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Entries since July 2013Page Previous 1 • 2 • 3
July 12, 2013 · By Netfa Freeman
This piece originally posted in Black Star News.
Apparently the phrase “blood is thicker than water” also compares to the Imperial ties that bind NATO, where the history of European colonial collusion runs thicker than internationalist ethics and treaties.
The recent brushing aside of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations by France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and US that endangered the life of Bolivian president Evo Morales, should be an epiphany or at least a reminder to the people of Africa, Asia and Latin America. It demonstrates that only a radical and transcontinental transformation can abolish the vestiges of European colonialism and white supremacy.
The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is the international treaty that forms the legal basis for diplomatic immunity. But on July 2nd the fore mentioned NATO countries most likely led by the US breached the Convention by colluding to disallow a Bolivian presidential flight into their respective airspace.
This was allegedly based on unfounded suspicion that the flight was transporting US National Security Agency whistleblower, Edward Snowden. President Morales and accompanying Bolivian officials were returning to Bolivia after attending a Forum of Gas Exporting Countries in Russia. Low on fuel due to rerouting caused by denial of passage through the airspace of the European culprit countries, the Bolivian presidential flight had to make an emergency landing in Vienna, Austria.
This is another one of countless and arrogantly racist double standards that the US and its NATO allies have demonstrated since the dawn of colonialism and neo-colonialism. The Convention on Diplomatic Relations is supposed to be the framework governing relations between independent countries. It specifies the privileges of a diplomatic mission that enable diplomats to perform their functions without fear of coercion or harassment by hosts countries, including free and safe passage via land, sea or air.
Read the full article in Black Star News.
July 11, 2013 · By Colleen Teubner
Families across the country recently celebrated the Fourth of July like they always do: with annual beach trips, barbecues, baseball games, and fireworks. But one of my favorite local traditions was canceled, courtesy of Congress.
Every year on the Fourth, without fail, my family and I would take a trip to Sagamore Hill. Affectionately nicknamed the "Summer White House," Sagamore Hill was President Teddy Roosevelt's home on Long Island. Today, it's a National Historic Site operated by the National Park Service.
For me, Sagamore Hill was a magical place that came to life on the Fourth of July. Rough Riders rode their horses. TR look-a-likes strolled across the grounds. Nature trails demanded to be explored. And the great mansion begged visitors to see its curious antiquities.
Not this year. Due to the sequester, this national treasure was forced to reduce its annual budget by $76,000. Independence Day was canceled in 2013.
You know things are bad when the Summer White House can't afford to stay open on the Fourth of July.
But Sagamore Hill's event wasn't the only one canceled. All across the country, communities went without their July Fourth fireworks, traditions, and festivals. Bands were silent. Skies were empty.
Yes, the sequester has had worse effects: School budgets, environmental initiatives, and health services across the nation have been cut. People are losing their jobs. Some children have lost their Head Start slots. Some seniors aren't getting the meals-on-wheels they used to.
But the cancelation of smaller programs also demands outrage. They may be taken for granted, but they're the kind of services that build communities.
Colleen Teubner is a student at the George Washington University and an OtherWords intern at the Institute for Policy Studies. OtherWords.org
July 10, 2013 · By Emily Schwartz Greco
This week in OtherWords, we're highlighting the debate over the Obama administration's nuclear weapons policy, with op-eds by Peter Weiss and James C. Lewis and a cartoon by Khalil Bendib.
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- Obama Sharpens His Nuclear Posture / Peter Weiss
A new Pentagon document indicates that contingent plans for the use of nuclear weapons are being made, with the self-evidently impossible task of minimizing collateral damage.
- It Can’t Happen Here / Tiffany Williams
Au pairs may get an experience they didn't bargain for when they head for a stint in the United States.
- One Step at a Time / Chris Schillig
The middle ground the Boy Scouts found on gay rights is one that rankles as much as it pleases.
- Smaller Arsenals Beat Bigger Ones / James C. Lewis
Obama is trying to enhance U.S. national security by reducing the threat of nuclear weapons.
