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Archives from August 2009
The Press and Torture
RAY McGOVERN
EXTRA! Read all about it in the Washington Post: Torture worked; Cheney and torture practitioners vindicated; morale at CIA harmed. It seems coverage of the Bush administration’s “war on terror” has been put back on track by the editors of th...
The Dying Dillos of Austin
GREG MOSES
It’s not that we’re going to miss the cute little “Dillo” buses very much when the last two lines are finally eliminated from Austin streets in about a month.  Inside those quaint green shells the seats were made of wooden slats and the s...
Uranium Mining in the Grand Canyon
BRENDA NORRELL
Indigenous Havasupai people held a gathering to stop uranium mining in the Grand Canyon and protect ancestral Havasupai Territory, at the south rim of the Grand Canyon, in July of 2009. Indigenous peoples and activists came from the four directions, from Arizona Hopi...
Madoff and the SEC’s Revolving Door
PAM MARTENS
The long-awaited investigative report by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Inspector General on how the SEC bungled multiple investigations of Bernard Madoff is set for release this week. Unfortunately, according to media reports, the long sufferin...
Israeli Bodysnatchers
BOUTHAINA SHAABAN
The investigative report written by Swedish journalist Donald Boström and published in Sweden’s largest newspaper Aftonbladet about Israeli occupation forces killing Palestinians with the objective of stealing their organs has raised a political and media ...
Why I’m Going to the Big Gay March in Washington
BETH SHEROUSE
Since movement veteran Cleve Jones announced plans for a national gay rights march on Washington following the passage of California’s Prop. 8 last November, reactions from the LGBT community have been mixed. Supporters of October’s National Equality Marc...
The Environment Loses a Champion
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Environmentalist Teddy Goldsmith, elder brother of the financier Sir James Goldsmith, who predeceased him, passed away on August 21. I met Teddy in 1993 at Jimmy’s vast Mexican estate consisting of tens of thousands of acres, one of the few remaining cl...
Scenes of Resistance in Honduras
JOSEPH SHANSKY
I came to Honduras as part of a delegation of concerned activists who went to witness and accompany the daily protests, monitor human rights violations, and report back to the international community on conditions since the June 28 military coup. On that day, Preside...
What Obama Isn’t Telling You About Afghanistan
ANTONY DiMAGGIO
President Obama finds himself in a precarious position when calling for escalation of the war in Afghanistan.  While this conflict is traditionally seen as the “good war,” American and Afghan public support appears mixed at best.  There is good ...
Profitting From Pandemics
BRIAN McKENNA
The swine flu pandemic can be plenty good for business. In his article, “A Capitalist Pig’s View of Swine Flu,” investor Brian Orelli said that “there is nothing wrong with drug companies and investors making money” from the crisis. &ldq...
Scenes of Resistance in Honduras
JOSEPH SHANKSY
I came to Honduras as part of a delegation of concerned activists who went to witness and accompany the daily protests, monitor human rights violations, and report back to the international community on conditions since the June 28 military coup. On that day, Preside...
The Tender Trap
DAVID MACARAY
“The saddest day of your life isn’t when you decide to sell out.  It’s when you decide to sell out and nobody wants to buy.” —Mickey Spillane Last week it was announced that Denis Hughes, head...
Bernanke in Obamatime
CARL GINSBURG
Unwilling to embrace the obvious and take action on the real underpinning of the country’s enduring economic crisis —  an unemployed, underemployed and overall underpaid workforce —  President Obama went to his playbook and came up with th...
Children During Wartime
CHARLES R. LARSON
Two tensions pull at Hala Jaber’s The Flying Carpet of Small Miracles, a riveting story ...
Will There be Free Speech in Pittsburgh?
RON JACOBS
On September 24 and 25, 2009, the Group of 20 (G-20) will meet in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  This meeting, billed as the Pittsburgh Summit, will feature some heads of state, finance ministers and central bank presidents from twenty-two of the world’s large...
Spies Without Espionage
RICARDO ALARCÓN De QUESADA
The first indictment in September 1998 charged the Cuban Five of being unregistered Cuban agents and of other minor violations. The government also charged three of them–Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio–with “conspiracy to commit espionage” (...
Teddy Kennedy the Hollow Champion
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Teddy Kennedy’s disasters were vivid. His legislative triumphs, draped in this week’s obituaries with respectful homage, were far less colorful but  they were actually devastating for the very constituencies – working people, organized labor &n...
