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William Fisher
THE PRICE OF SECRECY
By : William Fisher - Tuesday September 20, 2005
1 comment
By William Fisher During 2004, the Bush Administration issued more secret court orders, spent $148 creating new classified documents for every $1 spent releasing old ones, invoked the ‘state secrets’ privilege in court cases more frequently than ever before, and received 25 per cent more requests for documents under the Freedom of Information Act. These are among the findings of a new “Secrecy Report Card” prepared by OpenTheGovernment.org, a coalition of (...)
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Senate’s Kabuki Dance With Roberts
By : William Fisher - Tuesday September 20, 2005
By William Fisher After three days of hearings on the confirmation of Judge John G. Roberts to be the seventeenth Chief Justice of the United States, what the public has learned is that the nominee appears to be as much Talmudic scholar as jurist. In the relatively few questions he did not duck altogether by saying they related to issues likely to come before the Court, or by claiming the views he wrote were those of the administrations he has worked for in the past, Roberts responded (...)
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THE PRICE OF SECRECY
By : William Fisher - Saturday September 10, 2005
2 comments
By William Fisher During 2004, the Bush Administration issued more secret court orders, spent $148 creating new classified documents for every $1 spent releasing old ones, invoked the ‘state secrets’ privilege in court cases more frequently than ever before, and received 25 per cent more requests for documents under the Freedom of Information Act. These are among the findings of a new “Secrecy Report Card” prepared by OpenTheGovernment.org, a coalition of (...)
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September 11, 2001 : ANYONE LISTENING?
By : William Fisher - Monday August 29, 2005
3 comments
By William Fisher On September 11, 2001, a New York City police helicopter hovered above the World Trade Center. Two minutes earlier, the first of the twin towers had collapsed. It would be twenty-one minutes before the second tower was to collapse. “About 15 floors down from the top, it looks like it’s glowing red,” the pilot of one helicopter radioed. “It’s inevitable.” Seconds later a second pilot radioed, “I don’t think (the second (...)
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DIPLOMATIC ASSURANCES - WORTHLESS
By : William Fisher - Sunday August 21, 2005
4 comments
By William Fisher Countries that rely on ‘diplomatic assurances’ that other countries won’t torture transferred prisoners “are either engaging in wishful thinking or using the assurances as a figleaf to cover their complicity,” a new report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) charges. HRW said, “There is substantial evidence that in the course of the global “war on terrorism,” an increasing number of governments have transferred, or proposed (...)
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AIR FORCE ACADEMY (AGAIN)
By : William Fisher - Friday August 19, 2005
1 comment
By William Fisher A retired Army major general is throwing fuel on the hot issue of religious discrimination at the U.S. Air Force Academy by writing to commanders there to urge their backing a Christian evangelical rally for military personnel sponsored by Rev. Billy Graham’s ministry ? and signing his letters “Your Partner in the Gospel”. The academy, which has been dogged by allegations of harassment against non-Christian cadets, charged that Bob Dees has sent (...)
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LOOKING BACK AT LBJ
By : William Fisher - Thursday August 11, 2005
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By William Fisher In our country, we seem to revere only a few presidential speeches ? Waashington’s Farewell Address, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s First Inaugural, John F. Kennedy’s “Ask Not”, and a few others. But I have to confess that, while I have written thousands of words about the Voting Rights Act of 1965, it has been many years since I actually listened to the words President Lyndon B. Johnson used to (...)
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A WIN FOR SCIENCE!
By : William Fisher - Monday August 8, 2005
By William Fisher Hooray, a win for science! At last, there is something nice I can say about John H. Marburger III, President Bush’s science advisor. It’s about time. I have usually found myself being critical of Dr. Marburger for either being complicit or remaining silent as the Bush White House adopts anti-science policies or spins science to pander to the President’s base of right wing religious fanatics. I have disagreed with him on issues ranging from sex (...)
