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Law is pretty abstract. Unlike the role of a doctor or a builder, that of a lawyer is difficult to explain to a young mind. When my children eventually ask me about what I do when I “work” (confusingly simultaneously a place I seem to go to and a thing I do at home; either...
What happens when you take a nation with a history of white supremacy and racial insecurity, paint on a superficial glaze of political correctness, and add politicians willing to exploit xenophobia for electoral gain? If the nation in question is Australia, you get a set of...
Did you vote yesterday? Are you under 30? Well, congratu-fucking-lations. You are among the few and the proud. Yesterday, Republicans swept to what I'm bound by day-old tradition to refer to as "historic victories," taking the Senate, increasing their majority in the House...
Colonialism past and present. As for the future, it's up to us to confine colonialism to the history books.
In the battle for Kobane on the Syrian border everyone talks about the enemy - IS - and the frightening ideas that drive them. No-one talks about the Kurdish defenders and what inspires them. But the moment you look into what the Kurds are fighting for - what you discover...
Occupy is back in London, UK, with a renewed focus on politics and an ambitious vision: to galvanise a mass movement for real democracy and establish a huge People's Assembly to debate a list of specific demands for radical political reform. This week, stalwarts of the...
In October 2014, the Plymouth Institute for Peace Research (www.pipr.co.uk) asked Noam Chomsky to comment on some important world developments, including the threat of nuclear war, the recent escalation of violence in Gaza, and the growth of ISIS in Iraq. This year...
The word “anarchist” is thrown around a lot these days. When discussing their mild disagreements over foreign policy, healthcare, tax rates, gun control, immigration, torture, or the war on drugs, it’s not uncommon for a Republican or Democrat to hurl the word at each other...
“Kill the Messenger” tells the tragic tale of journalist Gary Webb who revived the Contra-cocaine scandal in the 1990s and saw his life destroyed by the mainstream media. The question now is: Will the MSM continue its cover-up of this sordid part of Ronald Reagan’s legacy...
Just as Sunday’s big People’s Climate March and next week’s UN global summit on climate converge here in New York City, the nation and world are experiencing weather of an intensity that should rattle the stubborn false convictions of even the most fervent climate change...
I recently read about a cash-strapped seven-year Walmart employee in Louisiana who says she'd live in her car if she could figure out how to do it. Another Walmart employee claims that many Walmart "associates" actually do that to make ends meet, but it's really not an option...
Public uprisings and mass occupations have become a significant force for change on the world stage since 2011, as evidenced in the Middle East revolutions and Occupy protests across North America and Europe. This essay explores the nature of this new social actor, which...
Our kills are clean and secular; theirs are messy and religious. “In their effort to create a caliphate across parts of Iraq and Syria,” CNN tells us, “ISIS fighters have slaughtered civilians as they take over cities in both countries. “In Syria, the group put some of...
Start by recognizing where ISIS came from. The U.S. and its junior partners destroyed Iraq, left a sectarian division, poverty, desperation, and an illegitimate government in Baghdad that did not represent Sunnis or other groups. Then the U.S. armed and trained ISIS and...
Pleased to meet you Hope you guess my name What’s confusing you Is the nature of my game - The Rolling Stones The reason that Internet trolls are effective is that people still don’t understand their game. There are 15 commonly-used trolling tactics to disrupt, misdirect...
There’s little dispute among social scientists that most of our major public programs are counter-productive on their own terms. There is also little analysis of this phenomenon as a pattern in need of an explanation and a solution. Prisons are supposedly intended to reduce...
Nearly two years ago a group named Occupy Sandy organized an unprecedented response to the unprecedented disaster that was Hurricane Sandy. Occupy Sandy, which was sparked by a few radical activists who knew each other from Occupy Wall Street, accomplished very significant...
A Wikileaks post published on The Nation shows that the Obama Administration fought to keep Haitian wages at 31 cents an hour. (This article was taken down by The Nation due to an embargo, but it was excerpted at Columbia Journalism Review.) It started when Haiti passed a...
CBS News, August 18, 2011: President Barack Obama officially demanded that Syrian President Bashar Assad resign for the sake of his own people, saying he was no longer fit to lead after “imprisoning, torturing, and slaughtering his own people” during a crackdown on...
Smearing a Progressive Website to Support Israel Like many other news websites, Common Dreams has been plagued by inflammatory anti-Semitic comments following its stories. But on Common Dreams these posts have been so frequent and intense they have driven away donors from...
Nobody in their right mind wants more violent protests. But, as Martin Luther King said, ‘a riot is the language of the unheard’ In 1966, Martin Luther King started to campaign against segregation in Chicago only to find his efforts thwarted by violent mobs and a scheming...
Every once in a while, a dramatic news story can actually produce real reform. More often the momentum peters out once the story disappears from the news (remember how Sandy Hook meant we were going to get real gun control?), but it can happen. And now, after the aftermath of...
I don’t cry. It didn’t used to be this way – I was a somewhat sensitive kid growing up, and often wore my emotions openly, crying naturally when the world demanded tears. I’m now 40, and haven’t cried in 12 years. Maybe more. I admit that, during the past month, I’ve written...
At a certain point, if you have any relationship with dignity, you're supposed to get sick of being used and abused. Speaking of which: liberal Democrats. Democratic politicians act like right-wingers. Liberals vote for them anyway. The Democratic Party espouses right-wing...
