In recent years, Florida has been the scene of high-profile political and legal scandals, from Election 2000 to the delayed justice in the Trayvon Martin slaying. But it’s also known as a place intolerant of dissent, especially if someone praises Fidel Castro or criticizes Israel, says Lawrence Davidon.
Exclusive: Army Sgt. Robert Bales stands accused of murdering 17 Afghan civilians, a crime that some trace to the financial pressures his family faced back home. However, to the rich financial swindlers, the ruining of Bales’s family – and many others – is just another day’s work, writes Mark Ames.
Exclusive: America’s Founders were not marble statues, but rather real people facing tough challenges. To make ends meet, the esteemed Abigail Adams dabbled in black-market goods, and that kind of tough-minded pragmatism – not starry-eyed idealism – imbued the Constitution and guided the early nation, Robert Parry writes.
Exclusive: Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney wowed a convention of gun enthusiasts with a flowery talk about the Constitution and his fears about what a re-elected President Obama would do to it. But Romney’s speech reflected an American history that never was, reports Robert Parry.
Religion in politics is a touchy topic in the United States, but Americans have a legitimate right to know how a candidate’s religious views may affect public policy – on issues like population growth, anti-gay discrimination and Christian supremacy – says Rev. Howard Bess.
Hardliners in the Occupy movement have begun equating police infiltrators and other enemies with Occupy supporters who favor some practical electoral and legislative goals. There is alarmist talk about the need to protect Occupy’s revolutionary purity from these reformers, as Danny Schechter explains.
Some of the ultra-rich who backed Barack Obama in 2008 are switching to Mitt Romney in 2012 because the President has called for closing tax loopholes that allow hedge-fund and private-equity billionaires to pay lower tax rates than working stiffs, Bill Moyers and Michael Winship write.
Exclusive: German poet Gunter Grass is under withering attack for writing a poem that urges Germany to stop supplying nuclear submarines to Israel, objects to Israel’s threat of war against Iran and suggests both countries accept nuclear inspectors. That last idea has opened Grass to charges of “moral equivalence,” notes Robert Parry.
Millions of Americans, when facing depression or even just anxiety, turn to powerful psychiatric drugs marketed by pharmaceutical giants, whose ads gloss over the risks in fast-talking fine print. A counter-movement warning of the dangers from an over-prescribed society is emerging, as Gary G. Kohls describes.
Historically, ardent Christians have been among the most bloodthirsty of religious believers, justifying wars and genocides around the world, ironically, in the name of Jesus, an avowed pacifist. Now, many devout Christians rally to Israel’s side in its ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the Holy Land, Lawrence Davidson notes.