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Archives from June 2010
BP’s Temple of Doom
ALAN FARAGO
The electronic ether  is crackling with rumors of suspected collateral damage from the BP Gulf Oil catastrophe. A Youtube video purports to show rain falling in Louisiana, streaking the earth with a Deepwater Horizon sheen of oil. In Tennessee, n...
Why Afghanistan’s Poppies Aren’t the Problem
JULIEN MERCILLE
For years, there has been much discussion about the best strategy to rid Afghanistan of its poppies. Eradication, says Bush. Interdiction and alternative livelihoods, retorts Obama. Licensing and production for medicinal purposes, suggested the Senlis...
The No Blow Movement
SHEPHERD BLISS
Peter and Susan Kendall of Orinda, Northern California, are not your typical political activists. This couple really wants some peace and quiet, so they can be comfortable within their suburban home and with their backyard chickens, berries and tomato...
Fighting for the Freedom to Dissent
WINSLOW MYERS
What an extraordinary civics lesson for the students, faculty, administration, town officials and parents connected with the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School on Cape Cod. Two teachers, Marybeth Verani and Carrie Koscher, stood up at an assembly re...
36 Questions for Elena Kagan
RALPH NADER
Supreme Court nominations are a rare opportunity for millions of Americans to watch, learn and converse about what the Court, the Constitution and the Justices mean for their way of life, their freedoms and their livelihoods. M...
Video Gamers and the Future of Labor Rights
RON JACOBS
Even though I’ve been involved in at least four union organizing efforts at jobs I have had since I began working in 1971, I have never worked at a union job.  In addition, many of the various antiwar and antiracist endeavors I have been in...
The Coup is Not Complete
JOE SHANSKY
At one point during the military coup in Honduras last year, a US representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) joked that Hondurans were living in a state of "magical realism", a folkloric literary genre blurring reality and t...
Going Horizontal at the US Social Forum
BILLY WHARTON
If one political concept dominated the proceedings of the US Social Forum, it was horizontalism. Organizers mentioned it in relation to media access, workshops panelists offered it as an alternative to top-down NGOs and political parties and participa...
Who Will Pay: Wall Street or Main Street?
ELLEN BROWN
The financial reform bill agreed to on June 25 may have carved out some protections for consumers, but for Goldman Sachs and the derivatives lobby, the bill was a clear win, leaving the Wall Street gambling business intact.  In a June 25 Newsweek...
The Politics of Death
DAVE LINDORFF
"I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong." –Frederick Douglass On the evening of March 4, participants at the Fourth World Congress Aga...
Scare Tactics, Spin and Health Care
HELEN REDMOND
Liberals are on a mission to convince a skeptical public the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (known by the last three letters, ACA) should not only be supported, it’s actually a good piece of legislation, a step in the right direction...
A Better Blockade?
NADIA HIJAB
After locking itself up for hours on end, Israel’s security cabinet finally emerged to announce an easing of its blockade on Gaza, a move immediately welcomed by the United States. Israel and the U.S. hope to defuse world outrage over the collec...
Chronicle of a Riot Foretold
GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER
Oakland. As the trial of former transit cop Johannes Mehserle for the murder of Oscar Grant rushes at breakneck speed toward its conclusion, spurred by the insistence of Judge Robert Perry and political imperative, ominous cloud...
Endless Occupation?
SHELDON RICHMAN
So Gen. Stanley McChrystal is out and Gen. David Petraeus is back at the helm in Afghanistan. I don’t like hackneyed phrases, but if this isn’t rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, what is it? America’s occupation of A...
The Fate of Alberta’s Grizzly Bears
BRIAN L. HOREJSI
If it looks like a pig, walks like a pig, and smells like a pig, chances are it is a pig. I don’t aim to disparage the real four legged critter, which happens to be a pretty cool animal, but I cannot say the same for the political versions. ...
The World Cup and the Politics of Immigration
JULES BOYKOFF
The World Cup has produced some mercurial moments, with defending champions Italy getting the early boot, all African teams but Ghana vanquished in the first round, and longshots like Japan and Slovakia advancing to the knockout round. We’ve hea...
Is Advice From the IMF Better Than Advice From a Drunk on the Street?
DEAN BAKER
That is the question that people around the world should be asking as the International Monetary Fund dishes out its prescription for austerity. The IMF program calls for cutbacks in government support for health care, pensions and a wide range of oth...
Giving Laws the Finger
DAVID MACARAY
Wouldn’t it be great if federal regulations were like household and auto repairs?  When you have a leaky faucet, you call a plumber; when your brakes squeal, you take your car to a mechanic.  If only legislation and federal regulations...
The Cops’ War on Videos of Cops
JEANINE MOLLOFF
A high ranking official in government was quoted some time ago on the political marriage of public relations and governmental control regarding the ‘rule of law.’  Simply put, this official flatly stated that… ...
Holding America’s Soldiers Accountable
JOHN GRANT
The US Army is holding Specialist Bradley Manning incommunicado in Kuwait, under charges of leaking to WikiLeaks video of Apache helicopter pilots gunning down two Reuters cameramen and a number of Iraqis in a Baghdad neighborhood. The video is devast...
Blueprint for a Purely Jewish State
JONATHAN COOK
Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s far-right foreign minister, set out last week what he called a “blueprint for a resolution to the conflict” with the Palestinians that demands most of the country’s large Palestinian minority be stri...
Honduras, After Democracy
BILL QUIGLEY
One year ago, on June 28, 2009, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was awakened by gunfire.  A coup was carried out by US-trained military officers, including graduates of the infamous US Army School of the Americas (WHINSEC) in Georgia.  Pres...
Elena Kagan’s Harvard
FRANK MENETREZ
When Elena Kagan was dean of Harvard Law School, her mishandling of a plagiarism case cost an innocent person his job while allowing the plagiarist, Professor Alan Dershowitz, to escape punishment.  Dershowitz has said that when Kagan was dean &l...
Still Free, Barely Holding On
DAVID Ker THOMSON
Synopsis:  Not all of us who are fighting in the streets here in Toronto are despondent, but a great many of us are.  I am.  We are experiencing in our neighborhoods what brown people have experienced for centuries around the world at o...
Emergency War Supplemental Explained
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she is committed to passing an emergency war supplemental [funding bill for Pentagon expenses in Afghanistan] before the July Fourth recess, Roll Call reports." Why is this an "eme...