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Archives from August 2008
What Would Jesus Ride to the Conventions?
Rev. JIM RIGBY
As the election draws closer, we will hear more and more about the politics of Jesus, as liberals and conservatives jockey to place the shining halo of Christianity over their own heads. Without saying it, they will imply, “Jesus would have voted f...
Katy Perry Meets Mozart
DAVID YEARSLEY
There’s no publicity cheaper nor more effective than censure. When Jean-Luc Godard’s, Hail, Mary, a modern re-telling of the Virgin Birth was condemned by the Archdiocese of Boston in 1985, the pious outrage only sent more people to see the f...
What If the Israeli Lobby was the Islamic Lobby?
B.R. GOWANI
What if: Abu Faisal was White House press secretary (instead of Ari Fleischer) Altaf Adham was deputy national security advisor (instead of Elliott Abrams) Sofian Bishr was Supreme ...
The Rise and Fall of Richard Pombo
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
The banner stretched across the entrance to the Crobar—a trendy New York nightclub—proclaimed, “Welcome to the Pombo-Palooza.” At the door, members of the Rockettes handed out cowboy hats to the A-list of invited guests. Inside, a model clad i...
A Cougar for the PUMAs?
WAJAHAT ALI
Sarah Palin, a good looking, former beauty queen, hockey mom who reads “Guns N’ Ammo,” was announced as John McCain’s Vice Presidential running mate yesterday. “Tina Fey with an AK-47” exploded on the international political scene ...
Stars, Stripes, War and Shame
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
The Pentagon says “only” five civilians were killed Friday, a week ago, by US aerial bombardment. According to Afghan officials and a United Nations report, 90 Afghan civilians died, 60 of whom were children. Just days after this carn...
A Bias for Life
JOSH SCHLOSSBERG
After decades of speaking on Nature’s behalf, the environmental movement continues to gain power and influence in the U.S. With media, government and even big business preaching the green gospel all of a sudden, modern day enviros might finally hav...
The Race for the White House
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
The season of party conventions will soon be over and America is poised for two months of hard campaigning to elect the next president. There will be debates between Barack Obama and John McCain and between their running mates. The media blitz will get m...
Damning the Dealers
BINOY KAMPMARK
Damien Hirst specializes in gnomic incantations about his work.  He produces what art critic Robert Hughes has termed ‘absurd’ and ‘tacky commodities.’  Take his The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone...
Italy’s Years of Lead
SERGE QUADRUPPANI
Italian crime fiction is in robust health, judging by its sales. Italians see it as a genre that allows effective engagement in social critique and so you might expect it to have registered the wave of revolutionary political and social change that swept...
Empty Political Calories
RICHARD RHAMES
“In other countries, mechanisms of government are viewed in modern terms as no less fallible than the beings that made them. They are machines that must be repaired, updated, and revamped from time to time in order to remain in good working order. D...
A Prisoner’s Tale of Abuse
STANLEY HOWARD
After a 17-month investigation concerning the conditions in the Cook County Jail, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald issued a scathing report calling for change and reforms. The 98-page report on the nation’s largest county jail was released J...
Beyond Voting
BENJAMIN DANGL
This US election year an unprecedented number of voters will likely head to the polls to cast their ballots in an exercise that should take just a few minutes to complete. But what about the rest of the minutes left in the year? Author and activist Chris...
Shining a Light on the Dark Prison
ANDY WORTHINGTON
In the lawless world of Guantánamo — and the United States’ even murkier network of secret prisons run by or on behalf of the CIA — it has taken six years and four months for British resident Binyam Mohamed to secure anything res...
Rethinking Evolution with Stuart Newman
SUZAN MAZUR
It’s not surprising that Stuart Newman was one of the "Altenberg 16" scientists who kicked off a reformulation of the theory of evolution, the "extended evolutionary synthesis," this July at ...
BILL QUIGLEY August 31, 2008–5 PM
BILL QUIGLEY
August 31, 2008–5 PM Pink sky colored the morning as cicadas buzz in waves in the old oak trees.  What is it they say about “pink sky in morning…?”  In New Orleans it is one day to Gustave.  A stead...
Better Cuba Than Florida?
