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Archives from November 2010
Liberating Thought
STEVEN FAKE
The present effectiveness of the United States propaganda system may well be without historical parallel. Its ability to shape public perceptions of events and issues and to garner support for ideologies that undergird the political and economic structures of society...
Eyes Only on Burma
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Ten years of rule by the Bush and Obama regimes have seen the collapse of the rule of law in the United States. Is the American media covering this ominous and extraordinary story?  No the American media is preoccupied with the rule of law in Burma (Myanmar). &n...
America’s Eggshell Nukes
HARVEY WASSERMAN
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has made it clear that America’s 104 licensed atomic power reactors are not accidents waiting to happen. They are accidents in progress. And proposals to build a "new genera...
The Coming Sell-Out to the Super Rich and What It Means for the Rest of Us
MICHAEL HUDSON
Now that President Obama is almost celebrating his bipartisan willingness to renew the tax cuts for the super-rich enacted under George Bush ten years ago, it is time for Democrats to ask themselves how strongly they are willing to oppose an administration that looks...
Will Zimbabwe Regress Again?
PATRICK BOND
If leaders of a little African country stand up with confidence to imperialist aggression, especially from the US and Britain, that would ordinarily strike any fair observer as extremely compelling, especially when the nightmare of racist colonialism is still be to e...
More Torture, Please?
STEVE HENDRICKS
Seventy percent of Americans believe we should commit crimes against humanity. Not that they would put it that way. They would say something like, in the words of a Pew poll from some months ago, that torturing suspected terrorists is “often justified” (1...
Why It Could Get Even Worse for the Democrats
MARK WEISBROT
By now it is clear to most analysts of the United States’ midterm election that the economy played a huge role in the Democrats’ losses. It is also pretty clear that the vote was a protest vote by people reacting to economic troubles, rather than an attit...
Imperialist Architecture in Egypt
LARRY PORTIS
It should be amusing to hear or read someone tell of an “architect of foreign policy”, as if the establishment of a structure of power relationships is a work of construction with its technical and artistic expertise like any other. It is an aspect newspe...
The Perverse Priorities and Fatal Flaws of the Deficit Commission Report
DEAN BAKER
The country in which most people live is experiencing an economic disaster. More than 25 million people are unemployed, underemployed, or have given up looking for work altogether. Tens of millions are now underwater on their mortgages, with millions facing the immin...
Abused Women … Still a Growth Industry
CHARLES R. LARSON
There was much to admire in Yousef Al-Mohaimeed’s earlier novel, Wolves of the Crescent Moon...
A Very Bitter Woman
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Americans keep odd things up on the mantelpiece, or in the fridge: Dad’s ashes in a biscuit tin or, in Barbara Bush’s case, as her eldest son has just disclosed on national tv, the foetus she miscarried, put in a mason jar and then handed to the teenage G...
State Lawlessness on the Rampage
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The year 2011 will bring Americans a larger and more intrusive police state, more unemployment and home foreclosures, no economic recovery, more disregard by the US government of US law, international law, the Constitution, and truth, more suspicion and distrust from...
Revolution Number 10
LINH DINH
Revolt is in the air. Fed up with our corrupt government, Tea Partiers elect new, improved Republicans, those who will restore God, vote against gay marriage, tighten our borders and, above all, keep America strong militarily, even though she already has the most blo...
Why Are the Feds Targeting Black Officials?
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
The Federal Bureau of Investigation pays a black man (Ronald Wilburn) $30,000 to offer a bribe of $1,000 to a black Boston City Councilor (Chuck Turner).  What’s wrong with this picture? US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz does not think anyt...
Another Baghdad Massacre
RAMZY BAROUD
On Sunday, October 31, when a group of militants seized a church in Baghdad, killing and wounding scores of Iraqi Christians, it signaled yet another episode of unimaginable horror in the country since the US invasion of March 2003. Every group of Iraqis has faced te...
Iraq’s Stalemate Ends
PATRICK COCKBURN
Iraqi leaders have ended eight months of political stalemate by supporting the reappointment of Nouri al-Maliki as Prime Minister but have sought to rein in his authority. The country’s parliament met yesterday and was expected to return&n...
My Porn Star Girlfriend
Dr. SUZY BLOCK
There’s a new generation of Porn Stars for whom making that genre of populist erotic art commonly known as “porn” is not a source of shame, but a reason for pride.  These are young ladies and gentlemen, as well as a bevy ...
