmaker Ellen Spiro. His journey, his struggle and now his death follow an arc along the tragic U.S. wars and occupations in this post-9/11 world.
Elections in the United States are all about money -- lots of it, increasingly from untraceable, "dark" sources. Ultimately, though, history is not made of money but of movements. The Republican sweep in this week's midterm elections has been widely described as a wave, a bloodbath, a shellacking. Beyond the hyperbole, beneath the pronouncements of pundits, strong currents are moving, slowly shifting our society. One movement that shined through the electoral morass demanded an increased minimum wage. It prevailed, even in some of the reddest of states.
There is a database housed in Arkansas with the names of American citizens in it ... that is, if they live in one of the 28 states participating in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. It's one of the growing components of an aggressive drive across the U.S. by Republicans to stop many Americans from voting.
Early voting has already begun in many states in the 2014 U.S. midterm elections. Control of the U.S. Senate hangs in the balance, as do many crucial governorships, congressional races and ballot initiatives. One question looming over this election is just how significant will be the impact of the wholesale, organized disenfranchisement of eligible voters.
The headlines shift hourly between Ebola and ISIS. The question is often asked, "Should we put boots on the ground?" The answer is yes -- but not in the Middle East. We need tens of thousands of boots on the ground dealing with Ebola: boots of doctors, nurses, health professionals, dealing with this wholly preventable global health disaster.
SAN ANTONIO -- In Texas, how far women have come can be measured by how far they have to go. Scores of medical facilities have been shuttered in Texas, stranding almost a million women hundreds of miles from a health-care facility that they might need. The reason? These facilities provide, among other services, safe, legal abortions. Last week, the U.S. Appeals Court for the 5th Circuit affirmed Texas state restrictions on abortion access, closing 13 more clinics overnight. Overall, 80 per cent of Texas abortion clinics have closed since the law went into effect.
"Don't make history a mystery" read one of the signs at a rally in Jefferson County, Colo. High-school students in this suburban district, referred to locally as "JeffCo," have been walking out of class en masse this past week, protesting the planned censorship of the district's Advanced Placement (AP) United States history curriculum by the local school board.
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Hours after 400,000 people joined in the largest climate march in history, the United States began bombing Syria, starting yet another war. The Pentagon claims that the targets were military installations of the Islamic State, in Syria and Iraq, as well a newly revealed terrorist outfit, the Khorasan Group. President Barack Obama is again leading the way to war, while simultaneously failing to address our rapidly worsening climate. The world is beset with twin crises, inextricably linked: global warming and global warring. Solutions to both exist, but won't be achieved by bombing.