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Daniel Ellsberg on Nuclear War

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, by Daniel Ellsberg. Bloomsbury, 2017, 424 pages.   WE ARE ALL NERVOUS about the current possibility of nuclear warfare, but Daniel Ellsberg has decided to do what he can to prevent it from happening. His recent book, The Doomsday Machine, reveals […]

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George Wald, Scientist and Activist

Nobelist George Wald, who discovered that Vitamin A was a component of the retina and crucial to good eyesight, was born in New York to Jewish immigrant parents on this date in 1906. The first member of his family to attend college, Wald was doing a postgrad fellowship in Switzerland and Germany when Hitler came […]

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Lying About War

by Dusty Sklar   DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN presidents alike have this in common: They lie to us about war. Even Barack Obama, upright as he seems, lied to us about U.S. intervention in Libya’s 2011 civil war. When Obama addressed the nation on March 28, 2011, he told us that  the task assigned our forces  was “to protect the […]

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Dissing the Stock Exchange

Abbie Hoffman led a band of some dozen activists in raining down dollar bills onto the New York Stock Exchange trading floor from the viewing gallery above on this date in 1967. The prank briefly disrupted activity on the floor as brokers and other exchange workers scrambled for the free money, and the prearranged presence […]

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Stanley Sheinbaum and the Struggle for Human Rights

Peace activist and human rights advocate Stanley Sheinbaum was born in New York on this date in 1920. He began his work life as an economics teacher at Stanford University and Michigan, but quit teaching during the Vietnam War and made earning a living unnecessary by marrying into the Warner Brothers family and making savvy […]

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Flora Lewis

Journalist, political essayist, and international correspondent Flora Lewis died at 79 on this date in 2002. Lewis wrote for the New York Times, Washington Post, International Herald Tribune and other newspapers, and blazed a trail for women as international reporters. Among the historical events she covered were the 1948 and 1967 Israeli-Arab wars, the 1956 Soviet crackdown […]

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March 28: The Stateless Mathematician

Alexander Grothendieck, a creator of modern algebraic geometry and one of the most influential mathematicians of the 20th century, was born to anarchist parents in Berlin on this date in 1928. He was raised and lived primarily in France — during World War II in the rescuer village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, while his father died […]

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January 11: Gerald Gold and the Pentagon Papers

New York Times editor Gerald Gold, who holed up for ten weeks with the Pentagon Papers in order to extract the most newsworthy information from 7,000 pages of top-secret documents that were spilled to the newspaper’s reporter Neil Sheehan by Daniel Ellsberg, a defense analyst, was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1927. Gold, […]

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