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Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict  Vol. II

Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict Vol. II

Edited by Cynthia E. Cohen, Roberto Gutiérrez Varea and Polly O. Walker
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Tag: Poverty

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Brenda Wineapple on Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass

Two recent books show how a man of reason and conservative temperament and a man of passion and radical disposition joined together, even before either knew it, to end slavery.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo

Still Dreaming After All These Years

Truthdig normally celebrates Martin Luther King Day by remembering the more complex, more subversive King—the man who railed against America as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” and “a society gone mad on war.” But a day before America inaugurates its first black president, we have other things on our mind.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / exfordy

The Party of No Ideas

Would it be rude to ask whether the Republicans have any new proposals to save the country from this worsening recession? If not, they should halt their reactionary opposition to Barack Obama’s stimulus plan.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE



amazon.com

Andrew Nagorski on the Bolsheviks’ Crimes

There was a time when Russia was an economic power on the rise. Sean McMeekin’s new book, “History’s Greatest Heist: The Looting of Russia by the Bolsheviks,” explains what nipped that growth in the bud.

Posted on Jan 2, 2009 READ MORE


Believe It or Not, 2008 Was Relatively Nonviolent

Peace is not at hand, at least not as Americans define it. Yet peace has been breaking out all over.

Posted on Jan 1, 2009 READ MORE


Voices of Resistance Sing On

Strong voices for peace have left us this year, people who used their art for social change, often at a high personal price.

Posted on Dec 31, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Craig Ruttle

Why I Am a Socialist

The free market and globalization, promised as the route to worldwide prosperity, have been exposed as a con game. We will either find our way out of this mess by embracing an uncompromising democratic socialism or we will continue to be fleeced and impoverished by our bankrupt elite.

Posted on Dec 29, 2008 READ MORE


Warren Is Worth the Headache

By inviting Pastor Rick Warren to give the inaugural invocation, President-elect Barack Obama has alienated some of his friends on the left, but the choice also enrages conservatives who fear the breakup of right-wing dominance in the white evangelical community.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE


Rick Warren

Why Gays Are Upset About the Rev. Rick Warren

Rick Warren’s work on the environment, poverty and AIDS make him hard to pigeonhole, but a recent interview, during which he compared homosexuality to incest and pedophilia, crossed a line.

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 READ MORE


The Beauty of Free Money

No, the federal government isn’t going to discover new billions under some rock in a national park. But with the economic downturn, the new president’s imperative will be to spend as fast as he can, to the tune of perhaps $500 billion, to keep the economy from going belly up.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Remaking the World in America’s Image

The evidence suggests that American policy under Barack Obama will be a continuation of the neoconservative foreign policy of the Bush administration, given a human face.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


Bush’s Hoover Impression Flirts With Depression

At the earliest, it is likely to be at least February or March before the first dollar of an Obama recovery plan is felt. This is a national disgrace.

Posted on Nov 26, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Brave New Films

A Wal-Mart Christmas for a Wal-Mart Country

The giant discounter is the only store where hard-squeezed consumers can afford to buy anything, and so it has kept posting sales gains amid the retail bloodbath.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE


A New Pride in Our Country

I know there’s a chance that the first African-American to make a serious run for the presidency will lose. But that is precisely what’s new: I’m talking about possibility, not inevitability. For African-Americans, this is nothing short of mind-blowing.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Jose Luis Magana

Only Nader Is Right on the Issues

Tomorrow I will go to a polling station in Princeton, N.J., and vote for Ralph Nader. I know the tired arguments against a Nader vote. But there is little disagreement among liberals and progressives about the Nader and Obama campaign issues. Nader would win among us in a landslide if this was based on issues.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / edited for effect

Populism Arising—but Will It Be the Killer Kind?

The old assumptions and paradigms about capitalism and free markets are dead. A new, virulent populism, still inchoate, is slowly and painfully rising to take their place. This populism will determine the future of the country. It is as likely to be right-wing as left-wing.

Posted on Oct 26, 2008 READ MORE


McCain Banking on a Confederacy of Dunces

Is John McCain stupid, or does he believe we are? That’s the question as he criticizes Barack Obama for allegedly trying to “redistribute the wealth” with a plan to lower taxes on the middle class and raise them on the super-rich.

Posted on Oct 23, 2008 READ MORE



npr.org / youtube

Citizen Tim Takes On Obama by Himself

The one form of political advertising that’s completely unregulated and free is the speech of an individual citizen, even when money amplifies that speech by putting it on the airwaves. Tim D’Annunzio, who describes himself as a “concerned North Carolina businessman,” is doing just that.

Posted on Oct 23, 2008 READ MORE


McCain’s Socialist Delusion

Wherever John McCain appears on the stump in these waning days of the presidential campaign, he is always accompanied by his imaginary friend “Joe the Plumber,” but it is the specter of Karl Marx that lurks just offstage.

