When I was ten years old and attending an elementary school called Mountainview School, my mother decided to have a little chat with my school director about the lack of trees on the school property. She argued that although the view of the mountain was lovely, the boring grassy lawn was not.
All Americans are lucky to live in a country brimming with public resources that everyone can share.
In a TV debate to mark the official start of the French presidential election campaign, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen was accused of “twisting the truth” by her centrist opponent Emmanuel Macron.
While we work to change the government, we can’t forget that we can also make big change ourselves by starting small and local.
Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has said Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged” is his favorite book.
Thanks to the criticisms they’ve leveled in articles, interviews, tweets and letters to the editor, we know that many contemporary authors, from Philip Roth to J.K. Rowling, have a dim view of Donald J. Trump.
In the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. elections, numerous accounts surfaced of nefarious content creators profiting by posting fake content on social media.
On Inauguration Day, a group of students, researchers and librarians gathered in a nondescript building on the north side of the University of California, Los Angeles campus, against a backdrop of pelting rain.
Instead of falling to the Nazi party, Norway broke through to a social democracy. Their history shows us polarization is nothing to despair over. The key to avoiding fascism? An organized left with a strong vision and broad support.
After intense political activism, an attack from the Trump administration on public lands has been shot down. The fight is far from over, but with the unexpected fightback of hunting and fishing groups, attempts to privatize federal land will meet new opposition.
When 500 refugees arrived in their community, residents of Zaandam were wary. But by the time the newcomers could apply for residency status in Europe, neighbors didn’t want them to leave.
Have your passports ready, watch your language, and other advice from a Yale history professor.
Einstein told us that we cannot solve the significant problems we face at the same level of thinking at which we were when we created the problems. He was right. Yet we are trying to do just that. We are fighting terrorism, poverty, criminality, cultural...
If we were able to remember how we felt as a child learning to crawl, we probably would remember looking on with amazement at the giants we saw around us. This memory might help us when we are learning a technical skill, or a personality skill such as unconditional love, patience...
Far from the corrosive political circus unfolding in Washington, DC, local citizen groups are improving conditions for the people in their own backyards.
With help from activist manual written by former congressional staffers, Republicans face angry crowds in home states
Community groups have the power to create long-lasting change. Ioby, an organization based in New York City, New York, that works on neighborhood mobilization, recently published its "Recipes for Change" toolkit.
On April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his assassination, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “Beyond Vietnam” speech in Harlem’s Riverside Church. In it, he spoke of being confronted with “the fierce urgency of now.”
After his unexpected election win, the immediate question was what would US President Donald Trump actually do?
Recent reports indicate that far-right groups from the Ukraine have come to Brazil to recruit neo-Nazis to fight against pro-Russian rebels. Western readers reacted with shock and fascination
The protests that have erupted since Donald Trump’s most recent executive order was signed have been impressive.
As a professor of Russian literature, I couldn’t help but notice that comedian Aziz Ansari was inadvertently channeling novelist Leo Tolstoy when he claimed that “change doesn’t come from presidents” but from “large groups of angry people.”
Donald Trump, in his quest to “make America great again,” is poised to put in place many regressive policies that are fundamentally at odds with what are generally considered progressive values such as transparency, inclusiveness, equity, fairness and dignity for all
To some liberals, Donald Trump’s inauguration portends doom for the republic; to many conservatives, it’s a crowning moment for the nation that will usher in an era of growth and optimism.
The Women’s March on Washington illustrated what a wide variety of issues women will have in the years ahead with Donald Trump.
How do we listen and learn from each other, with our very different experiences and beliefs about life, yet find a way through it to a place of love and healing?
After the inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington, what comes next? To make real change, we’ll need to build power where we live.
The I Have A Dream speech is the crown jewel of the 20th century. Given before 250,000 souls on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, it is called the defining moment of the US Civil Rights movement. It is the speech by which all other great speeches must be measured. Its haunting rhythm towards the end of the speech has an almost musical sound and feel.