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MACK VS. VENEZUELA
By : William Fisher - Saturday July 30, 2005
5 comments
By William Fisher As some Latin American analysts complain that Washington has declared "electronic war" on Venezuela with a plan to target the country for special radio and television broadcasts, it remains uncertain whether the project will ever get off the ground. If approved by a joint congressional committee, the broadcasts would be financed by the U.S. government and implemented through the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the quasi-independent corporation established to carry (...)
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SAUDI AND NIGERIA IN THE CROSSHAIRS
By : William Fisher - Saturday July 30, 2005
1 comment
By William Fisher Human Rights Watch is calling on Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah to pardon three jailed advocates of peaceful reform and urging President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria to “show the world that he is serious about pursuing justice,” and “ensure that police torturers are held accountable for their crimes.” In Saudi Arabia, an appellate court in Riyadh upheld harsh prison terms of between six and nine years for the three after they attempted to (...)
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Bill O’Reilly In Drag
By : William Fisher - Saturday July 30, 2005
2 comments
Bill O’Reilly In Drag William Fisher July 27, 2005 Michelle Malkin, sometimes known as Bill O’Reilly in drag, opened one of her recent syndicated rants with this question: “Oh, dear. Oh, dear. Civil-liberties activists, anti-war organizers, eco-militants and animal-rights operatives are in a fright over news that the nefarious FBI is watching them. Why on earth would the government be worried about harmless liberal grannies, innocent vegetarians, unassuming rainforest (...)
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BILL O’REILLY IN DRAG
By : William Fisher - Thursday July 28, 2005
BILL O’REILLY IN DRAG By William Fisher Michelle Malkin, sometimes known as Bill O’Reilly in drag, opened one of her recent syndicated rants with this question: “Oh, dear. Oh, dear. Civil-liberties activists, anti-war organizers, eco-militants and animal-rights operatives are in a fright over news that the nefarious FBI is watching them. Why on earth would the government be worried about harmless liberal grannies, innocent vegetarians, unassuming rainforest lovers and (...)
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FINALLY: A DEGREE IN PUBLIC DIPLOMACY
By : William Fisher - Saturday July 23, 2005
1 comment
FINALLY: A DEGREE IN PUBLIC DIPLOMACY By William Fisher As the U.S. faces increasingly negative attitudes around the world, the previously arcane subject of public diplomacy has become a serious issue in the Bush Administration, Congress, universities, think-tanks and with ordinary citizens. “Why do they hate us?” is being asked in more places and by more kinds of Americans than ever before. As widely reported, repeated polls by reputable opinion organizations such as the (...)
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ABUSE, WHAT ABUSE?
By : William Fisher - Monday July 18, 2005
2 comments
By William Fisher The U.S. Army general widely considered the ‘architect’ of abusive prisoner interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and in Afghanistan used “creative” and “aggressive” tactics, but did not practice torture or violate law or Pentagon policy. Despite the recommendations of military investigators, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey C. Miller will not be reprimanded ? thus bringing to a close what could be the last of 15 separate (...)
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CAPITOL KABUKI
By : WILLIAM FISHER - Saturday June 25, 2005
By William Fisher Senator Joe Biden has always been a favorite of mine. The Delaware Democrat is one of our most knowledgeable voices in foreign affairs. And he speaks plain English, not John Kerryish Senate-speak. Part of Biden’s ‘solution’ to our Iraq problem is his plea to President Bush to ‘level with the American people’. The president, he says, should go on primetime national television and tell us the truth about what’s going on in Iraq, what it (...)
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GULAG, SHMOOLAG
By : William Fisher - Sunday June 12, 2005
By William Fisher When Amnesty International described U.S. anti-terrorist prisons as “the Gulag of our time”, it gave the Bush Administration the ideal gift for the politician who has nothing: An opportunity to change the subject. Its over-the-top and historically dubious language allowed the president, the vice-president, the secretary of defense and many other Bushies to get everyone focused on syntax and away from the prisoner abuse issue. This is the second goodie the (...)