Posted on Oct 22, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Seth Perlman

No Child Left Behind Fails Us All

Truthdig asked Demitrious C. Sinor, an inspirational educator, to sound off on the state of our schools. He warns that unless the No Child Left Behind regime ends soon, America’s classrooms could unravel. It’s a reality that neither presidential candidate seems to fully understand, but one he sees every day, from where he sits.

Posted on Oct 21, 2008 READ MORE



solvingpoverty.org

ACORN’s Money Tree Has Many Branches

Conservatives are on the march against the community organization ACORN, but what exactly is it and who pays for it? Actually, it’s many, many things, and it’s funded by a mix of labor union money, government grants (which really drive conservatives crazy) and charitable contributions from large foundations.

Posted on Oct 15, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Gerald Herbert

America’s Political Cannibalism

It is no longer our economy but our democracy that is in peril. Financial collapses lead to political extremism. The rage bubbling up from our impoverished and disenfranchised working class, glimpsed at John McCain rallies, presages a looming and dangerous right-wing backlash.

Posted on Oct 13, 2008 READ MORE


Catholic Worker protester
desmoinescatholicworker.org

Fueling the Fire of Real Change

The coals of radical social change smolder among the poor, the homeless and the destitute. As the numbers of disenfranchised dramatically increase, our hope, our only hope, is to connect intimately with the daily injustices visited upon them. Out of this contact we can resurrect, from the ground up, a social ethic, a new movement.

Posted on Sep 28, 2008 READ MORE


skid row
flickr.com/ikkoskinen

Tent Cities Springing Up

One sign of the nation’s shaky economy can be seen in the growing numbers of newly homeless people forming “tent cities” around the U.S. The rise of these encampments is being attributed partly to the foreclosure crisis in the housing market, and the newest economic developments aren’t likely to ease the situation.

Posted on Sep 18, 2008 READ MORE


Poverty Is the Real Scandal

Former Sen. John Edwards was supposed to speak in Denver at the Democratic National Convention, but he had an affair. Will the Democrats now forget about his signature issue?

Posted on Aug 27, 2008 READ MORE


The Two John Edwardses

Maybe Slippery John somehow convinced Earnest John that this moment would never come. In fact, it was inevitable—and if Edwards had somehow won the Democratic nomination, the party would be in the midst of a historic meltdown.

Posted on Aug 10, 2008 READ MORE


China’s Sins in the Spotlight

World attention, in addition to fixing on the spectacle of the Olympics and the Chinese economic miracle, will be cast on a record of human rights abuse and environmental degradation.

Posted on Aug 7, 2008 READ MORE


Detroit Homeless Shelter
Detroit News / Ankur Dholakia

Chronically Homeless Numbers Down 30%, U.S. Claims

In the face of a U.S. housing crisis and a troubled economy, Bush administration officials claim that the past two years have seen a 30 percent drop in the levels of chronically homeless people, crediting the decrease to a strategy of finding permanent shelter for the long-ignored disabled and addicted.

Posted on Jul 30, 2008 READ MORE



westminster.gov.uk

AIDS and the Myth of the Oversexed Negro

Why do so many in the global health establishment insist on viewing the AIDS crisis in Africa through the lens of a 19th century stereotype?

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


Nam Theun 2 Dam
namtheun2.com

World Bank Finds Itself Wanting

The World Bank is being criticized for a persistent lack of environmental focus in an internal review of its lending activities. The new report rails against the environmental degradation caused by many bank-funded projects in poor countries that harm local communities in the name of “development.”

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


Mexico Food Protest
treehugger.com

Biofuels Blamed in Global Food Crisis

While environmentalists and opponents of foreign oil may have found common cause in the use of biofuels, a new, confidential World Bank report estimates that the recent increase in plant-based fuel production has actually contributed to a 75 percent rise in global food prices, sparking riots across the world and pushing millions beneath the poverty line.

Posted on Jul 4, 2008 READ MORE


Haitian Children At Well
picasaweb / gohaitimission

U.S. Withholds Loans in Water-Starved Haiti

The U.S. is under heavy criticism by human rights groups for withholding funds for clean water projects in Haiti as leverage for U.S.-led political reform in the country. A total of $54 million in loans to Haitians—70 percent of whom already lack daily access to potable water—is being delayed.

Posted on Jun 25, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Nicholas von Hoffman on ‘The Big Squeeze’

A new book by New York Times reporter Steven Greenhouse argues that the plight of American workers, both white-collar and blue-collar, is growing worse, putting the American dream out of the reach of tens of millions of citizens.

Posted on Jun 6, 2008 READ MORE


What Obama Should Say to Women

Somewhere in the waning hours of this interminable primary, I found myself channeling Barack Obama as he began a long overdue and eagerly anticipated conversation ... on gender.

Posted on May 28, 2008 READ MORE


grocery store
Flickr / Jeff Keen

Struggling Families Feel Sting of Rising Food Prices

For the working poor who depend on food stamps to feed their families, it’s hard enough keeping up with inflation, let alone the steep price of food these days. Even in the richest country on Earth, the cost of basic foods has a huge impact on families that count every dollar, and benefits simply aren’t keeping pace.

