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Archives from May 2009
Prolonged Detention and the Rule of Law
Sen. RUSSELL FEINGOLD
Dear Mr. President: I am writing to convey my appreciation for your speech of May 21 on security and values, but also to express several concerns, particularly about your intention to design a system for what you called “prolonged detention.” ...
No Military Commissions; No Preventive Detentions
ANDY WORTHINGTON
First off, the President has lost none of his oratorical powers. His ...
Sgt. Northcutt’s Homecoming
FRED GARDNER
Phil Northcutt saw the map of Iraq on the wall and started talking about his time there. He’d been stationed in Ramadi, Al Anbar Province, in 2004. PN: There was this main street, ‘Route Michigan,’ like a 4-lane highway going through town wi...
King Abdullah’s 57-State Solution
RANNIE AMIRI
"What we are talking about is not Israelis and Palestinians sitting at the table, but Israelis sitting with Palestinians, Israelis sitting with Syrians, Israelis sitting with Lebanese. And with the Arabs and the Muslim world lined up to open direct negotiations ...
Handel’s Ghost … Again
DAVID YEARSLEY
I began and ended my column last week by rhetorically conjuring Handel’s ghost, but had no idea then that his house in Brook Street was actually haunted.  A Counterpunch reader informs me that in the summer before reopening as a museum  to the compose...
The Follower as Leader
FARZANA VERSEY
History is often about a play of words. The man of the moment who has taken the oath of office for the second term is an actor in search of ‘no character’. It is the invisibility of the persona that is his trump card. It works in a situation where...
The Poison in the System
MIKE WHITNEY
In a little more than a decade, Credit Default Swaps (CDS) trading ballooned into a lucrative multi-billion dollar industry which has changed the fundamental character of the financial system and  increased systemic risk by many orders of magnitude. CDS, which w...
What Kind of State?
NADIA HIJAB
Arab and Israeli commentators have pretty much outlined the speech Barack Obama will deliver in Egypt during his June visit, even though he is still meeting with the region’s leaders in Washington. While some are optimistic, many are fearful. Israelis f...
Joy
DAVID KER THOMSON
We’d been passing the time as pleasantly as one does when one is holding up posters revealing assorted facts about the squish rate. That’d be how often Canadian cars run over schoolchildren. Beats chatting about the weather, which in these parts is apt to...
My Problem with Led Zeppelin
LORENZO WOLFF
Sometimes rediscovering an old favorite can be a rewarding experience. All of the hidden corners that you explored in the past show themselves in a different light, and ideas that were confusing or unclear are now plain as day. Unfortunately as I put a copy of Led Ze...
Why We Love to Hate Pirates
SONIA CARDENAS And ANDREW FLIBBERT
Make no mistake about it. We hate Somali pirates. What’s more, we love to hate them. In a survey by the Pew Research Center (17-20 April 2009), the capture of the American-flagged Maersk Alabama was the most closely followed news story of that week, displacing ...
Porn Wars
DAVID ROSEN
Craigslist, the most popular Internet listing service, announced recently that it would, in effect, remake its popular “erotic services” category into “adult services.”  It acted under pressure from a number of state attorney generals for...
Why the Left Should Cheer Hannity and Limbaugh
JAY DIAMOND
The relationship of low-brow talk radio and the GOP is not a symbiotic one but a parasitic one, with the parasite being low-brow gargoyles like the relentlessly smear-mongering Sean Hannity and the devoured host being the GOP. Full Disclosure: Being in the sam...
How Not to Win Votes for Team USA
FRANKLIN LAMB
Baabda Palace, Beirut U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Beirut with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman aboard a U.S. military helicopter at 11:50 am Friday morning. Biden was greeted at Beirut’s airport b...
Climate Change and Intellectual Property Rights?
MARK WEISBROT
The battle over “intellectual property rights” is likely to be one of the most important of this century. It has enormous economic, social, and political implications in a wide range of areas, from medicine to the arts and culture – anything where t...
Why We Love to Hate Pirates
SONIA CARDENAS And ANDREW FIBBERT
Make no mistake about it. We hate Somali pirates. What’s more, we love to hate them. In a survey by the Pew Research Center (17-20 April 2009), the capture of the American-flagged Maersk Alabama was the most closely followed news story of that week, displacing ...
An Endlessness of Almost Ending
BEN SONNENBERG
In the beautiful prologue to James Hammer’s distinctive (and distinguished) first film, Ballast, a black boy of about 13 runs across a bleak and desolate field in the Mississippi Delta. He startles a flock of white geese into flight, a flock, which as he runs t...
Card Check is Pronouced Dead
DAVID MACARAY
Earlier this week it was acknowledged by labor officials and Democratic insiders that the EFCA (Employee Free Choice Act), as presently written, wasn’t going to pass.  While the bill may be reintroduced in a different form, the crucial “card check&rd...
Swine Flu Fallout
CONN HALLINAN
The recent scare has served to reveal one of medicine’s great scandals: the systematic plunder of nurses and doctors from the developing world by the U.S. Europe, Canada and Australia. A study by the George Washington University School of Public Health found th...
Some Positive Directions in Public Health?
HEATHER GRAY
This is not a new assessment, but it’s fairly clear that the well being of independent science and public health policies fluctuate depending on leadership in Washington. Will Obama make a positive difference? He has stated that an ideologically based science t...
The Latest AfPak War
CARLO CRISTOFORI
The June, 2002, National Assembly (Loya Jirga) held in Afghanistan to select the head of state was rigged by the Bush administration, forcing the former king, who had majority support among the delegates, to withdraw from consideration*. This shows that the "Bus...
The Binds That Bond
Dr. SUSAN BLOCK
We are swinging into Show Mode here at the Speakeasy, sorting the whips, untangling the chains, shining up the crosses and scrubbing the dildos in preparation for our pre-Bondage Ball Gala with the Broken Door LA, a benefit for the highly endangered Make-Love-Not-War...
Bush, God, Iraq and Gog
CLIVE HAMILTON
The revelation this month in GQ magazine that Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary embellished top-secret wartime memos with quotations from the Bible prompts a question. Why did he believe he could influence President Bush by that means? The answer may lie in...
A Friendly Financial Intervention
DEAN BAKER
There are times when excessive government spending can be a drag on the economy, but now is clearly not that time. In case anyone missed it, the private economy has collapsed. It has been shedding jobs at the rate of more than 600,000 a month for the last six months....
His Terrible Swift Sword
RON JACOBS
On the New York side of Lake Champlain sits the little town of North Elba.  Outside of the town is the homestead of American anti-racist revolutionary John Brown.  When I lived in Vermont, I made a trip across the lake one May Day to commemorate the man who...