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Archives from December 2008
The New York Times Flames Out in Defense Dogfight
CHUCK SPINNEY
The 21 Dec 2008 editorial in the New York Times, “How To Pay For A 21st-Century Military” purports to advocate tough-minded pragmatism to reform a Pentagon that is clearly out of control.  Yet its logic is really another example of the kind of hackne...
The Politics of Freedom
COREY D. B. WALKER
“There can and there must be a ‘political hegemony’ even before assuming government power, and in order to exercise political leadership or hegemony one must not count solely on the power and material force that is given by government.&r...
Madoff’s Money Trail Leads to Washington
PAM MARTENS
The forces of the universe sent us a corruption triple play the week of December 8th.  Just in case there were any slumbering souls still doubting the multi headed monster we need to slay to avoid becoming Rome, those benevolent forces assaulted our senses with ...
Where Would Larry Summers Dump the Guantanamo Mess?
STEVE CONN
Where to dump the Guantanamo mess? Thanks to Larry Summers, President Obama’s soon-to-be senior White House economic guru, I have an answer. Bring it to Point Roberts, Washington, our own Canadian Guantanamo. Summers has been famous for years in Progress...
More Pay is the Only Way
MIKE WHITNEY
Wages, wages, wages. It all gets down to wages. A strong, resilient economy, that can withstand the periodic buffeting of cyclical downturns, must be built on a rock-solid foundation of wages that keep pace with production. If wages stagnate, as they have ...
NASA at 50
KARL GROSSMAN
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been celebrating its 50th anniversary by doing what it does best: public relations puffery. In recent weeks, the agency issued a slick 215-page publication attributing success after success “benefitin...
Obama’s Team of Rivals
GARY LEUPP
With surprising haste and insensitivity, Barack Obama’s alienating the most serious, activist component of his political base. The blogosphere’s been seething in indignation for weeks. Chris Bowers, of the OpenLeft.com blog, calls Obama’s cabinet &l...
Spot the Difference
URI AVNERY
A MAN was asked about his sons. “I have three,” he said, “but one of them is a complete idiot.” “Which one?” they asked. “Take your pick,” he replied. In a 50 days, we shall vote for a new Knesset a...
Conor Cruise O’Brien, 1917-2008
NIALL MEEHAN
Conor Cruise O’Brien has died aged 91. He had a long career: in the Irish Civil Service in the 1940s; in the 1950s in the UN; in the Congo, the University of Ghana and New York University in the 1960s, He was elected an Irish opposition Labour TD in 196...
The Purloined Constitution
DAVID SWANSON
The wonderful thing about big lies is their kettle logic. The term, of  course, derives from the story of the man who offered several mutually  incompatible excuses for returning his friend’s kettle in damaged  condition: "It broke too easil...
Wyeth’s Pay-to-Play
MARTHA ROSENBERG
Illinois (Where Our Governors Make Our License Plates) Revelations of Wyeth’s pay-to-play, ghost-written articles in medical journals made public by Sen. Charles Grassley’s (R- Iowa) this week could not come at a worse time for the company. ...
Clothes and Commentaries That Don’t Fit
STAN COX
As they sink beneath the waves even faster than the rest of the economy, the nation’s print media are clinging to their remaining advertisers for dear life.  In the past month, I’ve seen firsthand the fear that newspapers have of losing advertising i...
The Baathist "Coup Plot"
PATRICK COCKBURN
...
Shock and Awe Economics
ALAN FARAGO
It was inevitable that the shock and awe we glimpsed for the past twenty years in the fast growing regions of the United States through an unsustainable boom in housing and construction would come to grief. It was born of hubris, and it continues through this day....
Country Without Mercy
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The Christmas season is a time to remember the unfortunate, among whom are those who have been wrongly convicted.   In the United States, the country with the largest prison population in the world, the number of wrongly convicted is very large. Hard...
Does Coldplay Give a Shit Anymore?
LORENZO WOLFF
The importance of any given artist is dependent on only one thing. You can chart their lasting effects, the people they influenced or the new techniques they pioneered, but when you get down to it all that matters is how much they care. Great artists give everything ...
Bach as Jihadi
DAVID YEARSLEY
Bach helped future marketers of his music immeasurably by choosing an auspicious year to die in. Long before the mammoth commemorations of cultural figures became standard practice, Bach expired in the summer of 1750, concerned about his own salvation and oblivious t...
Who’s Not Getting By and Why
SETH SANDRONSKY
A growing mass of people in California, where the housing bubble soared seemingly to the sky and then plunged rapidly to earth, are out of work and seeking employment due to the deepening downturn. According to the state Employment Development Department, there were ...
What Happened on the Way to the Inauguration?
TIMOTHY G. HERMACH
The transition to a new administration held promise of a change in leadership and direction for our foundering economy and deeply stupefied and polarized population. Running on a platform of hope and change, Barack Obama promised a new direction for America. Now, six...
The Auto Bailout
ROBERT WEISSMAN
Thank you, George Bush. The federal government is finally acting to protect the auto industry from failure. The $17.4 billion in loans for GM and Chrysler is not going to be enough to rescue the industry — but it will keep these companies going until the...
Milk and Twinkies
PAUL KRASSNER
In a recent Los Angeles Times Op-Ed piece about San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, Josh Getlin perpetuated a myth when he wrote that Dan White “shot the mayor four times, twice in the head as he lay on the floor of his private back office.  Standing astri...
Weekend at Bernie’s
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Put in a positive light, so as not to cast a pall over the joys of the Christmas season, Bernard L. Madoff should be viewed as someone who has expanded the consequences of one of the great new traditions of the holiday season to a group that never expected to share i...
Green Myopia
FELICE PACE
Several of the environmental movement’s deep problems were displayed during the December 18th edition of Democracy Now.  During the broadcast Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales conducted interview/debates on two Obama appointments which are critical to the envi...
"It’s Kristallnacht Two!" An Ethnic Cleansing in America
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Call any Jewish friend across the few days and the degrees of separation from someone financially devastated by Bernie Madoff are often only one or two. One rich Jewish friend in New York volunteers that because of some intricate family dispute his own money hadn&rsq...
All Quiet on the Gazan Shore
RANNIE AMIRI
“…a person who hears the voice of a man who calls the Muslims to his help but he does not respond to him, is not a Muslim.” - Prophet Muhammad Gaza is an island. Although located in the middle of the A...