John Duda, Truthout: If change comes to US schools, it will come, as the end of slavery did, as the result of a thousand and one acts of resistance and rebellion, says Jay Gillen in his new book, Educating for Insurgency: The Roles of Young People in Schools of Poverty.
Jake Bernstein, ProPublica: The New York Fed president, Bill Dudley, says senior Fed officials did not accept a conclusion that had been endorsed by frontline Fed examiners stationed at some of the nation’s largest banks.
Amanda Ufheil-Somers, OtherWords: Four years ago, it looked like the United States would have to make good on its declared support for democracy, as millions of Tunisians, Egyptians, Bahrainis, Yemenis and others rose up to reject their repressive leaders. Yet even the collapse of multiple governments failed to upend the decades-long US policy of backing friendly dictators.
Buddy Bell, Voices for Creative Nonviolence: Now that the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act has expired, the horrors inflicted by the United States on human beings abroad have more potential to cut into the bottom lines of insurance brokers and developers.
Fabiola Ortiz, Inter Press Service: Indigenous peoples living in a protected area in Peru are preserving the largest variety of potatoes in the world, along with their spiritual rites and traditional farming techniques. Still, alterations in rainfall patterns and temperatures have the Quechua Indians worried about the future of their potato crops.
Crystal Shepeard, Care2: The net neutrality debate has long centered on the ability of ISPs to limit content providers’ access to internet users. While the debate continues, ISPs are taking advantage of the delay to find alternative ways to control the gateway and make a profit.
Cezary Podkul, ProPublica: When New Jersey decided to bail out some of its tobacco bonds, the state gave up $400 million in future revenues to pocket $92 million immediately, an arrangement that also helped one savvy investor cash in on a big bet.
Jim Hightower, OtherWords: Congress, which had been so tied up in a partisan knot by right-wing extremists that it became unable to move, suddenly sprang loose at the end of the year. It put on a phenomenal show of acrobatic lawmaking to give its bankster buddies an overly generous holiday gift.
John Feffer, Foreign Policy in Focus: As one cold war thaws, another refreezes. Cuba just normalized its diplomatic relations with the United States after months of secret negotiations and a surprise announcement by the Obama administration. North Korea, on the other hand, remains very much at odds amid a conflict over a controversial film.
Paul Kramer, History News Network: Past and present seem to come together in official declarations that US military actions are dictated by the mandates of an “exceptional” kind of war against a uniquely treacherous and broadly defined “enemy.”
The Buzzflash commentary for Truthout will return soon.
Search Teams Find “Large Objects” in Hunt for Missing AirAsia Jet
NYPD Chief Asks Officers Not to Turn Funeral Into Protest Against de Blasio
Fracking Industry Still “Failing” on Transparency
As Refugee Tide Swells, Lebanon Plans a Visa Requirement for Syrians
How Low-Income New Yorkers Are Benefiting From the NYPD’s Work Stoppage
How Fox News Covered Pope Francis’ Action on Climate Change
Republicans in State Governments Plan Juggernaut of Conservative Legislation
Staff, Truthout: As we make our way into 2015, the Truthout team is recommitting to a year of questioning, struggle, intentionality, hard work and, most of all, hope. A few of us would like to share our personal hopes for the coming year with you, our readers.
Toshio Meronek, Truthout: Radical queer organizing was alive and well in the US in 2014; you just may not have heard about it in mainstream media. Here are nine stories that will no doubt reverberate in 2015.
C.J. Polychroniou, Truthout: Instead of fighting for a new social order, Syriza transforms itself into yet another reformist left party. Allured by the aura of power, the party advocates a sugar-coated version of capitalism inside a neoliberal Europe. Meanwhile, Greece needs some imaginative economic management.
David Moberg, In These Times: The National Labor Relations Board issued 13 complaints involving 78 charges that McDonald’s and many of its franchisees interfered with employees’ collective efforts to improve working conditions. A trial may find McDonald’s guilty of violating workers’ right to organize.
Michelle Chen, The Nation: A federal judge ruled that the Obama administration had overstepped its authority when the Department of Labor extended minimum wage and overtime standards to home care workers hired by private agencies.
Diana Anahi Torres, OtherWords: H-4 visas give holders (most of whom are women) the right to live legally in the US, but they come with serious caveats. Most significantly, they deny their holders the right to a Social Security number and legal employment.
