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Archives from December 2006
The Nation is Locked in a Spousal Abuse Relationship
"We the people" have been and are being badly abused by the Bush administration. We’ve been disenfranchised by Diebold, a major Bush donor. Our Congress, our elected Representatives, have been corrupted, intimidated into going along with shredding ...
A Nation Soaked in Blood Tears Itself Apart
The history of Iraq since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein has been full of fake turning-points–the capture of Saddam in 2003, the supposed handover of sovereignty to Iraqis in 2004, the parliamentary elections and referendum in 2005. All these events were gr...
Executing Saddam, Protecting the Rackets
What does the execution of Saddam Hussein mean to the public? What has the execution of captured national leaders meant in the past? Vercingetorix was the leader of the Celtic revolt against Roman rule in Gaul. He was taken captive by Julius Caesar a...
Injustice in Black and White
"One would wonder why one needs an attorney if one was not charged and had not done anything wrong." – Michael B. Nifong, Durham, NC prosecutor This part is true: on March 13, 2006, the nationally second-rank...
Bush’s MLK Day Speech, 2007
Atlanta, January 15, 2007 President George W. Bush revealed Monday that in his recent review of strategy options for the war in Iraq, he turned for inspiration not only to the Bible, but to the writings and speeches of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr....
The Sigh of the Oppressed
As mostly secular people, it is often hard to get around the religious nature of the resistance groups in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and elsewhere in the so-called Muslim world. But, religion is a very real aspect of human existence, so we have to appreciate that an...
Hanging With Saddam
My qi gong master tells me not to think about these things. Of course, Shi Fu tells me not to think about anything too much. So, I tried not to think about it. I tried not to read the newspapers or listen to TV; the slew of government communiqués put...
The War on Terror Hits Africa
"The president is not going to allow Somalia to become a safe haven for terrorists." US spokesperson, May 2006 Once again the Horn of Africa is being drawn into a global power game likely to increase the suffering ...
Saddam at the End of a Rope
It was symbolic that 2006 ended with a colonial hanging— most of it (bar the last moments) shown on state television in occupied Iraq. It has been that sort of year in the Arab world. After a trial so blatantly rigged that even Human Rights Watch—the l...
Comes Now the Ghost of "Decrim"
Along with the man who pardoned Nixon, a man who disappointed Nixon left us this month: Raymond Shafer, a former Republican governor of Pennsylvania appointed in 1971 to lead a bipartisan "Presidential Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse." (Such a com...
An Act of Contrition
And so, Saddam Hussein hangs, writes Robert Fisk, "on the very eve of the Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, the moment of greatest forgiveness in the Arab world." The execution of a dictator, orchestrated by the occupying power. But what about our...
Listening to James Brown and His Followers
James Brown: Live at the Apollo (Polydor) JB in Harlem, 1962: Rock musi...
Can You Imagine the Long War for Iraqis?
"Can you imagine …" With these words, Israeli author Amos Oz offers the beginning of an answer to his query, "...
The Third Degree
What always horrifies me is, as Hannah Arendt phrased it, the utter banality of evil. Every generation’s atrocity has the pencil pushers who work, somehow, in the business of murder, torture and degradation. While they literally don’t get their hands d...
The Prospects for Progressive Politics
San Francisco. It was a packed house at the historic old Roxie Theatre in this city’s Mission District. A diverse group of citizens gathered here between Christmas and the New Year to listen and discuss the prospects of progressive politics following ...
In Harm’s Way
In harm’s way. This phrase originated with John Paul Jones in 1778 when, during the Revolutionary War, he wrote, ‘I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail FAST; for I intend to go in harm’s way.’ In harm’s ...
New Year’s Resolutions for Big Pharma
It was another year of fighting black boxes, sweet talking juries and burying incriminating clinical data for Big Pharma. But before its reputation is completely gone–How many pharmaceutical salesmen does it take to change a light bulb? It doesn’...
Dying for Our Sins
Today is the first day of the Eid al adha, or Feast of Sacrifice. Celebrated by Muslims worldwide, it’s a major holiday like Christmas or Hanukkah, commemorating the willingness of the Prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael to God. In Islam, God stoppe...
Defend Illegal Immigrants
What would the great religions have us do? What would the abolitionists have done? What would the best traditions of the labor movement suggest? How would a humanitarian of any sort react? There can be only one answer: defend the illegal immigrants. I don&...
The New Dark Age
In her historical mystery, "The Daughter of Time," Josephine Tey (a pen name of Elizabeth MacKintosh), has Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant, while confined to his hospital bed, solve the 15th century murder of the two York princes in the Tower of Londo...
Who Owns Ikea?
Ikea is not quoted on any stock exchange. There is no way of knowing who really owns the Ikea idea, and still less of obtaining a consolidated balance sheet or a breakdown of investments. It seems that the Stichting Ingka Foundation in the Netherlands owns the lim...
Did Sharon Order the Assassination of Arafat?
Longtime and now recently deceased confidant to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Uri Dan, published a book in France that may have been his 2006 one titled Ariel Sharon: An Intimate Portrait in which he accused the former prime minister of assassinating...
The New Iraq Policy: Escalation
Ever since the November elections and the Iraq Study Group report, both widely seen as rebukes of the present war policy, there has been expectation of a new course in Iraq. A new policy, part of which has been dubbed a "surge," is expected in January. C...
Ahoy 2007! It Just Could Be Bobby Byrd’s Year
No task is more important for any newspaper than to impart the news convincingly to the people and their government that a war is lost or futile or wrong.. The failure of America’s major newspapers in 2005 and 2006 to disclose the U.S.’s defeat in Iraq...
The Dershowitz Treatment
Jimmy Carter’s book plainly threatens to ignite a serious mainstream discussion of the Israel-Palestine conflict. To avert such a disaster he just as plainly must be reduced to ridicule and the debate turned into a circus. Enter Alan Dershowitz. Afte...