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Archives from July 2010
Three Cheers for the Post Office
DAVID MACARAY
My wife is currently serving as a juror on a civil trial expected to last 8-10 days.  During one of the breaks, while she and the other jurors were idly passing the time discussing their jobs, family stuff, current events, etc., one of the men ca...
Economics in Freefall
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
I admire Joselph E. Stiglitz, because he has a social conscience and a sense of justice, the absence of which turns economists into monsters. Despite his virtues and Nobel Prize, Stiglitz sometimes falls down as an economist. Readers of my new book,...
How Bank of America Got Away With a Huge Swindle
DAVE LINDORFF
If you want to avoid facing a tough prosecution for malfeasance, be a banker, not a biker. That appears to be the lesson of Saturday’s front page of the Wall Street Journal, where the lead story was about how Bank of Americ...
The Living Legacy of James Meredith
SHERWOOD ROSS
The inscription on the life-sized bronze statue of James Meredith on the campus of the University of Mississippi at Oxford reads “courage,” “perseverance,” “opportunity,” and “knowledge.” Certainly those...
Do Ask, Don’t Tell
LAURA FLANDERS
The White House has pulled quite a bait and switch on the LGBT community. LGBT voters came out and contributed en masse to Barack Obama’s campaign. A year ago, he promised them action on among other things, repeal of the mi...
A Prisoner’s Wife
JANAN ABDU
I used to tell my husband, Ameer Makhoul, “One day, they’ll come for you.” As chairman of the Public Committee for the Protection of Political Freedoms he’d begun to organize an awareness-raising campaign to push back against t...
How Progressives and Liberals are Different
SAM SMITH
Progressives, as liberals did before Reagan, emphasize doing the most for the most – which is how we got socio-economic programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and a minimum wage. Today’s liberals favor expanding health insurance compa...
A Heap of Broken Images
PHIL ROCKSTROH
In an age, when nature is besieged and the political landscape blighted, and one stands, stoop shouldered and wincing into the howling wasteland of epic-scale idiocy extant in the era, a solitary person can feel lost … marooned inside an increas...
Afghanistan in Ruins
ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
Violence in Afghanistan spiked in 2010 in light of the U.S. “surge,” its targeting of the Taliban, and growing attacks on Afghan civilians.  Attacks reached an all time high since the U.S. invaded in 2001, according to the group Afgha...
Exacerbating the Crisis in the Eurozone
MARK WEISBROT
One thing should be made clear about the situation in the Eurozonconomies that is not clear at all if we rely on most of the news reports. This is not a situation where countries face a “dilemma” because they have overspent and piled up to...
Play the Music
TOLU OLORUNDA
It’s a scorchingly hot Sunday afternoon in Muncie, Indiana, and several men—young as 20 and old as 60—file in and out of Dan’s Downtown Records. Each pass through the doors with brown cartons, with green and black and pink plas...
The Snitches of Utah
GREG MOSES
Unlike the snitches of Utah who suppose that citizenship is something to oppress with, and who on the basis of their sense of self-appointed citizen superiority mailed out a roundup list of neighbors and coworkers who they think should be reported to ...
How Brokers Became Bookies
ELLEN BROWN
“You all are the house, you’re the bookie. [Your clients] are booking their bets with you. I don’t know why we need to dress it up. It’s a bet.” - Senator Claire McCaskill, Senate Subcom...
From Russia With Lovers
BRIAN J. FOLEY
The Great Spy Swap is a done deal.  Attorney General Eric Holder told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the 10 Russian spies U.S. officials netted last month had learned no state secrets and were exchanged for “four people in w...
Obama and ACORN
BILLY WHARTON
With the oil still flowing in the Gulf and two active wars in the Middle East, Barack Obama may be looking around for allies among progressives soon. If Vanderbilt University Press’ ...
Haiti: Frozen in Time
SASHA KRAMER
Six months later and sometimes it feels like we will be stuck in January 2010 forever. It as if we are frozen in time, looking out on the hillsides covered with tents. Every once in a while we will notice a change, like the empty space where the churc...
Wolves, Oil, Bureaucrats and Judges
GEORGE WUERTHNER
Recently we heard how courts in Louisiana reversed the Obama administration’s moratorium on deep water oil drilling. Some suggest that the judge’s decision was not completely unbiased due to his personal investments in oil company stock. A...