The Misinterpreters of Kashmir’s Maladies
FARZANA VERSEY
Kashmir has gone. It has gone out of the hands of those affected – the ones who are killed, who have suffered for two decades, who are unemployed, and those who are victims of the state and of militancy. Today, it is a hothouse plant being nursed by activists a...
The Militarization of the World
ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH
A bully or a mafia godfather would never run out of excuses to punish an insubordinate soul in “his territory.” Accordingly, U.S. imperialism has been very creative in invoking all kinds of excuses to punish Iran for its aspirations to national self-deter...
Erin Go Broke
MIKE WHITNEY
There was a bank run in Ireland last  Wednesday.  LCH Clearnet, a London based clearinghouse, surprised the markets by announcing it would increase margin requirements on Irish debt by 15 per cent. That’s all it took to send investors fleeing for the ...
Riding the Rails, Looking for Work
MICHAEL WINSHIP
Now that an entire week or so has passed, it’s possible to make a cool, complete and objective assessment of the meaning of the 2010 vote. Thus, ladies and gentlemen, it becomes clear what this election was all about: jobs. I mean, just look at Monday&rs...
The Case Against Stacia A. Hylton
PAUL WRIGHT
On November 9, 2010, a coalition of human rights and criminal justice organizations – the Alliance for Justice, ...
Channeling Reagan on Tax Reform
GERALD E. SCORSE
The day after the midterms, a conservative columnist and a Democratic senator struck the same fiscal chord. Looking ahead, they looked back with longing at America’s last meaningful tax reform. Here’s Evan Bayh of Indiana, telling fellow Democrats...
The Esserzici Work-Out Book
DAVID YEARSLEY
With the Eating Season heaving into view it’s time to try and get fit in advance. In the 18th-century drawing room this meant going to the harpsichord for some of Scarlatti’s sonatas and their beneficial effect on the upper body.  Hand-crossing was t...
Walking Invisibly in the American Crowd
SAUL LANDAU
"Stone” takes a hybrid Norman Rockwell-Grant Wood portrait of an aging midwestern couple, adds two Quentin Tarantino characters who excel in manipulating and offers a disturbing cinematic slice of real America: repression, religion, lust, violence and esca...
Vioxx All Over Again?
MARTHA ROSENBERG
The withdrawal of Merck’s "super aspirin," the COX-2 specific inhibitor Vioxx from the market may be as distant as the 2004 Bush-Kerry presidential election in the public’s memory. But it’s not distant for Whitehouse Station, NJ-ba...
Jerry Brown’s Parable of the Rocking Boat
BILL HATCH
I first met Edmund G. ”Pat” Brown, Sr. in 1950 when he was running for attorney general and working the Topaz Room in Santa Rosa for votes. I was seven.  Brown won the election. My grandmother, a Republican, said after he left our table, “That ...
Public Like a Frog
PHIL ROCKSTROH
Once again, partisan Democrats are reeling in shock and humiliation, boggled by a familiar scenario — the sheer velocity of their reversal of fortune and the Republican right’s perennial ascendency. Democrats implore, why is it voters occupying less than ...
Mystifying the Crisis
PATRICK MADDEN
Despite angering some of its trading partners last week by pledging $600 billion towards another round of quantitative easing, the Obama administration went into the G20 summit in Seoul, Korea with high hopes. They wouldn’t last long. Obama’s agenda met w...
Re-Unifying the Palestinian Nation
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, is in the United States this week, but few observers expect an immediate or significant breakthrough in the stalled peace talks with the Palestinian leadership. In public, Mr ...
Anorexia and Capitalism
BRIAN McKENNA
The anthropologist despairs as he watches a young native girl run from the dinner table, in fear of getting fat. She refuses to eat even a bite of lettuce and her weight is now down to 78, from 136. She is in a danger zone. Her organs are failing. The father ...
Where Fear is the Predicate
ROBERTO RODIRGUEZ
Uttering the word Arizona anywhere in the world nowadays creates a visceral reaction. For some, it evokes the specter of Nazi Germany; for others, a totalitarian regime. For some, legalized and mandatory racial profiling represents a return to the Jim Crow south, and...
TDU in Chicago
STEVE EARLY
Chicago. During the 1970s, a small slice of the trade union left was able to tap into working class discontent and workplace militancy in a very enduring way. The result, in the unlikely venue of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)...
