What We Really Think of First Responders

After the recent tragedies in Boston and West, many of us celebrated the incredible stories of first responders. These were the people who ran back into the fray after the explosions, who searched for bodies in the rubble, who sacrificed their own safety and security to give blood, clothing, medical care, and whatever else was … Continue reading

Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum – a Blow to Human Rights?

Yesterday the Supreme Court handed down a decision on the case Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. I was actually in the room when the court heard this case, which involves a group of Nigerians attempting to sue multinational oil companies for human rights abuses in Nigeria. The case involves the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), which … Continue reading

Does the President Have the Authority?

On Wednesday Rand Paul led a 13-hour filibuster to delay John Brennan’s nomination to be CIA director. It stemmed from a correspondence he’d received earlier from Attorney General Eric Holder. Paul had asked Holder if “the President has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a US citizen on US … Continue reading

We Don’t Need a War Tax

I’m now going to respond to an op-ed piece in the New York Times, which I suggest you read first. In the article, entitled “A Tax to Pay for War,” R. Russell Rumbaugh – an Army veteran and a former analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency and the Senate Budget Committee – argues that we … Continue reading

Where Have All the Peace Activists Gone?

On Sunday I attended the Inaugural Peace Ball, where activists from across the country gathered to celebrate successes in the fight for peace and refocus their energies on areas that still need work. Ralph Nader was one of the keynote speakers. In a brief but passionate address, he discussed one of the key issues in … Continue reading

Bearing Our Own Energy Burden

The Keystone XL pipeline – once relatively unknown to everyone but energy execs and protestors – has become a major US election issue and the source of much controversy lately. The proposed pipeline would carry oil 2,000 miles from Canada’s tar sands through the US and down to Texas. Environmental activists have been fighting the … Continue reading

Good News Friday – The Good News About Disappearance

The good news about disappearance is that there’s something you can do about it. This week I shared a couple of examples of enforced disappearance in Iraq and Pakistan, but it occurs in far too many countries to discuss in a few short days. Fortunately, some folks are fighting back: 1. EDIEC (Enforced Disappearances Information … Continue reading

My Decade of War

I cried on September 11th because I worried it would affect my plans to attend NYU. Yep, I was that immature. I was in high school. Like most people I was also terrified that we were going to war, that the people I loved might die, and that the country as we knew it would … Continue reading

Caring for the Half-Widows

Half-widows, as they’re currently called in Kashmir, actually suffer all over the world – from India to Libya, Chile to Eastern Europe. Some have more difficulties than others, but all share one thing in common: their husbands vanished because of forced disappearance. Forced disappearance – also known as “enforced disappearance” or just “disappearance,” happens when … Continue reading

Congress: Fight Human Trafficking By Not Paying For It Yourself

A bill passing its way through Congress would require large companies to report their efforts against human trafficking. Companies making more than $100 million annually would have to reveal any work they’ve done to ensure that forced labor did not contribute to their products, like audits or on-site inspections. Huh? So companies that do the … Continue reading

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