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GULAG, SHMOOLAG
By : WILLIAM FISHER - Thursday June 9, 2005
2 comments
By William Fisher When Amnesty International described U.S. anti-terrorist prisons as “the Gulag of our time”, it gave the Bush Administration the ideal gift for the politician who has nothing: An opportunity to change the subject. Its over-the-top and historically dubious language allowed the president, the vice-president, the secretary of defense and many other Bushies to get everyone focused on syntax and away from the prisoner abuse issue. This is the second goodie the (...)
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WHY RUMSFELD SHOULD GO
By : William Fisher - Saturday June 4, 2005
By William Fisher Let’s give Donald Rumsfeld the benefit of the doubt. He’s not a war criminal. He never wrote any memo authorizing specific techniques for abusing prisoners. He doesn’t believe in abusing people. He’s an amusing guy. He used to be a media superstar in the Bush family firmament. The President called him the best Secretary of Defense in our country’s history. But it’s time for him to go. And here’s why. One of the principal reasons (...)
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Bush Buddies Iraq Thieving Total Nears $2 BILLION
By : William Fisher - Sunday April 24, 2005
”That money could have been used to take care of soldiers” The Halliburton corporation, already the Iraq war’s poster child for ”waste, fraud and abuse”, has been hit with a new double-whammy. A report from the U.S. State Department accuses the company of ”poor performance” in its 1.2-billion-dollar contract to repair Iraq’s vital southern oil fields. And a powerful California congressman is charging that Defence Department audits showing (...)
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DAZIBAO
I, European citizen, won’t let refugees be rejected in my name
Thursday 10 March
©Olivier Jobard/Myop I, European citizen, won’t let refugees be rejected in my name THE RIGHT TO ASYLUM IS A RIGHT In the phrase « right to asylum », every word matters. Under the law, every person who is persecuted because of his or her political opinions or because of his or her identity, every person that is endangered by violence, war or misery has a RIGHT to seek asylum in another country The aim of this petition is to collect (...)
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Neo-Nazis and far-right protesters in Ukraine 3 live-stream
Friday 24 January
2 comments
The far-right in Ukraine are acting as the vanguard of a protest movement that is being reported as pro-democracy. The situation on the ground is not as simple as pro-EU and trade versus pro-Putin and Russian hegemony in the region. When US Senator John McCain dined with Ukraine’s opposition leaders in December, he shared a table and later a stage with the leader of the extreme far-right Svoboda party Oleh Tyahnybok. This is Oleh Tyahnybok, he has claimed a "Moscow-Jewish mafia" (...)
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Hugo Chavez is dead (video live)
Wednesday 6 March
by : Collective BELLACIAO
1 comment
President Hugo Chavez companeros venezueliano died after a long battle with cancer.
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International initiative to stop the war in Syria Yes to democracy, no to foreign intervention!
Thursday 13 December
Your support here: http://www.peaceinsyria.org/support.php We, the undersigned, who are part of an international civil society increasingly worried about the awful bloodshed of the Syrian people, are supporting a political initiative based on the results of a fact-finding mission which some of our colleagues undertook to Beirut and Damascus in September 2012. This initiative consists in calling for a delegation of highranking personalities and public figures to go to Syria in order to (...)
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THE KU KLUX KLAN ONCE AGAIN CONTROLS INDIANA
Monday 12 November
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
7 comments
At first glance, the results of America’s 2012 election appear to be a triumph for social, racial, and economic justice and progress in the United States: California voters passed a proposition requiring the rich to shoulder their fair share of the tax burden; Two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized the recreational use of marijuana, while Massachusetts approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes; Washington and two other states, Maine and Maryland, legalized same-sex (...)