HOWARD LISNOFF
The words struck with such intensity because of their complete lack of compassion!  “It would be better if the storm hit Cuba than Florida.”  My fellow usher explained that she had a winter home in Florida and worried as the hurricane season nea...
McCain and Palin
ROBERT FANTINA
Before the last balloon had even been removed from the Pepsi Center at Invesco Field for the Democratic National Convention, where Illinois Senator Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for president, Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Se...
Obama’s Speech; McCain’s Palinomy
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
I’m no great fan but certainly Barack Obama gave a strong speech on Thursday night that reassured an edgy Democratic Party that he is ready to trade blow for blow with John McCain, his Republican opponent. His tone of decorous pugnacity calmed thos...
Troopergate in Alaska
DAVE LINDORFF
There are many reasons why most Americans should be turned off by Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s last-minute choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate. She’s an evangelical Christian who believes in creationism and th...
Of Whales and Off-Shore Drilling
CHRIS GENOVALI
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recently released its 2008 list of threatened species of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises). While this news was reasonably encouraging for the global recovery of populations of humpback w...
Honest Abe in Denver?
MICHAEL DONNELLY
The Democrats reached back 150 years for the meme for tonight’s Convention festivities. It was the old Railsplitter’s night at the Democratic Party Convention. First, Al Gore, then Ike’s granddaughter (huh?)drew comparisons with that ot...
How the Chicago Boys Wrecked the Economy
MIKE WHITNEY
Michael Hudson is a former Wall Street economist specializing in the balance of payments and real estate at the Chase Manhattan Bank (now JP Morgan Chase & Co.), Arthur Anderson, and later at the Hudson Institute (no relation). In 1990 he helped esta...
The Ordeal of Sahar Vardi, Refusenik
NEVE GORDON
Eighteen-year-old Sahar Vardi is currently in an Israeli military prison. She is being punished for the crime of refusing to be conscripted into the Israeli military. A few weeks before her imprisonment she wrote Israel’s Minister of Defense...
Jacko and Me
DAVID KER THOMSON
The philosophy work I’m most familiar with as a day job is called continental, like the breakfast.  It’s typically accused of being esoteric or, more damningly, French, but in fact it spends most of its time carefully deploying a limited...
A UK Window on CIA Abuses
JOANNE MARINER
Britain’s High Court will hold a hearing to assess whether the UK government should be ordered to hand over secret documents to lawyers for a Guantanamo detainee. The detainee in question, Binyam Mohamed, faces possible charges of conspiracy and ma...
What’s a Godfearing Country to Do?
RON JACOBS
It’s a classic antiauthoritarian trope that enemies don’t really exist, therefore governments need to create them.  The primary reason they must be created is so that governments can justify their existence.  Whether or not governme...
Resurgent Russia
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
As has been shown in Georgia recently, the Russians are in no mood to take any nonsense from anyone, and are intent on once again being a power to be reckoned with.  The declaration by the psychotic Dick Cheney that the recent Russian operation in t...
The Miasma of Bi-Partisanship
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
As part of their pre-Convention program on Monday, C-SPAN showed some footage from conventions past. Among the vignettes was the speech by the late Ann Richards at the 1988 Democratic Convention, a stark reminder of how far the Democratic Party has falle...
Return to Port-au-Prince
BEN TERRALL
As I flew from JFK to Port-au-Prince Airport on August 11, a fellow journalist handed me the front section of that day’s New York Times with a laugh.  My friend pointed to a passage in an article about Russia’s war with Georgia that had ...
Symbolism Alone Will Not Bring Change
LEONARD PELTIER
I have watched with keen interest and renewed hope as your campaign has mobilized millions of Americans behind your message of changing a political system that serves a small economic elite at the expense of the peoples of the United States and the world. Your electi...
The Battle of Chicago
Judy Gumbo Albert
  is an original member of the 1960s countercultural anti-war group known as the Yippies.  Judy is co- author of ...
Axis of Evil Defeats Neocons
SAUL LANDAU And FARRAH HASSEN
The Olympic spectacle dictates a sports metaphor. In 2002, high level neocons dominated much of Bush’s National Security Council and Defense and State Departments, challenging US enemies across the world in a slugfest, which they did. Now, years la...