Dockworkers, Worldwide, Respond to Israel’s Flotilla Massacre and Gaza Siege
GREG DROPKIN
Three weeks after the massacre on the Freedom Flotilla, ILWU dockworkers in the San Francisco Bay area delayed an Israeli Zim Lines ship for 24 hours, the Swedish Dockworkers Union began a week-long blockade of Israeli ships and containers, dockers in...
The Dwindling of Afghanistan’s Coalition of the Willing
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
The British government’s decision to withdraw troops from Sangin in Helmand province marks a watershed in the relentless conflict in Afghanistan. The military mission has been very costly for the United Kingdom, with a third of the total casualt...
Remote-Controlled Killing
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. It is called Spot and Shoot. Operators sit in front of a TV monitor from which they can control the action with a PlayStation-style joystick. The aim: to kill terrorists. Played by: young women serving ...
Reckless Drilling
DEAN BAKER
While BP has taken some heat over its spill in the Gulf, it is remarkable how limited the anger actually is. Many defenders of the company have made the obvious point: It was an accident. BP did not intend to have a massive spill that killed 11 people...
The Escalating Chemical War on Weeds
FIRMIN DeBRABANDER
A few weeks back, the New York Times made mention of an astounding development, which has, for whatever reason, received little fanfare or recognition. Despite its Vietnam War notoriety, Agent Orange is in vogue again, this time down on the farm. Its ...
A Crack Law By Any Other Name
ROBERTO RODRIGUEZ
By now, most of the world has learned that the Republican-dominated legislature in Arizona and its unelected governor are capable of creating laws more associated with repressive regimes – or bygone eras – than with modern states. And it a...
Putting America Back to Work
DAVE WELSH
75 years ago, on April 8, 1935, Congress passed legislation creating the largest public works program in U.S. history. A month later President Franklin Roosevelt issued an executive order founding the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which created...
The Unchallenged Power of the Israel Lobby
JAMES ABOUREZK
I picked up a copy of a memoir written by the long-gone CIA Director, George Tenet.   On the first page of the book’s preface, Mr. Tenet described what it was like on the day after the World Trade Towers had exploded as a result of the...
Bonobo Handshakes
Dr. SUSAN BLOCK
The “Make Love Not War” bonobos have a new friend.  She’s an ape like them—a brilliant, beautiful, empathetic, courageous creature on the human branch of the primate family tree.  Her name is Vanessa Woods, and she ha...
An Education Witchhunt
JONATHAN COOK
Hundreds of Israeli college professors have signed a petition accusing the education minister of endangering academic freedoms after he threatened to “punish” any lecturer or institution that supports a boycott of Israel. The backl...
Dispatch From Soweto
LINN WASHINGTON, Jr.
Soweto, South Africa. Less than seven miles from the carefully crafted glitter of Soccer City, the host complex for the World Cup, two legendary South African football players told fascinating often fearsome stories that powerfu...
"They Didn’t Have to Deserve It … They Were Just Playing"
HARRY BROWNE
His control of the ball, his first touch, looked just a tiny bit heavy by the exalted standards of Andrés Iniesta. The football popped up in the air and seemed to hang there, as Iniesta turned toward it with intent. Around the world we held our...
Boycotting Israel
NEVE GORDON
There is a considerable amount of misunderstanding about the BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions). As John Berger explained a while back, BDS is not a principle but a strategy; it is not against Israel but against Israeli policy; when the policy cha...
Oakland’s Verdict
GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER
Oakland. For the fourth time in less than two years, Oakland has become a surreal scene. As though fleeing a tsunami, thousands have packed into their cars in a mass exodus from the downtown area, and are sitting in twenty block...
The Road to South America
BOUTHAINA SHAABAN
Despite transport and communications difficulties in the 19th and early 20th centuries, our ancestors defied the dangers of oceans, death and disease to get to South America, where they built schools, hospitals and clubs.  They built monuments wh...
Supermax Takes a Hit
JEAN CASELLA And JAMES RIDGEWAY
The Federal Penitentiary Administrative Maximum ("ADX") in Florence, Colorado, where conditions may violate the European Convention on Human Rights’ prohibition against "torture or inhuman and degrading treatment" ...