Mikey Weinstein, AlterNet: The US Senate took the side of the Constitution when an obscure (but extremely detrimental) amendment to a House-passed bill “miraculously” disappeared from the final version of the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act.
Annie Pentilla, Tikkun Daily: Since its first performance, the group “Sins Invalid” has blossomed into a robust political and arts organization, providing annual performances, movement-building, creative workshops, educational work on disability justice and an artist-in-residence program.
Lindsey Weedston, YES! Magazine: Slacktivism? Not so much. From #BlackLivesMatter to #BringBackOurGirls, this year’s best hashtags around issues of social justice brought fresh voices into some of our most important conversations.
The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return soon.
Palestinians Move to Join International Criminal Court, Defying Israeli and US Warnings
80 Percent of Whistleblower Retaliation Claims Ignored in Biased, “Trojan Horse” System
Former Cop: Police Officers Who Violate Citizens’ Rights Must Be Punished; Accountability Is the Only Way Forward
Homeless People in the US Pin Hopes on “Bill of Rights” to End Criminalization in 2015
A Koch Hack Tells the Pope to “Back Off” on Climate Change
Despite Climate Warnings, New Export Rules Open Crude Oil Floodgates
Stop Kidding Yourself: The Police Were Created to Control Working Class and Poor People
Victoria Collier, Truthout: While the United States is already roaring with stories of visible attacks on democracy in the 2014 elections, other countries have banned electronic voting altogether, upholding citizens’ right to oversee their vote count by casting and counting paper ballots in public – still the gold standard in election integrity.
Noam Chomsky, Truthout: “It’s official: The United States is the world’s leading terrorist state, and proud of it.” That should have been the headline for the lead story in The New York Times on October 15, which was more politely titled “CIA Study of Covert Aid Fueled Skepticism About Helping Syrian Rebels.”
Jonathan D. Simon, Truthout: The author of CODE RED: Computerized Election Theft and the New American Centuryexamines how a series of corrupted elections can contaminate pre-election and exit polls and what that means as we try to make sense of the results of election 2014.
Michael Nevradakis, Truthout: In this episode chronicling Greece’s long history of media corruption and censorship, we look at the events surrounding the government’s sudden and largely unexpected shutdown of ERT, Greece’s national public broadcaster, who profited, and who lost.
Zoë Carpenter, The Nation: This is the year of the mega-donor: Just 42 people are responsible for nearly a third of Super PAC spending in the 2014 election cycle. Super PACs, meanwhile, are outspending the national parties.
Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company: Bernie Sanders, Vermont’s independent senator, is angry about what he sees as big money’s wholesale purchase of political power. It’s a grave threat, he believes, not only to our electoral process but to democracy itself.
Victoria Law, Waging Nonviolence: One can see the emotions that play across Dolores Canales’ face when she talks about solitary confinement. She and other women are locked into their cells 22 hours a day in the Administrative Segregation Unit at the California Institution for Women. Her son Johnny is now living through a similar experience.
Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, Black Agenda Report: Vonderrit Myers was murdered on October 9 by a moonlighting unidentified St. Louis police officer working as a private security guard. A news story this week, however, has provided more clues into the violent last 10 minutes of Myers’ short life.
Dan Bacher, Indy Bay: The Nature Conservancy, one of the largest recipients of Walton Family Foundation money every year, has joined Big Oil, corporate agribusiness, the health insurance industry, tobacco giant Philip Morris and greedy billionaires in dumping big money into the “Yes on Proposition 1” (state water bond) campaign.
Rebecca Solnit, TomDispatch: The arrival of the guys signifies a sea change, part of an extraordinary year for feminism, in which the conversation has been transformed, as have some crucial laws, while new voices and constituencies joined in.
In today‘s On the News segment: According to UNICEF, even in the world’s richest countries, children remain “the most enduring victims” of the recession; you are probably aware that the NSA could be spying on your online communication, but did you know that your “snail mail” may be being tracked too?; the average retail worker only makes about $20,000 dollars per year; and more.
Watch the Video and Read the Transcript BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return soon.
Infuriating Facts About Our Disappearing Middle-Class Wealth
North Carolina Voters Report Machines Switching Their Votes to GOP Candidate
How Racism Stole Black Childhood
The Republican Faithful Is Comfortably Dumb Enough to Worship at the Bully Pulpit
Space Tourism for the Rich Isn’t Worth Dying for
Rachel Maddow: The GOP Plan – Be Very Afraid
“There Is No Ambiguity” on Climate Change, UN Concludes