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Archives from March 2009
Who Tried to Kill Palestinian Ambassador Abass Zaki and Why?
Mieh Mieh Palestinian Camp, Sidon. Yesterday afternoon, Kamal Medhat, 58, known in Lebanon’s Palestinian Camps affectionately as ‘Kamal Naji’, a senior member of the Palestinian Fatah movement was killed exiting Mieh Meih Camp by a 25-30 kilo...
Is Justice Finally in Sight for Sami Al-Arian?
Supporters of Dr. Sami Al-Arian are cautiously optimistic after several court hearings where the government was left scrambling to justify its continued campaign of persecution. Al-Arian is the former University of South Florida professor accused after Septemb...
The Most Dangerous Person in the World?
A significant majority of Americans, polls repeatedly tell us, list terrorism as one of their greatest fears. Like most of our media-inspired interests and worries, however, this one has little basis in reality. In actual fact, unless you’re serving in a...
Tollbridge Over Troubled Waters
March 22nd was World Water Day, as it has been every year since it was inaugurated by the UN General Assembly back in 1993. Countries are encouraged to use the day in activities aimed at raising awareness of water problems all over the world.  Each year has a th...
Tilting at Afghan Windmills
Don Quixote, the main character in a novel by the Spanish writer Cervantes in 1605, spent a lot of time on horseback, armed with a lance, attacking windmills which he thought were menacing giants. “Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmill...
The Rules of Engagement in Gaza
Gaza Strip. "Rules of Engagement: Open fire also upon rescue," was handwritten in Hebrew on a sheet of paper found in one of the Palestinian homes the Israel Defense Forces took over during Operation Cast Lead. A reservist officer who did not take p...
The Celebrity of Celebrity
The passing of Jade Goody in Upshire, Essex on Sunday reflects a particular mood present in Britain at this time. Not since the passing of Princess Diana has a country been so enraptured, captivated and aggrieved by the daily pronouncements, movements and actions of ...
Toxic Bailouts
Six months after the failed Bush administration effort to "rescue" the US financial system, and after two months of failed efforts by his own new administration, at an expense to the American public of several trillion dollars and counting, the Obama admini...
Judgment Day for Geithner
Whether he deserves it or not, Timothy Geithner has become the poster boy for everything that’s wrong with the government’s scatterbrain financial rescue plan. Geithner was in the wheelhouse at the New York Fed when Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros defaulted,...
Someprofits vs. Nonprofits
We need an intervention with the 501 non-profit world. There are good 501 non-profits. There are non-profits that work hard—and do good work. But no serious social change, or dare I say it, no real populist movement will ever come from the non-pro...
Israel’s Most Revolting Law?
The most important sentence written in Israel this week was lost in the general tumult of exciting events. Really exciting: In a final act of villainy, typical of his whole tenure as Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert abandoned the captive soldier, Gilad Shalit. ...
Bush the Teacher
George W. Bush is hitting the lecture circuit. Represented by the Washington Speakers Bureau, Mr. Bush for a fee of at least $150,000 flew up to Calgary, Canada and spoke to a conservative business audience amidst street protests.      ...
Capitalism From the Standpoint of Its Victims
It has never been easy offering a critique of capitalism or markets to my undergraduate students. Most have never heard an unkind word about these bedrock institutions, which they know to be the foundations of American power and prosperity. These are hallowed ...
The Cold-Blooded Murder of Oscar Grant
Early New Year’s morning phones in Hayward and Oakland were ringing: “Wake up, wake up. Something’s happened to the boys.” Calls were going back and forth between the families of 22-year-old Oscar Grant and his friends—families so close ...
Sliding Down in Anger
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations ...
Still Waiting for Change
A few months ago, I received an e-mail response to an article I’d written in which I called for an end to the occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestinian territory. The e-mailer asked how I could expect people to think or care about any of this when our ec...
When people ask me what we would do if we got rid of democracy, it never fails to stump me.  Is this a trick question?  It’s like wondering what would we do if we got rid of white men raping African women on a systematic basis.  It’s offens...
When Things Fall Apart
On March 19 the New York Times reported: “The Fed said it would purchase an additional $750 billion worth of government-guaranteed mortgage-backed securities, on top of the $500 billion that it is currently in the process of buying. In addition, the Fed said it...
Is the Euro Doomed?
Will the tsunami devastating the global financial system undermine the stability of the euro? Its advocates say not. Doomsday scenarios of a partial break-up of the Eurozone have, as yet, failed to materialise. They argue that, over 10 years, the Eurozone has be...
Obama and the Altar of Greed
Barack Obama is dumber than a bag of hammers. I never thought I’d say that about the guy.  I thought he would probably disappoint me with many of his policies.  I thought he would probably fail to be bold enough for his times.  I thought h...
Meltdown in the Drug Industry
Think you’ve got problems? Imagine being a 40K a year tuition college student catapulting toward graduation with no hot job offers or even prospects! Once upon a time you could rely on pharma when all else failed for a decent starting job — even if...
On the Edge of the Volcano
Since last September Barack Obama has been trying to pull off the tricky shot of backing bailout schemes at taxpayers’ expense for the Wall Street operators who have brought the economy to its knees, while simultaneously presenting himself as a populist crusade...
Lessons From AIG
Watch out if you live in or visit Washington, D.C. If you see a camera or microphone, be careful not to be trampled by a politician rushing to shout their "outrage" at AIG, and its brazen scheme to pay $165 million in bonuses to employees at the comp...
The Recession, the Developers and Baseball
Yesterday, Miami’s major league baseball team, the Florida Marlins, won an extra inning decision in the agreement to obtain significant public moneys to build a new downtown stadium. Nudging the deal terms caused the extra innings– but the outcome was nev...
Pakistan in Turmoil
Once again, the nation of Pakistan has found itself in what many commentators are calling a national crisis.  This time around, the civilian government of Asif Ali Zardari was forced to keep one of his party’s election promises—reinstating Chief Just...