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Archives from January 2010
From the Liberace Museum to Persian aub Zam Zam
DAVID YEARSLEY
Last week I offered up a paean to a series of August Kleinzahler’s poems written as itinerant chapters to his A History of Music, a title shared with the most famous music history textbook, one that shaped many a music student’s view of the development of...
Poison Letters
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Down in Tonapah, Nevada, BLM manager Ted Angle served as the key government official on the receiving end of the county power movement’s attempt to push the federal government off the public range. On August 2, 1994, the Nye County board of commissioners wrote ...
Could a Woman Who Posed Nude Get Elected?
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
I don’t care that Scott Brown posed nude, his hand placed strategically to hide his package, in a 1982 issue of ...
Company Unionism
SHAMUS COOKE
The evolution of the company union in the U.S. is a history of both labor’s progress and its missteps.  It is a story that, at bottom, speaks to the battle of workers to find an independent, powerful presence on the job — and to push this clout into ...
The Mystery of the Eli Lilly Rider
STEVEN HIGGS
BROOKLYN, N.Y. Anyone with a passing knowledge of Indiana’s political and business cultures would not be surprised to learn state leaders played feature roles in one of the first great scandals of the George W. Bush administration. Or that the episode in...
Something About Yemen
CONN HALLINAN
“The instability in Yemen is a threat to regional stability and even global stability” — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “Yemen is a regional and global threat” —British Prime Minister Gor...
How to Wreck a Presidency
DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
There’s only one political party in the entire world that is so inept, cowardly and bungling that it could manage to simultaneously lick the boots of Wall Street bankers and then get blamed by the voters for being flaming revolutionary socialists. It&rsq...
I Cut My Hair, But I’m Not a Terrorist
DAVE LINDORFF
I guess I may as well get out front of things here. I’m about to fly to Switzerland to lead a panel on how to change pro-capital punishment attitudes in a country at the Fourth Congress Against the Death Penalty, being sponsored by the United Nations in Geneva....
Obama Still Doesn’t Get It
MARSHALL AUERBACK
The post-mortems following the Massachusetts Senate by-election are coming in fast and furiously, but by far the most instructive remarks come from the President himself.  He clearly doesn’t get it. A majority of Obama voters who switched to Brown s...
Did Commercialization Kill the Bees?
ADAM FEDERMAN
In the early 1990s, the USDA conducted risk assessments of the interstate transport of bumble bees for commercial greenhouse pollination, particularly tomatoes. Because of the risk of introducing non-native pests and diseases into new areas, they concluded that comme...
Fat Tires in the Everglades
ALAN FARAGO
It was a gamble what time to leave Coral Gables. I would either make the meeting on the other side of the state or waste the day missing it. A hundred miles away in Naples, Collier County commissioners scheduled a 9:00 AM public hearing on its growth manageme...
Botulism and Babel
FARZANA VERSEY
Jean-Baptiste Botul does not exist, but having been cited and sanctified by a real philosopher, Bernard-Henri Lévy, he has exposed the level of fictitiousness that exists beyond the imagination in the world of academia. Before we unravel the several la...
Obama’s Drug War Budget
BILL PIPER
President Obama’s newly released drug war budget is essentially the same as Bush’s, with roughly twice as much money going to the criminal justice system as to treatment and prevention. This despite the fact that Obama said on the campaign trail drug use ...
New Phase, Not Just Another Recession
ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH
It is becoming increasingly clear that the financial meltdown of 2008 and the subsequent economic contraction that continues to this day represent more than just another recessionary cycle. More importantly, they represent a structural change, a new phase, the phase ...
Botulism and Babel
FARZANA VERSEY
Jean-Baptiste Botul does not exist, but having been cited and sanctified by a real philosopher, Bernard-Henri Lévy, he has exposed the level of fictitiousness that exists beyond the imagination in the world of academia. Before we unravel the several la...
Security Fools
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
What is the greatest human achievement? Many would answer in terms of some architectural or engineering feat: The Great Pyramids, skyscrapers, a bridge span, or sending men to the moon. Others might say the subduing of some deadly disease or Einstein’s theory o...
Pakistan Love Story
FAWZIA AFZAL-KHAN
On the one hand, the Obama presidency has expanded the so-called war on terror, via its Af-Pak policy leading to ever-increasing drone attacks on the people of Pakistan’s tribal belt bordering Afghanistan and ofcourse in Afghanistan itself, where, as the NYT Su...
