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Archives from January 2009
Bolivia Looking Forward
BENJAMIN DANGL
After Bolivia’s new constitution was passed in a national referendum on Sunday, thousands gathered in La Paz to celebrate. Standing on the balcony of the presidential palace, President Evo Morales addressed a raucous crowd: “Here begins a new Bolivia. Here we ...
Torture at a Louisiana Prison
JORDAN FLAHERTY
The torture of prisoners in US custody is not only found in military prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo. If President Obama is serious about ending US support for torture, he can start here in Louisiana. The Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola is alread...
Access to Economic Justice
RALPH NADER
Dear President Obama: Underneath many of our country?s economic problems is the thirty-year collapse of consumer protection?both of the regulatory kind and of the self-help kind known as proper access to justice. Last month major consumer groups sent you a l...
Obama’s Neocon
JOSHUA FRANK
In wee morning hours on Friday, January 23, a U.S. spy plane killed at least 15 in Pakistan near the Afghanistan border. It was Barack Obama’s first blood and the U.S.’s first violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty under the new administration. The attack was an early ...
Son of Neurontin Meets the Fibromyalgia Epidemic
MARTHA ROSENBERG
Who says technology transfer doesn’t pay? Pregablin, discovered by Northwestern University chemist Richard Silverman in 1989 to become Pfizer’s Lyrica, earned the university a cool $700 million when it sold royalties in Dec. 2007. The nerve pain-...
The Next Shoe to Drop
JOHN SAYEN
We seem to be living in an age where so much that we thought certain and permanent crumbles into dust be fore our eyes. Our once robust economy founders while our once cherished personal liberties fade away. Less apparent has been the ongoing decay and corruption t...
In America, Speaking the Truth is a Career-Ending Event
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
“The evidence is sitting on the table. There is no avoiding the fact that this was torture.” These are the words of ...
Obama vs. Labor
DAVID MACARAY
In the span of, literally, a few weeks—beginning with President-elect Obama’s nomination of Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor, and ending shortly after his inauguration—organized labor has gone from a state of euphoria to one of confusion to one of resentment, then ...
Geithner’s Pop Gun Volley at China
PETER LEE
As China settles in for the New Year holiday, its leaders can chew over Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner’s declaration, made in a written statement to the Senate Finance Committee as it reviewed his nomination, that President Obama, “backed by the conclus...
Drunk with the Sight of Power
VIJAY PRASHAD
On January 27, 2009, a newly formed task force of Indian American organizations is set to overrun Capitol Hill. The Indian American Task Force will take their message to Congress and to the new administration, asking them to be much tougher on Pakistan. The impetus for th...
Winds of Change in Cuba
ROGER BURBACH
Havana, Cuba. The Cuban revolution is in a process of transition and transformation as it marks its 50th anniversary. I have visited the country every decade since the revolution’s triumph, and excepting the 60s, I have never experienced the Cuban people more ope...
Investing with Madoff
LAWRENCE R. VELVEL
Click here to read Part One. Click here to read Part Two. Click here to read Part Three. Click here to read Part Four...
Afghanistan is No Threat to America
DAVE LINDORFF
American foreign policy is moving from the absurd to the ludicrous. Back in 2002, President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney managed to snooker the people of the United States, or at least a large number of us, into believing that Iraq, a pathetic Third W...
The BBC’s Day of Shame
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
The BBC finds itself in a serious controversy every few years, but this is the mother of all. The essence of the latest storm is this. A few days ago, the Disasters Emergency Committee of the United Kingdom, an umbrella group of thirteen leading charities, came out with a...
The Torture Ban That Doesn’t Ban Torture
ALLAN NAIRN
If you’re lying on the slab still breathing, with your torturer hanging over you, you don’t much care if he is an American or a mere United States – sponsored trainee. When President Obama declared flatly this week that “the United States wi...
On the Wrong Side of History
URI AVNERY
Of all the beautiful phrases in Barack Obama’s inauguration speech, these are the words that stuck in my mind: “You are on the wrong side of history.” He was talking about the tyrannical regimes of the world. But we, too, should ponder these words In t...
The Ghost of LBJ
NORMAN SOLOMON
A few days after the inauguration, in a piece celebrating the arrival of the Obama administration, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert wrote that the new president has clearly signaled: “No more crazy wars.” I wish. Last week — and 44 years ago &#...
Bowing to the Masters of War?
RON JACOBS
The American people did not elect the Pentagon.  They elected Barack Obama based a good deal on his promise to get US troops out of Iraq sooner rather than later.  Since he was elected, Mr. Obama has hedged on this promise.  Since he was inaugurated, t...
Our Current Economic Crisis
SASAN FAYAZMANESH
An interesting feature of the current economic crisis is the blame game that is going around. For the most part the crisis is blamed on certain market practices or participants. In particular, unsupervised financial innovations and laxness in regulation are seen as t...
Reasons for War?
SAUL LANDAU
On January 18, Israel and Hamas agreed to a weeklong cease-fire. Prime Minister Olmert declared Israel had achieved its objectives. “Hamas was hit hard, in its military arms and in its government institutions. Its leaders are in hiding and many of its men have ...
Investing with Madoff
LAWRENCE R. VELVEL
Click here to read Part One. Click here to read Part Two. Click here to read Part Three. The amount of money stolen by Bernie Madoff is curren...
When Due Diligence is a One-Way Street
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
This is a column about due diligence. Presidents of large banks, such as Bank of America’s (BOA) Kenneth D. Lewis may read this column but it is not applicable to BOA since the Present Financial Crisis (PFC) demonstrates that due diligence has no place in BOA&r...
It’s Time to Free Leonard Peltier
BOB FITRAKIS And HARVEY WASSERMAN
The welcome news that President Obama is taking steps to shut Guantanamo and right other Bush-era human rights abuses must quickly be joined by a proclamation of freedom for Leonard Peltier. Peltier is the nation’s best-known native activist and has bec...
The Audacity of Educated Hope
HENRY A. GIROUX
Most recently a number of progressive pundits have argued that with the election of Barack Obama to the presidency, intelligence and hope are once again not only embraced but promoted as part of an essential element of American culture. At work in this discourse is a...
Fighting for Migrant Justice in the Desert
ROBERTO RODRIGUEZ
"Arizona resembles the Deep South of the pre-civil rights era," attorney Isabel Garcia asserts. "Here, Mexicanos cannot get fair trials." "I’m not just talking about immigrants," she adds. "I’m talking about Mexic...