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Archives from November 2007
Enter Mediator
DAVID MACARAY
Union bargainers for the striking Writers Guild of America (WGA) are scheduled to meet with representatives of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) on Monday, November 26, to resume negotiations. Other than a brief and mutually acrimonio...
Heading for Annapolis
KATHLEEN And BILL CHRISTISON
In Jerusalem. The "Annapolis establishment," as it might be called — those in Israel, Palestine, and the U.S. who have a vested interest in making the Annapolis summit look like producing something meaningful — engaged in a strangely u...
Beirut’s Black Friday
RANNIE AMIRI
It was political theater at its finest in Lebanon Friday. After nine years in office, President Emile Lahoud stepped down from his post at the stroke of midnight without the legislature having named a successor. In fact, parliament never convened as the op...
The Ordeal of Catherine Wilkerson, M.D.
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Welcome to the jackboot state, not to mention the jackboot campus, anno domini 2007. A doctor gives verbal advice to protect the life of an unconscious man and she duly gets hit with attempted felonies by vindictive campus cops, with the connivance of the Universi...
Ghazal
MUHAMMAD IQBAL
Translation by M. Shahid Alam The world changes utterly: the stars spin faster, O Saqi. In every heart I hear the cry of surrender, O Saqi. God’s journeymen have lost their arts, their certainty. Whose artifice deceives them, who has th...
Senior Sex
DAVID ROSEN
Seniors are engaging in more sexual activity, enjoying it more and sex is extending longer in life than previously estimated. This is the principal finding of a much-heralded survey of the sexual life of American seniors, those 57- to 85-years-of-age, recen...
The Gap and Black Friday
DANIEL GROSS
The Observer’s Dan McDougall described their garment shop as, "smeared with filth, corridors flooded with excrement from a flooded toilet." The workers recounted threats and beatings from management to keep their nimble fingers moving. Hours were l...
Justice Stephen Breyer and Cancer Bonds
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Any man admired by both Senators Ted Kennedy and Orin Hatch can’t be all good. And, in fact, Stephen Breyer’s elevation to the highest bench illustrates concisely how, across the past twenty years, Kennedyesque liberalism and Hatchian conservatism have...
Take a Look at Professor Roubini’s Crystal Ball
MIKE WHITNEY
Reality has finally caught up to the stock market. The American consumer is underwater, the banks are buried in dept, and the housing market is in terminal distress. The Dow is now below its 200-Day Moving Average — the first big "sell" signal. Any...
Darkness Falls on the Middle East
ROBERT FISK
So where do we go from here? I am talking into blackness because there is no electricity in Beirut. And everyone, of course, is frightened. A president was supposed to be elected today. He was not elected. The corniche outside my home is empty. No one wants to wal...
Preventing the Impending War on Iran
MARJORIE COHN
Rhetoric flowing out of the White House indicates the Bush administration is planning a military attack on Iran. Officials in Saudi Arabia, a close Bush ally, think the handwriting is on the wall. "George Bush’s tone makes us think he has decided what h...
If Conservatism is the Ideology of Freedom ….
DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
I wish I had a nickel for every time a conservative told a lie in order to sell an ideology that would otherwise be hopelessly unappealing. But, then, what the hell would I do with ten kazillion, trillion, dollars? I wouldn’t know how to spend that mu...
Iraq Embassy as Gilded Palace
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
I was half right. In late May I wrote that September was going to be an exciting month in Iraq. I observed that that was the month in which funding for the war would end and the debate about the future of the war would begin. That has happened and the debate has n...
Greeks and Buddhists in Afghanistan
KENNETH REXROTH
Once again let me urge you to visit the show of classic sculpture from India now at the De Young Museum. This is an experience not likely to be repeated in your lifetime. My colleagues in reviewing the show have mentioned the Greek, or at least Hellenistic,...
Norman Mailer will not R.I.P.
SAUL LANDAU
As a teenager, I learned to appreciate fiction by reading The Naked and the Dead. High scho...
Former Guantánamo Detainee Seeks Asylum in Sweden
ANDY WORTHINGTON
On Tuesday November 20, Adel Abdul Hakim, a former Guantánamo detainee from Xinjiang province in the People’s Republic of China, took another step towards reconstructing his shattered life by applying for asylum in Sweden. The 33-year old, an ...
Decpetion as Truth
WILLIAM A. COOK
"A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel; for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the Lord their God." Jeremiah 2:21 T his week the forces of good wi...
