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by John Nichols
by Twilight Greenaway
By all accounts, Jude Becker is a very successful farmer. His organic, pasture-raised Becker Lane pork, is considered the best of the best. It’s for sale in several Northern California Whole Foods and at farmers’ markets in Chicago, as well as on plates in several high-end restaurants around the country. There’s even a small retail market for it in Japan.
by Chris Hedges
OXFORD, England—The morning after my Feb. 20 debate at the Oxford Union, I walked from my hotel along Oxford’s narrow cobblestone streets, past its storied colleges with resplendent lawns and Gothic stone spires, to meet Avner Offer, an economic historian and Chichele Professor Emeritus of Economic History.
EVANSVILLE, IN — Past use of cannabis, as identified by the presence of the inert carboxy THC metabolite on a standard urine test, is not positively associated with workplace accidents, according to data published online in the Journal of Addictive Diseases.
The study’s author assessed whether there exists a statistical association between marijuana use and work related accidents by comparing the proportion of cannabis positive urine specimens for post-accident verses random samples in a cohort of employees from five states (Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania).
“This study fell short of finding an association between marijuana use and involvement of workplace accidents,” the author concluded.
Elementary school teachers in Chicago have taken what progressive education advocates are calling a "brave" and "bold" stand against the destructive role of high-stakes testing in public schools by voting unanimously to boycott upcoming, state-mandated tests.
by Mary Bottari
It’s debt ceiling time and the US economy is once again on the brink, held hostage by extremists hell-bent on forcing cuts to Medicare and Social Security.
Oh wait. That was last year.
by Ralph Nader
Harry Truman once asked for a one-armed economist in the hopes of never again having to hear "on the one hand, this" and "on the other hand, that." Given the recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on the effects of the minimum wage -- one chock full of "on the other hands" -- the American people can empathize with President Truman. Even worse, both sides of the aisle are spinning the report to claim victory, creating a fog around minimum wage policy that may further discourage a Walmart-influenced Congress from taking any action. Given the miserly state of the minimum wage today, such a can't-do attitude is unacceptable. Here are five key observations about the minimum wage to help members of Congress see through the "something for everyone" fog generated by the report:
by David Morris
Minneapolis will soon vote to shift nearly 180 privately owned bus shelters to public ownership following numerous complaints about the lack of maintenance and upkeep. When it does it will join the burgeoning ranks of cities who have discovered that when it comes to public services government knows best.
When an article about this appeared in the local Star Tribune newspaper many on-line comments echoed the conventional wisdom circa 2014. “It must be really, really bad if government can do it better.”
In the post-Ronald Reagan era Americans take as indisputable truth the idea that the private sector is more nimble and more innovative and that the profit motive commands efficiency. But a mountain of evidence points in the other direction. The government is highly competitive. Indeed privatized services often come at a higher price and lower quality.
by Jeff Biggers
When besieged residents, already choked by toxic coal dust, face off with Peabody Energy officials on Tuesday, February 18, in Harrisburg, at an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency hearing for a five-year strip mine expansion permit, more than 1,019 paltry acres will be at stake.
As President Lincoln once invoked in a moment of crisis, the courageous residents in the showdown at Cottage Grove are "our last best hope."
It may be the 'country of the First Amendment,' but the United States once again received an abysmal ranking from Reporters Without Borders, an international press monitoring and journalism advocacy group, in its annual review of how well nations protect the rights of individual journalists and overall press freedoms.