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Lawrence Wittner: Imagine a World with U.S.-China Cooperation

On September 10, 2021, during an important diplomatic meeting that occurred by telephone, U.S. President Joseph Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping affirmed the necessity of a better relationship between their two nations.  According to the official Chinese summary, Xi said that “when China and the United States cooperate, the two countries and the world Read more…

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Lawrence Wittner: The Fate of Cassandra: Dire Predictions Go Unheeded

In ancient Greek mythology, Cassandra was a priestess who was able to predict the future but unable to convince others to act upon her prophecies. The fate of Cassandra seems particularly relevant today, for there has been ample warning about three developments that threaten continued human existence—preparations for nuclear war, climate change, and disease pandemics—without, Read more…

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Lawrence Wittner: Building Social Solidarity Across National Boundaries

Is it possible to build social solidarity beyond the state? It’s easy to conclude that it’s not.  In 1915, as national governments produced the shocking carnage of World War I, Ralph Chaplin, an activist in the Industrial Workers of the World, wrote his stirring song, “Solidarity Forever.”  Taken up by unions around the globe, it Read more…

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Joe Emersberger: Alex Saab, Afghanistan, and the limits of US power

The US government will (perhaps within a month) probably succeed in extraditing businessman Alex Saab from Cape Verde. His “crime” was being an official envoy for the Venezuelan government as he attempted to negotiate the sale of medicines from Iran to Venezuela. US sanctions have declared such activity illegal. Saab was on his way to Read more…

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Lawrence Wittner: Baby Teeth and the Damage to Public Health Caused by U.S. Nuclear Weapons Tests

By Lawrence Wittner and Joseph Mangano In 2020, Harvard University’s T. C. Chan School of Public Health began a five-year study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, that will examine the connection between early life exposure to toxic metals and later-life risk of neurological disease. A collaborator with Harvard, the Radiation and Public Health Read more…

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Joe Emersberger: Thoughts on Gerald Posner’s “Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK”

I reviewed Josiah Thompson’s new book in a blog post the other day. The book makes a persuasive case that there was a second shooter who killed JFL, but I don’t think it’s a slam dunk. Neither is Gerald Posner’s conclusion that Oswald acted alone. I consider it a toss-up. Some observations follow on Posner’s Read more…

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Joe Emersberger: JFK mystery endures like the US blockade of Cuba (Review of Josiah Thompson’s “Last Second in Dallas”)

I just finished Josiah Thompson’s excellent new book on the JFK assassination: Last Second in Dallas (University Press of Kansas, 2021). Near the end of the book he describes how the scene of the crime, Dealey Plaza, looks to him in 2020. He reflects that “the case itself has been drained of its mythic resonance Read more…

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Joe Emersberger: Infant Mortality: a look at how Cuba and Venezuela ranked in 1980

In 1980, Venezuela’s infant mortality rate ranked 58th best in the world, far below Cuba, whose infant mortality rate was 28th that year. Infant mortality is a basic Venezuela’s infant mortality rate in 1980 was more than twice as high as that in Cuba – all according to the 2018 version of UNICEF data.

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Joe Emersberger: Some notable facts about Venezuela’s oil history

Venezuela has been an important oil exporter since the 1920s. See this essay for historical details. As the chart below shows, It was not until the 1970s that big Middle east oil exporters like Saudi Arabia and Iran overtook Venezuela in oil production  

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Fernando: Independence and Constitution in Spain

There’s a serious political problem in the Spanish Kingdom that seems difficult to resolve and leads to a vicious circle. Probably because of the influence  of Francoist ideology, having independence as an objective is contrary to the Spanish Constitution, (art.2 insists on “The indissoluble unity of the Nation (…),” for instance), but the legal and Read more…

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