Summer Reading
RALPH NADER
Summer time is reading time. Here are ten suggested new books: 1. ...
The Boundaries of Delusion
SOHA AL-JURF
The toothbrushes at the Walgreens in my San Francisco neighborhood are on lock-down. The clerk who emancipated my "Comfort Grip" soft-bristled brush from the glass cabinet informed me that the store had been "losing them." ...
The General and the Bomber
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
Both took center stage in America recently.  The audiences hung on the general’s every word, and dismissed every word of the “blood thirsty” bomber.  Yet it was New York Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, and not General D...
Israel: a Failing Colonial Project?
M. SHAHID ALAM
Increasingly, despite its early military and political successes, Israel cannot for long endure as a colonial project. It must choose between wars – and destruction – or transition to a state for all its peoples. In o...
Beyond Gang Green
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR And JOSHUA FRANK
On May 3, 1969, after hours of bitter debate, the Sierra Club fired David Brower. The organization’s first paid staffer, Brower had transformed the Club from an exclusive, politically timid, white male hiking outfit of 2,000 members. But the old...
What Toronto Tells Us About Our Lust for Leaders
DAVID Ker THOMSON
What part of the “leaders” of the twenty most democratic nations getting together and kicking the crap out of the locals did we fail to understand?  Were they unclear on some point? This is not a failure of democ...
Congress and the Oil Spill
JAMES RIDGEWAY
The way the Washington Post reported the story, Congress has finally pushed through “tougher” off-shore drilling regulations for oil companies. Two key Senate committees approved legislation before the July 4 holida...
The Worst Supreme Court Decision of the Term
JOANNE MARINER
What was the worst ruling of the Supreme Court term that just ended? Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the corporate campaign spending decision that President Obama criticized in January, could make a strong claim to that title, but defe...
Latvia’s Third Option
MICHAEL HUDSON
As Europe’s banking crisis deepens, Greece’s and Spain’s fiscal crisis spreads throughout Europe and the US economy stalls, most discussions of how to stabilize national finances assume that only two options are available: “int...
Kashmir’s Inner Demons
FARZANA VERSEY
Talking in terms of when the situation normalises in Kashmir amounts to living in a fool’s paradise. That the person saying so happens to be the chief minister of the state reveals the paucity of any real incentive to find solutions. Situations ...
Parallel History
CHARLES R. LARSON
Remember The Great Gatsby? (Who doesn’t?) Remember Daisy and Tom Buchanan? (I’d rather not.) Well, Eric Rauchway has given new life to Tom by weaving an entire story around him, supposedly after the events in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ma...
Elena Kagan and the 1st Amendment
JULIE HILDEN
During last week’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, U.S. Solicitor General and nominee Elena Kagan made a number of comments relating to the First Amendment — which were then compiled by the First Amendment Center. In this column, I...
For the Want of Three Votes
GREGORY VICKREY
The vote in the House of Representatives last Thursday (July 1, 2010) approved $33 billion more for Barack Obama’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan. Most accounts of the vote in the progressive media viewed the vote positively, focusing on t...
FIFA Forbids Free Speech at World Cup Fan Fest
PATRICK BOND
Acting against our alleged ‘ambush marketing’ and ‘incitement’ (sic), the South African Police Service, newly augmented with 40,000 additional cadre for the World Cup, detained several of us here in Durban last weekend. ...
Drug Cartels Win Mexico’s Super Sunday Elections
JOHN ROSS
Mexico City. The cartoon in the morning left daily La Jornada summed up the July 4th Super Sunday election here: two citizens are picking their way through the debris of the balloting in which a dozen governorships were up for ...
Confronting Rendition to Torture in North Carolina
CLARE HANRAHAN
Despite what our leaders may profess, U.S. directed torture continues and efforts to obtain redress for victims and accountability from perpetrators are met with systematic obstruction. We know we cannot rely on government, at any level, to take the i...
The Myth of Impasse
CHARLES HIRSCHKIND
"The Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains at in impasse.” However weary this phrase has become over the years, it often seems to be the only incontestable claim we can assert in a context where all claims are intensely and passionately cont...