Coming to Terms with Diversity in Bolivia
LAURA CARLSEN
As head of Congress and the major political operator for President Evo Morales, Bolivia’s Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera stands in the eye of a political hurricane. The changes proposed by the Movement toward Socialism (MAS) government have unleashed pr...
Killing the Buddha in Pakistan’s Swat Valley
GARY LEUPP
The Swat District in Pakistan’s Northwestern Frontier Province, dominated by the Swat Valley, watered by the River Swat, surrounded by snow-capped mountains rising as high as 20,000 feet, has been compared to Switzerland in its breathtaking beauty. Only 684 ...
Keeping Labor Unions Out
DAVID MACARAY
As the late Senator Paul Wellstone liked to say, "We may be entitled to our own opinions, but we’re not entitled to our own facts." Even with organized labor’s many problems (shrinking membership, internal dissension, gutless Democrats, growi...
Trashing Chavez
CLIFTON ROSS
I don’t know why I was so shocked listening to Keith Olbermann’s insulting, degrading and uninformed remarks about President Hugo Chavez yesterday. Perhaps because Olbermann is the only man on commercial television who has so far had the guts to make a...
Death in the Delta
DAN BACHER
I just got back from investigating an impending massive fish kill at Prospect Island in the northern section of the California Delta between Miner Slough and the Sacramento Deepwater Channel. Bob McDaris, owner of Cliff’s Marina in Freeport, Bob Boffitt, a K...
Battling Sodexho
SETH SANDRONSKY
Sodexho food-service workers at University California Davis and social justice groups such as Students Organizing for Change have been busy mobilizing for improved labor conditions. Their goal is for the company,s 500 contracted-out workers to become university em...
Impeachment is Back on the Table
DAVE LINDORFF
The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White House briefing room podium in front of the glare...
A Thanksgiving Basting
GREG MOSES
Clogging aisles and bloating highways, America snatches foodstuffs and day-chunks of time. On the day before Thanksgiving, a grandchild of nine years old looks proud to help a stooped woman in lime slacks to read labels on an end cap. Gramma, old enough to remembe...
Gore for President of Pakistan?
OMAR AZFAR
If you’re sure Al Gore is not running for the US election, think again. He’s trading at a 3.2% chance of winning the US elections. In case you are not very impressed by these odds, they are better than those you can get for Senator Edwards and every ot...
Who Lost America’s Everglades?
ALAN FARAGO
"Skyrocketing land prices and other costs have jeopardized the likelihood that the Everglades restoration project will ever be completed, a federal engineer said," to the AP on Thanksgiving Day, 2007. I hope its timing stirs the ire of Americans. ...
Native Blood
MIKE ELY
It is a deep thing that people still celebrate the survival of the early colonists at Plymouth — by giving thanks to the Christian God who supposedly protected and championed the European invasion. The real meaning of all that, then and now, nee...
Needing Peace
MONICA BENDERMAN
I received an email last week. Almost two pages long and with only enough sentence breaks to count on one hand, it was coming from a place I knew all too well and recognized instantly ­ the heart of a military wife who wanted to lose control but knew she was a...
The Real Price of Sugar
BEN TERRALL
The Price of Sugar is a powerful documentary about the plight of Haitians toiling on sugar plantations in the Dominic...
Epiphany on the Glacier
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
Searching For The Hermit In Vain I asked the boy beneath the pines. He said, "The master’s gone alone Herb-picking somewhere on the mount, Cloud-hidden, whereabouts unknown." – Chia Tao (777-841), transl...
Cancer Terrorists Unmasked
BRIAN McKENNA
Last month a close friend of mine, a man in his late 40s, got cancer. It was of the colon. He now confronts an uncertain future but his prognosis is good. He’s an unrelenting fighter so my bet is that he’ll join me in the cancer survivor’s club. ...
The Last Days of Mexican Corn
JOHN ROSS
Mexico City. The single, spindly seven foot-tall cornstalk spiring up from the planter box outside a prominent downtown hotel here was filling out with new "elotes" (sweet corn) to the admiration of passer-bys, some of whom even paused to pat the ...
Undercover at a Turkey Slaughtering Plant
MARTHA ROSENBERG
The alarms rings at 3:45 AM. I reach for the ibuprofen. Without it my hands are too sore and swollen to even close….much less hold a turkey’s legs. Wearing a pair of rubber gloves, cotton gloves and taping them doesn’t help when you’re bang...
