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Archives from June 2009
Six Ways to Reinvigorate Labor
“Fools make feasts, and wise folk eat them; the wise make jests, and the fools repeat them.”                         &...
You Provide the Tweets, We’ll Provide the Info War
We can all remember a moment when we gazed up at the sky and used our imagination to make familiar shapes out of the clouds.  In folk wisdom, seers practice aeromancy, a form of divination that involves observing atmospheric phenomena and nephomancy, the divinat...
Israeli Firms Accused of Profiting Off Holocaust
Nazareth. Israel’s second largest bank will be forced to defend itself in court in the coming weeks over claims it is withholding tens of millions of dollars in “lost” accounts belonging to Jews who died in the Nazi death camps. Bank ...
Don’t Cry for Him, Argentina!
All right, so another Republican hopeful has fessed up to his sexual indiscretions.  A tearful Mark Sanford, the Governor of South Carolina, has confessed that he messed up his life, and the lives of his wife and children, because of a mistress in Argentina.&nbs...
The Health Insurance Industry v. Health Care Reform
I’m the former insurance industry insider now speaking out about how big for-profit insurers have hijacked our health care system and turned it into a giant ATM for Wall Street investors, and how the industry is using its massive wealth and influence to determi...
Haiti’s Elections
Port-au-Prince. This was the final round of elections for a third of the Senate in Haiti. I woke up with a start as several UN helicopters zoomed to and from downtown from uphill. Given this week’s events, I feared the worst. As it turns out, it was not...
Now We See You, Now We Don’t
In early June, 2009, I was in the Shah Mansoor displaced persons camp in Pakistan, listening to one resident detail the carnage which had spurred his and his family’s flight there a mere 15 days earlier. Their city, Mingora, had come under massive aerial bombar...
The Tears of Mark Sanford
In the 1960’s, conservatives were fixated by the threat of the Red Menace and a youthful culture supine with drugs and rock ‘n roll. They set out the foundations of a new Moral Majority to combat these threats. The precepts of the Moral Majority were Chri...
Telltale Signs of Saudi Fraud
In the last week of October 1996, the Saudi secret police, the Mabahith, gave David Williams, the FBI’s assistant special agent in charge of counter-terrorism issues, what they said were summaries of the confessions obtained from some 40 Shi’a detainees....
The Department of Energy’s Nuclear Albatross
Last month, the Obama administration rolled out the details of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) budget for fiscal year 2010. "The president’s budget for energy reflects his commitment to ending our dependence on foreign oil, restoring our scientific ...
Obama and the Torturers
Since 1997, every June 26 has been formally recognized as the International Day of Support for Victims of Torture. Political leaders around the globe take the occasion to proclaim their opposition to barbarism. On June 26, 2003, President George W. Bush proud...
The Age of the Everyday Billionaire
"I think almost everyone will grant that if candidates for the United States Senate were required to possess ten million dollars, and for the House one million, the year-in-year-out level of conservatism of those two bodies might be expected to rise ...
Medicare for All
When it comes to reforming America’s disastrous health care “system,” there are two issues that need to be considered: access and cost. The so-called reform proposals being offered by the Obama White House, the House and the Senate, are faili...
Remembering Giovanni Arrighi
Giovanni Arrighi, one of the pioneers of World Systems analysis and more recently one of the most cited and influential thinkers on the fate of US hegemony and the direction of world politics and economy, passed away on June 18th, after a protracted struggle with a t...
How the U.S. Has Secretly Backed Pakistan’s Nuclear Program From Day One
"If the worst, the unthinkable, were to happen,” Hillary Clinton recently told Fox News, “and this advancing Taliban encouraged and supported by Al Qaeda and other extremists were to essentially topple the government … then they would have key...
The Story of Abdul Rahim al-Ginco
In over three years of researching and reporting about the prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, I learned early on to expect, as one of Guantánamo’s first commanders, ...
Investigating the Khobar Tower Bombing
On Jun. 25, 1996, a massive truck bomb exploded at a building in the Khobar Towers complex in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, which housed U.S. Air Force personnel, killing 19 U.S. airmen and wounding 372. Immediately after the blast, more than 125 agents from the U.S. ...
Torture Eats the Soul
Anniversaries can be important. This Friday marks the 22nd anniversary of the U.N. Convention against Torture, ratified and signed under President Reagan. Last Friday marked the 150th day of the presidency of Barack Obama, who is trying to put a definitive end to the...
Making Financial Regulation Work
One of the major debates around President Obama’s plan for reforming the financial system is over who should be given the job of regulating systemic risk. This debate is fundamentally misguided. We already have an unofficial systemic risk regulator, or S...
Seeing Through Israeli Delay Tactics
The growing divide between the Obama administration and the Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu over Israel’s expansion of its West Bank settlements has led to delay tactics by Israel. President Obama must see through them and press his criticism or ri...
Using the Economic Crisis to Attack Workers
Reports are starting to appear suggesting that laid-off or underemployed Americans, and the long-term unemployed, are losing patience with the Obama administration’s and Congress’ economic stimulus plan, which thus far has not done anything to arrest the ...
The Erosion of the Mullahs’ Monolith
We may never know the true vote count in the recent elections – and it’s almost irrelevant now. Debate has ended, sides have been drawn, and a test of power, not votes, is underway. Over the last two days, in the face of serious yet restrained repression,...
Obama’s Classroom Spies
As the continuities and disjunctures between the Bush and Obama administrations come into focus it becomes increasingly clear that while Obama’s domestic agenda has some identifiable breaks with Bush’s, at its core, the new administration remains committe...
Dennis Ross Moves to the White House
There was a time when the most ridiculous accusations against Iraq as prepared by the White House Iraq Group of neocon-led propagandists were accepted  by the entire Washington power elite. Remember? It was not so long ago. Iraq and al-Qaeda were in cahoots and ...
The G8 is Dead
The next fortnight will witness two summits of world leaders which will give radically different directions for recovery and reform of the global economy. While one – the G8 – harks back to the days when a handful of rich countries could happily c...