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Archives from November 2009
What Father Made Us Sing Before the Turkey
DAVID YEARSLEY
Where have the great hits of Puritan remembrance gone? Thanksgiving is perhaps the most unmusical date in the festival calendar. Even Halloween has its diverse genres of scary music. For many Thanksgiving passes without the slightest melody. We learned no song...
Overtly Racist Regimes in the 20th Century
HEATHER GRAY
In his book “The Souls of Black Folk” in 1903 W.E.B. DuBois stated profoundly that “the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color-line”. It is perhaps unlikely that DuBois speculated the excessive degree to which that would be th...
The Autumn of Chinua Achebe
CHARLES R. LARSON
The occasion of a new book by Chinua Achebe—Africa’s most celebrated writer and author of Things Fall Apart, the great African novel—cannot be ignored.  It’s been twenty years since his previously published book and more than that since h...
The Transformers
DAVID Ker THOMSON
"You haven’t heard of the Transformers?” asks Sebastian.  His height in feet is six, his grade, eight, shoe size, eleven.  Like he’s not a transformer himself. “No.  What’s the general category?  1960&rsqu...
Blame Larry Summers
MIKE WHITNEY
Barack Obama’s chief economic advisor, Lawrence Summers, is determined to sabotage a second round of stimulus. And, he’s getting plenty of help, too. Congressional Democrats are dragging their feet because they’re worried about the political backlas...
Coal Kills
JOSHUA FRANK
So you thought smoking cigarettes was bad for your health? Try living next to a coal-fired power plant. That’s the diagnosis Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) relayed to the public in a comprehensive medical study released on November 18 called ...
The Timeline for a New Mexican Revolution Comes Due
JOHN ROSS
Mexico City Fact: Every 100 years on the tenth year of the century, Mexico explodes in extravagant social upheaval.  In 1810, this distant neighbor nation declared its independence from the Spanish Crown, signaling monumental bloodletting – hundreds...
How About a War on Poverty Instead?
JAYNE LYN STAHL
The local news was replete with images of First Lady Michelle Obama in the elegant, strapless designer gown she wore for this White House’s first state dinner. Don’t get me wrong, I like to look at gowns by Naeem Khan as much as anyone, but as we ...
A Surge in Demands on Goverment for Jobs
ANN ROBERTSON And BILL LEUMER
Thanks to the government bailout, bankers and brokers are now self-righteously pocketing their record bonuses, reassured by Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein that they are doing “God’s work” (The New York Times, November 17, 2009). There is no humil...
The American East India Company
FARZANA VERSEY
Minutiae have rarely been of such importance. Or symbolic. A white tent might have been more appropriate for an Arab head of state, but it works just as well for a fairytale. There was special vegetarian food to tickle the guest’s palate. Most important of all ...
Get Ready for the Obama / GOP Alliance
JEFF COHEN
With Obama pushing a huge troop escalation in Afghanistan, history may well repeat itself with a vengeance. And it’s not just the apt comparison to LBJ, who destroyed his presidency on the battlefields of Vietnam with an escalation that delivered power to Nixon...
The Gasification of Indiana
JOHN BLAIR
When the Indiana Gasification plant was first proposed for Rockport by the Daniels administration in November 2006, the price of natural gas was on the rise at around $9/mmbtu. Suddenly taking coal’s hydrocarbons and converting them to usable "syngas"...
Mumbai in the Shadow of Kashmir
VIJAY PRASHAD
Kashmir hangs over Mumbai, whose Gateway to India accepted the assailants who struck a year ago today. It haunts it. When mass movements wither, bitterness remains with the movements’ fugitives, many of whom plot amongst each other to contrive their ret...
The Truth Behind the Turkey
TOM MOUNTAIN
Eating the once noble turkey,  nominated by that one intellectual giant amongst the founders of the USA, Benjamin Franklin, to be our national bird, has come to symbolize much of what is wrong about celebrating this holiday. The original turkey was a wily...
Moral Relativism at Fort Hood
SAM HUSSEINI
What do you suppose he was telling the soldiers, that after what they had done they OUGHT to feel bad?" –Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation about Nidal Hasan That would be a good start, but perhaps not very likely give...
We Remember the Popol Vuh
GREG MOSES
Crawling down below Meauan Mountain, where ground meets sea level, the first grandson of America whispers a plot that will bury a bad god forever.  The crawling insurrectionist is Hunahpu, Jr. and there on the whiteness of a giant pyramid stone at Mirador, Guate...
The Blair-Bush Conspiracy on Iraq
DAVE LINDORFF
Most Americans are blissfully in the dark about it, but across the Atlantic in the UK, a commission reluctantly established by Prime Minister Gordon Brown under pressure from anti-war activists in Britain is beginning hearings into the actions and statements of Briti...
The Case of Lynn Stewart
MARJORIE COHN
The Jurist In a decision that reflects the post-911 terrorism hysteria, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of A...
Handing It to France
BINOY KAMPMARK
It was not something to be proud of.  I’m not going to party. –Bixente Lizarazu on French qualification for South Africa 2010, TV Channel TF1, Nov 20, 2009 That much air time, and colu...
Finish the Job?
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
I received an email from the Friends Committee on National Legislation, urging me to call the White House and voice my opinion about additional troops to Afghanistan. Recently, I decided no more of this waste-of-time bullshit. But I needed to vent. I had just read th...
An Interview with Honduran Coup General Romeo Vásquez Velásquez
BELEN FERNANDEZ
When I arrived last week at the headquarters of the joint chiefs of staff of the Honduran military in Comayagüela—twin city of Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras—I was informed that General Romeo Vásquez Velásquez had been delayed in ...
The Impending Release of Gilad Shalit
RANNIE AMIRI
The release of the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, appears imminent. The recent flurry of activity in Cairo of high-profile Israeli and Hamas officials along with their Egyptian and German intermediaries point to a deal taking place in upcoming days, nicely t...
Weak-Kneed in China
RALPH NADER
There was something both sad and strange about President Obama’s weak presence in China last week. Sad because he arrived with no seeming goals and left empty handed just after visiting the ancient Great Wall, which he said gave him a perspective on time...
In Praise of Adam Lambert
NORM KENT
"Part of what I love about being a live performer is that sometimes you just are in the moment and sometimes things just happen.." -Adam Lambert I come to praise Adam Lambert, not to bury him. This is an artis...
The Blair-Bush Conspiracy on Iraq
DAVE LINDORFF
Most Americans are blissfully in the dark about it, but across the Atlantic in the UK, a commission reluctantly established by Prime Minister Gordon Brown under pressure from anti-war activists in Britain is beginning hearings into the actions and statements of Briti...