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Tag: History


Ryan Johnson (CC-BY-SA)

Eric Holder and RFK’s Legacy

When he announced his leave-taking last week, Attorney General Eric Holder spoke of Robert F. Kennedy as his inspiration for believing that the Justice Department “can and must always be a force for that which is right.”

Posted on Sep 29, 2014 READ MORE


War on Extremism

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Posted on Sep 28, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Navy/MC1 Chad J. McNeeley

Bookends of a Presidency

President Obama began his presidency with a call for a “new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world.” He will end it as a reluctant but unapologetic warrior.

Posted on Sep 26, 2014 READ MORE



Global Warming and Global Warring

Hours after 400,000 people joined in the largest climate march in history, the United States began bombing Syria, starting yet another war.

Posted on Sep 24, 2014 READ MORE



A Climate Week to Change Everything

The climate crisis is worsening faster than predicted, by every scientific measure, and is paralleled by another crisis: the failure of the U.N. climate negotiation process.

Posted on Sep 17, 2014 READ MORE



BasPhoto / Shutterstock.com

For the Love of Scotland

Scotland’s referendum on independence will be decided by voters whose hearts say yes but whose heads say no.

Posted on Sep 17, 2014 READ MORE



Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters Pulls Bloody Kent State Sweatshirt

The trend-chasing retailer has apologized for selling a “vintage” Kent State sweatshirt, but insists the red splotches that look remarkably like bloodstains were not meant to allude to the 1970 national guard shooting.

Posted on Sep 15, 2014 READ MORE



Center For American Progress (CC-BY-ND)

Can Congress Be Responsible?

There was a moment in the last quarter-century when the Congress of the United States made the nation proud. It did so across all its usual lines of division: Republican and Democratic, conservative and liberal, hawk and dove.

Posted on Sep 15, 2014 READ MORE



Remembering Hiroshima in an Age of Neoliberal Barbarism

Once an emancipatory project predicated on the right to study and engage the past critically, history under the reign of neoliberalism has receded into a depoliticizing culture of consumerism, a wholesale attack on science, the glorification of military ideals, an embrace of the punishing state, and a nostalgic invocation of the greatest generation.

Posted on Sep 12, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Hasan Jamali

Terrorizing a Family of Human Rights Champions

Bahrain, a key U.S. ally in the Mideast, is building a symbolic wall against freedom. Part of that odious effort is the longtime persecution of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and two of his daughters.

Posted on Sep 11, 2014 READ MORE



The Climate Marches On

“Unjust laws exist.” So wrote Henry David Thoreau in his 1849 essay, “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience.” The naturalist and pacifist asked, “Shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?”

Posted on Sep 10, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

President Poroshenko’s Gift to America

It seems evident that Barack Obama today still does not understand how much he owes to President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine.

Posted on Sep 9, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Our Challenge With Islam

Destroying, degrading or containing the Islamic State—whichever goal President Obama chooses—will be the easy part. Finding ways for fundamentalist Islam to express itself peacefully is a bigger, tougher and more important project.

Posted on Sep 5, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Obama Beyond the Sound Bite

In contemplating President Obama’s foreign policy, Mark Twain’s reference to Richard Wagner’s music—it’s “better than it sounds”—comes to mind.

Posted on Sep 5, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Pavel Golovkin

Do Barack Obama and Angela Merkel Even Know What They Want From Russia?

Within the same news conference, President Obama declared economic sanctions against Russia a huge success and said Russia had invaded Ukraine.

Posted on Sep 2, 2014 READ MORE



The Guns of August

What, if anything, have we learned from the disaster of World War I? Look no farther than Gaza, or Ferguson, Mo.

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 READ MORE



Where to Watch Sir Richard Attenborough’s Five Best Movies Right Now

One of film’s most beloved actors and directors died Sunday after 90 years of life and a career that somehow made giants of the 20th century (including Mahatma Gandhi, as played by Ben Kingsley, above) seem even grander.

Posted on Aug 25, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Is Obama Too Thoughtful to Be President?

The presidency is not what it seems or what we (and the president) wish it were.