Kennedy’s Sins Against Labor
STEVE EARLY
I was raised, like most Irish-Catholics, not to speak ill of the dead—at least while the wake is still underway. Of course, the affliction known as “Irish Alzheimers” exerts a powerful tug in the opposite direction. Forgetting everything except the ...
My Last Trip on LOT
MICHAEL HUDSON
I should have suspected something was wrong when I took my first step into Terminal 1 at JFK. I was on my way to Riga, and looking for a flight with the shortest connecting times, I naively chose LOT, Poland’s national airline. Big mistake. I’m writing th...
Science Fiction of the Now
KIM NICOLINI
District 9 is not a pretty movie. It doesn’t look pretty. Its message isn’t pretty. It hurts the eyes to watch. In fact, District 9 is an outright ugly movie, but it is an ugly that is perfectly crafted and takes ugly to the heights of a new aesthetic. Th...
Band-Aids for the Recession
MIKE WHITNEY
A recent poll shows that most economists now believe that the recession, which began in December 2007, will end in the third quarter of 2009. There’s been an uptick in manufacturing and consumer confidence, and the decline in housing prices appears to be flatte...
A Decision in the Posada Case
JOSÉ PERTIERRA
A federal district court in El Paso, Texas, accepted many of the Government’s arguments, not allowing certain evidence in the case of Luis Posada Carriles to be made public.  Posada is scheduled for trial on perjury charges in March of 2010. The Jud...
How Tre Arrow Became America’s Most Wanted Environmental "Terrorist"
JOSHUA FRANK And JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
That Tre Arrow, a tree-hugging vegan who espouses non-violence and lives by the airy and some nebulous philosophy of Gaia, would top the FBI’s Most Wanted list, only reaffirms the notion that the Bureau’s energy is being exerted in specious directions....
Life in the ‘Shed
DAVID Ker THOMSON
The American unconscious is structured like a watershed. Mainstream politics regenerates itself with the fluid dynamics not merely of suppression (the overt physical disciplining of the individual into a docile body—soldier, prisoner, or barefoot airpl...
An Appeal to Israeli Filmmakers
UDI ALONI
To Gal Uchovsky and Eitan Fuchs, In two weeks time, your film "The Bubble" will be screened as part of the Homage to Tel Aviv week, at the prestigious Toronto Film Festival (Congratulations!). There is concern among left wing circles in Toronto and ...
Science Fiction of the Now
KIM NICOLINI
District 9 is not a pretty movie. It doesn’t look pretty. Its message isn’t pretty. It hurts the eyes to watch. In fact, District 9 is an outright ugly movie, but it is an ugly that is perfectly crafted and takes ugly to the heights of a new aesthetic. Th...
On Strike for Health Care Justice
LEE SUSTAR
An unfair labor practices strike at Chicago-based SK Hand Tools has highlighted the widespread attack on health care benefits and wages as employers try to take advantage of the recession. About 75 workers at SK walked out August 25, about three months after t...
Riding the Rails with King Curtis
LORENZO WOLFF
One of the best sections of the New York City public transit system is that stretch of the “A” train that passes between 125th street in Harlem and 59th street. When the A Train is running express it means 64 blocks of uninterrupted movement. Sure, the ri...
Bush Tortured
DAVID SWANSON
It seems almost trivial to accuse someone who launched an illegal war that has killed over a million people of torture. But if we are going to prosecute the lowest ranked Torturers, it makes sense to look up the chain of command. There is no doubt that George ...
Obama’s Fake Fight for Reform
JOE BAGEANT
Almost a year after the Great Giddy Swarming of the Obamians last November, some of the revelers are waking up with one booger of a hangover. And they are asking themselves, “What were we thinking when we had that 10th drink of Democratic Party Kool-Aid?”...
The Nuclear Gang Rides Again
SAUL LANDAU
A group of scientists, military officials and government bureaucrats signed an informal pact with the devil. The contract became public in August 1945, when U.S. bombers nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Since then, no other nation has used a nuclear weapon, but t...
The Silent Slaughter
DAVID ROSEN
The Iraqi political leadership is moving to the right and those identified as unacceptable are paying the harshest price. As U.S. occupation forces attempt to vacate Iraq’s bloody battlefield, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is positioning himself as a stalwart n...
Israeli Organ Harvesting
ALISON WEIR
Last week Sweden’s largest daily newspaper published an article containing shocking material: testimony and circumstantial evidence indicating that Israelis may have been harvesting internal organs from Palestinian prisoners without consent for many years. ...
