Best-selling author and broadcaster Laura Flanders hosts the The Laura Flanders Show, where she interviews forward thinking people from the worlds of politics, business, culture and social movements about the key questions of our day. The LF Show airs weekly on KCET/LinkTV, FreeSpeech TV, and in English & Spanish in teleSUR. Flanders is also a contributing writer to The Nation and Yes! Magazine (“Commonomics”) and a regular guest on MSNBC. She is the author of six books, including The New York Times best-seller, BUSHWOMEN: Tales of a Cynical Species (Verso, 2004) and Blue GRIT: True Democrats Take Back Politics from the Politicians (Penguin Press, 2007). The Laura Flanders Show first aired on Air America Radio 2004-2008. You can find all her archives and more at Lauraflanders.com.
August 6 marks the anniversary of the US bombing of Hiroshima – which makes it a day to consider power and vulnerability. Johnathan Schell, writing in Yes Magazine, reflects that, "During the Cold War, the principal objection in the United States to a nuclear-weapon-free world was that you could not get there." That objection melted away with the Soviet Union and then the arguments became that because nuclear weapons could not be disinvented, a world free of nukes is "at worst a mirage, at best, highly dangerous"
History shows the opposite, points out Schell. Just look at Iraq or Afghanistan: while the arms race imperils the planet, nuclear weapons haven't helped their possessors vanquish even tiny non-nuclear adversaries.
"If the nuclear powers wish to be safe from nuclear weapons," writes Schelll. "They must surrender their own. Then we will all work together to assure that everyone abides by the commitment."
As the Bush administration unveiled a publicly-financed plan to "save" mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, local residents at a town hall forum in Miami were calling for criminal prosecutions of the loan-shark mortgage brokers and investment firms that profited from poor people's housing despair.
It would be hard to think of a better place to hold a public forum on the housing crisis and and sustainable development than Overtown, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Miami, Fla. While Overtown is just minutes from downtown geographically-speaking, it's worlds apart economically and culturally.
On Saturday, The Lyric Theater was host to the second of the five part nationally broadcast town hall series,. Hundreds of community members gathered to talk about how foreclosures, bad loans and gentrification had impacted their city-- and their lives -- and what could be done about it in a town hall forum dubbed, "Magic City; Hard Times."
Democrats and Republicans played out a partisan fight Wednesday over who is to blame for housing hurricane victims in toxic trailers.
Over one million people were displaced after hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Thousands were sent to live in emergency travel trailers that had poisonous levels of formaldehyde. Prolonged exposure can lead to breathing problems and is believed to cause cancer too.
On Wednesday, in Congressional hearings, Democrats said the manufacturers should have taken more tests. Republicans blamed the government for not having set sufficient standards.
U.S. doctors are wondering if this might be the first year since 2002 that Congress won't intervene to keep Medicare fully funded, since lawmakers failed to pass legislation before leaving for their July Fourth recess. The Bush administration said Monday that it will delay Medicare payments to doctors for ten business days to give Congress time to reach a deal to block the cut.
Meanwhile, just coincidentally (or maybe not) some - like Minnesota Senator NOrm Coleman are all steamed up about a GAO report that alleges that thousands of Medicare providers owe more than $2 billion in back taxes. "Crack down on Medicare scofflaws," run the headlines. "It's shocking" says Coleman.
Some Medicare facilities may not be paying out what they should in tax, but if we want to talk about who's making out in our medical system let's keep some perspective.
Free trade... Free oil contracts... There it is again, that cute word "free."
Of 46 international oil companies, including firms from China, India and Russia that had their eye on the first major oil deals in post-Saddam Iraq, guess who got the gig? Exxon-Mobil, Shell, Total and BP!
The western giants got the first-of-a-kind no-bid contracts to service Iraq's biggest fields NOT because the US invaded Iraq for oil. Oh NO. According to the Iraqi Oil Ministry, Exxon-Mobil, Shell, Total et al received the first-of-a-kind, no-bid deals because, of the years of "free" consultations those companies have been giving to the ministry. The ministry also cited a certain "comfort level" in their joint operations. That's the ministry's word.