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 READ MORE



The Ghost of Dred Scott Haunts the Streets of Ferguson

Four miles south of the Ferguson protest’s ground zero, along the same street, in the quietude of Calvary Cemetery, lies Dred Scott, the man born a slave who famously fought for his freedom in the courts.

Posted on Aug 20, 2014 READ MORE



Shawn Semmler (CC-BY)

The Ones Left Behind

The fire this time is about invisibility. Our society expects the police to keep unemployed, poorly educated African-American men out of sight and out of mind. When they suddenly take center stage, illuminated by the flash and flicker of Molotov cocktails, we feign surprise.

Posted on Aug 18, 2014 READ MORE



Riddles, Lies and Lives—Castro, Muhammad Ali, Einstein and Barbie

It was not by Lucifer’s curse or God’s miracle that the new country managed to outlive 10 U.S. presidents, their napkins spread in their laps, ready to eat it with knife and fork. His enemies do not say that in spite of sorrow, external aggression and internal high-handedness, the distressed island spawned the least unjust society in Latin America.

Posted on Aug 18, 2014 READ MORE



Vincent van Gogh, self-portrait.

Nine Left-Handed People Who Changed the World

Wednesday is international Left Handers Day, a time to reflect on one of the mysteries of science, a minority complex that has resisted centuries of abuse and ridicule.

Posted on Aug 13, 2014 READ MORE



Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 69 Years Later

“I hate war,” Koji Hosokawa told me as we stood next to the A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima, Japan.

Posted on Aug 6, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Abbot Kinney, Pacific Ocean Park, and the California Dreamers

A new book about an old seaside amusement park, gone for a half a century, set me thinking about a favorite subject, the boom-and-bust quality of California, a place of constant invention and reinvention, of dreams shattered or attained.

Posted on Aug 4, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

The Rising Tide: Will All Boats Be Lifted?

Debate and commentary about the rising tide of income inequality in the United States is remindful of Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns in the 1980s when he kept preaching about boats stuck on the bottom.

Posted on Aug 1, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Lefteris Pitarakis

Gaza as Sarajevo

The image of Israeli tank columns safely ranged on the periphery of Gaza methodically lobbing in round after round of supposedly precision-guided munitions (precision, that is, give or take the odd 25 person civilian family huddled together for the breaking of their Ramadan fast), sent me whistling back to my own time in Sarajevo, after the lifting of the siege there in the wake of the Dayton Accords in late 1995.

Posted on Jul 23, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Thomas Frank: ‘An Ineffective and Gutless Presidency’s Legacy Is Failure’

The Salon columnist imagines President Obama’s inevitable library, and how it will cope with the transition of “an unlikely champion” of the masses to “the only thing between [Wall Street] and the pitchforks.”

Posted on Jul 22, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Lefteris Pitarakis

Palestinians, Israelis Are Failed by Their Leaders

It’s difficult to have a conversation with someone who wants to get rid of you. That is why Hamas militants and Israel’s right-wing-dominated government are each on such a destructive path.

Posted on Jul 16, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Khalil Hamra

Israel Is Captive to Its ‘Destructive Process’

The weeklong assault on Gaza is one more in a horrific series of steps similar to those in Nazi Germany that ended in the Holocaust.

Posted on Jul 14, 2014 READ MORE


Museum Day

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Posted on Jul 13, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Eric Gay

Sending the Refugee Children Home Will Bring Lasting Shame

President Barack Obama is repeating the mistakes of the past, allowing bigoted know-nothings to determine this nation’s policy toward refugees.

Posted on Jul 11, 2014 READ MORE



Tom Thai (CC-BY)

A Message for Patriots of All Persuasions

When the flags fly proudly on the Fourth of July, I remember what my late father taught me about love of country. Much as he despised the scoundrels and pretenders he liked to call “jelly-bellied flag flappers,” after a line in a favorite Rudyard Kipling story, he was deeply patriotic.

Posted on Jul 7, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Our Progressive Constitution

Many kinds of conservatives contend that everything they believe is thoroughly consistent with the views and intentions of our 18th-century founders.

Posted on Jul 7, 2014 READ MORE



Carl Pietzner

History Moves, but Not Always Ahead

The weekend past saw the centenary of the assassination of the Archduke Franz-Ferdinand, with as consequence the First World War.

