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Archives from October 2007
Blasphemous Science
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
The idea of a sun millions of miles in diameter and 91 million miles away is silly. The sun is only 32 miles across and not more than 3,000 miles from the earth. . . . God made the sun to light the earth, and therefore must have placed it close to the...
Shared Values Revisited
SHELDON RAMPTON
I received a request recently from a university professor who teaches a course about media literacy. She was wondering if I could help her find videos of the "...
Che’s Mexican Legacy
JOHN ROSS
The 40th anniversary of the assassination of Ernesto "Che" Guevara by CIA surrogates in the Bolivian outback on October 8th, 1967, had deep resonance from Tijuana to Tierra del Fuego and beyond. Thunderous tributes were offered in Caracas and Quito and a...
Haiti After the Deluge
WADNER PIERRE
Gonaives, Haiti Cars crossing Gonaives Avenue shoot plumes of murky water from their rears. Men on motorcycles stick to the shoulder of the road, dodging large puddles. As the flooding in this coastal city begins to slowly recede, residents are starting to...
Jailed for Justice
BILL QUIGLEY
Louis Vitale, 75, a Franciscan priest, and Steve Kelly, 58, a Jesuit priest, were each sentenced to five months in federal prison for attempting to deliver a letter opposing the teaching of torture at Fort Huachuca in Arizona. Both priests were taken directly into...
Academic Freedom is at Risk in America
SAREE MAKDISI
"Academic colleagues, get used to it," warned the pro-Israel activist Martin Kramer in March 2004. "Yes, you are being watched. Those obscure articles in campus newspapers are now available on the Internet, and they will be harvested. Your syllabi, ...
Nukes are Back and So are We
HARVEY WASSERMAN
The nuclear power industry is back to where it always goes when it wants to build new reactors—the taxpayer trough. And those of us who’ve been fighting them for decades are doing it again, now with help from the musicians’ community, and...
What I Learned from 9/11
MEG DWYER
On September 11, 2001, I was at the kitchen table eating breakfast and my dad turned on his God damn Fox morning news only to see replay footage of a plane crashing into a building over and over again while men in suits expressed their ratings-bumping, botoxed-up ...
The United States of Violence
NORMAN SOLOMON
We keep hearing that Iraq is not Vietnam. And surely any competent geographer would agree. But the United States is the United States — still a country run by leaders who brandish, celebrate and use the massive violent capabilities of the Pentagon as a matte...
Something is Rotten in Sweden
KRISTOFFER LARSSON
Ever heard of a roundabout-dog? They are artificial dogs which started appearing in roundabouts in Sweden last year. Most likely meant as a joke, a Swedish cartoonist figured this phenomenon could be used in a funny way to provoke Muslims anger. The Swedish artist...
Sketches of Russian Life
ALEVTINA REA
Once something has been left behind–be it a thing, relationship, or country–there is no way to walk back along the the trail of crumbs, by which you can find intact whatever you seek to find again. As in Grimm’s fairytale, the crumbs are still th...
The New Billionaire-Criminal Class
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
What do Brazil, Mexico, Russia and the USA have in common? A rapidly expanding billionaire class. Rampant poverty. And a distressed middle class. That’s the take of Pulitzer prize-winning New York Times reporter David Cay Johnston...
The Case of Mohamed Jawad
ANDY WORTHINGTON
Alone in the civilized world (and, it should be noted, in most other countries regarded as barbaric dictatorships), the US administration has a penchant for ignoring international laws regarding the legal distinctions between adults and children, subjecting teenag...
Time for the Banks to Face the Hangman
MIKE WHITNEY
"There is today an incredibly speculative financial sector hell bent on sustaining Credit and asset Bubbles and perfectly content to adulterate our functional system of "money" in the process. The Federal Reserve is perceived to co...
Where Have All the Rednecks Gone?
CHRIS IRWIN
I have been reading in the Earth First! Journal of the efforts to make sure that members of the transsexual community feel comfortable and safe in organizing in Earth First! circles and events. Almost every issue of the journal has something about transsexuals and...
Iraq, Iran and the US
ROBERT FANTINA
General David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, has accused the government of Iran of meddling in Iraq. Mr. Petraeus claims that Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, one Hassan Kazemi-Qomi, is a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and now, as ambassad...
Counterinsurgency American-Style
STEVE NIVA
When the Pentagon rolled out its new Iraq product line-the re-minted counterinsurgency doctrine of winning "hearts and minds" that had been shelved after Vietnam-branded it "the surge" and anointed Gen. David Petraeus as chief product spokesper...