Obama’s War
DAVE LINDORFF
President Barack Obama has staked his presidency on winning his “necessary” war in Afghanistan.  Coming into office, one of his first acts,  on Feb. 18, was to boost US troop levels in that country by 17,000, bringing the total number of soldier...
The Wagner Cult in Seattle
DAVID YEARSLEY
If ever there were a grandly-scaled operatic vehicle appropriate to our current predicament it would be Wagner’s Ring. The World’s Board of Directors—the CEO of the Gods, Wotan—has just finished its dream home, Valhalla.  The problem is, ...
Trapped Again
DAVE MARSH
Once my mind cleared after word reached me that Michael Jackson had died, I wondered how much my 1985 book Trapped: Michael Jackson and the Crossover Dream was going for on Amazon ($14 used; $100 new) and came across a review from ’85 that said, &qu...
In Their Own Words
RICARDO ALARCÓN De QUESADA
The disproportionate prison terms imposed on the Cuban Five – Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo (2 life terms plus 15 years), Ramón Labañino Salazar (1 life term plus 18 years), Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez (1 life term plus 10 years), Fernando Gonz&...
World Bankers Agree
SHAMUS COOK
Few would consider the opinions of the world’s central bankers to be unbiased or even accurate.  These self-proclaimed wise men of international finance didn’t see the recession coming until it blew up in their faces — a blast that destroyed th...
Closing in on the Torturers
RAY McGOVERN
Do you think the wardens will let George Tenet wear his Presidential Medal of Freedom over the orange coverall? Perhaps he and Donald Rumsfeld will end up doing time together in one of the prisons also slated to host what Rumsfeld called “the worst of t...
We Already Have a Public Option
MARSHALL AUERBACH
Senator Charles Schumer indicated earlier this week that Democrats were fleshing out plans to pass health legislation, particularly the option of a new government-run insurance program, with a simple majority, instead of the 60 votes that would ordinarily be needed t...
Please Buy Our Beer
DAVID MACARAY
Even though organized labor has a long and storied history of accomplishments, no one is ever going to accuse it of being creative or innovative.  In fact, when it comes to inventiveness, originality, or a willingness to break with orthodoxy, the AFL-CIO is abou...
Bearly Making It
ANDREA PEACOCK
On December 17, 2004, Louisa Willcox of the Natural Resources Defense Council convened a collection of U.S. grizzly bear advocates in Bozeman, Montana, with a call to arms. Under threat of lawsuit from the governor of Wyoming, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plann...
Reclaiming a Continent
BENJAMIN DANGL
Reclaiming Latin America: Experiments in Radical Social Democracy (Zed Books, 2009) provides a...
The Water Privateers
KATHRYN GRAY
The next time you’re driving on California’s Highway 5, and you see a grove of dead trees sporting those "Congress Created Dustbowl" signs, hold off reaching for your hankie. If you’re watching a Fox News feed of farmworkers who were paid ...
The Last Refuge
GIDEON LEVY
The timing of the mini-maelstrom over an opinion piece by Neve Gordon, who teaches politics and government at Be’er Sheva’s Ben-Gurion University, calling for a boycott of Israel, was somewhat grotesque. Hardly have the t...
The Afghanistan Gap
NORMAN SOLOMON
This month, a lot of media stories have compared President Johnson’s war in Vietnam and President Obama’s war in Afghanistan. The comparisons are often valid, but a key parallel rarely gets mentioned — the media’s insistent support for the war...
The Long Struggle to Reclaim Beersheva’s Great Mosque
JONATHAN COOK
Beersheva The walls have been freshly plastered and painted white, the sculpted stone window frames are filled with frosted glass and the builders are hanging spotlights from the ceiling. The municipality of Beersheva, the capital of southern Israel, ...
Farewell, Senator Kennedy
CINDY SHEEHAN
"My vote against this misbegotten war (Iraq) is the best vote I have cast in the United States Senate since I was elected in 1962." Senator Ted Kennedy I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the Kennedy fami...
Bamboozled About Energy
ROBERT BRYCE
Two years ago, I interviewed Vaclav Smil, the prolific author and energy thinker. I asked Smil, a distinguished professor at the University of Manitoba, why Americans are so easily swayed by politicians and others when it comes to energy matters. His response: scient...
Cindy Sheehan’s Lonely Vigil in Obamaland
JOHN V. WALSH
Cindy Sheehan will be at Martha’s Vineyard beginning August 25 a short way from Obama’s vacation paradise of the celebrity elite but very far from the Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iraq where the body bags and cemeteries fill up each day as Obama’s w...