Posted on Jul 1, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Jose Luis Magana

One Court, Indivisible, Votes Liberty and Justice For All

Wednesday’s unanimous Supreme Court decision affirming the right to privacy is a reminder that support as well as opposition to civil liberty these days can come from unexpected quarters.

Posted on Jun 26, 2014 READ MORE



AP/B.K. Bangash

How the Women of Pakistan Cope With War, Honor Killings and Prejudice

The West is flooded by news of all the incessant outrages, but by looking back at history we get a better understanding of what is happening in this forsaken country of ours. Progress is never linear.

Posted on Jun 23, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Lefteris Pitarakis

The Ghoulish Face of Empire

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant reflects back to us a disturbing image of ourselves. Our murderous rampages, carried out in a foolish attempt to remake the Middle East through violence, have given birth to a Frankenstein monster.

Posted on Jun 22, 2014 READ MORE



AP Photo/Jerome Delay

Don’t Trust the Bombers on Iraq: ‘Shock and Awe’ Never Works

In March of 2003, we were treated to an intensive bombardment of Iraq, which the Bush White House propagandists termed “Shock and Awe.”

Posted on Jun 17, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Robert C. Brogan

What Can We Do in Iraq? Nothing!

Taking a couple of shots at President Obama over the latest round of war in Iraq, House Speaker John Boehner said last week: "This has been building for weeks." How about centuries, Mr. Speaker?

Posted on Jun 13, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Channi Anand

The People’s Game Part One: When Soccer Conquered the World

The first in a three-part series examines the history of international soccer as it informs the World Cup, which begins Thursday.

Posted on Jun 11, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Evelyn Chavez

Robert Kagan and the Ruin of Ideas

Neoconservative commentator Robert Kagan, co-founder in 1997 of the Project for a New American Century, and after that institution crashed amid the ruins of Iraq, founder of its 2009 successor, the Foreign Policy Initiative, is continuing his crusade for a new Reaganism—which he construes as American world domination.

Posted on Jun 10, 2014 READ MORE



Père Ubu (CC BY-NC 2.0)

On D-Day: Remembering the Muslim Troops Who Fought the Axis

One of the frustrations for a world historian is the unyieldingly parochial vision of the North Atlantic common among journalists and even many historians, and consequently among the public.

Posted on Jun 7, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Sending Drones Not Divisions

In the post-Cold War era, it was possible to hold grand illusions and chase utopian dreams. As President Obama understands, and his foreign policy critics fail to grasp, that time is past.

Posted on Jun 2, 2014 READ MORE



Maya Angelou, Still She Rises

In remembering Maya Angelou, it is important to recall her commitment to the struggle for equality, not just for herself, or for women, or for African-Americans.

Posted on May 28, 2014 READ MORE



LehaKoK / Shutterstock.com

California Gold Rush: The Race for the Hottest Job in Congress

California’s 33rd Congressional istrict is home to some of the Democrats’ wealthiest donors and one of the party’s most progressive leaders. No fewer than 17 candidates are running to pick up the keys to the treasure chest, but is any a worthy heir?

Posted on May 26, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

The Times When Race Matters

When Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., remarked last week that some of the opposition to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is “maybe he’s of the wrong color,” he was just saying out loud what many people believe.

Posted on May 26, 2014 READ MORE



William Worthy and Vincent Harding: Thank You and Goodbye

The world lost two remarkable men in May, two African-Americans who helped shape modern history, yet whose names and achievements remain too little known.

Posted on May 23, 2014 READ MORE



S'J / Shutterstock.com

What Ukraine Really Needs

The United States has a recent history of going to war for dubious reasons promoted by interested groups, for which afterward Americans are sorry.

Posted on May 13, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Impeach Clarence Thomas?

While the Constitution allows even Supreme Court justices to be impeached, it has happened only once in our nation’s history.

Posted on May 12, 2014 READ MORE



Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

How Monica Lewinsky Deserves to Be Remembered

Monica Lewinsky must be satisfied to learn that with a few stylish photographs and a few innocuous paragraphs, she can still discombobulate Maureen Dowd, Lynne Cheney and a swarm of demented figures in American politics and media.

Posted on May 9, 2014 READ MORE


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