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Global News and Analysis

Farewell to Four Progressives Who Died in 2012

1. Alexander Cockburn

I first started reading Alexander Cockburn in 1980. Until then, I didn’t know that it was kosher to write with such verve and venom. For a young, aspiring political writer, it was a real rabbit trick. And I wanted to learn how.

Throughout the 1980s, Cockburn, more than any other writer in America, flashed a light on Reagan’s shameful support for the death squads in El Salvador and his illegal war against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua.

Cockburn had no use for Democratic Presidents, either. He criticized Jimmy Carter for his East Timor policy. And he excoriated Bill Clinton for destroying welfare and for pushing through his punitive crime bill. read more

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Global News and Analysis

Chomsky: Work, Learning and Freedom

Source: New Left Project

In this often personal interview, renowned linguist and political commentator Noam Chomsky outlines a libertarian perspective on work and education, arguing that freedom is the root of creativity and fulfillment.

Michael Kasenbacher: The question I would like to ask is what is really wanted work? Maybe we could start with your personal life and your double career in linguistics and political activism? Do you like that kind of work?

Noam Chomsky: If I had the time I would spend far more time doing work on language, philosophy, cognitive science, topics that are intellectually very interesting. But a large part of my life is given to one or another form of political activity: reading, writing, organising, activism and so on. Which is worth doing, it’s necessary but it’s not really intellectually challenging. Regarding human affairs we either understand nothing, or it’s pretty superficial. It’s hard work to get the data and put it all together but it’s not terribly challenging intellectually. But I do it because it’s necessary. The kind of work that should be the main part of life is the kind of work you would want to do if you weren’t being paid for it. It’s work that comes out of your own internal needs, interests and concerns. read more

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Global News and Analysis

Celebrating the Prince of Peace in the Land of Guns

Source: Z Communications

These gun massacres aren’t going to end any time soon.

I’m sorry to say this. But deep down we both know it’s true. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep pushing forward – after all, the momentum is on our side. I know all of us – including me – would love to see the president and Congress enact stronger gun laws. We need a ban on automatic AND semiautomatic weapons and magazine clips that hold more than 7 bullets. We need better background checks and more mental health services. We need to regulate the ammo, too. read more