Isolation Torture Routine at Guatánamo
STEPHEN SOLDZ
On November 7th of this year, a major 2003 Guantanamo Standard Operating Procedures [SOP] manual was posted on the wikileaks web site. Ignored by most major sources for nearly a week, Wired and the Miami Herald picked it up the following Wednesday [the Herald ampl...
The Reluctant Affair
VIJAY PRASHAD
Chaos spawns rumors. Word traveled like wildfire across Pakistan in the early days of emergency that General Ashfaq Kiyani had taken General Pervez Musharraf into custody and assumed power. And that the loyalist General, who was chosen as his successor, replaced M...
When Going AWOL is the Only Escape
SARA OLSON
James Circello sat on the edge of his bed staring at the floral pattern on a generic hotel comforter, contemplating what life would be like in prison. It was early August, and his parents had given him a one-way bus ticket to Lawton, Okla., and told him he was wel...
Green is Gold?
RALPH NADER
The "Business of Green" and "Green is Gold" are among the phrases finding their way onto the nation’s business pages and into the advertisements of major corporations. After years of corporate greenwashing, is this wave of corporat...
Musharraf Plays Bush for a Fool
MARJORIE COHN
Pakistan’s President General Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency on November 3rd after the Pakistani Supreme Court indicated it would overturn the results of an illegitimate election that would have extended Musharraf’s term as president. Mu...
The 1st Amendment
PAUL KRASSNER
The following correspondence relates to my previous blog titled "Don Imus Meets Michael Richards." Dear Mr. Krassner: I congratulate you on writing an interesting piece. However, your article...
Why Israel Has No "Right to Exist" as a Jewish State
OREN BEN-DOR
Yet again, the Annapolis meeting between Olmert and Abbas is preconditioned upon the recognition by the Palestinian side of the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state. Indeed the "road map" should lead to, and legitimate, once and for all, the right ...
Likelihood of Iran Attack Gains Credence
DAVE LINDORFF
As someone who has been writing about this crazed administration’s plans to launch an attack on Iran now for over a year, I have always noted that the real sign that it might happen would be when oil industry analysts started to worry about it. That&#...
On Islamo-Fascism and Other Vacuous Epithets
WAJAHAT ALI
Wajahat Ali speaks to American political scientist and writer Dr. Norman Finkelstein about the denial of his tenure at DePaul University, anti-Semitism, and challenging the academic status quo on the Palestine-Israel conflict. WAJAHAT ALI: In the recent De...
The Dark Arts and the Bush Dynasty
ALAN FARAGO
The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for ideologically pure Republicans is open for a new entering class. The task before teachers and students is dire. The key has been lost to untangle what they mean. Indeed it is mysterious as the vanishing bees. Thei...
Guantánamo Whistleblower Launches a New Attack on Rigged Tribunals
ANDY WORTHINGTON
The media — both mainstream outlets and the blogosphere — have spent the last week consumed by the story of a leaked operating manual from Guantánamo. This is understandable in some ways. The prison’s Standard Operating Procedures have nev...
Why Steve Irwin–You’re Dead!
BINOY KAMPMARK
They put spaghetti on toast, drink beer out of infuriatingly small glasses and give awards to the dead for toying with animals. This, by itself, might simply be another cultural statement about Australia. But when it involves an educational institution, a universi...
Twenty Thousand Protest at Ft. Benning
BILL QUIGLEY
In what has become the nation’s largest annual gathering for peace and human rights, over twenty thousand people protested outside the gates of Fort Benning, GA on November 18, 2007. Eleven people were arrested on federal criminal charges and face up to six ...
Why Congress Won’t Reform
WINSLOW T. WHEELER
Having endured the Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham saga up close and personal for the last two years, most recently in the form of Mr. Brent Wilkes’ conviction on all 13 counts for the corrupt acts that he and Cunningham performed, San Diego ha...
Another Look at W.E.B. DuBois
HEATHER GRAY
In a recent article posted on Counterpunch entitled "When Capitalists Get a Free Ride" (November 3-4, 2007) I made reference to W.E.B. Du Bois having joined and left the Communist Party in the mid-20th century due to his f...
Democrats in Future Shock
DAVE LINDORFF
For Congressional Democrats, the train has already left the station–and they’re not on board. A year after the election that gave them control of both houses of Congress, they are exposed as a feckless bunch of frauds posing as an opposition....