Too Late, Too Little
SHARON SMITH
In their first eleven months as a congressional majority, the Democrats show no progress toward fulfilling the campaign promises that won them votes from the antiwar majority last November. If anything, they have accomplished less than nothing, since their rubber-...
The Credit Shock
ALAN FARAGO
The New York Times reports that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will speak tomorrow about the intervention of the US government in crumbling credit markets. According to the Times, Mr. Paulson will say, "This is not about finger-pointing, it is about putting...
The Iraqi Genocide
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Why has not the Turkish parliament given tit for tat and passed a resolution condemning the Iraqi Genocide? As a result of Bush’s invasion of Iraq, more than one million Iraqis have died, and several millions are displaced persons. The Iraqi death tol...
The Mother of All Pretexts
URI AVNERY
When I hear mention of the "Clash of Civilizations" I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. To laugh, because it is such a silly notion. To cry, because it is liable to cause untold disasters. To cry even more, because our lea...
Doris Lessing and the Dynamite Prize
PETER LINEBAUGH
After awarding it to Harold Pinter, an East End Jew, the Nobel prize for literature has fallen to another outsider of the English establishment, Doris Lessing, born in Persia, raised in Zimbabwe, a school drop-out. The newspapers tell us that Doris Lessing in her ...
The Open Secret About the Israel Lobby
PAUL FINDLEY
There is an open secret in Washington. I learned it well during my 22-year tenure as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. All members swear to serve the interests of the United States, but there is an unwritten and overwhelming exception: The interests o...
The Pro-War Undertow of the Blackwater Scandal
NORMAN SOLOMON
The Blackwater scandal has gotten plenty of media coverage, and it deserves a lot more. Taxpayer subsidies for private mercenaries are antithetical to democracy, and Blackwater’s actions in Iraq have often been murderous. But the scandal is unfolding in a U....
Al Gore’s Wacky Facts
ROBERT BRYCE
Facts don’t matter. Only spin matters. That’s the main conclusion to be drawn from the fact that Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last week. My complaint has nothing to do with the science of global warming or whether or not the...
Time to Boycott Voting
JOEL S. HIRSCHBORN
After many years of political disappointment, more progressives, liberals and conservatives — and certainly moderates and independents — know in their hearts that voting for Democrats or Republicans is a waste. Just imagine if voter turnout was cut to ...
What Did Nancy Pelosi Know About NSA Spying and When Did She Know It?
RAY McGOVERN
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has admitted knowing for several years about the Bush administration’s eavesdropping on Americans without a court warrant. She was briefed on it when she was ranking Democrat the House Intelligence Committee when Bush and Cheney t...
The Curse of Cymbalta
MARTHA ROSENBERG
It was supposed to replace Prozac profits when the patent expired in 2001 and cash in on the national love affair with antidepressants. But Eli Lilly & Co.’s Cymbalta (duloxetine) seemed cursed from the start. The first antidepressant to b...
Out of the Frying Pan
WILLIAM S. LIND
The Pentagon last week floated a trial balloon suggesting that all U.S. Marines might pullout of Iraq and head to Afghanistan, while the Army would do the opposite and concentrate on Iraq. The rationale was mere administrative efficiency or neatness, which hardly ...
Who Wants to "Rule All the World"?
GARY LEUPP
My attack on the "Islamofascism" concept and the right-wing extremists’ call for an "Islamofascism Awareness Week" has provoked varying responses, from a lovely invitation to attend an Eid feast to such re...
The CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program
Sen. RUSS FEINGOLD
The President The White House Washington, D.C. 20500 Dear Mr. President: On October 5, 2007, you spoke publicly about the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, which I strongly oppose. In defending the program, you stated that ...
Something is Rotten in Iraq and the Pentagon
DAVE LINDORFF
Isn’t it odd that in the air attack that the US military claims killed 19 high-ranking leaders of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and 15 civilians, all the slain Al Qaeda members were men and all the men were Al Qaeda, while all the civilians were women (6) and chil...
Squaring the Circle on Children and Health Care
MATT VIDAL
Talk about ideology. Earlier this month president Bush, who initiated an education program entitled No Child Left Behind, vetoed a bill that would expand the SCHIP program to provide health insurance to an additional 3.8 million uninsured kids. Where is a critic t...
Nobel Gore?
JOSHUA FRANK
Al Gore has returned to the political spotlight in exalted fashion with a Nobel Peace Prize in hand, propping himself up for a potential presidential bid in 2008. Front and center in Gore’s new rhetorical entourage is the state of nature, and in particular, ...
