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Archives from February 2009
The G & O (Geithner and Obama) Bank
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
This from the Washington Post, reporting on Secretary Tim Geithner’s appearance before the Senate Finance Committee on Feb 10, 2009. 5:07 P.M.: Geithner just stood up to further government intrusion into corporate boardrooms, a move th...
Vancouver Island Hippies
ZOE BLUNT
According to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, protestors are the number one security threat to the 2010 Games. So maybe that explains why officers with the Integrated Security Unit are running around Victoria trying to convince hippies to spy on each other...
What Wall Street Wants
MICHAEL HUDSON
Tuesday’s announcement of the Obama-Geithner recovery plan is basically an extension of the Bush-Paulson plan – yet more giveaways to financial insiders, with a view to concentrating the U.S. banking system into a cartel of just a few large banks. This is...
Anatomy of a Hemorrhage
PETER MORICI
The Commerce Department reported the 2008 deficit on international trade in goods and services was $677.1 billion. This is down from $700.3 billion in 2007 but still 4.7 percent of GDP. The trade deficit was smaller in 2008, becasue economic growth and consumer spend...
Few Peacemakers in the New Israeli Knesset
NEVE GORDON
Israeli voters have elected a majority of lawmakers who are against the two-state solution. Now it’s up to the world–and the Obama administration–to respond. Thirty-three parties ran for the Knesset (the Israeli parliament), ranging from the ...
A Call to End All Renditions
MARJORIE COHN
The Jurist Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian residing in Britain, said he was tortured after being sent to Morocco and Afghanistan in 2002 by the U.S. government. Mohamed was transferred to Guantánamo in 2004 and all terrorism charges against him were dismissed...
Don’t Breathe the Meat
MARTHA ROSENBERG
The head tables where workers use compressed air to turn brain mass into a slurry are gone at Quality Pork Producers (QPP) in Austin, MN, Indiana Packers Corp. in Delphi, IN and Hormel Foods Corp. in Fremont, NE. But the neurological disease which the tables ...
Will South Carolina be the Center of the Nuclear Revival?
MICHAEL J. BERG
In the gymnasium of an elementary school in Blair, South Carolina, staff of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) gathered to listen to public comment on the potential environmental impact of two new nuclear reactors proposed for construction V.C. Summer Nuclear St...
Petraeus’ Subterfuge
GARETH PORTER
The political maneuvering between President Barack Obama and his top field commanders over withdrawal from Iraq has taken a sudden new turn with the leak by CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus – and a firm denial by a White House official – of an accoun...
How Do People Keep Going?
KATHY KELLY
People have asked me, since I returned from Gaza, how people manage? How do they keep going after being traumatized by bombing and punished by a comprehensive state of siege? I wonder myself. I know that whether the loss of life is on the Gazan or the Israeli side of...
Et Tu, Atul?
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
A politician says — I support health care for all. That is a politician you should support, right? Wrong. A politician says — I support universal health care. That is a politician you should support, right? Wrong. ...
What We Didn’t Learn at Obama’s Press Conference
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
It seemed like a different world altogether, with serious questions and serious answers. It was like a group of visitors, after having kitchie-kitchie-kooed with a baby brat for a brief while, now turning to talk to an adult who had just entered the room. Then it slo...
Petraeus’ Subterfuge
GARETH PORTER
The political maneuvering between President Barack Obama and his top field commanders over withdrawal from Iraq has taken a sudden new turn with the leak by CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus – and a firm denial by a White House official – of an accoun...
Nukes and the Stimulus
HARVEY WASSERMAN
The infamous $50 billion nuke power loan guarantee package meant to use your money to build new nuke reactors has gone missing from saturation media coverage of Obama’s Stimulus Package. But it’s still in the Senate version of the bill, it could be voted ...
A Commodity Called Misery
JOE BAGEANT
Our authorized sanities are so many Nembutals. "Normal" citizens with store-dummy smiles stand apart from each other like cotton-packed capsules in a bottle. Perpetual mental out-patients. Maddeningly sterile jobs for strait-jackets, love sc...
Seek Truth, But Prosecute Liars
DAVE LINDORFF
The similar calls by Senate Judiciary Chair Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and House Judiciary Chair Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate the crimes of the Bush/Cheney administration are potentially a terrible idea, but one tha...