The Taliban Isolated Bin Laden
GARETH PORTER
Evidence now available from various sources, including recently declassified U.S. State Department documents, shows that the Taliban regime led by Mullah Mohammad Omar imposed strict isolation on Osama bin Laden after 1998 to prevent him from carrying out any plots a...
The Taliban Isolated Bin Laden
GARETH PORTER
Evidence now available from various sources, including recently declassified U.S. State Department documents, shows that the Taliban regime led by Mullah Mohammad Omar imposed strict isolation on Osama bin Laden after 1998 to prevent him from carrying out any plots a...
New Phase, Not Just Another Recession
ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH
It is becoming increasingly clear that the financial meltdown of 2008 and the subsequent economic contraction that continues to this day represent more than just another recessionary cycle. More importantly, they represent a structural change, a new phase, the phase ...
The Prospects for Comprehensive Immigration Reform
STEWART J. LAWRENCE
After months of procedural delay and understandable preoccupation with the economy and health care, the White House has quietly announced plans to introduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate next month.   The move surprised many politica...
Obama’s Drug War Budget
BILL PIPER
President Obama’s newly released drug war budget is essentially the same as Bush’s, with roughly twice as much money going to the criminal justice system as to treatment and prevention. This despite the fact that Obama said on the campaign trail drug use ...
The Weimar Democrats
HARVEY WASSERMAN
Massachusetts again reminds us why the Democrats are such losers. They are terminal schizophrenics, driven mad by the corporate dominance of American politics. They cannot govern and make significant change at the same time because the system is geared to mak...
Class Clowns
CARL FINAMORE
It has been only a few days since the upset victory in Massachusetts of Republican Senator-elect Scott Brown and already some of America’s most prominent liberal commentators have opined on its significance. Most have been blistering criticisms of Presi...
Earthquake in the Red Zone
RICHARD MORSE
Several days before Haiti’s Catastrophic EarthQuake I received a visit from a man who told me that if i stopped blogging for six months then perhaps my hotel would be removed from the Red Zone. The man was in charge of security for another man who has at times ...
Government of Lawyers Spit on Law
SAUL LANDAU
“In a striking admission from the Obama Administration’s top intelligence officer, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair announced Wednesday that the United States may target its own citizens abroad for death if it believes they are a...
Iran and Latin America
RAMZY BAROUD
Should the United States be concerned about Iran’s determined efforts to reach out to Latin America? Or, as was suggestively described in the Economist, by the Ayatollahs’ strategy of cozying up to Latin America? The US continues to see the world ...
A Wise Strategy for Obama
BOUTHAINA SHAABAN
In President Obama’s remarks on strengthening aviation intelligence and security in the wake of the incomplete bomb attack on board of an American airplane on  Christmas, he pointed out more than once that US intelligence had sufficient information that al...
Making the Banks Pay
DEAN BAKER
President Obama proposed a tax on the country’s largest banks to help recover the money lost under the TARP program. This tax is a positive step. However, it will not come close to recovering the losses incurred in the bailouts and it will do almost nothing to ...
Class and Party Differences
MARY LYNN CRAMER
While I was in the shower last night, I heard on my portable radio that Martha Coakley called Scott Brown to congratulate him on winning the Massachusetts Senate race.  The right-wing talk shows I dropped in on were the first to announce it, and were madly celeb...
Revolution is Not a Tea Party
RON JACOBS
I live almost a thousand miles from Massachusetts, but watched the special election for Senate there with interest.  It’s not that I am convinced that the Democrats are better than the GOP.  In fact, I actually believe that there is very ...
The Turkish Incident
URI AVNERY
I TRIED to resist the temptation to tell the same classical Jewish joke a second time, but circumstances delivered a plausible excuse. Almost every Jew knows the sentence “Kill a Turk and rest.” The whole story goes like this: In...
Haiti’s Classquake
JEB SPRAGUE
Just five days prior to the 7.0 earthquake that shattered Port-au-Prince on January 12th, the Haitian government’s Council of Modernisation of Public Enterprises (CMEP) announced the planned 70% privatization of Teleco, Haiti’s public telephone company....
Coakley Loses and a Good Job Too
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Republican Scott Brown takes over a seat held by the Kennedy family for over half a century and the dark cloud already hovering over Obama’s White House thickens. By any measure the energetic Brown’s emphatic defeat of Martha Coakley, believed only a mont...