Clearing Out Guantánamo
ANDY WORTHINGTON
As part of its alleged “desire not to hold detainees any longer than necessary,” the Pentagon announced on Tuesday that two Guantánamo prisoners had been transferred to Algeria. This follows the ...
The Obama Construct
DONNA J. VOLATILE
“I am a Zionist…You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist…” Senator Joe Biden “…I want you to know that today I’ll be speaking from my heart and as a true friend of Israel. And I know that wh...
Who Killed Victor Jara?
PAUL CANTOR
A few days after the other 9/11, Victor Jara., a Chilean folksinger, songwriter, actor, director, poet, political activist and teacher, was tortured and then shot to death while being held prisoner by the military.   This year on May 15th Chilean Judge Juan...
Pakistan’s Flawed Presidency
LIAQUAT ALI KHAN
Pakistan has been unsuccessful in designing a stable presidency. Two competing models vie for approval. Pakistan’s formulaic constitution, borrowed from the legal-political traditions of England and India, establishes a ceremonial presidency subord...
How the Democrats Helped Bush Hijack the Country
CYNTHIA McKINNEY
Our country has been hijacked and the Democrats have proven themselves to have been in on the plan. When it came to the Constitution, the Democratic leadership showed us that aiding and abetting illegal spying on us was more important to them than protec...
Carbon Offsets: More Harm Than Good?
MELISSA CHECKER
From Coldplay to Leonardo diCaprio to Al Gore, influential environmentalists are increasingly modeling green behavior by neutralizing their carbon emissions through carbon offsets. Briefly, offsets are based on the notion that consumers can balance out c...
The Politics of Avoidance
RALPH NADER
The “politics of avoidance” is receiving a great deal of media attention during this period of national political conventions. Unfortunately, the newspapers and television programs do not use the phrase: “the politics of avoidance.&rdqu...
Blaming the Sixties
BOB SOMMER
THE SIXTIES. That’s where the trouble began. Just ask Rush Limbaugh or David Brooks or Bill Bennett, or just about any right-wing pundit. THE SIXTIES is the problem. Of course, they don’t mean the decade but rather THE SIXTIES, a casserole of...
Democratic Delusions
ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
"The question most Americans want answered about Iraq is this: When will our troops come home?  We already know the likely answer.  In 2006, they will begin to leave in large numbers…In 2007, a significant number of the remaining 100...
Strip-Search Nation
DAVE LINDORFF
We’ve come a long way towards imperial government in the US—towards a view of the relationship between the federal government, and especially the administration, and the citizenry that has more of a ruler-subjects than a democratic feel to it...
Three Years After Katrina
JORDAN FLAHERTY
As headlines focus on conventions and running mates, the third anniversary of Katrina offers an opportunity to examine the results of disastrous federal, state and local policy on the people of New Orleans. Several organizations have released reports in ...
Labor’s Hard Lessons
DAVID MACARAY
One thing organized labor has learned from its dealings with management is that, basically, anything that can be used against a union will be used.  Take specific accommodations, for example.  No matter how limited or exceptional a particular a...
The Only Good Muslim is the Anti-Muslim
M. JUNAID LEVESQUE-ALAM
For some, Barack Obama’s stature as a man of the left has fallen precipitously, like late autumn leaves shed by branches bowing to the will of winter. Disappointment has often been self-inflicted. Supporters have dipped their pens deeply int...
The Guantánamo Suicide Report
ANDY WORTHINGTON
Two years and two months after three prisoners at Guantánamo died, apparently as the result of a coordinated suicide pact, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), which has been investigating the deaths ever since the three long-term hung...
Is War With Russia on the Agenda?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Thinking about the massive failure of the US media to report truthfully is sobering. The United States, bristling with nuclear weapons and pursuing a policy of world hegemony, has a population that is kept in the dark–indeed brainwashed–about...
Obama’s Promised Land?
Rev. JESSE L. JACKSON
I remember the hot summer of ’63. I was 22 years old, leading demonstrations in Greensboro, N.C. to open up access to public facilities – restaurants, movie theaters, all those establishments that had been closed to blacks for so long. Becaus...
New York’s Housing Crisis
JOSEPH GROSSO
It was 108 years ago in 1890 when journalist Jacob A. Riis published How the Other H...