George McGovern, The First Candidate I Ever Worked For, Dead at 90

By: Sunday October 21, 2012 5:00 pm

George McGovern, the South Dakota Democrat who ran for president in 1972 as a staunch opponent of the Vietnam War and a strong advocate of economic equality, died early Sunday in Sioux Falls. He was 90.

In the fall of 1972, I was only 10, but even as a 5th-grader, I was moved by McGovern’s anti-war, pro-social-justice message. I had a “Come Home America” pin that I would wear everyday to school, and after school, I would go to the local campaign office to stuff envelopes and lick stamps.

At the crack of dawn on Election Day, I went with my father to hand out flyers to arriving workers at Litton Industries. I remember the flyers explained that you were aloud time off at the beginning or end of work to vote, and then, inside made the pitch to working Americans with the headline “How in the Hell Can You Vote for Nixon?”

Missionary Service Is Not the Same Thing as Military Service

By: Sunday October 21, 2012 1:10 pm

Missionary service is not the same thing as military service – a fact, and not just a semantic one – lost on Mommy, Daddy, and the Romney Boys. Donning a crisp white shirt and black tie to annoy the hell out of the good citizens of France from the back of a 10-speed is “service” to your church. Bleeding to death in a rocky Afghan Pass that a big flock of Mitt’s equally chickenhawkish supporters sent you to is service to your country.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Martin A. Lee, Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational and Scientific

By: Saturday September 1, 2012 1:59 pm

Martin A. Lee’s latest book, Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical Recreational and Scientific reflects his skills as a researcher, especially in the historical sections and his analysis of scientific and medical research. The copy is dense and packed with detail, frequently footnoted for those readers who may be skeptical of his scientific claims. If most Americans would take the time to read this book, it would certainly put the topic of legalizing marijuana in some helpful historical context, and it might help convince those who oppose marijuana legalization that they should reconsider their opposition.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Hannah Gurman, The Dissent Papers: The Voices of Diplomats in the Cold War and Beyond

By: Sunday July 8, 2012 1:59 pm

The Dissent Papers is that rare treat of scholarship that reflects careful research and close attention to lively, elegant prose. I recommend it highly to all interested readers. If this afternoon’s exchange is only half as rich as the book itself, we’ll all still walk away having been deeply enriched.

What Even Woodward and Bernstein Can’t Say Out Loud: Nixon Wrecked the Paris Peace Talks

By: Sunday June 17, 2012 5:00 pm

The recent retraversal by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of their Watergate reportage is a welcome, albeit flawed, corrective to the decades of efforts by Nixon and his cheerleaders to rewrite history.

Honoring Those Who Say “No”

By: Saturday May 26, 2012 9:00 am

On this Memorial Day weekend, I give thanks for Hugh Thompson, Jr., Glenn Andreotta, and Lawrence Colburn, who courageously and properly said “no” in the face of misguided fellow soldiers and superiors.

When I hear someone say “thank you for your service” to a member of the military, I think of these three, who embodied the best of what “service to your country” is, in the face of others who embodied that service at its worst.

TransPacific Partnership Protest Wrap-up: Secret Deals Under Fire

By: Monday May 14, 2012 4:15 pm

After a weekend of protest and controversy, it’s clear that the TransPacific Partnership, the secretive and far-reaching international trade deal negotiated in Addison, Texas is under fire. The more sunshine we let in, the less attractive this deal looks to world leaders.

From a direct action perspective, the highlight of the week was the major disruption caused by Yes Lab pranksters with support from Occupy Dallas. Their efforts, which included replacing the toilet paper in the hotel with special ‘TPP’ message paper, culminated in a major infiltration and the presentation of a fake “Corporate Power Tool” award to US Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

Labor Day Showdown: Can Advocates Stop ‘NAFTA of the Pacific’?

By: Saturday September 3, 2011 5:00 pm

At trade talks in Chicago, the Obama administration will work with other officials to develop a trade agreement that will incorporate Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, Chile and Peru. Labor, environmental and human rights groups will gather in the city to warn that the structure, and guiding ideology, of the emerging trade deal could expand a model of free-marketeering that has displaced masses of workers across the globe and granted multinationals unprecedented powers to flout national and international laws.

Obama Administration Plans Round of Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement Talks

By: Thursday September 1, 2011 7:00 am

Next week in Chicago, the Administration kicks off the eighth round of Trans-Pacific free trade agreement talks with multiple Asian nations. The nine-day negotiation includes talks with Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, Peru and Chile, but whatever comes out of the talks is intended to be a “docking agreement” to which larger nations in Asia and South America can sign up. That would include Japan, India and Taiwan; heck, it could include mainland China. This has been in the works for many years, and the Obama Administration has been negotiating since late 2009. The soft deadline for a Trans-Pacific FTA is November, just two months from now.

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Upcoming FDL Book Salons

Saturday, April 19, 2014
2:00 pm Pacific
Poison Candy: The Murderous Madam: Inside Dalia Dippolito’s Plot to Kill
Chat with Mark Ebner about his new book. Hosted by Beth Karas.

Sunday, April 20, 2014
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The Gulf of Tonkin Events – Fifty Years Later: A Footnote to the History of the Vietnam War
Chat with John White about his new book. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize winner Deborah J. Nelson.

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