World (OpenDemocracy) – Xenophobic nationalism has created uncertainty and threat, but also new opportunities, through cultivating the necessary conditions so that public communication can be taken more seriously than before. The 2008 financial crisis opened up a window of opportunity for…
The US Department Of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced an online resource for climate shift information. Joining a broader network, it’s intended to educate the general public on climate change adaptive strategies.
Released by the Climate Change Resource Center (CCRC), the online resource also connects land managers and environmental decision makers. Described as “interactive”, the resource details climate adaptive endeavors sought by the USDA Forest Service, USDA Climate Hubs, and other agencies.
“Natural resource managers”, reads a USDA blog, “are already observing changes in their forests and range-lands.” Such changes manifest unprecedented challenges for land managers, from flooding to droughts. This ranges from bone gripping drought in California, to intense southern and east coast tropical storms.
The United Nations Security Council was scheduled to vote the evening of December 20 on a resolution demanding Israel halt its settlement expansion policies in all Palestinian territories it occupies. However, according to a UN diplomatic source the vote has been postponed and the new date “is yet unkown.”
The resolution, drafted by Egypt, demands “Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement expansion activities in occupied Palestinian territory, including al-Quds.”
It states such activity is “dangerously imperilling” a two-state solution, and calls for the UN to take “affirmative steps” to reverse this conduct “on the ground.”
Donald Trump’s victory is a threat to human rights, but could it also push the movement to transform and strategize with greater urgency?
Donald Trump’s victory creates serious risks and challenges for human rights globally, but this victory could have an unexpected positive effect: to push the human rights movement to carry out transformations in its architecture and changes in its strategy that were imperative even before Trump, and that are now urgent.
Before the decline of the global Anglo-American order, reflected in Brexit, Trump, and the proliferation of illiberal nationalisms across the world, the answers that many analysts and practitioners in the human rights movement offered tended to be grouped in two extremes: skepticism and defensiveness. The skeptics announced the “end times” of the international project of human rights, based on a view that human rights were imposed by Euro-America. Given this view, the end of Pax Americana will also be the end of the movement, as Stephen Hopgood writes. His work is thought provoking and inexact in equal parts, and it forgets that this regime was built in part with the ideas and the pressure of states and movements of the global South, from those who created the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man in 1948 to postcolonial nations that pushed for treaties against racial and religious discrimination in the sixties.
We are entering a new utopian age. That may seem counterintuitive to suggest as the most right wing government since Thatcher leads the UK into a bleak post Brexit future, Trump prepares to enter the White House flanked by a team of white supremacists in the US, and the far right finds itself in ascendency across Europe, but it is happening.
Signs that a new utopian era is emerging can be read in the way we encounter these events as impossible: Brexit; Trump winning the Republican candidacy, and going on to defeat Clinton in the US presidential elections; even Jeremy Corbyn’s victory in the Labour leadership contest. These all represent realities we collectively refused to conceive of as possible, until we awoke the next morning to find ourselves living them.
Impossibility, of course, is the territory of utopia.
With the election of Donald Trump, cities across the country have seen days of constant protest. Some of these protests have been joined by militant leftists and anarchists but they’re going to need more if this new movement is going to become long term and radical.
Over the weekend several reporters with The Fifth Column Network went to witness the protests outside Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in downtown Manhattan. We assumed the that by the time we arrived, hours after the protests started, only the most radical core of the groups would still be left behind the police barricades.
Instead what we found were hardcore Democrats shouting slogans such as “Who Cares? Obamacare” and “Michelle 2020.” These protesters were still under the illusion that the Democratic Party had their best interest at heart and had taken this message right into the belly of the beast – the home of US imperialism and both Trump and Clinton’s real support base – the financial capital of the world.
For 7 straight days now, major cities across the US have seen protests on a massive scale. The social unrest we’re seeing unfold over this last week is unprecedented, rivaled only by the civil right’s movement of the 1960’s. Low and behold, nothing major happens in this country without some outlandish conspiracy theory far behind it.
Liberals all over America are crying in the ice cream like Bridget Jones. They are buying the materials needed to build a bomb shelter if they aren’t making arrangements to move to Canada. Their depression is palpable. They speak in doom and gloom; thinking the world is going to end. There is a reason to do this. Ignorance, fear mongering, and failing to logically and correctly addressing the issues, brought you Trump.
You put on your headphones, covered your eyes, and refused to even acknowledge the issues, or talk to political adversaries. You gambled with narcissism and arrogance, and you lost. This result is a history lesson you need to study and memorize. Donald Trump should have never been elected, and wouldn’t be president if these mistakes weren’t made.
Increasing skepticism of the U.S. government can either lead to ugly conspiracy theorizing, or fuel a movement to bend the status quo.
The system is rigged.
Let’s be clear: the American political system favors the two major parties and our economic system favors the wealthy. The global system is similarly rigged in favor of powerful countries (such as the United States) and powerful economic actors (such as transnational corporations).
From Reagan to Roosevelt, tax fairness continues to fluctuate along with our elected leaders.
With all the debate over Donald Trump’s tax-dodging, I’ve been wondering how taxes have played into presidential politics in the past.
For some answers, I turned to Bob McIntyre, head of the nonpartisan research and advocacy group Citizens for Tax Justice. For 40 years, McIntyre has been on the frontlines of efforts to make our tax code fairer.
When asked what American president he considers the worst on tax fairness, his initial response was “Yipes, there are so many.”
After some consideration, he bestowed that honor on Ronald Reagan, whose 1981 tax act slashed taxes on the rich.
The latest attacks on journalists and news organizations by corrupt populists are contributing to a global rollback of fundamental rights.
Imagine that Donald Trump wins the presidency. Then, as he has done throughout his career, he goes after his enemies. He purges the Republican Party of everyone who refused to support him. He initiates criminal proceedings against Hillary Clinton.
And he shuts down The New York Times and The Washington Post.
It sounds like an unlikely scenario. Even if he does somehow manage to pull his campaign out of hospice to win in November, Trump wouldn’t be able to just close the leading newspapers in the United States, however much he might despise the liberal media.
Pressure from human rights organizations like Oxfam to victims of the 9/11 attacks are helping erode the bond between these old political allies, but the results of this election season could squander our chance at change.
Congress recently passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) allowing families of victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks to sue other governments, including Saudi Arabia, for possible damages.
Despite threats by the Saudi government to sell billions of dollars’ worth of their assets and reexamine the bilateral relationship with the U.S., Congress snubbed the monarchy and passed the bill, then overturned a presidential veto to it almost unanimously.