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Takeaways from “Selma”

Can I speak honestly about the new movie, “Selma?” No doubt, it’s going to get a lot of support for an Oscar. Critics have raved about it, calling it a “must-see.” I agree—it’s definitely worth seeing. A lot of people are going to buy tickets because the subject matter is important—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s…

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Rooting for the grand juror in his lawsuit vs. Bob McCulloch

A member of the Darren Wilson grand jury is suing St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch, claiming that McCulloch publicly mis-characterized the grand jury’s deliberations, and asking for an injunction against the prohibition on grand jurors discussing cases. Some people think it’s a frivolous lawsuit. As a former member of a St. Louis County…

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America loves war

I am reading James Risen’s latest book on how the military-industrial complex has morphed into the military-homeland security-intelligence complex. Risen is a New York Times reporter and has been interviewing primary sources involved with America’s “war on terror” starting with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. You have all heard about the cargo planes loaded…

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Who am I? Guess the progressive

Can you identify this person? Occasional Planet’s “Who Am I” series features people who have made important contributions to liberal thought, progressive politics, human rights, enlightened education, environmental awareness, and “small-d” democratic principles–both in the US and internationally. The abbreviated bios in our “Progressive Hall of Fame” only hint at the scope of our hall…

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Grieving for Pakistan, and very angry, too

Perhaps you know now that on December 16, Taliban massacred more than 130 schoolchildren in Peshawar, Pakistan; death tolls are greater than that, and injuries even higher. I grieve for Pakistan. I grieve for the hope we temporarily shared when Malala overcame the Taliban’s cruelty, and we prayed they had learned their lesson, but know…