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Authoritarian Symps

John Feffer | Posted 05.28.2015 | World
John Feffer

In the bad old days of the Cold War, the left and the right used to play a nasty game called "Who's Your Favorite Dictator?" But the terms of the game have changed.

Kauai Official in Switzerland Urges Syngenta to Drop Lawsuit Blocking Enforcement of GMO Pesticide Law; Syngenta Replies, 'There Is No Lawsuit'

Judah Freed | Posted 05.22.2015 | Green
Judah Freed

At the annual shareholders meeting of the Syngenta Corporation in Basel, Switzerland, Kauai County Council member Gary Hooser urged the transnational chemical giant to withdraw from its lawsuit against the Hawaiian island county.

The Young Dictator Problem

John Feffer | Posted 05.21.2015 | World
John Feffer

Bashar al-Assad is not going to age out of office any time soon. He refuses to be ignored. One way or the other, we're going to have to deal with the young dictator.

U.S. Foreign Policy for an Evolving World

Lee H. Hamilton | Posted 05.20.2015 | World
Lee H. Hamilton

Meanwhile, several Republican presidential hopefuls have already begun laying out their foreign policy plans, which are notable for their criticisms of Obama's handling of world affairs.

How Pakistan's Energy Crisis Fuels Terrorism

Michael Hughes | Posted 05.19.2015 | World
Michael Hughes

Some find it hard to believe that energy scarcity might be the country's greatest security threat. Yet electricity shortages have directly fed the extremist cause while undermining the legitimacy of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government, potentially more than any other factor.

Church and State in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 05.18.2015 | Religion
John Feffer

Poland has one of the stricter laws on abortion in Europe. Abortion is illegal except if the life of the mother is at risk, the fetus has a major defect or the pregnancy is the result of a confirmed rape.

The Market Before the Market in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 05.17.2015 | World
John Feffer

In the 1980s, economist Marcin Swiecicki was at the center of the discussions over the path of economic reform in Poland. We talked about his perspective on the economic changes that took place after 1990, his accomplishments as mayor, and his view of the political situation today in Poland.

The Problem of Trust in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 05.15.2015 | World
John Feffer

In 1940, the Soviet NKVD murdered 22,000 Polish army officers, police, and intellectuals in the Katyn forest and then pinned the blame on the Nazis. In 1990, the Soviet Union finally admitted its guilt in the matter.

Celebrating Destruction

John Feffer | Posted 05.14.2015 | World
John Feffer

When the instruments of death fly above us, we still look up in admiration, not horror. As long as we celebrate destruction in this way, we will be doomed to repeat it.

The Three Mistakes of Poland's Transition

John Feffer | Posted 05.13.2015 | World
John Feffer

Start with a failing economy. Throw in a team of inexperienced politicians, people in fact who had spent their careers deliberately avoiding official politics. Add a population with the highest possible expectations. And, as a wild card, introduce an international community that was not offering very much in the way of financial assistance.

The Disappointment of Fulfilled Dreams in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 05.12.2015 | World
John Feffer

Many Poles dreamed of the day when the Communist regime would fall. But even after the semi-free elections of June 4, 1989, in which Solidarity-affiliated candidates won nearly all the contested seats, few anticipated that their dreams would come true so quickly.

Nepal Calls: Part Two

Debbie Davis | Posted 05.11.2015 | World
Debbie Davis

The following is from Reuben Rai, pastor of Mission Nepal (missionnepal.org), Christian Mission Projects in Nepal: The images are of Sindhupalchowk, ...

The Moral Revolution in East-Central Europe

John Feffer | Posted 05.10.2015 | World
John Feffer

Some of the most powerful critiques of the Communist governments in East-Central Europe were moral. Vaclav Havel, for instance, argued that the regimes, with their propaganda and inequalities and corruption, were built on a foundation of lies. He proposed the alternative of "living in truth."

Working on Behalf of All Minorities

John Feffer | Posted 05.09.2015 | World
John Feffer

A fundamental element of majority privilege is the blind universality that members of an ethnic, religious, racial or sexual majority often unconsciously embrace. They believe that their perspectives are held -- or should be held -- by everyone.

The Missing

John Feffer | Posted 05.07.2015 | World
John Feffer

One of the most remarkable symbols of racial discrimination are the missing African-American men. According to an analysis last month in The New York Times, 1.5 million African American men have gone missing in this country.

Obama Administration Approves Ferry Service To Cuba

Reuters | Posted 05.06.2015 | Politics

By David Adams MIAMI, May 5 (Reuters) - The return of passenger ferry services between the United States and Cuba took a major step forward on Tues...

The Fragility of Federalism in Europe

John Feffer | Posted 05.04.2015 | World
John Feffer

Slovenian poet and cultural critic Aleš Debeljak and I had a wide-ranging conversation on the reasons for Yugoslavia's unraveling, the literary landscape after the wars of the 1990s, the challenge of constructing a pan-European history, the brittleness of social and political institutions.

Nepal: A Call to Action

Samuel A. Worthington | Posted 05.01.2015 | Impact
Samuel A. Worthington

Six months ago many in the humanitarian system wondered if it was the worst it has ever been, with crises in Syria, South Sudan, and the Central Africa Republic. Then came Ebola. And Yemen.

Negotiating the Transition in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 05.01.2015 | World
John Feffer

Janusz Reykowski was a key figure in the reform wing of Poland's Communist Party. A psychologist, he was an early proponent of promoting reconciliation between the Party and the Solidarity trade union movement in 1989. In 2013 I interviewed him about what had happened in the intervening years.

The Apology Olympics

John Feffer | Posted 04.30.2015 | World
John Feffer

It's not likely that Shinzo Abe will provide the kind of true contrition for Japan's wartime conduct that his critics in South Korea, China, the United States, and elsewhere demand -- unless he feels that he must. There are two ways of changing Abe's position on the history issue.

The Wall Times 65: Commemorate That

Mark A. Ashwill | Posted 04.29.2015 | Politics
Mark A. Ashwill

Here's a simple exercise that will help you comprehend the horrific magnitude of the loss of human and, more specifically, Vietnamese life during that war.

Rebuilding Poland's Jewish Community

John Feffer | Posted 04.26.2015 | World
John Feffer

Rachel Zacharia always knew she was Jewish. Her father, a Party official, read and wrote in Yiddish, and her parents spoke Yiddish with friends. But she didn't start thinking about her Jewish identify until 1968.

Teen's Tragic Death Underscores The Shark Problem Plaguing This Small Island

The Huffington Post | Carla Herreria | Posted 04.23.2015 | Green

On the morning of April 12, before 13-year-old Elio Canestri was killed by a shark while surfing at a beach in his native Reunion Island, he left a no...

Women's Delegation to Cross the DMZ

John Feffer | Posted 04.22.2015 | World
John Feffer

We need symbolic acts that capture the world's attention and help shift all the major players in the direction of negotiations.

Earth Day: A Two-step Strategy Makes a Sustainable Difference

Brian Kennell | Posted 04.22.2015 | Business
Brian Kennell

Sustainability is top of mind as this week we mark Earth Day and Arbor Day, tributes aimed at raising respect for the environment. That makes this the perfect moment to note a new Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report that says, "Brands that place packaging" into commerce must take more responsibility for its life cycle impact.