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Archives from 2010
Civil Society and Counter-Terrorism
Last week I participated in the launch conference of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism ? The Hague (ICCT-The Hague), a newly-established think tank that will be carrying out research and analysis relating to counterterrorism. The confere...
The Wikileaks Cookbook
Julian Assange should write a new cookbook, and a certain best-seller. Take a Leak* would offer not only recipes about what to do with that rarely used political vegetable, but also what not to do when preparing the diplomacy menu. President Oba...
Cut the Work Week
We have been trained to think of unemployment and stagnant pay as a shortage of jobs. That fits the neoliberal sales message of endless growth and expansion. If we think of our problem as shortage of jobs and stagnant wages, the policy is always stimulus, more produc...
Making the Rich Happy
Nicely in time for the end-of-year job ratings, President Obama has crawled from the political graveyard, where only a month ago wreaths were being heaped around his sepulcher. The Commentariat now gravely applauds his recent victories in the US Congress:  repea...
Staying the Course in Afghanistan
The Obama administration’s review of the war in Afghanistan came and went. A precis of the review and the ensuing agenda had been leaked well beforehand and excited little interest let alone debate ? public attention is elsewhere. The military presented scads o...
Whitewashing Defeat
He may still possess the poise of a confident leader and an eloquent intellectual, but the presidency of Barack Obama is now suffering its most difficult phase to date. Certainly, Obama cannot solely be blamed for all the factors that have stifled his country...
A Christmas Prayer From a Born Again Atheist
It’s easy for any born-again atheist to come down hard on religious piety and expose church hypocrisy for all its worth. But it’s that time when it’s expected to muster all one’s chits for God and bless the whole world, no exceptions. Re...
Trafficking With the Enemy
Is there a state terrorist who’s more mollycoddled and subsidized than a driver? Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands, as the good book says.  Car terrorism is always at least one order of magnitude greater t...
Smooth Sailing for Oil Tankers?
Recently, British Columbia MP (Member of Parliament) Gary Lunn asserted that professionals should be left to decide on oil tanker routes for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project. Lunn made the statement in response to a private members bill introduced by opposition ...
The Women Who Gave Us Christmas
Before Christmas emerged as a commercial success it led a checkered social life. In the 13 colonies far from a Silent Night, Holy Night it was known as a heavy drinking, brawling festival, a raucous blend of July 4th and New Years Eve. But as t...
Covering Up the Murder of Nicola Calipari
In a cable that was released by Wikilleaks, there is clear collusion between th...
Wikileaks’ Christmas Message
WikiLeaks is a modern-day Christmas story about the secrets of those who abuse power and pretend to represent what they are not.  According to the Biblical story, King Herod became “frightened” when he heard of the prophesized birth of a Messiah, who...
Kristmas Kitsch
Christmas is the most musical season. Melodies embedded in the memory are reanimated to light the fires of commerce, Christian devotion, and the family romance, packaging the Christmas Experience in song. It is impossible to avoid music and mu...
The Techno-Fantasies of Evo Morales
Cochabamba. On 22 January 2006, newly-inaugurated President Evo Morales made his exuberant procession through the streets of La Paz to join the throngs of supporters awaiting him in the Plaza de los H?roes.  To the excited crowds, Uruguayan writer Eduardo...
A Better Time? When?
It’s been so cold I’ve powered on the elliptical trainer. I prefer running through my neighborhood, in sunshine, observing people, reading bumper-sticker messages, and breathing fresh air. I was on the exerciser, though, and consumed enough by th...
Mining Peru
A leading candidate for president in Peru’s April election “took his campaign” to Vancouver, reported the city’s leading daily. Earlier this month Alejandro Toledo ? who served a previous term as president ? met mining officials, investment ba...
What We Mean When We Talk About States’ Rights
This week sees the 150th anniversary of the secession of South Carolina?the beginning of the U.S. Civil War. And of course, the anniversary brings with it the predictable repetition of myths: the South seceded because those Northern elites wouldn’t let them gov...
Obama’s Liberty Problem
The right to liberty is one of the foundation rights of a free people.  The idea  that any US President can bypass Congress and bypass the Courts by issuing an  Executive Order setting up a new legal system for indefinite detention of people  shou...
The Trial of Luis Posada Carriles
With a jury of five men and seven women empaneled, opening statements in the trial for immigration fraud against Luis Posada Carriles, will be heard tomorrow. Judge Kathleen Cardone is the presiding judge. The government attorneys will offer up the opening s...
After the Tax Cuts
The enthusiasm of the U.S. business press for the compromise tax package worked out by President Obama and Republicans in Congress led to a mini euphoria of upbeat economic projections for 2011. While the economy will do better with this tax package than if no deal w...
The Problem with Stewardship
Stewardship, on the surface a kind of benevolent relationship with the earth, has, in fact, harangued the environment and contributed to its demise. The unchecked adoption of stewardship by environmentalism is to blame for the environment’s devaluation. In lieu...
The Most Dangerous Man in Korea is Not Kim Jung Il
Who is the most dangerous man on the Korean Peninsula? Maybe it’s not Kim Jung-il, but South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak. The big story in North Asia in 2010 was the destabilizing effort by South Korea to use its growing profile...
High-Risk Raids Into Pakistan
This week’s leak to the New York Times of a proposal for U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) raids against Afghan insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan may be intended to put more pressure on the Pakistani military to take action against those sanctuaries. ...
Demasculinizing Meat
Raw meat racks hanging from claw-like hooks at the butcher’s are just bits of carcass ready to become food. Food for thought they aren’t. Not until Lady Gaga wrapped the scraps of the pink flesh splotched with congealed blood around her taut feminine body...
Negotiating With a Forked Tongue
The UAW’s recent endorsement of the U.S.-South Korean trade pact illustrates not only the difficulty of navigating the treacherous waters of global trade, but the schizophrenic nature of juggling two contradictory positions?steadfastly refusing to have anything...