Blacks Turn Against the War
JOHN WALSH
In these dark days for the peace movement, last Sunday morning brought a ray of sunshine. "Military sees big decline in black enlistees; Iraq war cited in 58% drop since 2000" ran the headline atop page one of the Boston Globe (10/7). To be precise, from...
The Balm of a Peace Process Infuses the War on Terror
JOHNNY BARBER
Can we win the war on terror with the terror of war? Each time we declare we will win the war on terror, we dig ourselves a deeper hole. Each time we kill an innocent child on a city street and call it collateral damage, each time we torture and lie that we don...
A Gitmo Detainee Finally Gets a Break
ANDY WORTHINGTON
In a genuinely startling development in the US District Court for the District of Columbia, Judge Gladys Kessler has ruled that Mohammed Abdul Rahman, a Tunisian detainee at Guantánamo who was cleared for release after the first round of administrative revi...
Pakistan’s Constitutional Mess
LIAQUAT ALI KHAN
The Pakistan Supreme Court has successfully created a constitutional mess that may do more harm than good. Its judicial activism and bravery in defying President Pervez Musharraf’s efforts to humiliate the judiciary and in reinstating the suspended Chief Jus...
Al Krebs, a Fighter for Family Farmers
HEATHER GRAY
I was first aware of Al Krebs in the 1990s at a Farm Aid event. Merle Hansen of the North American Farm Alliance was walking everywhere at the meeting holding fast to ...
Al Gore’s Peace Prize
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Put this one up on the shelf of shame, right next to Henry Kissinger’s, or the peace prize they gave to Kofi Annan and the entire UN in 2001, sandwiched between the UN’s okay for the bombing of Serbia, the killing of untold numbers of Iraqis, many of t...
Another Pro Nuker Wins the Peace Prize
RUSSELL HOFFMAN
Ho Hum. Yesterday, pro-nuker Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for his environmental charade. He shares it with the UN’s IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change). A few years ago (2005) the International Atomic Energy Agency — pro-nukers in ...
Going Down on the Rocks in Dinosaur
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Dawn in the canyon. The early morning light is liquid and orange, amniotic. Everyone is sleeping. Jennifer is zipped up tight under a spreading box elder. Craig and Chris have opted for a shimmering white tent from which you might envision the gap-toothed O...
For the Sake of a Future
RON JACOBS
One of the email lists I belong to is made up of a few former students at the University of Maryland. All of the members were involved somehow in the radical student movement at the university in the 1960s and 1970s. Much of the listserv discussion is over politic...
Plan Mexico and the Billion Dollar Drug Deal
LAURA CARLSEN
U.S. drug czar John Walters heaped praise on Mexico’s drug war this week, to prepare the ground for a billion-dollar counter-narcotics aid package expected to be announced within days. The latest statistics purported to show that the street price of ...
Impeachment, Cowardice and the Democrats
RALPH NADER
The meeting at the Jones Library in Amherst, Massachusetts on July 5, 2007 was anything but routine. Seated before Cong. John Olver (D-MA) were twenty seasoned citizens from over a dozen municipalities in this First Congressional District which embraces the lovely...
Gitmo at Home
DAVID HELENIAK
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence is a VERY significant problem in America. This month would be a good time to address the attempt of state governments to combat domestic violence through the issuance of temporary and permanent restra...
The Flat Drug World
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
Ever heard of Mr Loren Stoddard? I’m tempted to advise you to Stay That Way, but to give an illustration of how absurd and disastrous are Washington’s policies in Afghanistan it is of interest to consider his performance. Bush of Washington sets an exa...
The Betray Us Flap
JOHN ROSS
These are the end times for Bush and his rancid brain trust. The White House has crossed the loony tunes threshold into legacy land and you can forget about governance as we toboggan towards November 2008 and beyond. From here on out it will all be magnified photo...
Will Someone Please Give Lou Dobbs a Lobotomy?
MISSY BEATTIE
Lou Dobbs, back at his CNN desk after a three-week absence during which he had a tonsillectomy, obviously was filled with pent up rage. Imagine being Lou, the main man who spews volcanic ash and steam against illegal immigrants and broken borders. For almost a mon...
The Overrated Importance of Being "On Message"
FRED GARDNER
High up in Cyberspace there’s a chat room conducted by the Alliance of Reform Organizations for activists seeking to change U.S. drug policy. Last week the ARO list posted a long letter by a woman named Whitney Taylor. I recalled meeting her in 2000 when she...