23 Jul 2012

Georgia Wants to Execute Warren Hill and Violate the Constitution

Georgia is about to execute a mentally disabled man in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes, the state of Georgia will execute a man that everyone agrees is mentally retarded.  A state court determined that a decade ago.  The execution would violate the U.S. Constitution

01 Mar 2012

Are Corporations People Who Kill People?

Can corporations be sued in U.S. courts for violations of international human rights law? This week, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a case that may have a profound impact on corporate accountability and human rights in this country. The case is Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., and the plaintiffs allege that

27 Feb 2012

The White Working Class was Bamboozled

Originally, this was to be a commentary on the plight of the white middle class, but that demographic no longer exists in America.  So, let’s talk about the swindling of the white working class. And although it has all come to a head in the past few years, it is

13 Jan 2012

It’s the Old South vs. the New South

The American South can’t seem to shake off the Civil War. Or Jim Crow. And yet, that region of the U.S. is undergoing some dramatic changes. How the South responds to these changes will determine how easily it will enter the modern world and usher out the racial demons of

16 Dec 2011

Bull Connor 2.0: The Police Response To #OccupyWallStreet

Looking at the police response to the Occupy Wall Street movement, Bull Connor would be proud. What went barely reported recently was that the United Nations has taken an interest in how the United States has dealt with the Occupy folks. Specifically, Frank LaRue, the UN special rapporteur for the

30 Sep 2011

We Could Use A Little Class Warfare Right Now

Recently, the jobs crisis in America prompted New York mayor Michael Bloomberg to predict that riots will come if jobs are not created soon. “We have a lot of kids graduating college, can’t find jobs,” Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show.  “That’s what happened in Cairo. That’s what happened

30 Sep 2011

The Death Penalty as Ritualized Mob Violence

The execution of Troy Davis by the state of Georgia has outraged many, placing the gruesome and barbaric practice of capital punishment under the microscope. A black man who at the least was apparently innocent— and at most definitely innocent— was executed despite serious questions about his case.  Most of

04 Aug 2011

In Congress and the Knesset, Rightwing Extremism Wins

I was struck by a recent op-ed in the New York Times written by a member of the Israeli Knesset.  In his July 29 opinion piece, Ahmad Tibi, an Israeli lawmaker of Arab descent, lamented the loss of free speech in Israel.  At issue is the new law which makes

28 Jul 2011

Profiteering and Union-Busting Repackaged as School Reform

The mission of Stand for Children sounds very good, until you dig deeper. The co-founder and CEO of SFC, Jonah Edelman, is the son of Marian Wright Edelman, the well-respected civil rights activist and head of the Children’s Defense Fund. Critics charge that Stand for Children started out on the right side of the issues, devoting itself to progressive issues such as class sizes, affordable children’s healthcare and adequate funding for schools. But then, things changed when they started taking the money, and lots of it— from wealthy interests who arguably care nothing about poor children of color in the inner cities, and care a great deal about a vision of privatization that extracts profit from the public schools.

21 Jul 2011

Murdoch’s Unraveling Empire and the Need for Civic Engagement

The only thing more remarkable than the news of the Rupert Murdoch hacking-bribery scandal itself is the rate of its unraveling—and Murdoch’s unraveling.  For this international kingmaker and media mogul— who built an empire on yellow journalism and destroying the lives of others— it seems rather fitting that his fall