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Mark T. Harris is a writer living in Portland, Oregon. He is a featured contributor to "The Flexible Writer," fourth edition, by Susanna Rich (Allyn & Bacon/Longman, 2003). His blog, "Writer's Voice," can be found at www.HarrisMedia.org.
White Racism Matters!
As the Black Lives Matter movement gathers force and continues to grow, heralding a new era in the fight for civil rights and social justice, there is an education occurring in society. The enduring specter of racism is being increasingly exposed and challenged by a new, multi-racial generation of young activists, for whom it is understood that social justice begins in the streets.
Monday, September 22, 2014
The Mystery of Robin Williams: Reflections on Depression in a Troubled World
It's always struck me how incurious many people are after someone commits suicide. How incurious to delve into the roots of pain. It's as if something so inexplicable has occurred that it's too uncomfortable, too futile, to even attempt to understand. Is it possible to explain what happened to Robin Williams?
Bush vs. Clinton in 2016?
How is that the names Clinton and Bush keep coming up? Some pundits are now talking about a possible Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton race in 2016. But the more important question is why do the corporate politics represented by these names persist?
Sinead O'Connor: Music's 'Uncooperative' Celebrity
What are we to make of Irish singer Sinead O'Connor? She's back with a new album, "Why Don't I Be Me (And You Be You)?" and it's some of her best music in years. She also remains as outspoken and honest as ever, an artist whose sensitivity to the plight of oppressed people continues to resonate with her many fans.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012(2 comments)
Mitt, Mormons, and Money
While Tea Party conservatives criticize Romney for the blatant opportunism of his shifting political views, at another level Romney is the most consistent of politicians, at least when it comes to serving his class.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
'Here Comes Trouble' Indeed
Michael Moore's "Here Comes Trouble" offers equal touches of the bravado, humor, and passion that have made Moore a household name. But as remarkable as his contributions have been, I suspect the emerging popular social movement we are seeing unfold today in opposition to Wall Street's destructive polices will make an even more profound impact on the radicalization of American politics. Here comes trouble, indeed.
Thursday, September 29, 2011(1 comments)
Obama's 'Class Warfare'--Doing the Math
In Italy, Britain, Greece, and elsewhere the rallying cry in the streets now is to reject the idea that working people should pay for a crisis caused by the rich and powerful. It is a stance that reverberates now among the young heroes of the growing Wall Street protests. The AFL-CIO and everyone who cares about social justice would do well to make that sentiment equally real in this country, to spread it far and wide.
Friday, August 12, 2011(4 comments)
Obama's Misdirected 'Courage'
The tipping point in progressive illusions that President Obama is "one of us" may finally have been reached with the new bipartisan deal on the debt ceiling.
Thursday, January 20, 2011(4 comments)
Tunisia's Cry for Justice
The people of Tunisia have taught the entire world that the cry for justice is more powerful than the tanks and torturers of despotic regimes. Who would have thought a month ago that Mohammed Bouazizi's desperate act setting himself on fire would eventually set an entire nation on fire? Such is the power of a people who are no longer afraid.
Saturday, January 1, 2011(1 comments)
Ringing in the New Year: From Austerity to Revolt?
Sometimes the true state of our nation's affairs is revealed less in the lofty rhetoric of political leaders than in incidental news items. That's the case with the news that "austerity" is Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year for 2010.
Friday, August 6, 2010(4 comments)
Planet Hiroshima 2010
The threat of nuclear annihilation remains real. Yet the irony of our age is that for the first time in human history the science, technology, manufacturing and agriculture exist to eliminate all want. But in the context of a world also driven by the acquisition of corporate profits and entrenched class and nationalist divisions, the world's people instead face an increasingly uncertain and violent future. Or even the possibil
As Long As We're Talking About Socialism
The Fox News/Republican right has high hopes the ensuing "tea party" protests inspired by Santelli's rhetoric will serve as a rallying cry for rousing the right-wing faithful against President Obama's economic recovery plan. Instead the public protests against "taxes and spending" turned mostly into a transparent exhibition of the Republican Party's desperation. But as long as we're shedding illusions, what about also divestin
Sunday, October 12, 2008(5 comments)
Where Are the Slander Merchants Taking Us?