Dirty Socks
URI AVNERY
"I have some good news and some bad news,” the sergeant in the joke tells his men. “The good news is that you are going to change your dirty socks. The bad news is that you are going to exchange them among yourselves.” I am not the only ...
The Stimulus Imbroglio
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
When historians look back, they will point to Obama’s inauguration as a missed opportunity.  At the zenith of his popularity, the new President might have used his bully pulpit to declare the need for a good economic stimulus, one which would have aided pe...
The Implications of Recognizing Israel’s "Right to Exist"
RANNIE AMIRI
“There was no such thing as Palestinians … They did not exist."                            &...
Can You Afford College?
NICOLE COLSON
The conventional wisdom is that getting a college education is part of the "American Dream"–and a prerequisite to a good job and successful career. But as the recession deepens, more and more students are finding it difficult or even impossible...
Strong Indications of Israeli War Crimes
NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD
Gaza City. We are a delegation of 8 American lawyers, members of the NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD in the United States, who have come here to the Gaza Strip to assess the effects of the recent attacks on the people, and to determine what, if any, violations of int...
Driving Over the Cliff
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Is there intelligent life in Washington, DC?  Not a speck of it. The US economy is imploding, and Obama is being led by his government of neconservatives and Israeli agents into a quagmire in Afghanistan that will bring the US into confrontation with Rus...
Why Sanjay Gupta is the Wrong Man for the Top US Health Job
VICENTE NAVARRO
President Obama has put forward the name of Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the well-known chief medical correspondent for CNN, for the position of surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service – the chief public health officer of the federal government. Dr. Gupta has re...
Israeli University Welcomes "War Crimes" Colonel
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. The Israeli government has moved quickly to quash protests over the appointment of the army’s senior adviser on international law to a teaching post at Tel Aviv University. Col Pnina Sharvit-Baruch is thought to have provided legal cover for wa...
Remembering the Second Intifada
RON JACOBS
I finally got around to reading Ramzy Baroud’s 2006 book The Second Palestinian Intifada: A ...
End the Occupation First
SAM BAHOUR
If Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive today he may well have attended President Barack  Obama’s inauguration ceremony wearing a black-and-white checkered kaffiyeh and holding a  sign saying, "Mr. President, stop the Gaza nightmare. No more false ...
The Nightmarish Case of Fahad Hashmi
ALANA SMITH
During Barack Obama’s inauguration speech, it was striking to hear him declare that "we are a nation of Christians and Muslims"–indicating that both have the right to live and practice their religions in America, free from discrimination. ...
Taking the Bong
BINOY KAMPMARK
There has been a marked hysteria towards Michael Phelps, caught in flagrante with a bong by eager photographers for the sordid News of the World.  For a person as taken with swimming as Bobby Fischer was with chess, it is almost a relief to see that he could be ...
The Threat of Peace in Colombia
JULIO SANCHEZ And FELIZ De BEDOUT
Translated by Forrest Hylton “What is troubling Defense Minister Santos so deeply, and what has certain sectors in this country so worried? That there are journalist...
AFL-CIO and Change to Win in "Re-Wed" Talks
DAVID MACARAY
“In politics, as in religion, we have less charity for those who believe in half of our creed than for those that deny the whole of it.” —Charles Caleb Colton It is being reported that the first, tentative ste...
Ten Reasons to Get High About Pot in 2009
NORM KENT
Okay, it is only the first week of February and more people this year have already died from peanut butter than pot. Seriously, when you think about what has crossed the pages of our nation’s conscience in the past month, you have to wonder why we are al...
The Wrestler: an American Tragedy
SAUL LANDAU
As a kid, I watched the Super Swedish Angel, Gorgeous George, and Primo Carnera (former boxer), wrestle on a small black and white TV screen. I would scream from my living room at the TV because the ref always looked elsewhere when the villain delivered a rabbit punc...
Educating Obama
HENRY A. GIROUX
Barack Obama takes office at a time of great uncertainty, a time when the conventional wisdom and old assumptions of free market fundamentalism are thoroughly discredited.  At the same time, a new hope is taking shape, fueled by the need to reaffirm the democrat...
Darwin’s Living Legacy
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
This February 12th is the bicentennial birthday of one of the greatest minds in history. This man’s inquisitive nature, generous spirit, strong character and hatred of slavery led him to ideas that jolted the society of his times, led to protracted conflict, an...
