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Archives from July 2009
The Story of My Arrest
TRACY McCLELLAN
WI’d like to tell you the little story of my arrest yesterday, as a means to an end.  I am not a lawbreaker; I do not act unjustly and impulsively.  I am a mystic, but I also think it is important for anybody who chooses to be a mystic, to guide their...
Three Dimensions of a Complete Stimulus Plan
GREG MOSES
In a world where one class manufactures credit and the other class clings to hope, how bad can a debt economy be?  Of course, we could have that long-awaited revolution where the hopeful class clobbers the lending class and puts an end to the disparities that ma...
A Political Recession
VIJAY PRASHAD
Huddled over numbers, the actuaries of the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) find themselves at the center of interest. In the first week of each month they report on the employment data, collected through surveys. This "Employment Situation Summary" u...
Decolonizing Israel
SOUSAN HAMMAD
“An underdeveloped people must prove, by its fighting power, its ability to set itself up as a nation, and by the purity of every one of its acts, that it is, even to the smallest detail, the most lucid, the most self-controlled people.” ...
Jenin’s Model of "Economic Peace"
JONATHAN COOK
Jenin. The reality of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promises of “economic peace” for the Palestinians is nowhere under greater scrutiny than in Jenin, the northern West Bank city being aggressively promoted as a potential model ...
Uighurs vs. Afghans
ERIC WALBERG
Last week’s riots in Urumqi, resulting in 180 deaths, recall similar protests in Tibet last year, though only 19 people were killed there. Both Uighurs and Tibetans exiles demonstrated during the Chinese Olympics, to little effect. Both regions, remote from the...
Protest U.S. Aggression
RON JACOBS
Should the US antiwar movement be attending rallies sponsored by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) claiming to support the opposition movement in Iran?  According to the group Stop War on Iran, this is exactly what United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) an...
Hamas’ Choice
ALI ABUNIMAH
In a major policy speech on June 25, 2009, Khaled Meshal, the head of Hamas’ political bureau, tried to do what may be impossible: present the Islamist Palestinian resistance organization as a willing partner in a US-led peace process, while holding on to his m...
Obama’s New Euphemism
JOANNE MARINER
The Bush administration will no doubt be remembered for torture, Guantanamo, and Abu Ghraib, as well as for catchy euphemisms like "enhanced interrogation" and histrionic catch-phrases like "the Global War on Terror." The Obama administrati...
How US Missile Defense Plans Sabotaged Nuclear Disarmament Talks With Russia
ALICE SLATER
Although Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pledged to work for a nuclear weapons free world this spring, they failed to take meaningful steps at their July summit to put the world on the proper path to nuclear abolition. Disappointingly, they only ag...
Walking Mount Tam
STEVE HEILIG
Mount Tamalpais is Marin’s Mount Everest. Although only 2,574 feet high at the summit, it dominates the county; to get to or from West Marin from almost anywhere else, you have to go over or around it. Much has been written about "Tam" and cou...
The Emperors of Bombast
EAMONN McCANN
Shuffling out from U2’s Popmart tour — the one with the McDonalds-style Golden Arch — at Lansdowne Road 10 years ago, I chanced on Philip King, singer, songwriter, television producer and music adviser to the Irish Arts Council. “Whadd...
From Golden State to Subprime State
ELLEN BROWN
Four Wall Street banks, which received $15-25 billion each from the taxpayers, have rejected California’s IOUs because the State is supposedly a bad credit risk. The bailed out banks would seem to have a duty to lend a helping hand, but they say they don’...
The Taliban Rope-a-Dope
FRANKLIN SPINNEY
Istanbul. On July 7, the Times [UK] carried a remarkab...
McCain and Honduras
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
A Behind the recent pressure campaign against the Zelaya regime in Honduras lurks a shadowy world of right wing foundations, lobbying groups and anti-Chávez figures. This tangled web of Washington, D.C. interests includes the Arcadia Foundation, a mysterious f...
The End of "Nice" Health Care Reform
DAVE LINDORFF
Of course I could be wrong. Congress could turn around and pass some cockamamie scheme to kick the issue of health care reform down the road, offering some kind of minimal insurance coverage to a few million more people, and cracking down on this or that particularly...
The Fight to Save James Hickman in Jim Crow-Style Chicago
JOE ALLEN
James Hickman left for work at a local steel mill just before 9:00 PM on the night of January 16, 1947. He was a thirty-nine-year-old African American and the father of seven children. The Hickmans lived in Chicago in difficult, overcrowded conditions in a tenement o...
