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Archives from January 2010
The Last Cargo Cult
CHARLES R. LARSON
As you enter the theater, the usher hands you a bill.  Money.  Real money.  I got $5.00; my wife, a $1.00 bill.  When we sat down, she said, “I only got a dollar.”  She noticed that another person had twenty dollars.  Didn’t make her feel too great.  Exactly....
Fancy Footwork
DAVID YEARSLEY
The feet are indispensable to so many human activities that their almost complete lack of involvement in music making in the Western classical tradition is astonishing. Since human beings first began moving their bodies to musical sound, the feet have been crucial to expr...
The Political Capital is Gone, Now What About Political Will?
JIM GOODMAN
It’s not surprising that people are fed up with politics. When money determines who gets elected, when campaign promises are as easily tossed out as garbage and when most elected officials knowingly support policy that puts the special interests ahead of the ...
The Annotated Obama
JOE BAGEANT
Jocotepec, Mexico. I’ve managed to sit still through a few state of the union speeches, through the remarks of Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, one Bush (the pappy, I never could gut out one of The Dub’s ) and a Clinton. Brother Clinton finished m...
The Night They Drove Old EFCA Down
STEVE EARLY
Scott Brown’s defeat of Martha Coakley in the race to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat has been greeted as a “game changer” for Barack Obama and his political backers. This GOP victory has deprived Democrats of their “filibuster-proof” super-majority in the Sena...
Haitians are Helping Haitians
BILL QUIGLEY
Hundreds of thousands of people are living and sleeping on the ground in Port au Prince.  Many have no homes, their homes destroyed by the earthquake.  I am sleeping on the ground as well – surrounded by nurses, doctors and humanitarian workers who sl...
Apartheid at the Israeli High Court
URI WEISS
In 1992 the Knesset enacted Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. This basic law speaks clearly about human dignity. It states explicitly: “All persons are entitled to protection of their life, body and dignity”. And let it be emphasized: all persons, not just...
Taxing the Rich Wins in Oregon
SHAMUS COOKE
Victory! Thousands of Oregon workers fought valiantly over the past weeks to ensure that corporations and the rich will see their taxes raised, so that social services, health care, and education could be saved. Massive phone banking operations, door-to-door canvas...
The Greensboro Sit-In and Obama
CECIL BROWN
Teresa Prout, a city editor for the News-Record,  a small newspaper in Greensboro, N. C., was kicking around ideas with her colleagues about how to publicize the opening of the Civil Rights Museum to commemorate the Greensboro sit-in of 1960, February 1. ”Let’...
Logging for Electricity?
THOMAS M. POWER
In the trauma associated with the closing of the Missoula paper mill, business and political leaders have been frantically searching for a way to put that industrial mill site back into production, replacing at least some of the lost jobs. One possibility that many have s...
Securing Disaster in Haiti
PETER HALLWARD
Nine days after the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, it’s now clear that the initial phase of the U.S.-led relief operation has conformed to the three fundamental tendencies that have shaped the more general course of the island’s ...
Obama Put Politics First on Afghanistan
RAY McGOVERN
Nothing highlights President Obama’s abject surrender to Gen. David Petraeus on the “way forward” in Afghanistan than two cables U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry sent to Washington on Nov. 6 and 9, 2009, the texts of which were released Tuesday by the New York Times....
Muslims Helping Haiti
WAJAHAT ALI
Haiti is experiencing unimaginable suffering from its devastating earthquake, with more than 150,000 dead and one to three million individuals displaced. Individuals, groups and governments from around the world have stepped in to do what they can. United by their religio...
The Late, Great Howard Zinn
HARVEY WASSERMAN
Howard Zinn was above all a gentleman of unflagging grace, humility and compassion. No American historian has left a more lasting positive legacy on our understanding of the true nature of our county, mainly because his books reflect a soul possessed of limitless d...
Struggling for Dignity and Survival in Haiti
TONYA GOLASH-BOZA
I left the Dominican Republic on Monday, January 25, 2010 with a team of five people from Fondation Avenir to meet wit...
In Liberty County Jail
DAVE LINDORFF
In the ironically named Liberty County Jail since December 11 sits Army Specialist and Iraq War veteran Marc Hall, a rap musician who had the audacity to write ...
Obama’s War for Oil in Colombia
DANIEL KOVALIK
This past summer, President Obama announced that he had signed an agreement with Colombia to grant the U.S. military access to 7 military bases in Colombia. As the UK’s Guardian newspaper announced at the time, “[t]he proposed 10-year lease will give the ...
The Hanging of the Henchman
PATRICK COCKBURN
Iraq executed by hanging on September 24 Ali Hassan al-Majid, Saddam Hussein’s chief enforcer and supervisor of mass killings, also known as "Chemical Ali" for using chemical weapons to kill tens of thousands of people. He was the cruellest and...
Gordon Ramsay in India
BINOY KAMPMARK
Chefs who have an absolute sense of self are closed beings.  They have found the cosmic truth to the workings of the kitchen, and no one will convince them otherwise.  To be confronted with something as extraordinary, diverse, if not more so, than what they...
Et Tu, ACLU?
BOB FITRAKIS And HARVEY WASSERMAN
The Supreme Court’s atrocious Citizens United green light for unlimited corporate campaign spending had a willing accomplice—the American Civil Liberties Union. Why? As long-time supporters, we are horrified by the ACLU’s betrayal of...
Hugo and the Shockwave
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
When it comes to making perceptive statements of fact, Hugo Chávez doesn’t have a very good track record.  As of late the Venezuelan leader seems to have become mentally unhinged, remarking that former Ugandan dictator and genocidal murderer Idi Amin was a “patriot....
Holocaust Day Invited Raises Storm in Israel
JONATHAN COOK
An Arab member of the Israeli parliament has sparked controversy among Jews and Arabs in Israel over his decision to join an official Israeli delegation commemorating International Holocaust Day today at a Nazi death camp in Poland. Mohammed Barakeh will be the onl...
We Won’t Get Tarped Again!
DEAN BAKER
The Senate’s decision on approving Ben Bernanke for a second term as chair of the Federal Reserve Board is coming down to the wire and the Wall Street crew is once again pulling out all the stops. To get the 60 votes they need for Senate approval they are reaching into ...
The Two-Headed Monster
URI AVNERY
THE BUSINESS is registered in the name of Binyamin Netanyahu. But the reality is different. Netanyahu has never been more than a slick patent medicine salesman. That is a type that appears frequently in American Westerns and sells an elixir that is good for everyth...
Plan of Death in Haiti
VIJAY PRASHAD
Though fallen thyself, never to rise again, Live and take comfort. Thou hast left behind Powers that will work for thee: air, earth, and skies; There’s not a breathing of the common wind That will forget thee; thou hast great al...