The name Martin Luther King Jr. is iconic in the United States. The outgoing 44th president, Barack Obama, spoke of King in both his Democratic National Convention nomination acceptance and victory speeches in 2008:
Roosevelt delivered this speech to Congress as a "State Of The Union" 11 months before the United States entered World War II. Memorably, in the second half of the speech, FDR lists the benefits of democracy. He lists these as Freedom Of Speech, Freedom Of Worship, Freedom From Want, and Freedom From Fear. The first two freedoms are guaranteed by the US Constitution and the last two are still in controversy to this day.
On Jan. 10, President Barack Obama delivered a farewell address to the nation in his adopted hometown of Chicago.
Mark Twain noted that man is the only animal that blushes — or needs to. He also believed that “public office is private graft.”
If we didn’t realize that 2016 was the year of upheaval before November 8, we certainly do now. Brexit, which seemed hard enough to digest, was merely the amuse bouche prior to the red meat of Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election.
Many Americans would not be surprised if on Jan. 20 Vladimir Putin administers the oath of office to Donald Trump, the Ku Klux Klan youth choir regales the inaugural crowd with a stirring rendition of “Dixie,
Continuing to shrink our oil consumption is one way to challenge the oil uber alles mentality of the Trump administration.
"For many years, public-spirited citizens throughout the country have been working for the conservation of the natural resources, realizing their vital importance to the nation."
As the era of Trump approaches, some of you may be succumbing to the following four syndromes:
In 2013, an online petition persuaded a national organization representing high school coaches to develop materials to educate coaches about sexual assault and how they could help reduce assaults by their athletes
Taking a lesson from Standing Rock, we must be careful with language while working toward progress in the Trump years.
In a context of growing injustice, reclaiming the importance and the meaning of the word resistance is more urgent than ever.
Democracy depends on a free and independent press, which is why all tyrants try to squelch it. They use seven techniques that, worryingly, President-elect Donald Trump already employs.
My literature is totally committed with a new political attitude – human beings in search of their own identity. My books don’t talk about the old and used up process of the right/left but there is a revolution that is slowly rising up...
Depending on your political persuasion, or, as some are now arguing, depending on the “engagement” metrics that condition your social media “echo chamber”, you will have met the election of Donald Trump to the US’s highest office with either shock or elation.
Brexit. Trump. Climate change. The financial system. The arms trade. Hardliners. You name it, it’s causing anxiety.
Feeling anxious about life in a broken-down society on a stressed-out planet? While the dominant culture encourages dysfunctional denial — pop a pill, go shopping, find your bliss — there’s a more sensible approach: Accept the anxiety, embrace the deeper anguish, and then...
When I was a student at Princeton University I learned from my anthropology studies that the concentration of power in the hands of the few is common to all cultures, societies, nations, tribes, cities, towns, and villages.
As the Brexit debate deteriorates in quality at an alarming rate, it appears that any hope of Britain returning to its democratic senses is receding fast.
Those angry Bernie supporters who are so turned off by Hillary that they plan to vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson or even Darn Old Trump may be shooting themselves -- and indeed the entire body politic -- in the head...
Target recently staked out a position in the culture wars by announcing that it will build private bathrooms in all its locations, after earlier allowing transgender customers to use whichever room corresponds with their gender identity – both actions sparking anger from many conservatives.
Over the past month, thousands of protesters, including Native Americans from more than 100 tribes across the country, have traveled to North Dakota to help the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe block the Dakota Access Pipeline from being built.
The internet has rewired civil society, propelling collective action into a radically new dimension. Democracy is now not only exercised at the ballot box, but lived and experienced online on a day-to-day basis.
When it comes to politics, 2016 has been a very strange year to say the least. Things that aren’t “supposed to happen” – well, they just keep happening.
It looks increasingly likely that Hillary Clinton, a self-described “progressive who likes to get things done,” will have her chance starting next January. But how much that’s progressive will she actually be able to get done?
Pramila Jayapal, one of the standard-bearers for Bernie Sanders' Our Revolution movement, won a decisive victory in the primary race for Washington's 7th Congressional District Tuesday night and will advance to the November general election.
Political scholars and pundits have called the 2016 election cycle the most tumultuous and hostile in recent memory.
With a mix of anger and excitement, Bernie Sanders supporters shift focus away from the presidency and search for ways to sustain the political revolution sparked by his campaign.