How the World Depression Hits Orissa
P. SAINATH
The recession in US and Europe is having a profound impact on villages in the deep rural interior of Orissa. Well over half a million migrant labourers from Orissa state in eastern India work in Surat city in the western state of Gujarat. Over 400,000 of these are fr...
A US / Iraq Conflict on Iran
GARETH PORTER
The release Friday of five Iranians held by the U.S. military in Iraq for two and a half years highlights the long-simmering conflict between the U.S. and Iraqi views of Iranian policy in Iraq and of the role of its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) there....
The Deflating Economy
MIKE WHITNEY
There should be a modest uptick in GDP in either in the 4th quarter 2009 or the 1st quarter 2010. This will mark the end of the current 20 month-long recession, but not the end of the crisis. The blip in growth doesn’t mean that the troubles are over or that th...
Former Insider Shatters Credibility of Military Commissions
ANDY WORTHINGTON
On Wednesday, I reported how Retired Rear Admiral John D. Hutson, the former Judge Advocate General of the US Navy from 1997 to 2000, had delivered compelling testimony to a ...
Serf’s Up in Hollywood
DAVID MACARAY
“Hollywood isn’t so much a place, as a state of mindlessness” —John Gregory Dunne Tinsel Town is addicted to “star power.”  As evidence, look no further than SAG’s (Screen Actors Gu...
Off the Deep End
TIM WISE
On the one hand, racism is so deeply embedded in the history and structure of the United States, that it shouldn’t be particularly surprising when a story emerges, indicating that indeed, said racism has bubbled to the surface yet again. But on the othe...
Spring in the Time of Obama
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
Dear Chandni Chowk, The six-month curtain is about to descend on the Administration of Hope in our part of the world. So far, at least, hope seems about the only thing it has been administering. Rare is that day which passes without the president giving...
The Healthcare Worker War
CAL WINSLOW
What is the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)?  And why is it at war with the Labor Movement? The SEIU is currently up to its neck in a bloody war with California healthcare workers led by the new National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) &n...
Rap in the Streets, Rap in the Suites
PAUL MOORE
Anthony Smith has died nearly a week after being shot. Anthony was a young man of 17-years and a student at Miami’s Booker T. Washington High School. He played football and would have been a Senior this year if not for the gunshots that killed him. ...
The Essence of the Regime
URI AVNERY
Every German child knows the story of the Captain of Koepenick. The scene is 1908 Germany, with the Second Reich at the peak of its power, ruled by a Kaiser who is almost always decked out in a splendid military uniform. A shoemaker named Wilhelm Voigt ...
Switchbacking Toward Bastille Day
DAVID Ker THOMSON
When the traditional ship flares come out on Lake Cayuga on the Fourth of July, they’re close enough to the water line that you can see the curvature of the planet just three miles up-lake, where even little waves twinkle them out. The moon is a big blun...
Michael Jackson as Sexual Pervert
RAYMOND LAWRENCE
US Congressman Peter King of Long Island  is playing to the basest inclinations of the country in publicly trashing Michael Jackson as a sexual pervert. His charge is not based on any established fact. He is playing to the mob, a poisonous act. Certainly, the pu...
Say It Loud, Say It Proud: There is No God
MICHAEL NEUMANN
Atheism claims that God does not exist. It does not claim anything about the usefulness of religion, or even the usefulness of believing that God exists. You can be an atheist and believe that religion should be treasured for its social benefits. You can feel the sam...
Europe’s New Politics of Hard Times
CHRISTOPHER BICKERTON
What do the results of the European elections really mean? And beyond a memorable bust-up on French television between green ’68er Daniel Cohn-Bendit and centrist presidential hopeful, François Bayrou, what will people remember about the elections? Parti...
The Settlements and the Quartet
CONN HALLINAN
When President Barak Obama said in his Cairo speech that “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements,” he cut to the heart of the four decade old conflict in the Occupied Territories, slicing through the thicket of &...
Neda and Marwa: a Tale of Two Murdered Women
WALID EL HOURI
On June 20th 2009, Neda Agha Soltan was shot dead during the post-election protests in Iran. The protests occupied the largest news segments around the world, with analysts and commentators predicting the fall of the Iranian regime and the dawn of freedom breaking in...
