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William Fisher
MCA HEADED FOR SUPREMES
By : William Fisher - Monday February 26, 2007
1 comment
by William Fisher Following an appeals court’s divided decision upholding the constitutionality of the Military Commissions Act, opponents of the measure are racing the clock to file an appeal to the US Supreme Court and have it heard during the court’s current term. A spokesperson for the Center for Constitutional Rights, the New York-based legal advocacy group that brought the original suit, told IPS it expected the appeal to be filed within the next two weeks and heard in (...)
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LAWMAKERS AND LAWYERS CHALLENGE BUSH ADMINISTRATION MILITARY COMMISSIONS
By : William Fisher - Sunday February 18, 2007
2 comments
By William Fisher In the face of multiple legal and legislative challenges, President George W. Bush this week issued an executive order to allow cases against prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to move forward to trials by military tribunals. The challenges are to the constitutionality of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), which Bush signed into law last October. The first three cases to be tried under the law involve an Australian, a Yemeni, and a Canadian, all held at (...)
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SAUDI COSMETICS?
By : William Fisher - Wednesday June 7, 2006
By William Fisher As human rights organizations expressed skepticism that detainees recently transferred from Guantanamo Bay to Saudi Arabian custody could receive fair trials and escape torture - and a new study charged that the country’s textbooks continue to promote intolerance of other religions - the oil-rich Kingdom put the finishing touches on its new Human Rights Commission. The new commission - which the government characterizes as an independent rights watchdog — (...)
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OIL ON TROUBLED WATERS
By : William Fisher - Wednesday May 31, 2006
10 comments
by William Fisher Amid the ever-escalating rhetoric between the United States and Venezuela, the president of the oil-rich Latin American country, Hugo Chavez, has been busily scoring points with low-income American consumers. Under a program sometimes dubbed petro-diplomacy, Citgo, Venezuela’s wholly-owned gas and oil subsidiary, has been providing discounts of up to 60 per cent on heating oil to poor communities in the U.S. The program is currently operating in Maine, (...)
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USED THE PHONE LATELY? WORRIED?
By : William Fisher - Sunday May 28, 2006
7 comments
by William Fisher Anticipating that the U.S. federal government would invoke the so-called "state secrets" privilege to block any lawsuit calling for the disclosure of details about allegations that phone companies shared customer records with the government’s biggest spy agency, a major civil rights group has embarked on an alternate course. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed complaints in more than 20 individual states demanding that their utility commissions and (...)
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PAIN MANAGEMENT: A DOUBLE STANDARD?
By : William Fisher - Tuesday May 23, 2006
By William Fisher Two weeks from now, a South Carolina pain management physician will surrender at the Talladega, Alabama, prison to begin serving a 2.5-year sentence for drug trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering. Dr. Michael Jackson is one of hundreds of pain management specialists arrested, charged and jailed by federal and state authorities for violating the Controlled Substances Act, designed to limit the dispensing of illegal prescription drugs by doctors and their use (...)
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RISING ABOVE PRINCIPLE
By : William Fisher - Tuesday February 14, 2006
By William Fisher Small government is one of the golden tenets of American conservatism. Small government is more efficient. The smaller the government, the more power will be returned to the people. The smaller the government, the freer our people will be of bureaucratic intrusion, regulation and control. The smaller the government, the closer lawmaking will be to the ‘will of the people’. There is much to commend this Jeffersonian construct ? notwithstanding that it oftten (...)
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PALESTINE: WHAT’S NEXT?
By : William Fisher - Friday February 3, 2006
4 comments
By William Fisher That President Bush is a big fan of elections should surprise no one. He’s won a lot of them. But his simplistic equation — elections = freedom = democracy = peace — has been running into a bit of trouble lately. The president hyped the deeply flawed presidential and parliamentary elections in Egypt as steps toward democracy. But the result was a dramatic rise in votes for the outlawed Islamic brotherhood and Mubarak’s principal contender for the (...)
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THE END OF U.S. AID?
By : William Fisher - Thursday February 2, 2006
2 comments
By William Fisher Foreign affairs experts agree that the Bush Administration is quietly using the Chinese water-torture method to slowly engineer the death of America’s traditional system for delivering foreign aid ? and some of them think it ?s not such a bad idea. They point to the creation of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) and the U.S. Global AIDS initiative outside the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where such programs would normally be located. (...)
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DEPORTEES’ SUIT
By : William Fisher - Wednesday February 1, 2006
de William Fisher Four Muslim men who were detained without charge for months in the weeks after September 11, 2001, eventually cleared of any connection to terrorism, but then deported to Egypt, have been allowed to return to the U.S. to pursue their class action civil lawsuit against the U.S. government for unlawful imprisonment and abuse on behalf of 1,200 other Muslim and South Asian men rounded up and jailed following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Yasser (...)