Targeting Jamaicans
TANYA GOLASH-BOZA
Since 1996, one in 24 Jamaican legal permanent residents have been deported. Why are so many Jamaicans being deported? Jamaicans are much more likely than other immigrants to be deported. Since 1996, about 100,000 of the 12 million legal permane...
Palestine: a Family’s Story
RON JACOBS
Ramzy Baroud left Gaza when he was a young man.  He departed with mixed emotions, knowing full well he might never see his father or Gaza again.  Once he left, his activities and the nature of the Israeli control of that piece of land made those fears come ...
Making Oklahoma Safe From Sharia Law
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Oklahomans now have a reason to really be mad. Before the recent election they were mad because of something they thought might happen some day even though it had never happened anywhere in the country. Now something bad has actually happened and unlike folks in Iowa...
Whither Obama’s Middle East Agenda?
JAMES ZOGBY
With Republicans now in control of the US House of Representatives, President Barack Obama’s efforts to achieve Middle East peace and repair frayed relationships across the region have become more difficult. In some ways, the challenges th...
Unlocking Imagination in Japan
J. T. CASSIDY
President Obama will be traveling to Yokohama, Japan this week for the APEC summit where one of the items on the agenda will be beefing up the protection of intellectual property rights. Had the summit taken place a month later the delegates could have taken a short ...
Tall Tillman Tales
DAVID SWANSON
Wednesday night I led a discussion following a screening of "The Tillman Story" at the Naro Cinema in our nation’s most heavily militarized town, Norfolk, Va., where almost half the economy is military. What an incredible tragedy that film relates! ...
London Calling
CELIA McATEER
London. No one expected what came this week, not the right, not the left and maybe not even those who brought the fight themselves. We have got used to hearing “we’re not like the French” who take their fight to where it hurts,...
The Elizabethan Era
DAVID Ker THOMSON
This is the Ice Age.  Ain’t over till it’s over.  Greenland and Antarctic sheets still with us, last I checked. Here under democracy—and longtime readers will know what I mean by under—things continue apace. &nb...
The Quest for Power in Iraq
RANNIE AMIRI
“The steps of power are often steps on sand.” – Edward Counsel, Maxims The seemingly intractable political stalemate Iraqis patiently endured for the past eight months over who will be the coun...
An Intimate Look at How Things are Made in China
KIM NICOLINI
This market-oriented capitalism, coming to a socialist – or if you want to use the word, totalitarian – country, it’s this weird mixture of two completely contradicting things combined together and doing a lot of crazy things to its peop...
Making the Imperial Army More Diverse
STEPHANIE VAN HOOK And MICHAEL NAGLER
In 1967 Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church called "Beyond Vietnam," where he declared that his conscience would not allow him to remain silent on the question of Vietnam, on the horrors of war, on the threat of violence to our ...
Intel Failure in Yemen
GARETH PORTER
The drone war that has been anticipated in Yemen for the last few months has been delayed by the failure of U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) to generate usable intelligence on al Qaeda there. That failure has given the CIA a new argument for...
Licensed to Kill
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The United States Department of Justice (sic) routinely charges and convicts innocents with bogus and concocted crimes that are not even on the statutes book. The distinguished defense attorney and civil libertarian, Harvey A. Silverglate, published a book last year,...
Laying Down Arms
PETER LINEBAUGH
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month the Great Powers of the World signed the armistice laying down arms after four years of the bloodiest war in history. That was 1918. Now, we call it Veteran’s Day. What caused the armistice was ...
Why the Oklahoma Shariah Law is Unconstitutional
LIAQUAT ALI KHAN And JASMINE ABOU-KASSEM
On November 2, 2010, an overwhelming majority of Oklahoma citizens (slightly more than 70%) approved State Question (SQ) 755, as a state constitutional amendment, forbidding Oklahoma courts from “considering or using” international law or Shariah law. Okl...
Obama’s Electric Vehicle Fetish
ROBERT BRYCE
Imagine an American president who, during a press conference, extols the importance of cars made by Mercedes Benz or BMW. The reaction, particularly on Fox News, is easily envisioned: outraged cries of “elitist” and “out of touch” would persis...
What, No Phone Books?
ALAN FARAGO
IThe other day, Nick, my 20 year old, called me in Miami on his cell phone from a crowded sidewalk in Manhattan. "Dad, are you at your computer?". I knew what was coming next. "Can you check a phone number for me?" You see, I’ve become the o...