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Archives from March 2009
The Broken Stone of Corporatism
STEPHEN MARTIN
We are the hollow menWe are the stuffed menLeaning togetherHeadpiece filled with straw. Alas!Our dried voices, whenWe whisper togetherAre quiet and meaninglessAs wind in dry grassOr rats’ feet over br...
A Letter to Obama From a Guantánamo Uighur
ANDY WORTHINGTON
There were once 22 Uighur prisoners in Guantánamo. Muslims from China’s oppressed Xinjiang province, they had all been swept up as human debris during “Operation Enduring Freedom,” the US-led invasion of Afghanistan that began in October 2001...
Writer as Fighter
WAJAHAT ALI
Ishmael, the son Abraham and Hagar, stands next to Isaac in Western history as the rejected, expelled and cast away heir of a noble and pure lineage.  The “wicked” and unwanted one initially envious of his brother, but ultimately penitent and reveren...
Iraq: Let the Numbers Speak for Themselves
SOUAD N. AL-AZZAWI
I pride myself in being a scientist and a researcher. I built my academic career on theories and numbers. As a teacher, I teach my students that everything is based in science – everything has reason. For this reason, I am always frustrated with myself when I f...
The Zombie Presidency
IAN MASTERS
A majority of Americans breathed a sigh of relief when the Bush/Cheney regime ended, but has it? Like the zombie banks, the era of government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich lives on, with massive transfers of wealth from the poor to the rich continuing, as...
The Insolents Abroad
GREGORY A. BURRIS
In recent months, Iceland has grabbed more news headlines than perhaps ever before in living memory: the colossal economic meltdown and rapid devaluation of the Icelandic króna; the increasingly intense political protests in Reykjavík demanding the resi...
Iraq: Let the Numbers Speak for Themselves
SOUAD N. AL-AZZAWI
I pride myself in being a scientist and a researcher. I built my academic career on theories and numbers. As a teacher, I teach my students that everything is based in science – everything has reason. For this reason, I am always frustrated with myself when I f...
Obama’s Fall Guy
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Since America is in its worst economic mess in seventy years and since President Obama’s designated  Mr Fixit is Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, you’d think the Obama presidency is in desperate shape. The reason? Mr Fixit is surely the most derided ...
Water Culture Wars
BARBARA ROSE JOHNSTON
The 5th World Water Forum is over and here I sit at the departure gate at Ataturk International airport. It has been a busy week of intense activity, much of it frustrating, and I am still trying to come to terms with all that went on in the main corridors of water p...
A Financial History Lesson
DAVE LINDORFF
George Santayana once famously said, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  But what about those who don’t just ignore history, but who hire and take counsel from those who committed historic follie...
Pat Boone Syndrome
LORENZO WOLFF
Something wonderful happened. I was hanging out with a bunch of my music snob friends, and we were doing the only thing that music snobs do: arguing. Somehow the conversation turned to good and bad covers, and I dropped the name Pat Boone. My friends changed ...
Against Democracy
DAVID KER THOMSON
Democracy is the problem, not the solution.  Parliamentary democracy and capitalism are the two major distancing mechanisms in the practical ontology of the West. These are the two ways of collective being, both of which find their meaning in being elsew...
What Does an F-22 Cost?
WINSLOW T. WHEELER
On Wednesday, March 25, an F-22 crashed near Edwards Air Force Base, CA. Very sadly, the pilot was killed. The news articles surrounding this event contained some strange assertions about the cost of the F-22. The tragic event was apparently used to disseminate some ...
Netanyahu and the Future of the Peace Process
RAMZY BAROUD
It seems that the Palestinian-Israeli ‘peace process’ is in serious jeopardy. At least, this is the immediate impression one gleans from media reports from Israel. Unlike, Israel’s Kadima and Labor party ‘moderates’, Prime Minister-desig...
Whatever Happened to the Fierce Urgency of Now?
NICK EGNATZ
Lincoln defined democracy as government “of the people, by the people and for the people”. We are now faced with a government of the transnational corporate capitalists, by the Democratic and Republican Parties and for the consolidation of wealth in the h...
Saudi Shiites’ One-Word Demand
RANNIE AMIRI
“Our dignity is more valuable than the unity of this land … If we don’t get our dignity, then we will have to consider seceding from this country.” – Sheikh Nimr Baqir Al-Nimr, Saudi Shia religious leader from Al-Awam...
This Land
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
When I was a kid, I loved singing those patriotic songs in music class. One, in particular, gave me goose bumps. These Irving Berlin lyrics, with their dramatic arrangement of notes, made me dizzy with pride: God bless America, Land that I love....
The Nuclear Industry Targets Wisconsin
DIANE FARSETTA
Wisconsin law sets two conditions that must be met before new nuclear power plants can be built in the state. One is that there must be "a federally licensed facility" for high-level nuclear waste. In addition, the proposed nuclear plant "must be econo...
The Mafia Without Moralizing
KIM NICOLINI
If you go to see the Italian mafia movie Gomorrah, and you feel confused, have a hard time grasping the plot, and wonder where the “hero” is, don’t feel too bad. You are reacting exactly the way you should to this brutal uncompromising portrait of t...
How They Built Bach’s Face (Is the Bard Next?)
DAVID YEARSLEY
After a bold ascendancy, the recently dusted-off portrait purported to be of a ruddy-cheeked, lace-collared, and slightly wall-eyed Shakespeare now watches without a blink as its claims to authenticity came under increasing attack this past week on many fronts. ...
Smearing Tristan Anderson
JAMI TARN
In a hate-filled column in the San Francisco Chronicle (“Tree sitter is not in Berkeley any more” – March 18, 2009), Debra J. Saunders insinuated that Tristan Anderson, still lingering in a coma in Tel Aviv after taking an Israeli tear gas canister ...
Obama, Smoking and Me
CHARLES R. LARSON
The night after Barack Obama’s inauguration, while I was visiting Jaisalmer, in Rajasthan in western India, I took a drag from the first cigarette I’d smoked in thirty or forty years. The effect? An immediate high, I’m sad to report, even though I w...
Gesture For Gesture
JOSÉ PERTIERRA
Recent declarations by President Raúl Castro reveal a willingness to engage the United States in negotiations that, if successful, could mean the return of the Cuban Five. Responding to reporters´ questions last December, Raúl revealed a willingne...
Another Blow to Labor … from the Democrats
SHARON SMITH
The U.S. corporate class has always been notorious for its ferocious opposition to unions. And true to form, business leaders reacted with collective hysteria to the introduction of legislation in the House and Senate on March 10th that would make it just a bit easie...
Is the Bail Out Breeding a Bigger Crisis?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
At his March 24 press conference President Obama demonstrated that he is capable of understanding issues as presented to him by his advisers and able to pass on the explanations to the press.  The question is whether Obama’s advisers understand the issues....