Posted on May 27, 2008 READ MORE


Colbert

Somebody Get the Man a Jet Ski

Well, as you’ve probably noticed by now, John Edwards has publicly backed Barack Obama as his candidate of choice. There’s just one problem, as Stephen Colbert reminds us: Edwards previously said on Colbert’s show that he’d support the candidate who pledged to do the most for the nation’s poor—and the one who supplied him with a jet ski. But he hasn’t gotten that jet ski yet, has he now, Mr. Obama?

Posted on May 16, 2008 READ MORE


Obama and Edwards
AP photo / Charles Rex Arbogast

Edwards Backs Obama

John Edwards announced his endorsement of Barack Obama on Wednesday. Edwards’ support has long been coveted by both Democratic candidates, particularly because of his populist appeal. Indeed, he won about 7 percent of the vote in West Virginia, despite having dropped out of the race at the end of January.

Posted on May 14, 2008 READ MORE


Morales y Garcia Linera
AP photo / Joao Padua

Opposition Calls for Referendum on Bolivia’s Morales

Evo Morales, the first indigenous president of Bolivia, will face a confidence vote in the next 90 days as opposition groups continue their push to remove him from power. The vote comes on the tail of last week’s unofficial and meaningless referendum for autonomy in which the wealthy state of Santa Cruz voted for greater independence from the federal government.

Posted on May 9, 2008 READ MORE


Edwards
Flickr / John Edwards 2008

John and Elizabeth Edwards Spill the Beans

As North Carolinians head to the polls, John Edwards, their former senator, has disclosed that after months of being politically courted he will not endorse any candidate in the Democratic primaries. The two-time presidential contender and his wife, Elizabeth, recently sat down with People magazine to explain what they like—and don’t like—about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Posted on May 5, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Jeff Madrick on ‘High Wire,’ Peter Gosselin’s Look at the Economic Meltdown

A star reporter for the Los Angeles Times has written a clear, even elegant anatomy of an economy that is much worse than you probably think.

Posted on May 2, 2008 READ MORE


The Plague of Potomac Fever

Congress is ravaged by a disease inside the Washington Beltway inhibiting emotions like compassion and integrity. As the housing crisis intensifies, this malady is getting worse.

Posted on May 2, 2008 READ MORE


English classroom
AP photo / H. Rumpf Jr.

When Teachers Are the Dropouts

Much is made of the dropout rate in America’s schools, and usually it’s the students who are the focus of the discussion. But what happens when teachers themselves opt out of their roles in the classroom? [In this short analysis, Truthdig educational expert Paul Cummins looks at teachers’ heartbreak, frustration and depression.]

Posted on Apr 25, 2008 READ MORE


Fernando Lugo
AP photo / Monica Matiauda

Another Lefty Wins in Latin America

Former Roman Catholic Bishop Fernando Lugo’s campaign against poverty has won him the presidency of Paraguay, a country that has been ruled by the same conservative party for 61 years—arguably longer than the run of any party in any other country.

Posted on Apr 20, 2008 READ MORE


Two Black Americas

Much has changed in the years since Martin Luther King Jr.‘s death, and yet many black Americans struggle now more than ever. We must acknowledge progress if we are to take up the work that is left incomplete.

Posted on Apr 3, 2008 READ MORE


King statue
Kelly Branan

Remembering the Real Martin Luther King

Forty years after his death, Martin Luther King, one of the great prophets of American democracy, has been reduced to little more than a lifeless statue. Yet his courageous call for peace and criticism of his government at a time of war must not be lost to history.

Posted on Apr 3, 2008 READ MORE


Where Do We Go From Here?

It has been 40 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., while standing on the balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel.

Posted on Apr 2, 2008 READ MORE


The Democrats’ Class War

For all the hype about generational and gender wars in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, we have a class war on our hands. And incredibly, corporate America’s preferred candidate is winning the poorer “us” versus the wealthier “them.”

Posted on Feb 7, 2008 READ MORE


Edwards
todbrilliant.com

The Platform John Edwards Built

Paul Krugman argues in Friday’s New York Times that if the Democrats win in 2008, it will be because of their big ideas, and for that, Krugman writes, “they’ll have Mr. Edwards to thank.” He’s got a point. Does anyone remember that John Edwards was the first one out of the gate with a bold health care plan that bears a striking resemblance to the bold health care plans that followed?

Posted on Feb 1, 2008 READ MORE


California debate

Down to the Fundamentals

With mere days left before Super Tuesday and down to just two candidates, Thursday’s Democratic debate in Los Angeles gave voters a crucial eleventh-hour look at Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who kept things friendly enough while staking out their differences on several key issues—health care, the economy and, most importantly, the Iraq war. 

Posted on Jan 31, 2008 READ MORE


Edwards
observer.com

Edwards Bows Out

Pledging to soldier on in his quest to fight poverty, Democratic candidate John Edwards dropped out of the presidential race Wednesday. Edwards has not yet endorsed either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. His two former rivals both praised him Wednesday as he made his exit. 

Posted on Jan 30, 2008 READ MORE


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