July 13, 2016
By George Kohl The vision of our founders was of a government of, by, and for the people. And history tells the story of how our democracy has grown, from the days when only white, male property owners had rights to embracing African Americans and women as full voting participants. Today there's an extreme attack on our democracy, one that threatens to transform the government into one of, by, and for corporations and the 1 percent. Too many Americans believe the system is rigged, that politicians don't listen to the people.
July 27, 2015 |
OSKALOOSA, Iowa - Donald Trump brought his quixotic, populist campaign for the presidency here Saturday, airing a litany of grievances with different politicians and institutions and pledging to "take back this country. " Speaking to an audience of about 1,500 people, including hundreds in an overflow room at a high school here 60 miles southeast of Des Moines, Trump declared the political system was broken, controlled by lobbyists and other influence-peddlers who wouldn't buy him - because he's so rich.
June 17, 2015 |
Why did none of the Wall Street fat cats whose unchecked greed led to the banking collapse of 2008 ever go to prison? Why hasn't a single official from the last two White House administrations been prosecuted for assassinating, rather than arresting, American citizens as Islamist combatants? Why did the news media cheerfully adopt the euphemism "enhanced interrogation" when describing torture perpetrated by intelligence personnel? These are some of the questions Chris Hedges has asked over the last dozen years in his columns for Truthdig.com and in such books as Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle and Death of the Liberal Class . In his most vociferous attack yet on the political and civic culture of America, Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt , the author contends they are the sorts of issues that continue to anger Americans of all political leanings.
January 9, 2014
Signs of growth The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society agrees that there is an urgent need to inspire young people to study horticulture as a profession and to raise awareness of the vital role of plants and gardens in our environment ("Is horticulture a withering profession?" Jan 6). But the society sees cause for optimism as well. Our membership has grown by 38 percent in the last three years, to 25,000 households. Among the fastest-growing groups of new members are those ages 18 to 35. We also see signs of increasing appreciation for horticulture and its value throughout our neighborhoods.
May 29, 2013 |
'I just got a call from Matt Damon's agent," social critic and political activist Robert Jensen says in deadpan about his new book, Arguing for Our Lives: A User's Guide to Constructive Dialog . "Matt wants to turn my book into a major Hollywood film. " How could you go wrong with a sexy title like that? That's not to mention the content. A potent attack on the rabid, irrational saber-rattling that passes for political and social discourse today, Arguing for Our Lives is a cogent, closely argued, sober, yet passionate call for ordinary men and women to help save our democracy by reclaiming our intellect, by honing our powers of rational argumentation.
February 21, 2013
KAHLIL BYRD is all about change, and I don't mean for a dollar or a fiver. No, sir. The change he wants is "disruptive politics" as a path to a better democracy. Byrd is former chief executive of Americans Elect, a 2012 effort that sought an alternative to the two-party presidential nominating process; he's current president of Students First, an education-reform group founded and headed by onetime Washington, D.C., schools chancellor Michelle Rhee. Byrd's keynoting an education conference at Penn on Saturday, "The Debate for America's Future: Assessing the Viability of Public Education Solutions.
January 4, 2013 |
Washington seems like a football team that calls three halfhearted running plays into the line and then punts as time runs out - in game after game. On Tuesday, it happened again at another crucial moment: Congress passed a temporary fix to the fiscal cliff that kept tax rates from rising on 99 percent of U.S. taxpayers, but postponed tough decisions on spending cuts for two months. "The problem is, we set up three more fiscal cliffs," Virginia Democratic Rep. Jim Moran said during late-night floor debate on the agreement.
September 3, 2012 |
Anyone hoping for more specifics on Mitt Romney's foreign policy views didn't glean them from the Republican convention. Romney barely mentioned foreign policy in his acceptance speech, other than dispensing a few crowd-pleasing zingers (like the false claim that "Obama has thrown . . . Israel under the bus"). Clearly, this avoidance was deliberate. Foreign policy is not a voter priority. And Romney wanted to argue that he could restore U.S. leadership "of the free world" by putting our economic house in order.
August 31, 2012
TO EVERYTHING, there is a season, the Bible's book of Ecclesiastes first told us and songwriter Pete Seeger and rock band the Byrds later sang to us. And if a Republican nominee for president is looking to cast the vice-presidential pick in an all-American light, then we must be talking about hunting season. Deer & Deer Hunting magazine has a scoop for its October issue, available on newsstands Tuesday: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan , of Wisconsin, tells the story of learning to hunt as an 11-year-old and now sharing the sport with his kids.
April 2, 2012
MEXICO CITY - Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado, 77, who led Mexico from 1982 to 1988 during economic crisis and a devastating earthquake, died Sunday, the government said. President Felipe Calderon called Mr. De la Madrid "a Mexican with a profound commitment to the country" in a statement confirming his death. The cause of death was not revealed, but the former president had been hospitalized in Mexico City with respiratory problems since Dec. 17. His term was a grim time for most Mexicans, a six-year hangover after a spending binge by a previous government that was convinced soaring oil prices would never fall.