- Taking Embarrassing to a New Level / Donald Kaul
Every administration hits rough waters.
- Predistribute the Wealth / Sam Pizzigati
The market has stopped working for working people.
- A Deadly Power Surge / Jill Richardson
Fracking might be profitable, but whether it's good for anything else is doubtful.
- North Carolina Rips More Holes in Its Safety Net / Jim Hightower
If ignorance is bliss, Governor McCrory must be ecstatic.
- Syrian Dead End / Emily Schwartz Greco and William A. Collins
How can the United States afford to keep proving that it's bad at bringing peace to conflict-ridden Middle Eastern countries?
- Washington Goes AWOL / Khalil Bendib cartoon
Emily Schwartz Greco is the managing editor of OtherWords, a non-profit national editorial service run by the Institute for Policy Studies. OtherWords.org
July 3, 2013 · By Robin Broad and John Cavanagh
This piece originally posted in YES! Magazine. John Cavanagh contributed to YES! as part of a new "idea sharing partnership" between YES! and the Institute for Policy Studies.
Robin is standing in front of a church in Guatemala with some of the other members of the first international delegation on “gold mining and the defense of water in El Salvador.” We are 44 people from 12 countries who have come to support El Salvador's right to stop environmentally destructive gold mining. We have come as allies of a coalition called the National Roundtable Against Metallic Mining (“La Mesa”), and we have traveled just across the border to Guatemala because the source of the Lempa River that supplies most of El Salvador's fresh water is here in the Guatemalan hills.
Goldcorp, one of Canada's largest gold mining firms, is building a mine here. The environmental havoc unleashed by this mine will affect not only Guatemalans, but also Salvadorans who depend on the Lempa’s waters as it meanders through El Salvador on its way to the Pacific Ocean.
Read the full article in YES! Magazine.
July 3, 2013 · By Emily Schwartz Greco
This week in OtherWords, Sam Pizzigati celebrates Independence Day by explaining how reducing economic inequality in America would honor the Founders' legacy. Jill Richardson talks about how you can enjoy the best produce summer has to offer all year round if you embrace the tradition of preserving food — even zucchini. And Frances "Sissy" Farenthold teams up with Susan Smith Richardson to weigh in on Wendy Davis and the "unruly mob" making business as usual a bigger challenge than usual in the Texas state capitol.
As always, our commentaries and cartoons are available for publication or cross-posting at no charge in newspapers and new media under a Creative Commons license. Editors may find information about that on our website or contact me with any questions at OtherWords[ AT ]ips-dc.org.
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- The Orange Uprising / Frances “Sissy” Farenthold and Susan Smith Richardson
Wendy Davis's filibuster offered that rare occasion when the government's overreach into the most intimate details of our lives was made plain.
- Minding the Nuclear Fault Line / Robert Alvarez
The federal government should transfer the spent nuclear fuel held at a shuttered nuclear power plant in Southern California before the next earthquake strikes.
- The Tradeoff Between Apple and Apples / Scott Klinger
There would be no need for our elected leaders to trim our safety net if our richest corporations didn't turn avoiding their fair share of taxes into an art form.
- A Big Season for Falling Stars / Donald Kaul
Paula Deen and Aaron Hernandez are suffering fates of their own making.
- A More Perfect Union / Sam Pizzigati
Our elites have lost that selfless spirit.
- Canning Ain’t Rocket Science / Jill Richardson
Even though we've got refrigerators now, putting up food still makes good sense.
- Padding the Bottom Line by Gouging the Customer / Jim Hightower
Big Food considers corporate chicanery to be a legitimate business practice.
- Grave New World / William A. Collins
Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Franz Kafka, and Ray Bradbury long ago explained how the system would work once those in authority got their act together and the technology to spy on us all.
- One More Untaxed Bite at the Apple / Khalil Bendib Cartoon
Emily Schwartz Greco is the managing editor of OtherWords, a non-profit national editorial service run by the Institute for Policy Studies OtherWords.org