With the front-runners of both parties in support of fracking, even with some conditions, it would seem that anti-fracking activists are fighting an uphill battle.
After being sentenced to three years in prison for his part in the 1968 burning of stolen draft files in Catonsville, Maryland, Rev. Daniel Berrigan went underground, evading capture by the FBI for four months.
The race for the Democratic presidential nomination has pitted a dreamer against a realist, right? Bernie Sanders is the unrealistic one, and Hillary Clinton, the pragmatist, is the candidate who can get things done, right? But...
It's often forgotten, but the May Day holiday, the original, real, workers' holiday, originated in the U.S. And specifically it originated to honor the memory of labor's four martyrs unjustly sent to the gallows, in an atmosphere of hysteria and anti-worker oppression after the so-called Haymarket "riot" of 130 years ago, on May 4, 1886.
Yesterday was the most important day of my life. I walked up to the Capitol building and sat on the steps with more than 400 people. When asked to move, we refused and were arrested. We committed nonviolent civil disobedience together to protest the power of money in politics and support the restoration of real democracy.
Step back from the campaign fray for just a moment and consider the enormity of what’s already occurred.
Bill Moyer was a street-wise, working class white boy from rowhouse Philadelphia, who — in the turbulence of the 1960s — went to Chicago to work for an anti-racist housing campaign.
“I wish that we could elect a Democratic president who could wave a magic wand and say, ‘We shall do this, and we shall do that,’” Clinton said recently in response to Bernie Sanders’s proposals. "That ain’t the real world we’re living in.“
Far too many people think not, and thus they sell themselves far too short. A wave of pessimism leads capable people to underestimate the power of their voice and the strength of their ideals. The truth is this: it is the initiatives of deeply caring people that provide the firmament for our democracy.
It is never easy for interest groups with conflicting views to resolve public policy disagreements involving complex scientific issues. To successfully formulate complex treaties, such as the recent Paris Climate Change Agreement, countries must find a way to meet the interests of almost 200 national representatives, while simultaneously getting the science right. Lowest common denominator political agreements that don’t actually solve the problem are useless.
We need green visions for less carbon and poverty---but also for more fun and joy. At a time when ecological destruction is more dire than ever, the work of protecting the planet depends on dreamers just as much as of scientists, activists, public officials and business leaders.
In today’s American politics, it might seem impossible to craft effective political messages that reach across the aisle on hot-button issues like same-sex marriage, national health insurance, and military spending.
Make no mistake: we’re in the midst of an evolution of consciousness. We can cocreate a planet that works for everyone. We can redirect success from profit and pollution to true sustainability. We can reactivate an Eden in which our new fertile crescents and restored ecosystems grow and grow while we give back to the Earth rather than take from it.
As a high school student, I came across an observation by Abraham Lincoln who said that “With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.” Today “public sentiment” would be called “public opinion.”
Recent widespread attention to shocking instances of alleged police misconduct – the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and now Walter Scott – have rallied voices across the country in defense of equal protection under the rule of law.
Young Adult dystopia is having an effect on consumerism and pop culture. The political potential of this literary phenomenon – especially for empowering girls – could ultimately be the genre’s most profound and lasting influence. And though its staying power has yet to be tested, YA dystopia has spurred legions of readers towards promoting social justice.
A dragon by the name of Chevron, breathing a fire fueled by Citizens United and $3.1 million in cash, succumbed to the people of the tiny city of Richmond, California last November when similar right-wing dragons were burning and pillaging voters and their towns across the country.
“Every person ought to have the awareness that ‘purchasing is always a moral – and not simply an economic – act’.” Francis wants us to buy as if someone else’s life depended on it. And he wants us to act not only as individuals but collectively.
Why are some protests ignored and forgotten while others explode, dominating the news cycle for weeks and becoming touchstones in political life?
What the left needs is an account of how the suffering we experience in our personal lives stems from capitalist values, and to replace this system with one built on values of love and caring.
Anger, rage and a desire for revenge are all reasonable and justified in the face of armed attacks, abuse and exploitation. What matters is what we do with these things.
On the heels of what many are calling a historic convention of over 1,200 fast food workers held in the Chicago suburbs last weekend, the campaign for "$15 and a union" won a major National Labor Relations Board decision that, if upheld, could have significant repercussions throughout the industry...
