The major U.S. news media is again focusing Campaign 2012 on personalities, gaffes and poll-measured momentum, a superficiality that has contributed to America’s dysfunctional politics for several decades. But ex- FBI agent Coleen Rowley describes her work with an anti-war group seeking to change that dynamic.
Politicians take great umbrage when poor people violate property laws (as in the British riots) but the same leaders readily absolve themselves of guilt over much more serious crimes (like aggressive war in Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands). Such was the hypocrisy of British parliamentarian Jack Straw, writes Robin Beste.
At the heart of the American experiment was always a tension between oligarchy and democracy, with the oligarchs usually holding the upper hand. However, in recent decades, the struggle has taken a curious turn with the oligarchs largely obliterating the people’s memory of the true democratic cause, writes Jada Thacker.
Republican presidential contenders – Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann – profess their Christian fundamentalist faith, but denounce efforts by the government to restrain the power of the rich. The Rev. Howard Bess looks at this enduring contradiction between Christianity’s principles and its alliance with the wealthy.
The ugly scenes of rioting and arson in Great Britain are a preview of the societal breakdown that can be expected from today’s staggeringly inequitable economic/political system, where stock-market sharpies get away with plundering pension funds but the poor get nailed for looting consumer goods, observes Phil Rockstroh.
Exclusive: Wisconsin Republicans lost two Senate seats in recall elections Tuesday but won four others to keep control of the state Senate – and they have a chance to oust two Democrats next week. But the two Democratic victories prove the potential of grassroots organizing, says Lisa Pease.
Exclusive: Visiting Omaha Beach and the nearby American cemetery of World War II dead recalls a moment in time when the United States sacrificed to stop a global epidemic of madness. But Robert Parry discovered that those memories also underscore how the United States has since lost its way.
Among Republican presidential hopefuls, several – such as Rep. Michele Bachmann and Gov. Rick Perry – have stressed their commitment to fundamentalist Christianity, which bases its approach to cultural issues on a literal reading of the Bible. But the Rev. Howard Bess notes that many of those ancient traditions are repugnant to modern society.
The massacre of 77 people in Norway by a Muslim-hating extremist has prompted soul-searching among some Christians and Jews, but also has provoked rationalizations from some in Israel and elsewhere who view fear and loathing of Muslims as key to their political cause, writes Lawrence Davidson.
One enduring lesson of the Reagan administration is that it makes no sense to negotiate with hostage-takers; they only take more hostages. That is a lesson that President Barack Obama and the Democrats must learn in dealing with the today’s right-wing Republicans, writes Michael Winship.