Democracy

Blessed Unrest for a Wiser Earth: John Stauber Interviews Paul Hawken

Cover of Blessed UnrestMy first introduction to author Paul Hawken's work was his 1994 book The Ecology of Commerce. It is essential reading for anyone grappling with issues surrounding capitalism, social justice and ecological sustainability. Hawken is, among his plethora of accomplishments, a highly successful businessman, but The Ecology of Commerce pulled few punches in its criticism of even those companies truly trying to set and reach a higher standard of business social responsibility.

Coming Up This Week in Congress: Energy, Immigration and Labor

Both the House and Senate are in session this week, with each chamber expected to debate and consider several important bills and resolutions. Highlights include:

  • The Senate will continue to debate a comprehensive energy bill, including provisions which would raise corporate fuel economy standards, require utilities to produce at least 15% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020, and add loan guarantees to enhance private investment in coal-to-liquids plants.
  • The Senate will consider a long list of amendments pertaining to a comprehensive immigration bill, including one which would provide more than $4 billion for border security and employment verification initiatives.
  • The Senate will vote on the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill previously approved by the House which would make it easier for workers to form unions.
  • The House will likely take up several appropriations measures this week, most likely aiming to pass the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and State-Foreign Operations spending bills.

After the jump is a full listing of this week's House and Senate hearings, courtesy of GovTrack and Thomas.

Yahoo: Notice What We Say, Not What We Do

One day after the mother of Chinese reporter Shi Tao announced she was suing the Internet company Yahoo for helping Chinese officials imprison her son, Yahoo said it was "dismayed that citizens in China have been imprisoned for expressing their political views on the Internet." Yahoo's brief statement did not mention Shi Tao, who received a 10 year jail sentence for "leaking state secrets" in 2005. He had forwarded an email describing media restrictions placed by the Chinese government. The court that sentenced Mr.

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Coming Up This Week in Congress: Alberto Gonzales, Energy, and the Budget

Both the House and Senate are in session this week, with each chamber expected to debate and consider several important bills and resolutions. Highlights include:

  • The Senate is expected to consider a "no-confidence" vote on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Numerous Democratic and Republican senators have already called for Gonzales' resignation in light of the ongoing Bush administration U.S. attorney firings controversy.
  • The Senate will debate a comprehensive energy bill intended to promote energy independence and security, an increase in the production of renewable fuels, an increase in the energy efficiency of products, buildings and vehicles, and additional research on controlling greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The House will take up four fiscal year (FY) 2008 appropriations bills, including Homeland Security, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Energy and Water, and Interior and the Environment. The funding levels considered are expected to be greater than those initially proposed by President Bush.

After the jump is a full listing of this week's House and Senate hearings, courtesy of GovTrack.

Giving the (Purple) Finger to Democracy

An Iraqi voter's purple finger (Source: Department of Defense)In the U.S., fewer than half of eligible voters do vote, elections are determined by big money, sitting politicians almost always win re-election, and opinion surveys show a frightening willingness to sacrifice fundamental human rights for governmental promises of security. It's not surprising, then, that U.S.

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