Archive

Haiti: Earthquakes and Neo-Colonialism

Our hearts go out to the Haitians. Earthquakes and hurricanes. Disaster after disaster. There’s no letup. We’ll send cash, food, meds, trucks, pumps, clothes, shovels, tarps, bulldozers, cement, computers, docs, water, clergy, plumbing, prayers, and everything else we can think of.

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Shouldn’t ‘Local’ Businesses Be Local?

Giant corporations are trying to co-opt the meaning of one of our important words: “local.” It’s important because small businesses across the country have created a very positive, grassroots economic movement, based on being local producers, providers, and marketers. Over 130 cities have “local business alliances,” with 30,000 businesses enlisted.

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The State of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream in 2010

Over 40 years after Dr. Over 40 years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, his words still speak to the social conditions that so many Americans face. Our unemployment rate is hovering at 10 percent, and the wealthiest 10 percent of us control over 70 percent of the nation’s wealth. Economic inequality remains a barrier to greater racial equality. The national commemoration of King’s birthday, therefore, is more for reflection than celebration.

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Eight Years of Guantanamo: What’s Changed?

Eight Years of Guantanamo: What’s Changed?

The Obama administration has failed to close the facility, where—by many accounts—inmates were harshly interrogated and even tortured, by its own deadline. Now there’s talk that the prison will remain open at least through 2010. And the proposal to move detainees to a maximum security prison in Illinois superficially retires Guantánamo as a symbol, while retaining the legal problems it embodies. Equally troubling is the administration’s expansion of detention facilities in Afghanistan that are almost impenetrable for lawyers and humanitarian groups.

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Let’s Chuck the Bottle

It’s worth $11 billion-worth a year–our bottled-water industry, dominated by such giants as Nestlé and Coca-Cola. But wait, shriek industry PR flacks, our product is pure goodness, not pollution. What are you talking about?!

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Urban Food Deserts Threaten Children’s Health

Nationally, typical low-income neighborhoods have 30 percent fewer supermarkets than higher-income neighborhoods. The problem isn’t only in urban areas; food deserts are also common in many rural communities. Across the country, too many families are forced to do their food shopping in convenience stores stocked with overpriced, highly processed, fatty food with low nutritional value, often past its expiration date. In stores like these, staples such as milk can cost more than at supermarkets.

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Fly the Unfriendly Skies, if You Dare

Umar Farouk Abdulmatullab—the young Nigerian who got on an airliner in Amsterdam with explosive material strapped to his crotch, intending to blow up the plane over Detroit. (Detroit! As if Detroit didn’t have enough trouble.)

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