Slave Labor? Mass Prisons? FIFA Mangles the World Cup and the Beautiful Game

Is it possible to be sickened by everything that goes into staging the World Cup while also loving the tournament itself? For eighty-three years the answer to that has been a resounding yes. The thinking, from FIFA, soccer’s ruling body, down to fans, has been that if a few eggs must be broken, then that’s the price we must pay for a brilliant global frittata. But, with two stories that broke this week, FIFA is truly testing the limits of what people will swallow.

What's the Difference Between Force Feeding and Waterboarding?

03/24/2014
Guantánamo Hunger Strike
By Zak Newman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office

The Department of Defense this month publicly released its newest rationalization for the abusive force-feeding program at Guantánamo Bay. In this latest memo on hunger strike policies, the abusive force-feeding program is referred to as "medical intervention."

Nothing could be further from the truth.

No Place Like Home D.C.'s population of homeless families exploded this winter. The city wasn't ready.

Don't Forget About Us - Photo of young child with sign
 
For two weeks, Donnell Harris begged every morning for a motel room. Last Friday, he got his wish.

Harris, his wife, and their two young children were bouncing between two recreation centers that the city had converted to makeshift shelters for a swelling population of homeless families. The conditions weren’t good. While most homeless families slept in private rooms at the former D.C.

Obama Wrong to Isolate Venezuela

The George W. Bush administration had a stated policy of trying to isolate Venezuela from its neighbors, and the strategy ended up isolating Washington instead. President Obama, in his first meeting with hemispheric leaders in Trinidad in 2009, promised to turn a new page. But today, his administration finds itself even more isolated than that of his predecessor, and for much the same reasons.

This Week in ‘Nation’ History: The Horrific Legacy of the Invasion of Iraq

A US soldier in Iraq, March 22, 2003 (AP Photo/John Moore)

This Monday marks the eleventh anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq—a solemn punctuation mark to the steadily increasing violence that has gripped that country over the past two years. Sectarian violence claimed more than 8,000 Iraqis in 2013 alone, and this year’s toll has already surpassed 2,000.

My Life as a Retail Worker: Nasty, Brutish, and Cheap

My plunge into poverty happened in an instant. I never saw it coming.

Then again, there was no reason to feel particularly vulnerable. Two years ago, I was a political reporter at Politico, and I spent my days covering the back-and-forth of presidential politics. I had access to the White House because of my reporting beat, and I was a regular commentator on MSNBC. My career had been on an upward trajectory for 30 years, and at age 50 I still anticipated a long career.

Who Is Provoking the Unrest in Ukraine? A Debate on Role of Russia, United States in Regional Crisis

Russia is vowing to keep its troops in the Ukrainian region of Crimea in what has become Moscow’s biggest confrontation with the West since the Cold War. Ukraine’s new prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said Russian President Vladimir Putin had effectively declared war on his country. Concern is growing that more of eastern Ukraine could soon fall to the Russians. Earlier today, Russian troops seized a Ukraine coast guard base in the Crimean city of Balaklava. On Sunday, the new head of Ukraine’s navy defected to Russia.

How Today’s Liberal Zionists Echo Apartheid South Africa’s Defenders

"While the majority of black South African leaders are against disinvestment and boycotts, there are tiny factions that support disinvestment — namely terrorist groups such as the African National Congress,” libertarian economics professor Walter Williams wrote in a 1983 New York Times op-ed.

Williams’ claim was as absurd then as it appears in hindsight, but his sentiment was far from rare on the American and British right in the 1980s.

Michael Dunn Trial: Is America's Legal System Capable of Defending Black Life Against Irrational White Fears?

"Sis, c'mon, dis Brooklyn Winter Olympics!" I'm sitting in a car in backed up traffic, watching two young black boys and their sister turn treacherous sidewalks into an icerink and the slopes of Sochi - their own personal Winter Olympics. They laugh, slide, create shapes, do commentary, scrunch up their faces, dance, slip, right themselves and do it over again. I laugh thinking about how irritated we all are by the ice. I laugh thinking how irritated we all are by the ice, but how kids take adult things and through their lens see and make magic, create a wonderland.

DCTC Releases Trans-Needs Assessment: Survey of city's transgender residents indicates high rates of harassment, discrimination

Published on July 25, 2013

The DC Trans Coalition (DCTC) on Saturday released the results of its 2011-2012 D.C. Trans Needs Assessment, showing that transgender D.C.-area residents are often at risk for harassment or discrimination; struggle with HIV and other health risks and homelessness; and are often underemployed or work in some form of an ''underground economy,'' particularly transgender people of color.

A Big Box Bans the Box: Removing Barriers to Employment for Convicted Felons

With holiday hiring upon us, job prospects for the hard to employ are looking up – if only on a temporary basis. But for the 65 million Americans with criminal records, even a temporary job is often out of reach. That’s why the Target Corporation’s removal of criminal history questions from its employment applications is such promising news. While many state and local governments have decided to “ban the box” on job applications asking applicants if they’ve ever been convicted of a crime, Target represents one of the most prominent companies to do so.

MLK Boulevard: A Snapshot of King’s Dream Deferred

In the now-famous speech that he gave to a congregation in Memphis the night before he was assassinated in April of 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King spoke at length about travelling roads. If he were given the option to live in any period, he said, he would trek through the dark dungeons of Egypt, across the Red Sea, and then on to Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the Renaissance, the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the establishment of the New Deal programs before landing at that time, the politically perilous year of 1968.

Defining Peer Support

Peer support is a system of giving and receiving help founded on key principles of respect, shared responsibility, and mutual agreement of what is helpful. Peer support is not based on psychiatric models and diagnostic criteria. It is about understanding another’s situation empathically through the shared experience of emotional and psychological pain. When people find affiliation with others whom they feel are “like” them, they feel a connection.

