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 Day 19

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Archives from July 2004
All Blame and No Responsibility
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
The late great Claud Cockburn once said words to the effect that he never believed anything until he read an official denial of it, and in few periods in history can there have been more justification for his observation than at present. Governments and their acce...
Colin Powell and My Grandmother
SAM BAHOUR
Where Israel is concerned, U.S. foreign policy never ceases to amaze. When Palestinian in-fighting took place in Gaza last week, Secretary of State Colin Powell had the following to say about the United States’ position: "Just have to watch it unfold.&q...
Behind the UNITE HERE Union Merger
LEE SUSTAR
At one level, the UNITE HERE convention was much different than similar union gatherings. Union staffers talked bluntly about terrible contracts negotiated by the corrupt old guard in HERE locals. At the HERE special convention to approve the merger, President Joh...
Surreal Political Theater
JENNIFER VAN BERGEN And TOM STEPHENS
In July 2004, only about a month after millions of the American People began flocking to movie theaters to see Michael Moore’s incendiary exposé of the Bush administration, "Fahrenheit 9/11," officials appointed by this administration floate...
The Frowning Face of Compassionate Conservatism
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Compassionate conservatism has many faces and most of them have frowns. They frown at everything from the environment to the poor. During the 2000 campaign Mr. Bush proclaimed the environment one of his very best friends. He promised to fund the Land and Wa...
A World of Pain
FRED GARDNER
On that great day when all the single-issue groups assemble to pursue their mutual interests, cannabis users will find they have a lot in common with their fellow citizens who use synthetic opioids to cope with chronic pain. Patients in both groups have had to rel...
The Disturbing Words of John Edwards
JOHN CHUCKMAN
I heard several lines from John Edwards’ convention speech on the radio before I clicked it off. Anymore and I would have vomited. As it was, I experienced a horrible flashback to being a twelve-year old at the Midwest Baptists’ Camp Sycamore, s...
He’s the (Any) One
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Can someone win the presidency entirely on the basis of a negative asset? I wouldn’t have thought so, but here’s John Kerry, just about 90 days shy of election day, promoting himself as a man of presidential caliber entirely on the basis that he’...
Was Iraq a Mutual Charade?
HAROLD A. GOULD
A recent article by a Washington Post staff writer (Dana Priest, July 12th) provides vivid evidence to support what most astute observers and analysts of the causes for the Iraq War always knew down deep in their hearts to be true. That the invasion was essentiall...
Forest Battles Escalate in Oregon
JOSHUA FRANK
Ancient public forests out West are under attack as usual this year. Thankfully, courageous activists in Oregon’s Siskiyou National Forest are attempting to fend off the worst of the pillage. On July 16 the US Forest Service placed 1900 acres of publi...
The Lost Art of Hitchhiking
RON JACOBS
Hitchhiking used to be my carrier of choice. It was cheap and no more dangerous than any other form of transport. Then something changed. Americans grew more isolated from each other and hitchhikers became synonymous with criminals, even though they were more like...
The Shame of the DNC
DAVID LINDORFF
The free speech cage at the site of the Boston Democratic Convention should be left standing permanently as a monument in this city that is awash in symbols of the founding of the nation. It should be left where it is to remind future generations–and maybe p...
Five Questions with Noam Chomsky
MERLIN CHOWKWANYUN
MIT Professor Noam Chomsky is one of the world’s most perceptive social critics. I had the opportunity recently to ask him some questions concerning a range of subject matter. Professor Chomsky’s latest book is ...
The Invisible Hand at the Voting Booth
DIANE FARSETTA
According to many observers, this year’s Indonesian elections can be summed up by the informal slogan of Bill Clinton’s 1996 U.S. presidential campaign: It’s the economy, stupid! It’s easy to understand why economic issues might weig...
Victims without Oppressors; Massacres without Crimes
DAVID NALLY
"In the whole world no poor devil is lynched, no wretch is tortured, in whom I am not degraded and murdered." Aimé Césaire. Genocide is defined in a 1948 UN Convention as acts committed with intent to...
An Interview with a Palestinian-American Rapper
M. JUNAID ALAM
I recently got a chance to discuss the political and personal with the radical Palestinian-American activist and rap artist Will Youmans, who dons the moniker ‘Iron Sheik’ in his clever and powerful music aimed against Israeli oppression of the Palesti...
The Real Drug Culture
MICHAEL DONNELLY
Usually it goes right in the recycling. But, this letter from AARP got my attention. It announced a workshop titled, "Reduce Your Prescription Drug Costs in Three Easy Steps." AARP reports the astonishing fact that in 2002, over 75% of Americans a...
The Pathology of George Bush
FIDEL CASTRO
On this 51st anniversary of the attack on the Moncada fortress on July 26, 1953 I shall address a sinister character that keeps threatening, insulting and slandering us. This is not a whim or an agreeable option; it is a necessity and a duty. On June 21, at...
Murder Not So Foul?
DAVE LINDORFF
With the Democrats having nominated an admitted war criminal for president, and with our president and commander-in-chief having perpetrated, encouraged and overseen war crimes of historic scale, perhaps it’s no surprise that down on the ground, the little c...
Kerry Doesn’t Want Anti-War Activists
SONALI KOLHATKAR And JAMES INGALLS
In the first minute of his July 29 Democratic National Convention (DNC) acceptance speech, John Kerry told us that the Democratic party has "one simple purpose: to make America stronger at home and respected in the world." The Republicans have set the st...
Why They Resist
MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE
The most extravagant idea that can be born in the head of a political thinker is to believe that it suffices for people to enter, weapons in hand, among a foreign people and expect to have its laws and constitution embraced. It is in the nature of thin...
Walt Whitman on C-SPAN, Fox News and Wolf Blitzer’s Voice
BRUCE JACKSON
I’ve been watching the Democratic Convention on C-SPAN, a channel that has no commentators, no analysts, no commercials, no crawls. If applause goes on for ten minutes, C-SPAN shows ten minutes of applause. If there is a hole in the program because someone s...
JFK Rolls Over in His Grave
SAUL LANDAU
In a July 16 speech in Tampa, George W. Bush leveled his human rights gun–mouth–at Cuba for promoting sex tourism. "The regime in Havana, already one of the worst violators of human rights in the world, is adding to its crimes. The dictator welcom...
What Kerry Must Do to Win (But Probably Won’t)
ALLAN J. LICHTMAN And VLADIMIR KEILIS-BOROK
Politics as usual will not suffice for John Kerry in his speech to the Democratic Convention. Kerry can hope to shorten the long odds he faces against President Bush only with a bold, imaginative approach to winning the election. This challenging conclusion...
Cashing in on Failure
WILLIAM S. LIND
When bureaucracies fail, one of their favorite ways to deflect demands for reform is to offer reorganization instead. That appears to be what has happened in the report of the 9/11 commission and Washington’s response to that report. Worse, the reorganizatio...