International

  • What is the Green Movement in Iran and how successful was it? March 4, 2018 After the presidential election in 2009, the Green Movement had its momentum, which, however, passed very quickly. When the protests started the Green Movement has a kind of a union, composed of different groups, both secular and religious. At the beginning these groups were united by a common interests – civil right, social freedom. The movement had a strong start and on June 15th there around 3 million protestors on the streets of Tehran. This was unexpected by the regime. However, the strong momentum very quickly passed when the former president Rafsanjani, a firm supporter of the Mousavi campaign, announced that he had reached an agreement with Ahmadinejad, thus showing his support for the regime. (N. Ansari) This was a ... Read More
  • Equal rights for women still isn’t written into the American constitution March 4, 2018 March 1st in the United States marks the beginning of Women’s History Month.  As soon as information begins to make its way into the ether about this special month devoted to women, I begin to hear blowback about why women think we need our own month.  Every year.  Just as with all things women-centric. We want to end segregation in this country yet we have a “black history” month now a “womens history” month “Cinco De Mayo” for latinos. Why have only one month for 1 group of people? Why not have the entire year for everbody? — Mike M (@mikemelada) March 2, 2018 “Why do American women need a month all their own when men don’t have one?” “Why do American women need feminism; do they ... Read More
  • Trump’s Trade War March 3, 2018 So, you think Trump’s intention to place tariffs of up to 25% on steel and aluminum imports won’t matter to you?  You’ve skimmed the headlines, shrugged your shoulders, and moved on to the juicier news surrounding Jared, Ivanka, Hope Hicks, Donnie and others in the chaotic White House?  Well guess what … it will matter to you, and in more ways than one. First, how much did you pay for that last clothes dryer you bought?  Around $400?  Well, if you have to replace it, look for your next one to cost around $600.  The imported beer/wine you like from France/Italy?  Add 30% or so to the price a month from now.  And a new car?  Don’t even think about it. Long ... Read More
  • Who’s Killing Our Children? WE ARE! March 3, 2018 I apologize for yet another piece on guns so soon after the last one, but … folks, this is important.  I had a comment after my last piece from a teacher who said, “As a teacher, this is such a heavy and personal topic. This post actually made me chuckle because your tone and approach was so funny. Thank you for your message. I will be sharing this with teacher friends. It’s a hard time to be a teacher right now but it’s encouraging to get online and see people advocating for smart, sustainable solutions for our classrooms. Keep up with these posts!  Get the word out ”  That comment made me think that maybe I’m doing something right. Wednesday was exactly two weeks after ... Read More
  • Japanese sex slavery not settled, Korean president says March 3, 2018 This video says about itself: 02/04/2007 Jan Ruff-O’Herne told her shocking story on Australian Story in 2001 – a secret that took her 50 years to come to terms with before finally, she revealed it in a letter to her two daughters. An idyllic childhood in Java was brought to an abrupt end by the Japanese occupation during Word War Two. Aged 21, she was taken from her family and repeatedly abused, beaten and raped – forced to be a sex slave for the Japanese military. The term coined for this brutal sex slavery was ‘comfort woman‘. But since revealing her ‘uncomfortable truth’ Jan Ruff-O’Herne’s suffering has been transformed into something affirmative. In February this year, this 84-year-old Adelaide grandmother made the long journey to ... Read More
  • Russian Presidential Elections of 2018: What, Who And Why Should We Care? March 3, 2018 Since the scandal of the Democrats’ emails leaked, the inauguration of Donald Trump and the New York Times-triggered wave of investigations of numerous bot accounts regularly posting pro-Republican messages on the social networks, Russia has been increasingly accused of clandestine interference in the internal matters of American democracy, using its cyber-potential to denigrate secretary Clinton and affect opinion polls in favor of Putin’s hidden intentions. However, two years ago, the situation seems to have turned the other way round with the Russian Presidential elections coming on March, 18th and now Kremlin expressing concerns over the possibility of Western influence. The presence of such fears of American retaliation is clearly seen in the light of recent National Guard’s pledge to defend ... Read More
  • Ethiopian State of Emergency May Deepen Human Rights Violations and Humanitarian Crises March 3, 2018 On February 16, 2018, the Ethiopian government declared a state of emergency in the wake of the resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, head of the nation’s ruling party- the EPDRF, amid rising political tensions and civil unrest. January 2018 marked efforts by the former Prime Minister to release political prisoners and close a controversial prison that houses and tortures many political dissenters and opposition leaders. When the government was slow to make good on this promise, Ethiopians took to the streets, demanding the release of prisoners alongside greater inclusion and representation in the political process. These demands are stifled largely by historic ethnic divisions between the minority ruling Tigray (6% of the population) over the ethnic majority Oromo and Ahmara (61%) ... Read More
  • Does Your Friend Own a Gun? February 24, 2018 In 2003 I moved to upstate New York and lived there for a little more than two years.  Unlike the teeming metropolis we see in Spider-Man movies with bumper to bumper streets and sidewalks, upstate looked like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting.  Sprawling farms, miles of planted flatlands and quaint little stores. A place where you leave your coins on the counter and yell at the guy in the storeroom, “I’m taking a few extra potatoes!” The people have a few things in common too, from roughhewn hands, born of hard work and hard winters, and a plethora of guns; rifles, pistols, and shotguns. In 2005 I was sitting at the kitchen table with the homeowner’s wife late one afternoon, ... Read More
  • Pro-Assad Conspiracy Theories add to Syrian Suffering. February 24, 2018 As more and more news about the plight of Ghouta reaches the world people are deeply concerned. Al Jazeera reports, More than 440 civilians have died in just six days in Eastern Ghouta alone. The area is now being hit by incendiary bombs that are appearing in the night skies, weapons that are intended to start large fires when they hit the ground. There are many reasons to stand by the people, as the Guardian today reports: ‘We can change this reality’: the women sharing news of war in Ghouta. One troubling feature of the war is the attempts of pro-Assad groups to smear those under attack. Just to cite one example, French comrades are disgusted by pro-Assad supporters who have been calling the inhabitants of  Ghouta ... Read More
  • This Time is Different February 23, 2018 “There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear. It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going’ down.” Stephen Stills, “For What It’s Worth” An armed gunman storms into a school, a church, a concert hall, just about anywhere. A steady burst of mechanized explosions sets the tempo for panic. People scream, run for cover – people strop and sink into a puddle of their own blood. Eventually, a deafening quiet settles over the scene as everyone left tries to figure out what just happened. That’s about how shootings go down in real life, but also in the news cycle. A flurry of activity settles into silence as the world tries to absorb the scene and understand it. But ... Read More