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Archives from November 2002
Heroes and Villains
Anyone labouring under the misconception that Britain’s striking firemen would receive a hearing in accordance with the high levels of public goodwill traditionally enjoyed by the fire service must surely have been brought back to earth with a thump by the a...
The Betrayal of Lenny Glaser
For Mario, who loved a good read and efforts at honesty In the episode of the Free Speech Movement, I think we were inhabited by spirits larger than ourselves — somewhere between ancestral and primordial in nature, and sharpl...
4th Amendment RIP
The 4th Amendment, an unwavering champion of our right to privacy, died on 18 November 2002. The amendment, adopted by the convention of states on 17 September 1787, was 215. The 4th tirelessly fought to guarantee that “the right of the people to be secure i...
Reflections on Kant and Moral Equivalence
Michael Lerner is typical of those who require everyone to condemn the attack on the Metzer Kibbutz, where a Palestinian went out of his way to kill two children being shielded by their mother. In between references to his own integrity, Lerner assures us that the...
The Betrayal of Lenny Glaser
CounterPunch runs this memoir of a betrayal by the Free Speech Movement back in the Sixties because November 21, 2002, sees a betrayal of the memory of that movement and of one of its leaders, Mario Savio. On the UC Berkeley Campus a lecture se...
The Dagger of Futility
Many readers of my online columns have recently expressed feelings of both anger and resignation. The elections seemed to “push a dagger” into the heart of progressive ideals. Many hoped that the public would vote Democratic over Republican to stop thi...
Secrets and Lies
The front pages of California’s major daily newspapers were buzzing last week with fresh reports of one energy company ripping off the state in the spring of 2000 by deliberately keeping a power plant from generating electricity so the company could take adv...
I saw the pictures children drew at Terezin last March when I delivered a paper at a Prague conference. Yesterday I saw a picture of a Palestinian woman, old and bent, weeping as she watched Sharon’s bulldozer demolish her home. The children’s pictures...
US Should Use "Soft Power" to Engage Iran
In the past few days, thousands of Iranian students have been peacefully protesting against the death sentence for apostasy handed out to Hashem Aghajari, a liberal dissident. Aghajari is a 45-year-old history lecturer, journalist and veteran who lost a leg...
Identity Under Siege
The Palestinian struggle — that a people should endure such unremitting cruelty from Israel and still not give up, is a collective miracle. Edward Said, “Disunity and factionalism”, Al Ahram 21 August 2002. ...
Have You Been Centerized?
So the great Battle for the Center, with everyone rushing to seem as much like everyone else as humanly possible, has come down to this: By handing them control of the U. S. Senate, voters have given the Republicans a green light to loot the country, with nothing ...
Turkey and Cyprus
Recip Tayipp Erdogan, the leader of Turkey’s recently elected Justice and Development Party, holds the future of Cyprus in his hands. Erdogan had initially welcomed the recently unveiled United Nations plan for reunification of the island, but on Saturday he...
Madison Votes "NO" on War
Madison, Wisconsin. “One function of local government is to inform the national government what the views of its citizens are about issues of national moment.” Those words were spoken by University of Wisconsin at Madison Professor of Sociology ...
America’s Mythical Heartland
Here’s a brief description of two very different parts of the country. The first is Ridgewood Avenue, that segment of U.S. 1 that links Holly Hill to Daytona Beach. Like most of U.S. 1′s 2,500 miles America’s original highway hymn to uglin...
Did Bush Blaspheme?
In his speech about the Middle East crisis on June 24 of this year, President Bush concluded by quoting Deuteronomy 30:19, “I have set before you life and earth; therefore, choose life.” Given that he was calling_for the first time ever–for a cha...
The Casualties of a US/Iraq War
Three years ago in New York City, I met a young Iraqi, a student in New York University. This was an Arab cultural event: a night of music, book reading, and poetry recitation. The Iraqi was younger than twenty. A gentle face, looking reserved: he approached the p...
Medical Marijuana and Ashcroft
Note to the Department of Justice: all references to the author’s use of illegal drugs in this essay are purely satirical in nature. The author has never used drugs of any kind, although he once became high as the result of using PVC cement in a...
PR Spinning the Bush Doctrine
The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq bills itself as an NGO comprised of a "distinguished group of Americans" who want to bomb Saddam Hussein out of existence. Of course, NGO is a misnomer for this particular organization because its advisory board i...
Politically Modified Organisms
They have spliced flounder genes into strawberries, mice genes into potatoes and the hog’s milk gene into corn. They also have corn that can create its own insecticide, fending off pests. When the pests eat the corn, the insecticide blows up its stomach. Suc...
A Report from the School of the Americas Protest
Fort Benning, Georgia. War is peace. Terror is human rights. The U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA) is now the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC). Some 7,000 demonstrators from all regions of the country descended on Fort Benn...
The Curse of a Monopolized Press
Baltimore City is cursed with only one daily newspaper, the Baltimore Sun. Over the years, it has grown arrogant and out of touch with its readers, primarily as a result of not having any real competition. Here are just a few examples of its recent outrageo...
Secular Crusades
“To tell people the truth is not hatred.” — Jimmy Swaggart, 11/15/2002 You won’t have Ronald Springel to kick around anymore, apparently. Spokane’s SPOKESMAN-REVIEW, in its 11/15 edition, followed up...
The Revenge of a Child
Since last Sunday, a question has been running around in my head and troubling my sleep: What induced the young Palestinian, who broke into Kibbutz Metzer, to aim his weapon at a mother and her two little children and kill them? In war one does not kill chi...
World’s Policeman or Bully?
In the debate about a U.S. war against Iraq, the question often pops up: Should the United States be the world’s policeman? This is a case where the answer doesn’t matter, because it is the wrong question. The United States isn’t offering ...
The Terror War Targets Maoist Exiles
As soon as the Bush administration announced its “war on terrorism” last September, I thought I had some idea of what was coming. On the one hand, the U.S. government had never lucidly defined “terrorism,” that most hopelessly vague of “isms...