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Archives from June 2008
Sex Work is Different from Sex Slavery, aver Carnal Toilers
Nicholas Kristof was baffled. A year after the New York Times columnist rescued teenaged Cambodian prostitute Srey Mom from a Poipet brothel by purchasing her freedom for $203, she was back in the brothel. Voluntarily. In fact, she wou...
Blind Whistling Phreaks and the FBI’s Historical Reliance on Phone Tap Criminality
In 1971, Ron Rosenbaum’s Esquire article, “Secrets of the Little Blue Box”, introduced America to phone phreaks, a subterranean network of geek explorers who probed the global phone system as the world’s largest pre-I...
Why They All Keep Coming
Having just spent time south of the border in a poor country whose major export is people, I’ve seen firsthand what’s driving people north – and why conventional political solutions aren’t going to deter desperate Sal...
The AFL-CIO Votes to Endorse Obama
Despite a dip in labor’s national membership rolls and a significant decline in overall influence, make no mistake about it:  The AFL-CIO is going to play an important part in the outcome of the 2008 election.  That $300 million which the ...
?Making A Billion Hindus Glow in the Dark”
For the U.S. intelligence establishment, the Cold War was a time of certainties: Communism had to be stopped; no cost was too great, no technological obstacle was insurmountable. And, in the case of gaining information on China’s missile program, n...
A New Age for Latvia Dawns? ?Atstatu Loskutovu!?
Riga The otherwise cool tempered Balts erupted into street protests this Sunday in Riga.  The reason was a cynical move by Latvia’s ruling coalition in parliament to convene an early morning weekend vote on the fate of Latvia’s chi...
It Was Oil, All Along
Oh, no, they told us, Iraq isn’t a war about oil. That’s cynical and simplistic, they said. It’s about ...
Politics and Animal Cruelty in Pennsylvania
Dave Comroe stepped to the firing line, raised his 12-gauge Browning over and under shotgun, aimed and fired. Before him, a pigeon fell, moments after being released from a box less than 20 yards away. About 25 times that day Comroe fired, hitting about three-fourths...
Bush and the Press vs. the Constitution
Last week, an article in the Washington Post explained how decisions of the Bush administration with regard to detention policies have been overturned by the Supreme Court. The tone of the article is interesting. It’s title is "White House Dismissed Legal ...
A Field Trip to the Reagan Library
In the movie, “It Started in Naples” (1960) starring Sophia Loren and Clark Gable, Gable portrays Michael Hamilton, a stuffy lawyer from Philadelphia, steeped in American exceptionalism and arrogance, and finds himself seeking out the custody of his broth...
Nike’s Bad Air
This is an excerpt from JEFFREY ST. CLAIR’s new environmental history, ...
The Rest is Noise
Last summer the Musical Patriot decided to travel light. Rather than load up his saddlebags with fat volumes on music he stocked his iPod Nano with dozens of audio books, ranging from the lofty to the lurid.  The first sunny day, I fell asleep on a West Sussex B...
The Human Right to Eat
Somini Sengupta’s front-page article, "India’s Growth Outstrips Crops" (New York Times, June 22, 2008) points out various reasons for the current shortage of staple foods in India– including rapidly sinking water tables, inadequate governm...
Nader, Obama and White Talk
Ralph Nader, whose independent bid for the White House has received scant media attention, just got noticed.  Speaking to the Denver-based ...
Obama Veers Right
Back in January, at one of the Democratic presidential candidates’ debates, Barack Obama took one of his few open shots at Hillary Clinton’s past as a shill for shady corporations. "While I was working [as a community organizer in Chicago]…watc...
Collective Guilt and the Fate of Kosovo
In "Rape, Genocide, and Women’s Human Rights," a 1994 essay in the Harvard Women’s Law Journal, the feminist legal scholar Catharine MacKinnon takes sides in the Bosnian war on squarely gender-based grounds: Serbia is a man, and Bosnia and Croat...
Sex Sans the City
Many capitalist roaders say the Left is out of touch with popular culture. Well, I say NYET to that! Here, for instance, is an episode of "Sex and the City" that I translated for my Marxist-Leninist study group, so that we may better throw off our Tiffany c...
The Mendacity of Hope
"Change we can believe in." "Yes we can!" "Change the world." For hundreds of millions of people, the slogans of the Obama campaign are not the focus-group tested products of marketing gurus and professional...
19 Aphorisms to Jaundice Your Day
Regarding the abortion debate, I tend to think that life starts when a child develops irony. The hope of the human race is that we will learn to disagree without believing in anything. Only brothers could hate each other the way Arabs and Jews do. ...
Iraq and the New York Times
In his most recent editorial, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times discusses the great progress he sees in Iraq, and attributes it to President George Bush’s troop ‘surge’ of eighteen months ago. A look at just a few of Mr. Friedman’s bizarre...
Guess What "Surprise" Republicans Yearn For
Everybody knows it, but it took a tacky Republican operator to come right out and say it. Charlie Black, John McCain’s campaign adviser, recently let drop to Fortune magazine that another terrorist attack on U.S. soil would be a "big advantage" for th...
Have You Lost Your Mind or Just Been Bought Out by AIPAC?
Congressman Barney Frank 2252 Rayburn H.O.B. Washington, DC 20515 Dear Barney Frank, While you were espousing the freedom of speech and democratic principles of Israel to the House of Representatives on June 18, 2006, were you thinking of ...
Tillie, Elephants and the Zoo
She had begun her life of captivity known as Chocolate. But unlike the dessert, which denotes images of sweetness and experiences of delight, this elephant could be anything but. She did, in fact, resemble the food’s more controversial side – its stimulan...
A Glimmer of Light in Television Wasteland
It’s time to knock the cobwebs off the television and fish the remote from the trashcan. Believe it or not, there’s finally something worth watching on TV. GRIT TV with Laura Flanders is a fast-paced political talk show that leaves its mainstream competit...
Israel’s Encaging of Gaza
in Nazareth. The following is taken from a talk delivered at the Conference for the Right of Return and the Secular Democratic State, held in Haifa on June 21. In 1895 Theodor Herzl, Zionism’s chief prophet, confided in ...