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I’VE DECIDED TO "WASTE" MY VOTE
Sunday 28 October
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
In a 2004 episode of Comedy Central’s animated series South Park, an election was held to determine whether the new mascot for the town’s elementary school would be a “giant douche” or a “turd sandwich.” Confronted with these two equally unpalatable choices, one child, Stan Marsh, refused to vote at all, which resulted in his ostracization and subsequent banishment from the town. Although this satirical vulgarity was intended as a commentary on the two (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART IV
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART III If there is one major inconsistency in life, it is that young people who know little more than family, friends and school are suddenly, at the age of eighteen, supposed to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, because of their limited life experiences, the illusions they have about certain occupations do not always comport to the realities. I discovered this the first time I went to college. About a year into my studies, I (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART III
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART IV Disillusioned with the machinations of so-called “traditional” colleges, I became an adjunct instructor at several “for-profit” colleges. Thanks largely to the power and pervasiveness of the Internet, “for-profit” colleges (hereinafter for-profits) have become a growing phenomenon in America. They have also been the subject of much political debate and the focus of a Frontline special entitled College Inc. Unlike traditional (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART II
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART III PART IV Several years ago, a young lady came into the college where I was teaching to inquire about a full-time instructor’s position in the sociology department. She was advised that only adjunct positions were available. Her response was, “No thanks. Once an adjunct, always an adjunct.” Her words still echo in my mind. Even as colleges and universities raise their tuition costs, they are relying more and more on adjunct instructors. Adjuncts are (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART I
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART II PART III PART IV When The Bill of Rights was added to the United States Constitution over two hundred years ago, Americans were blessed with many rights considered to be “fundamental.” One conspicuously missing, however, was the right to an education. This was not surprising given the tenor of the times. America was primarily an agrarian culture, and education, especially higher education, was viewed as a privilege reserved for the children of the rich and (...)
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ONE SOLITARY LIFE, PART TWO
Monday 30 July
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
3 comments
If there is one universal question that haunts all human beings at some point in their lives, it is, “Why do we die?” Death, after all, is the great illogic. It ultimately claims all, the rich and the poor, the mighty and the small, the good and the evil. Death also has the capability to make most human pursuits—such as the quest for wealth, fame and power—vacuous and fleeting. Given this reality, I have often wondered why so many people are still willing to (...)
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HOW MUCH CORRUPTION CAN DEMOCRACY ENDURE?
Thursday 28 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
6 comments
How much corruption can a “democracy” endure before it ceases to be a democracy? If five venal, mendacious, duplicitous, amoral, biased and (dare I say it) satanic Supreme Court “justices”—John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy—have their way, America will soon find out. In several previous articles for Pravda.Ru, I have consistently warned how the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision is one of the (...)
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DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS, PART TWO
Tuesday 12 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
1 comment
Imagine, if you will, that the United States government passes a law banning advertisers from sponsoring commercials on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show or Rupert Murdoch’s Fox (Faux) “News” Network. On one hand, there would be two decided advantages to this ban: The National IQ would undoubtedly increase several percentage points, and manipulative pseudo-journalists would no longer be able to appeal to the basest instincts in human nature for ratings and profit while (...)
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DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS
Thursday 7 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
4 comments
LIVE, from the State that brought you Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wisconsin voters now proudly present, fresh from his recall election victory, Governor Scott Walker! At first glance, it is almost unfathomable that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have voted to retain Scott Walker as Wisconsin’s governor. This, after all, is a man who openly declared he is trying to destroy the rights of workers through a “divide and conquer” strategy; who received 61% of the (...)
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PEOPLE WITHOUT SOULS
Tuesday 13 March
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
2 comments
A question I’ve frequently been asked since I began writing for Pravda.Ru in 2003 is, “Why did you become disillusioned with the practice of law?” This question is understandable, particularly since, in most people’s minds, being an attorney is synonymous with wealth and political power. I’ve always been reluctant to answer this question for fear it will discourage conscientious and ethical people from pursuing careers in the legal profession—a (...)
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