The Opium Exclusion Act of 1909
DALE GIERINGER
This week marks the centennial of a fateful landmark in U.S. history, the nation’s first drug prohibition law.  On February 9, 1909, Congress passed the Opium Exclusion Act, barring the importation of opium for smoking as of April 1.  Thus began a hun...
Obama, Race and the Future of U.S. Politics
BOB WING
Barack Obama’s victory is indeed an historic breakthrough for U.S. politics. In a country that enforced a system of legalized racism until just 40 years ago, and that was founded on white supremacy, black slavery and Native genocide, the election of the first b...
How Cee Lo Green Sells Soul
LORENZO WOLFF
Keeping musician’s hours means a lot of late-night TV. One of the most annoying aspects of this lifestyle is the infomercial. Those endless sales pitches voiced by mannequins with greased hair and polyester suits, triumphing the virtues of a product so poorly m...
Corn Dog Update
ROBERT BRYCE
A couple days ago, I published a piece listing 14 studies that have exposed the high costs of the ethanol scam. But I overlooked two points: A new study by Cornell University’s David Pimentel, and the latest numbers showing the ...
Castro’s Socialism in Crisis
JANETTE HABEL
Half a century after the Castro revolution, the island is poised at another historic turning point. Sociologist Aurelio Alonso sums up Cuba’s dilemma as "putting chaos behind us without falling prey to the law of the jungle". Fidel Castro officially h...
Inaugural Questions Nobody Asks
JAMES SECOR
I returned from an evening with Ali and my daughter in Kuala Lumpur just before Obama’s inauguration. I was too tired to bother: it’ll be rebroadcast and all over the Internet and his inaugural will be everywhere to read. I don’t expect anything fro...
Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Springsteen
DAVID YEARSLEY
A darkened stadium massed with tens of thousands of fanatics in precise formation, marching in place to patriotic music of the homeland. Powerful searchlights sending their columns up into the inifinity of the night sky in a display seen for miles around and in strik...
A Country Awash in Money But Going Broke
RAYMOND J. LAWRENCE
There is plenty of money in this country. Most of it just happens to be held by a very few people. Those who know history are aware that an extreme imbalance in the possession of goods and power will at some breaking point result in the unraveling of the socia...
When Utopia Crumbles
KIM NICOLINI
It’s no wonder Revolutionary Road was shut out of the Oscars. As stated in this...
Obama’s First Bad Week
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Barack Obama is certainly not the first president to get taken down a couple of rungs by nominees who get shipwrecked in their confirmation hearings. Bruised by these setbacks he has also taken serious fire for his $900 billion stimulus package, not just by Republica...
Davos vs. Belem; Swine vs. Pearls
JOHN ROSS
Mexico City. Never before has the contrast between the World Economic Forum (WEF), the annual clambake of the capitalist class in Davos Switzerland, and the World Social Forum (WSF), created a decade ago to beat back the corporate globalization of the Planet ...
Heroes are Human Beings Too
JASON FLOM And ANTHONY PAPA
Thousands of stories across the country have captured the plight of Michael Phelps and his recent bong incident. Phelps has apologized for his youthful indiscretion. It seems that his apology was accepted by most Americans including the corporate sponsors that gave P...
Obama, Mitchell and the Palestinians
JAMES ABOUREZK
Abe Foxman, head of the “Anti-Defamation League”, claims that George Mitchell is too fair to be a broker between Israel and the Palestinians.  I guess that Foxman, in denouncing the choice of Mitchell for Middle East negotiator, shows that he is accu...
At the Zoo
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
For days, the mainstream media talked endlessly about it. Michael Vick. Dogfighting. Blood sport. Killing animals that underperformed. Many defended the professional athlete. Others thought Vick should receive the maximum sentence after his conviction.   ...
Israel’s Disproportionate Responses
JULES RABIN
Prime Minister Olmert warned Hamas a few days ago (February 1) that a renewal of the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israeli territory would evoke a "harsh and disproportionate" response from Israel. This pointed choice of words was sobering and even shock...
A New Low on Gaza?
MOUIN RABBANI
The Middle East has always been a difficult challenge for Western human rights organizations, particularly those seeking influence or funding in the United States. The pressure to go soft on US allies is in some respects reminiscent of Washington’s special plea...