The Glorious Fourth is a day to let ‘er rip, be as red-white-and-blue as you like, hang out the flag, join the parade, keep an eye on the sky where those fireworks are bursting in air. Start early: pop a Sousa into the sound system, turn up the volume (not too loudly out...
Just ahead of the sixth episode of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” comedian John Oliver admitted on “CBS This Morning” that he and his crew are “still trying to work out what this is.” But Oliver seems to know what “Last Week” isn’t: “The Daily Show.” Oliver, of course, is a...
"Modest yet bold, liberal and fun-loving." Naming Uruguay the country of the year in 2013, the Economist may very well have described the rising nation's head of state, President José "Pepe" Mujica. Known for his unusual frankness, fiery oration and bold leadership to turn...
If you are one of the 135 million people [1] who have contacted Congress by letter, phone call, or online petition in the last few years, you've probably asked yourself: "Did that matter?" Despite how good your civic action may have made you feel, the overwhelming odds are...
The reader should be aware that this is not your typical review. As a world-weary academic, disillusioned by the failed promises of the ivory tower and its pretensions to inevitability, I think I know full well how reviews ought to proceed. Little wonder Steve Wasserman wrote...
As history has shown, France is capable of the best and the worst, and often in short periods of time. On the day following Marine Le Pen's Front National victory in the European elections, however, France made a decisive contribution to the reinvention of a radical...
Caleb Duarte and Mia Eve Rollow from EDELO (En Donde Era La UNO / Where the United Nations Used to Be) explore the effects of NAFTA in Chiapas, Mexico’s poorest state and the site of the Zapatista revolution sparked by the agreement. Mexico was said to be one step away...
During the 15 years, I lived and worked in Asia as a development professional from 1978 to 1992, I witness a troubling paradox. GDP was growing, incomes were rising, there was an expanding middle class, and a few people were getting fabulously rich. Development seemed to be...
The Kansas legislature just passed legislation that strips teachers of  the right to due process, a move pushed by conservative lawmakers who were forced by a state Supreme Court ruling to provide more funding to poor school districts and wanted to get something out of the...
In the land of all-night samba clubs and soccer fanatics, Brazil is throwing its famously high-energy spirit into the untested waters of online democracy. Multimillion dollar budgets are being handed over to online “town halls,” and the federal government is crowdsourcing...
Rome lived upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face. Industry is the only true source of wealth, and there was no industry in Rome. By day the Ostia road was crowded with carts and muleteers, carrying to the great city the silks and spices of the East, the marble of...
Based on what we know from the most recent climate science, Obama’s "all-of-the-above" energy policy is actually suicidal.   Are there any self-respecting environmental organizations out there that are still behind President Obama? After his State of the Union on Tuesday...
The economic and legal system rewards corporations that bulldoze, stripmine and burn. A new law against ecocide could halt this destruction. Designer Vivienne Westwood expressed anguish and alarm at the worsening state of the planet, at a press conference yesterday. "The...
Cuts to food stamps and jobless benefits predictable result of 'neoliberal assault' on American people As Congress decides this week whether to re-institute emergency jobless benefits for millions of Americans and closes in on negotiations for a Farm Bill that could see...
Time and time again, US presidents have been impeached or forced to resign for all the wrong reasons. Nixon resigned not because of the secret wars illegally conducted in Laos and Cambodia, but because he was caught bugging the phones of his political adversaries across the...
9 November 2013: A disheartening but predictable loss for GMO labelling in Washington, where Monsanto, DuPont and other big corporate interests jumped in and spent millions, sometimes evidently illegally, to defeat Initiative 522 to label groceries containing genetically...
Many countries in the world see the U.S. as the single greatest external threat to their societies. During the latest episode of the Washington farce that has astonished a bemused world, a Chinese commentator wrote that if the United States cannot be a responsible member...
In "historic" briefing, Rehman family gives heartbreaking account of drone killing of 65-year-old grandmother... to five lawmakers Despite being heralded as the first time in history that U.S. lawmakers would hear directly from the survivors of a U.S. drone strike, only...
It’s been the thing lately, among certain establishment liberals, to dismiss libertarians as “Koch-funded shills.” We’ve heard a lot of it from Mark Ames and Yasha Levine at NSFWCorp, for example. This is stupid, first of all, because it’s historically illiterate. Free...
The current US debate about health-care funding can be understood as concerned with meeting the challenge of doing three things at once: (1) Ensuring that everyone can afford to buy ample medical services and (2) lowering the price of care while (3) not interfering with...
Throughout the US government “shutdown,” Democratic politicians have compared their Republican rivals to “anarchists” and argued that the “shutdown” proves government necessary. A recent speech by US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on the Senate floor exemplifies this...
Warmongering Continuing Full Speed Ahead The government shutdown isn’t slowing down the warmongers.  For example: The CIA is 
In his complaints against the wing of the Republican Party that engineered the present government shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid derided his opponents as “Tea Party anarchists.” It’s hard to decide who should be more annoyed — the Tea Party or the anarchists...
U.S. news reports are largely blaming the government shutdown on the inability of both political parties to come to terms. It is supposedly the result of a "bitterly divided" Congress that "failed to reach agreement" (Washington Post) or "a b
Democrats perpetrate the same scam over and over on their own supporters, and this illustrates perfectly how it’s played:
In 1833, William Miller predicted the second coming of Jesus Christ in the year 1843. Only after his fourth failed prediction, each of which saw hundreds of thousands of followers turn out, did his followers abandon him. By this time, Miller had already absconded with copious...