An estimated 10,000 gallons of the coal-processing chemical MCHM, along with an unknown amount of a second substance called PPH, spilled into West Virginia’s Elk River — just upstream from a municipal water intake that serves nine counties. While government and industry have been slow to respond, some remarkable community organizing has taken place...
International corporate volunteerism gives future leaders real-life experience facing challenges in emerging markets and could create self-perpetuating sustainable businesses.
Is it climate change, which makes droughts more severe and more likely to persist? Is it the labor policies that allowed the worker's wages to be cut? Or is it that NAFTA has flooded the Mexican market with cheap, U.S.-grown corn since 1996, forcing him to leave his family’s farm and migrate to California in the first place?
While crime rates have dropped dramatically in most US cities over the past two decades, there has been a recent uptick in robberies of cell phones and laptops, which can be easily sold over the Internet. What we can to do to deter criminals, who rob of us of our peace of mind as well as possessions?
There’s a country path I walk often, near where I live, that borders the edge of a vineyard. There’s a place along this path where some grapevines have escaped under and over the barbed wire vineyard fence and now grow wild.
Lama Tsomo is a Tibetan Buddhist lama, a former homesteader, and an heiress to a family fortune who lives a quiet life in the mountains of Montana. Now she is beginning to teach the practices and insights gained through years of solitary retreats and study.
People ask me all the time why we don’t have a revolution in America, or at least a major wave of reform similar to that of the Progressive Era or the New Deal or the Great Society.
Unfortunately, one of the repercussions of modern life with all our TVs and modern conveniences and big cities, is that we have become separated from our neighbors and from the people we see daily. We treat them all as strangers. We have become strangers in a strange land.
The primary ongoing question of your life is: are you going to choose same-old, same-old, or are you going to explore new possibilities? In other words, are you going to live in the conditioned but comfortable cocoon of your ego, or are you going to...
After surviving near financial meltdown, devastating oil spills, and enormous bank bailouts, we're finally beginning to understand the deep connection between our economic and our political lives. To bring about real change, we'll need some powerful tools...
A lot of community education involves unlearning what we've learned in the school system, things that undermine our faith in our own ability to think for ourselves, undermine the development of our unique abilities, undermine our ability to be happy...
by the Women of the World. This is a time for collaboration at a global level as never before required. We can and must join together as women to take action with common but differentiated responsibilities for achieving sustainability. We must act now for ourselves, for future generations, for all living things on Mother Earth...
So I need to remind myself not to waste time. Not to click on too many hyperlinks and certainly not to spend to much time on Facebook. Not to distract myself with too much retail therapy at the antique mall or on Amazon. Not to obsess over whether my...
One of my first memories of taking an environmental stance was in the late 60s. I was about ten years old, and I refused to ride in my dad's Opal that was burning some serious motor oil. I do not remember why I was so concerned about the gray-blue smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe, but...
Our “civilized” societies often direct attention away from the need for an individual to act authentically — that is, driven not by externally motivated desires but from genuine internal impulses. It is time to be open to changing the rigidity of our embedded thoughts, beliefs, and...
My own vision for the coming decade places communities at the center of dialogue, planning, action and change. My hope is to educate community members and congregations so they can better...
Veteran activist and organizer Marshall Ganz, joins Bill to discuss the power of social movements to effect meaningful social change.
After months of protest, teachers, students and parents in Seattle, Washington, have won their campaign to reject standardized tests in reading and math. In January, teachers at Garfield High School began a boycott of the test, saying it was wasteful and...
Collaborative groups are everywhere. They might be a group of neighbors coming together to plan how their town can make a transition to a more energy efficient economy or a church group planning a bake sale. They could be a group of anarchist forest defenders...
As revolution is a highly charged word that stirs fear in many quarters, it's useful to get clear here about what it does and does not mean in the Age of Aquarius. It simply means a "turning back," and implies that power has somehow been...
It's plain to all freedom-loving people that the Internet is either the battleground for freedom, or the means by which love workers will achieve freedom without battle. One way or the other, some of us, at least, must know how to use the most powerful instrument of freedom since the printing press...