Thinking Outside of the Secular Box
GILAD ATZMON
“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” – Karl Marx 1843 Before I launch into a disclosure of libe...
Tara, America’s Dream House
DAVID YEARSLEY
Among the fifty-plus films on offer on the back of the seat in front of me was Gone with the Wind, its longwinded running-time offering to eat up a good half of the seven hour Atlantic crossing.  I gladly accepted its splendors over the dozens of other contender...
CIA Lies
DAVE LINDORFF
If this were the democracy that the Founding Fathers thought they were creating, word from CIA Director Leon Panetta that his agency had lied to Congress and specifically that it had lied repeatedly from 9-11-2001 through the end of 2008 concerning an as-yet undisclo...
Caution: Men at Work, Robbing Banks
KIM NICOLINI
Let me start by saying this. Michael Mann’s Public Enemies is unequivocally the best Hollywood movie of the year. There will be nothing else coming out of Hollywood that comes remotely close. Then again, that’s because Public Enemies is a Hollywood movie ...
Obama’s Biden Problem
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Despite our high expectations, Vice President Joe Biden’s first months in office were disappointing. This, remember, is the man who opened the more recent of his two futile runs for the presidency by saying of Obama that he was "the first mainstream Africa...
California Dreamin’
ELLEN HODGSON BROWN
"As goes California,” says the adage, “so goes the nation.” All eyes are therefore on the Golden State as it attempts to solve its $26 billion budget deficit. The world’s eighth largest economy is not going quietly into that pit of debt a...
The Shades of Highgate Cemetery
ROGER GAESS
If you could time-travel back to London in, say, the mid-1850s, you might find yourself strolling in Highgate Cemetery, taking in what had become a cutting-edge showpiece of the Victorian sensibility. It was a place to see and be seen, so occasionally you migh...
The Parable of the Golden Parachute
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
This is an excerpt from Born Under a Bad Sky. At the precise moment George H. ...
The Michael Jackson Feeding Frenzy
ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
Michael Jackson’s death set off an explosion of media attention.  Reporters can’t seem to get enough of the “King of Pop” as they reaffirm our media’s morbid obsession with celebrity death and tragedy.  Journalists update often...
C Street Band
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
As the Republican Party implodes the public is becoming aware of a secretive Christian society known as the Family or the Fellowship.  The group was founded in 1935 in opposition to FDR’s New Deal and its adherents subscribe to a far right Christian fundam...
Health Care Industry Adopts Tobacco Lobby’s Tactics
WENDELL POTTER
At first look, one might not think that the health insurance industry has much in common with the tobacco industry. After all, one sells a product that kills people and the other sells a product nominally aimed at putting people back together. But when it comes to de...
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Good Neighbor
CLIFTON ROSS And MARCY REIN
In the wake of the Honduras coup, speculation about whether or not the U.S. was masterminding the plot is running wild. Brushing off denials of involvement and claims that U.S. officials had tried to dissuade the plotters from plans to overthrow President Manuel Zela...
The Cuban Five: a Cold War Case in a Post-Cold War World
JOSÉ PERTIERRA
The day the Court sentenced him to life imprisonment plus 10 years, in maximum security, Tony explained to Judge Lenard why Cuba sent him to the United States. “Allow me to explain my reasons, your Honor, in the clearest and most concise way...
Summers’ Clouded Crystal Ball
CARL GINSBURG
You have to start to wonder how it is that every significant economic prediction put out by this Administration falls short.  How is it that President Obama’s circle of economists, led by Lawrence Summers, misses the mark, time after time?  Was decept...
Yes, We Camp
STEPHANIE WESTBROOK
It’s the slogan of the citizens committees that have formed in the central Italian city of L’Aquila, hit by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake on April 6, 2009. And it was on display for world leaders during the G8 summit being held just outside the city in an ar...
Rural America Needs More Than Listening Sessions
JIM GOODMAN
President Obama announced on June 30th that Administration officials and Cabinet secretaries would be fanning out across the nation to hold discussions on how best to strengthen rural America. "A healthy American economy depends on a prosperous rural Amer...
After the Honduran Coup
JOHN ROSS
Mexico City. The June 28th coup d’etat in Honduras that toppled leftist president Mel Zelaya sends us back to the bad old days of the "gorillas" – generals and strongmen who overthrew each other with reckless abandon and the tacit complic...