West Virginia is Just The Beginning For Chemical Spill Disasters

Thanks to the mass privatization of public water systems and the fake rhetoric of “clean coal,” we’re all at higher risk for disasters like the Elk River chemical spill.


West Virginia is facing a massive disaster with no end in sight.  And if we don’t do something about anti-regulation zealotry, the mass privatization of public water systems and the real dangers of coal and other dirty energy productions, we’ll all be at risk of similar disasters in the future.

Ratner: Obama Must Move to Close Guantanamo Now

JAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network, and welcome to this latest edition of The Ratner Report.

Now joining us is Michael Ratner. He's president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, chair of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin. He's also a board member for The Real News Network.

Thank you so much for joining us, Michael.

MICHAEL RATNER, PRESIDENT EMERITUS, CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS: Good to be with you again, Real News and Jaisal.

DC Just Passed Great Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Days Bills. What's in them?

Congratulations to all DC workers and to the advocates who helped push the DC Council to pass unanimously the Fair Minimum Wage Act and Earned Sick and Safe Leave Amendment Act of 2013 today without allowing the bills to be weakened by amendments.

Although news reports have shared some of the highlights of the worker protection bills just passed by the DC Council, here are some of the details, which weren’t always covered.

Supporters challenge Kim Rivera's separation from newborn in Fort Carson protest Sunday

A handful of peace activists gathered outside of Fort Carson on Sunday to protest the military's continued detention of a self-proclaimed conscientious objector who recently gave birth.

At the heart of their concerns: Army Pfc. Kimberly Rivera's newborn son, Matthew, is not receiving breast milk because Rivera is not allowed to keep him with her at Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in San Diego, where she's being held, according to her civilian lawyer, James Branum.

Ohio Walmart Holds Food Drive For Its Own Employees

Activists have long criticized Walmart for failing to pay its employees living wages, and instead relying on the state to step in and pay for the healthcare and food of workers. In Canton, Ohio, another Walmart recently demonstrated this kind of corporate welfare by holding a food drive—for its own employees.

“Please donate food items so associates in need can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner,” reads a sign accompanied by several plastic bins.

Understandably, the food drive has sparked outrage in the area.

Here's Another Way the GOP Is Undermining Obamacare

Scott Messick is a 54-year-old retired health insurance consultant from Conroe, Texas. His wife runs a small yarn shop. They're both on his former employer's health insurance plan for retirees, and Messick says that he and his wife together pay $964 a month in premiums, and a $12,000 annual deductible (the amount of money they have to pay out-of-pocket each year before the insurer will pay any expenses). Starting in January, their premiums will shoot up to $1,283 a month, he says. Earlier this month, Messick logged on to the federal insurance exchange website to shop for a new plan.

Reflections and Lessons After Four Decades of Organizing. By Lisa Fithian

2013 is a significant year in my work for justice. It was 50 years ago the National March on Washington made history and Dr. King wrote his famous letter from the Birmingham Jail. Fifty years ago, the Washington Peace Center was founded. Twenty-five years ago, I served as the Coordinator of the Washington Peace Center. Ten years ago, United for Peace and Justice was born, a campaign in which I continue to serve as a National Convener. One year ago, I joined the Peace Center Advisory Council.

The Next 50 Years: Building a New World. By Vasudha Desikan

The following is the transcript of a speech that was given by WPC board member, Vasudha Desikan, at our 50th Anniversary party in May.

This past weekend, I was obsessively watching “Friday Night Lights” on Netflix. For those of you who don’t know, the show is about this Texas high-school football team that is down and out, until this passionate but straight talkin’ coach with a vision instills them with hope and discipline, and they end up going to the State championships. I won’t give any more spoilers, promise.

The Purpose of Protest By David Hostetter

For me, the fiftieth anniversary of the Peace Center has two meanings. On one level, realizing that I have been associated with the Center for 30 of my 51 years makes me feel much like I did when I received my first solicitation from AARP last year: How can I be so old? On another, it reminds me that I made a commitment to the Center from which I have derived a great deal of satisfaction. In the autumn of 1983 I climbed up the narrow stairs to the attic offices the Center then had in the Friends Meeting of Washington, and in my heart I have never come back down.

Happy Anniversary Afghanistan!

October 7 marked the 12th anniversary of the Afghanistan War, but you wouldn’t know it by reading the papers. In fact, “America’s longest war” has become so unpopular that both the media and the Obama administration have done everything in their power to sweep the whole matter under the rug hoping that people just forget about it. But it’s hard to forget about it when US troops keep getting blown up like they did on Sunday. Just look at this from CBS News:

Why Race Matters in the Government Shutdown

The shutdown of the federal government which began at midnight today is a body blow to our economy that could prove difficult to bear. Coming on the heels of the automatic budget cuts of sequestration, which are already forecast to cost 750,000 jobs this year, and three years of an anemic economic recovery, the furlough of almost a million federal workers is just not what the economy needs right now. The shutdown was touched off by a Senate vote yesterday to turn down a measure that would have kept the government operating for 10 weeks in exchange for a one year delay in Obamacare.

Cooperative Housing Thrives in DC

DC has a rich history of housing cooperatives, in which each resident owns a share of the entire property, not just their unit. While relatively unknown, there are at least 120 co-ops in DC, many of which are a great source of stable, affordable housing.

In a cooperative, each resident owns a share in the corporation that owns their property, entitling them to reside in a specific unit. The corporation has a board of directors and a management company, which maintains the property, screens new residents, and determines monthly fees or carrying charges.

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