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RUSSIA’S NEW NGO LAW: A CONTRARY VIEW
By : William Fisher - Wednesday January 25, 2006
By William Fisher Virtually all human rights groups have condemned Russia’s new law governing non-governmental organizations, but the leader of one major NGO disagrees. “Although the parliament has softened somewhat its original draconian bill, the legislation still obliges offices of foreign NGOs to inform the government registration office about their projects for the upcoming year, and about the money allotted for every specific project. Russian government officials would (...)
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WHO SAYS GOVERNMENT CAN’T HUSTLE?
By : William Fisher - Monday January 23, 2006
1 comment
By William Fisher Since Hurricane Katrina smashed into the Mississippi Gulf Coast last December, the U.S. Government has come under scathing criticism for being slow to respond. But the Administration of President George W. Bush has recently showed it is more than capable of hustling on issues it considers top priorities. Little more than a month after the Senate voted to ban appeals to the Supreme Court by suspected terrorists detained by the U.S., the Department of Justice (DOJ) asked (...)
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WHY SHOULD WE BE SURPRISED?
By : William Fisher - Sunday January 22, 2006
2 comments
By William Fisher Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, launched a media tsunami when he declared the Holocaust a myth. But we shouldn’t be all that surprised. The Middle East is chockablock with Holocaust-deniers and Holocaust-minimizers. And it is not only the so-called Arab Street that has been infected. The disease has spread to many members of the Arab intelligentsia and to some of the area’s privileged elite. I learned just how deeply embedded this attitude is (...)
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BUSH’S NEW MULTILATERALISM
By : William Fisher - Friday January 20, 2006
1 comment
by William Fisher With the billions of dollars appropriated by the U.S. for Iraqi reconstruction almost all spent, Japan, Australia and other nations in President George W. Bush’s “coalition of the willing” are likely to be asked to shoulder much of the burden for funding the large number of unfinished projects. Getting others to take up the slack is reportedly high on Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice’s agenda when she visits the Far East in March. Her trip, (...)
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BUSH AT YEAR-END
By : William Fisher - Wednesday January 4, 2006
2 comments
By William Fisher My editors, as well as many friends around the world, have been urging me to write something about how I think about George W. Bush as 2005 ends and a new year begins. I was reluctant because I have been reading dozens of year-enders on this subject, and wondering if I had anything to add. What I have to add is not exactly new. Many others have expressed similar views. To which I will now add my own perspective. As I thought about our president, I wondered: Do I hate (...)
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THE STATE DEPARTMENT’S MIXED MESSAGES
By : William Fisher - Monday January 2, 2006
2 comments
By William Fisher Amidst undenied charges that the Pentagon is paying Iraqi journalists to write “good news” stories about the country’s progress, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has announced a new international exchange program for journalists named for famed broadcaster Edward R. Murrow and emphasizing “the democratic principles that guided Mr. Murrow’s practice of his craft: integrity and ethics and courage and social responsibility”. Rice added, (...)
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By God, another awful Bush appointment
By : William Fisher - Saturday December 3, 2005
1 comment
By William Fisher Washington is a town where the best and the brightest usually coexist with well-connected political hacks. However, the Bush administration has taken promotion of the latter to embarrassing extremes, selecting unqualified people for posts because of their political loyalty and ideological persuasion. The most recent example of this was the appointment of Paul Bonicelli to be deputy director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is in (...)
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ROSA PARKS: WHY ONE PERSON MATTERS
By : William Fisher - Sunday November 13, 2005
3 comments
by William Fisher Ask any non-American to name three leaders of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, and chances are they’ll stop after one: Martin Luther King. But in fact the movement had many leaders. Malcolm X went from being a street-wise Boston hoodlum to one of America’s most influential black nationalist leaders, advocating black pride, economic self-reliance, and identity politics. He was assassinated in New York City in 1965. Stokely Carmichael saw (...)
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THE FOX AT THE HENHOUSE
By : William Fisher - Saturday September 24, 2005
1 comment
By William Fisher Either President Bush just doesn’t get it, or he just doesn’t care, or he thinks the people he serves are all gullible morons. He’s appointed his own Homeland Security Advisor, Ms. Frances Townsend, to lead the White House investigation into how the government screwed up with Hurricane Katrina ? and what to do about it. Does the president really believe the American people will find such an investigation credible? I’m sure Ms. Townsend is a very (...)
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FBI AND DHS SCHIZOPHRENIA
By : William Fisher - Thursday September 22, 2005
5 comments
By William Fisher Ten years after the Oklahoma City bombing left 168 people dead, one U.S. national security agency believes the domestic radical right does not pose a substantial threat to Americans while another labels white supremacists as “terrorists” ? along with anti-war groups, affirmmative action organizations and animal rights activists. The apparent inconsistencies arise from documents recently made public from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the (...)
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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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