Tough Minds and Tender Hearts
KATHY KELLY
I spent Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday in Washington, D.C. as part of the Witness Against Torture fast, which campaigns to end all forms of torture and has worked steadily for an end to indefinite detention of people imprisoned in Guantanamo, Bagram, and oth...
How the Patriot Act Perpetuates Official Robberies
JAMES BOVARD
In the post–9/11 era, federal officials are treating cash as they would a suspected weapon of mass destruction. They have created legions of new restrictions and reporting requirements for citizens’ money. But the new controls have done nothing to make Wa...
The Ideal Partner?
GAIL DINES
For all those women who think men are interested only in sex and not conversation or intimacy, think again. A New Jersey based company, ironically called True Companion, has come out with what it calls the “the world’s first sex robot”. This is, acc...
Tough Minds and Tender Hearts
KATHY KELLY
I spent Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday in Washington, D.C. as part of the Witness Against Torture fast, which campaigns to end all forms of torture and has worked steadily for an end to indefinite detention of people imprisoned in Guantanamo, Bagram, and oth...
Why I Voted for the Republican in Massachusetts
JOHN V. WALSH
"Get off your butts,” implored Boston Democrat Mayor “Mumbles” Menino.  Thus spake the inarticulate mayor at the desperate rally featuring Barack Obama last Sunday before the special Senate election in Massachusetts.  Mum...
"A Hungry Man is an Angry Man … "
RICHARD MORSE
Beginning between 11:00 PM and Midnight, Monday, 18 January. Too late…went to the Carrefour Feuille Lycee w/Virginia Task Force 2 but there were no survivors. We were a few days too late. Mostly kids. Saw all kinds of nationalities looking for bod...
The Blackout on Cuban Aid to Haiti
DAVE LINDORFF
In the critical first days after the quake struck Haiti, only two US corporate media news organizations reported on Cuba’s quick response to the crisis. One was Fox News, which claimed, wrongly, that the Cubans were absent from the list of neighboring Caribbean...
Chile’s New Right
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
For those who believe that South America is in the grip of some kind of left revolutionary fervor, this week’s election in Chile may have come as a surprise.  With partial results from 60% of the country’s polling stations now available, it appears t...
Wall Street’s Power Grab
MICHAEL HUDSON
You almost could hear the bankers heave a sigh of relief when Haiti’s earthquake knocked the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission hearings off the front pages and evening news broadcasts last week. At stake is Wall Street’s power grab seeking to centralize...
The Guantánamo Suicides
STEPHEN SOLDZ
My friends who served in the military speak of the pride with they performed what  they viewed as their duty. This duty included the obligation to act with honor, including, above all, following the Geneva Conventions when handling detainees and prisoners of war...
Blowback of the Drones
GARY LEUPP
As of January 17, there had  been 10 drone attacks on Pakistan so far this year. There were 44 in all of 2009. One of those in August killed Baitullah Mehsud, 35 year old leader of Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a local group inspired by the Taliban of Afghan...
The Tragedy of Toussaint L’Ouverture
BJÖRN KUMM
While the mass graves are being filled up in Haiti and international opinion devotes some fleeting moments of attention to this unhappy nation, all we hear about is misery, poverty, corruption, chaos. This of course was to be expected. Haiti is seen as simply another...
No, Mister, You Can’t Share My Pain
JOHN MAXWELL
If you shared my pain you would not continue to make me suffer, to torture me, to deny me my dignity and my rights, especially my rights to self-determination and self-expression. Six years ago you sent your Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiar...
Profiting From Haiti’s Misery
BENJAMIN DANGL
US corporations, private mercenaries, Washington and the International Monetary Fund are using the crisis in Haiti to make a profit, promote unpopular neoliberal policies, and extend military and economic control over the Haitian people. In the aftermath of th...
Haiti’s Odious Debt
ERIC TOUSSAINT And SOPHIE PERCHELLET
There is a great risk that one of the largest relief operations in history will be similar in nature to the tsunami relief efforts in 2004, unless a radically different approach to a reconstruction model is adopted. Haiti was partially destroyed by an earthquake meas...
The Politics of an Earthquake
ROBERT ROTH
In June of 2004, I went to Haiti with two other members of the Haiti Action Committee.  We were there to investigate the effects of the political earthquake in which the democratically elected government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide had been overthrown by...