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Archives from March 2010
Strange Alliance at the Supreme Court
SAMUEL SINGER
Mohammed Ali Samantar is the only living vestige of the Barre regime, the last government in two decades to exercise central control over Somalia and, not coincidentally, the last that was impudent enough to try. When Siad Barre was finally overthrown in 1991, Samant...
Color-Coded Citizenship
ANITA SINHA
Now that health care reform passed, the drum for immigration reform is starting to beat. It’s a toss up as to whether to be terrified or thrilled. Terrified because the debate on health care was nasty and fraught with misinformation, and that does not bode well...
The Iraqi Elections
ESAM AL-AMIN
Seven years after the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003, and despite the presence of over one hundred thousand troops on its soil, the role of the US has greatly diminished, as demonstrated by the latest elections in the country. When Bush invad...
The Scapegoating of Low-Income Seniors
MARY LYNN CRAMER
For many months I have been astounded by the absurdity of those Americans who equate Obama’s Private Insurance Bailout Bill with communism or socialism. A reader of an op-ed piece of mine wrote me explaining she had demonstrated against Obama’s health pla...
Inside Afghanistan’s Jails
GARTEH PORTER
Nearly two of every three male juveniles arrested in Afghanistan are physically abused, according to a study based on interviews with 40 per cent of all those now incarcerated in the country’s juvenile justice system. The study, carried out by U.S. defense atto...
The Housing Bubble and the Washington Crew
DEAN BAKER
Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and the rest of the crew running economic policy somehow could not see the housing bubble as it grew to more than $8 trillion. It really should have been hard to miss. Nationwide house prices had just tracked overall inflation for 100 yea...
Bolivia’s Coca-Colla
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
Move over Coca-Cola: here comes Bolivia. The Andean nation’s indigenous people have long resented the U.S. beverage company for usurping the name of their sacred coca leaf.  Now, they are aiming to take back their heritage.  Rec...
The Dawning of a Liberal Apologetics for Iraq
MICHAEL P. BRADLEY
Upon reading Thomas Friedman’s March 10, 2010 New York Times Op-Ed, “It’s Up to Iraqis Now. Good Luck,” I felt compelled to try to make some sense for myself of this timely example of the dawning of a liberal apologetics for Iraq. Presently, A...
HAMP to the Rescue
MIKE WHITNEY
Last Friday, the Obama administration announced changes to its Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) The most significant change is "principal reduction". By reducing the balance on underwater loans, the administration hopes to lower the number of for...
GOP in Freefall?
DAVID ROSEN
Is the Republican Party imploding? Revelations about the arrest of a growing number of rightwing, GOP-leaning “patriots” and the Republican party’s misuse of campaign funds to cover a wild night at the Voyeur, a West Hollywood “gentlemen&rsquo...
Juarez, Murder Capital of the World
LAURA CARLSEN
On Jan. 31, an armed commando unit pulled up to a house in a working-class neighborhood in Ciudad Juarez on the Mexican side of the border with the United States. Inside the house, 60 teenagers were celebrating a friend’s birthday. Wielding high-caliber weapons...
Can the Census Count to Ten?
LAWRENCE REICHARD
If you can count to ten or watch television, you probably know that it’s a Census year.  And if you can count to ten, you should go work for the Census – they could use you.  I’m a little worried here.  The Cens...
Atrocities in Afghanistan
KATHY KELLY
If the U.S. public looked long and hard into a mirror reflecting the civilian atrocities that have occurred in Afghanistan, over the past ten months, we would see ourselves as people who have collaborated with and paid for war crimes committed against innocent civili...
An Economy Without Firewalls
ALAN FARAGO
More than two years after Wall Street’s closest brush with death since the Great Depression, taxpayers, investors and voters are still waiting for the kind of bare knuckles Congressional action like the Pecora Hearings in the 1930s that resulted in federal legi...
Ann Coulter Runs, Whines, May Sue
POYAN NAHRVAR
Having just told a 17 year old Muslim student at University of Western Ontario to “take a camel” rather than inconvenience the rest by flying on an airplane, American reactionary, Ann Coulter, was scheduled to give a speech at the University of Ottawa on Tuesd...
The $250,000 Joint
ANTHONY PAPA
In 1992 Anthony Williams, now known as Amir Varick Amma, was sentenced to 25 years to life for a non violent drug offense under the Rockefeller Drug Laws. Amir was convicted of two felonies, the worst of which was the sale of 2 ounces of cocaine in Albany County. Ami...
When the Banks Own the Congress
RALPH NADER
A society not alert to signs of its own decay, because its ideology is a continuing myth of progress, separates itself from reality and envelops illusion. One yardstick by which to measure the decay in our country’s political, economic, an...
Dissidents and Politics in Cuba
RAFAEL HERNANDEZ
Hunger strikes and suicides justified by strong moral, ideological, patriotic or religious beliefs usually touch people’s conscience. From Bobby Sands and the ten other Northern Ireland IRA youths who died in British jails in 1981, to the many cases of Basque a...
Madoff’s Fund was Like Heroin
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Bernie Madoff was paying one percent a month. Month after month. To his investors. Many of his investors suspected, or were told, that something was up with Madoff. But the invest...
A New Middle East War?
CONN HALLINAN
When Israeli Minister without Portfolio Yossi Peled said recently that a war with Lebanon’s Hezbollah was “just a matter of time” and that such a conflict would include Syria, most observers dismissed the comment as little more than posturing by a r...
Where Sarah Gets Her Guns
JAYNE LYN STAHL
Those who dismiss Sarah Palin as historically ignorant are wrong. In the coming weeks, as the former Alaska governor on her national roadshow exhorts members of her Tea Party fan club to "reload," the gun reference will have peculiar resonance in light of a...
The Bases of Empire
DAVID SWANSON
When I encourage people to throw away their televisions and newspapers in favor of reading books, I think a lot of times they imagine that what they’d get would be a different angle on the same topics. After all, the stories in the news are just the stories in ...
Bad Aid
VIJAY PRASHAD
In December 1984, I walked into the HMV store on London’s Oxford Street to spend a little discretionary money on an LP. Other albums drew me, but one had an advantage. It combined the talents of all the major “Top of the Pops” singers onto one song....
Paying Now for the Next Three Mile Island
HARVEY WASSERMAN
As radiation poured from 3 Mile Island 31 years ago this week, utility executives rested easy. They knew that no matter how many people their errant nuke killed, and no matter how much property it destroyed, they would not be held liable. ...
Bibi’s Canossa
URI AVNERY
IN JANUARY 1077, King Henry IV walked to Canossa. He crossed the snow-covered Alps barefoot, wearing a penitent monk’s hair shirt, and reached the North-Italian fortress in which the Vicar of God had found refuge. Pope Gregory VII had exco...