The recent FoxNews investigative report on Barack Obama's "ties to controversial people and radical groups" on Hannity's America was a reminder of the almost startling degeneration of the American media in recent years. With a worsening economy, it's not such a stretch to see the ugly, violent rhetoric of the right-wing devolve even further into more direct, organized assaults on "liberal America."
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Bill Ayers and the Talk Media Circus
The Obama-Ayers "issue" is just more spritzer water in the face of serious politics. It's more evidence of the media circus show U.S. politics has become. But why talk about unaffordable health care or spreading home foreclosures or a war with no end in sight? If you're one of the "great Americans" of the airwaves and you have no real solution to anything, why indeed?
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Where are the Candidates Who Embrace These Six Words?
The recent best-seller, "Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure," is an inspired compilation of six-word life stories. It makes you wonder. Where are the candidates who embrace these six words? "Bring All The Troops Home Now!"
Sunday, February 24, 2008(5 comments)
What Makes Someone a Campus Murderer?
Murderers are made, not born. Yet as a society we seem remarkably uninterested in addressing the root causes of crime. Reflections on the NIU killings by a former NIU student.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008(1 comments)
Juno and the Right to Abortion
The film Juno is not meant to be a social sermon. It's not even meant to be a serious drama. But any popular American film that explores the abortion issue, even comically, seems in this day and age destined to controversy. We can thank decades of hostile Christian Right hysteria over women's reproductive rights for that. But what should pro-choice viewers make of Juno?
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Broken Health System Demands More Than Conservative Apologetics
The issue of affordable health care is acquiring an urgency missing from past elections. But that's not to say that the leading candidates are showing much inclination to embrace the only solution that really makes sense-non-profit single payer health care. Ironically, that hasn't stopped the right-wing junk media from accusing Clinton, Edwards, and Obama of being supporters of "socialized medicine."
Sunday, November 18, 2007(3 comments)
The Story of Parvin: Reflections on Hope in an Age of War and Intervention
In a world weary with cynicism and global conflict, an Iranian feminist remembers a moment from the early days of Iran's Islamic Republic when one man's belief in Islam saved her life. The story of Parvin Najafi recalls the early fervor of the Iranian revolution, before the ayatollahs consolidated their power, and a history of U.S. involvement in Iran the mainstream media would prefer to ignore.
Saturday, October 6, 2007(11 comments)
What Does It Mean to 'Support The Troops?'
The "welcome home parade" for the 33rd National Guard Battalion from Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, was ostensibly "non-political." But this was true only if you happen to believe the U.S. occupation of Iraq is just a larger version of a Peace Corps service project. Relief at the return of loved ones is one thing; pretending that their mission in Iraq was somehow right and noble is another.
Sunday, July 29, 2007(2 comments)
Bush Makes Clear Why a Health Care Revolt is Needed
President Bush made clear which side of health care progress he's on when he recently stated his intention to veto a Senate bill to increase funds for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). So why do we put up with a leader whose SiCKO ideology blinds him even to the most basic needs of children?
Friday, July 13, 2007(2 comments)
SiCKO and the Health Insurance Rip-Off
With SiCKO, Michael Moore has overnight taken the proposal for single-payer, government sponsored national health care from the fringes of national political debate to center stage. But it will take more than a movie to get the insurance companies out of the health care business. Now it's time for the movement-building.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
The Devolving World of the Right-Wing Media
Safely ensconced in their studios and offices, America's regiment of pro-war pundits barely pause to ponder the human sorrow of the war as they play their rhetorical games of one-upmanship with the hated liberals.
Tuesday, December 5, 2006(4 comments)
None Dare Call It Reason
At a time when an old-line right-winger like William F. Buckley bluntly admits the U.S. mission in Iraq has failed, when even professional reprobate Henry Kissinger says a military victory is impossible, talk radio stars like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, and other media warriors remain intrepid defenders of the heroic rightness of the President's war. What's wrong with them?
Monday, May 15, 2006(2 comments)
Border Guards Are Not the Answer Because Immigrants Are Not the Enemy
President Bush has apparently been advised that leadership on the immigration issue means being pro-active, which is another way of saying send in the troops. The White House Deciderator's latest stab at deciding something involves plans now to significantly increase the presence of National Guard troops along the southwestern border. It's another clueless move by the White House.